A farm stay in Devon, UK
6th August 2020
A farm stay in Devon, UKA farm stay in Devon is becoming a more popluar choice.
What better way to relax and unwind than to stay in the Devon countryside on a Farm within a picturesque rural setting.
Wake up to the sounds of chickens, ducks and of course the sheep and goats bleating. You will always have fresh (and I don’t mean shop bought days/week old) eggs for breakfast. As well as the resident animals at Moorparks you will find an array of native birds and wildlife. If you are a night owl or early riser you may spot the owls, bats, deer, badgers, foxes or hedgehogs. We often set up wildlife cameras to see what they are up to. Without light pollution, on a clear night the night sky is stunning, you can enjoy the dark skies and starry nights.
Farm stays have become very popular recently. With so much going on throughout the year there is always something to see or learn about.
In February/March we lamb our Greyface Dartmoor sheep. This is a really busy time for us and sleep is last on the list whilst we keep an eye on the ‘maternity ward’. The Greyface Dartmoor is a rare breed and one of the friendliest sheep, the lambs are adorable. We spend a great deal of time with the lambs. We keep most of the ewes (girls) and sell the wethers (boys) as pets. If you are lucky enough to be there on the right day you may even be able to watch the birth of a lamb.
Depending on the weather the first lot of shearing for the sheep and alpacas is around May, with a second shear for the sheep in September. We get professional shearers in to shear both sheep and alpacas. Our two main breeding flocks are Greyface Dartmoor and Swiss Valais Sheep, both of which benefit from two shears a year. Obviously during the summer months the cottages are always full, luckily most of the main tasks for the animals have been done for a while. All around Devon during the summer the county/town/village shows go on. Sometimes there are one or two a week, all with animal classes and fairs and lots to do. Maybe one day we will take some of our animals to the shows, not that I think we have a great (any) chance of winning, but it really is a great day out.
We keep one or two paddocks empty for part of the year so we can make hay. Although we don’t have the equipment to do it, we know a man who does (a real farmer!) which is great as we then share the hay. For us it’s still a novelty; we have only done this twice now since moving here but seeing the paddocks used as they should is great.
Last years holiday guests loved watching the hay making.
Around november is lambing time for the Swiss Valais sheep. The cottages aren’t so busy then and the flock is smaller so not such a rush for us. That means we get to enjoy more time with the lambs.
Towards the end of the year as it gets colder and wetter the animals need a little more care again each day. The quieter times for the cottages are when we get a chance to do some of the maintenance, ready for the start of the next year when it all begins again.
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