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Hi from Hampshire

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  1. anitopia
    Member

    Hello all, have to say this looks a great forum with lots of information.

    Sadly i do not have any livestock but i do help out on two smallholdings. One is mainly goats (50+) which are for cheese and meat but there are also a few chickens in residence. The other one is much smaller but has a few goats, chickens and ducks plus the beautiful cat.

    I have pets also which include 3 dogs, 5 cats, 18 guinea pigs, 2 egyptian mice and four fish. They are all rescues or unwanted pets who have come here to live out the rest of their lives. I foster for a couple of rescues plus the Cinnamon Trust but as you can tell i am not very good at letting them go....ha ha.

    I work around my three children and also grow veggies/fruit on my patio and at my recently acquired jungle oophs allotment. From the produce and also the local wild stuff i make jams and chutneys.

    My dream would be to have a few chickens and ducks but for the moment it is just a dream but i love reading about yours.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  2. Omegaman
    Member

    Hi Anitopia

    You clearly have access to a large range of animals (...18 guinea pigs!!!) I bet that lot keep you busy, but I am sure you will find room for a few ducks at some point.

    Nice to see people still using wild berries and fruits in food making. We had masses of damsons, sloes, apples and blackberries in our local fields last year, and no-one else was bothering to pick them. We made jams, chutney and several demi-johns of sloe gin (...purely for social occasions!)

    I was interested in your fostering/rescue centre. I would love to do something like that. Do you need any experience or training before a vet or rescue agency would pass an animal to you? In particular, I have always wanted to rescue hedgehogs.

    Kind regards
    Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  3. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Hi Anitopia, Ken
    We also pick and use our own fruits for winemaking and baking etc We are inundated with elderberries and nettles so make wine from both - they are wonderful!
    Ken I don't know how close you are to Epping Forest but there is a hedgehog rescue centre there that is crying out for help. With a little help you could start one up yourself. We rescued a baby hedgehog last year until we found out our local vet was taking them in, so we handed him over to his "family" to over winter.
    Heres a link for you. http://www.thehedgehog.co.uk/
    You can find me on facebook farming friends
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/York/Farming-Friends/165905205668?ref=ts mine are the white campbells in the photos list :)
    Regards,
    Sarah L

    Sarah L
    Posted 9 years ago #
  4. anitopia
    Member

    hi everyone.

    The rescues i have fostered for and mainly dogs and small animals. The Cinnamon Trust is a charity who helps elderly or terminally ill people. Sometimes it is just walking the dog so it has exercise and can stay with its owner who may not be able to walk them but also when they are left behind because of a death or going into a home then they need also need new homes. Not just dogs but any animal and recently they had to save a lot of chickens when the owner was taken into hospital.

    Most rescues would need a home check to be done on you just to make sure you have everything in order to foster dogs/cats etc. I am on here a lot www.dogpages.org.uk which is a good place to start if dogs are your interest.

    I could do with a pack of hedgehogs for the slug issue in my garden!!

    Wish i lived closer to you Omegaman as i would be raiding your fields. I havent done drink yet but am looking into it but it does seem very technical. I love making chutneys the best as they are very forgiving of my rough chopping and chucking in habits.

    Yes my little gang keeps my busy but it is all i have known really from being very young until now (45 years old) so cleaning out lots of hutches isnt a bother to me.In fact i miss them so much when if i go on holiday which isnt that often. Guineas are my love and it never ceases to shock me how these little creatures can be so abused or mistreated.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  5. hello Anitopia,you sound a very busy lady, can i ask what is holding you back from having chickens or ducks, like you it was a dream of mine for many years and im older than you
    after to chatting to sarah ( campbell ridge ) on facebook, she gave me lots of useful advice including the link to this forum and I now own three 5 week old khaki campbell ducks
    I had always believed i needed lots of land and a big pond to keep ducks and that is so not the case, my ducks give me so much pleasure as people here will confirm,
    hope your dream comes true for you one day
    Mo

    mo x
    Posted 9 years ago #
  6. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    They also eat slugs! :)

    Sarah L
    Posted 9 years ago #
  7. anitopia
    Member

    Mmmm why not live my dream now?

    Well lots of reasons really but it comes down to this isnt the right time. I have a lot on my plate at the moment and i need my life to settle down a bit first but one day it will happen.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  8. Omegaman
    Member

    Hi All

    Thanks for the links and information.

    Yes, I am near Epping Forest Sarah so I will follow up on the hedgehog rescue centre after our current commitments leave us (ie Jemima and her brood). It has been like Noah’s Ark here today as I have been nursing one of Jemima’s ducklings that won’t eat (but is now taking boiled egg thanks to an idea from the Forum), and caring for a poorly pigeon that was attacked in the garden.

    The dog fostering could be of interest to us, Anitopia, but after we move to the west country next year. We regularly look after our daughter’s dogs (a Jack Russell and two Weimaraners) but we would like our own dog eventually.

    I’m impressed that you are making wine, Sarah. It has always seemed too complex to me which is why I tackled Sloe Gin ....quick, and no skill required.

    I hope things settle down for you soon, Anitopia, and that you can have your chickens and ducks. Remember “dreams are the essence of life”.

    Ken
    PS: Are the children old enough to dig the allotment for you, Anitopia? That would be a good result.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  9. Hi Anitopia,
    Welcome to the farmingfriends forum. Interested to hear that you help out on small holdings. I live on a farm that my husband farms with his father and brother. I keep poultry - hens, ducks, quail and guinea fowl - more on a small holder basis. I did have two sows until last July, which I still miss very much.
    I have 5 farm cats that are my pets and 1 guinea pig called Guiness that I was given. I think Guiness is a male and he is 5 years old. I worry that he is lonely. If I got another guinea pig to keep him company would another male get on with him? Would they settle in well together or would it stress him out too much. Should I try to get an older guinea pig to go with him or would a younger one be ok? Sorry about all the questions but I do worry about Guiness being lonely but anxious that he gets the right mate.

    We have an orchard and a veg patch.

    Anitopia - ducks are great for reducing the slug and snail population! But I have just read your later comments that time is not right just now - hope things settle down soon for you, you sound like you are very busy.

    Hi Ken,
    I make chutneys and have used sloes for making sloe gin, sloe vodka and sloe brandy! Courgette chutney and damson chutney are great!
    Hope your duckling is ok - ducklings, chicks and birds seem to love boiled eggs and particularly the yolk. Plain yoghurt is supposed to be good for poorly birds too. Hope the pigeon is ok too.

    Hi Sarah,
    We once made elderflower champagne which is lovely!

    Hi Mo,
    As you say keeping ducks brings great pleasure and it's amazing how quickly they get into a routine and get used to their environment. I am so glad that Sarah told you about this forum - thanks Sarah!

    Hope you've all had a great weekend.
    Best Wishes
    sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  10. This forum is brilliant Sara, I have learnt so much on here

    good luck Anitopia, as I said before you are a very busy lady, and to enjoy ducks to there utmost you do need time to devote to them, as i said i'm older than you, 52, so plenty of time yet
    Mo x

    mo x
    Posted 9 years ago #
  11. anitopia
    Member

    Hi Ken, yep the two younger ones help me out on the allotment and thye have their own plots etc to tend to. I hurt my back earlier this year so digging was out of the question so we are doing lots of covering over with cardboard and then layering on top. Great for squashes etc as i have done it before a few years back on another allotment.

    Hi Sara,

    you could try a much younger ie baby male with your guinea as that could work but once it gets older and the hormones kick in then they may fight. As they dont have any females around they may be okay but cant guarantee it. All my males are neutered and then housed with females. The op is simple but costs about £45 here. I have quite a few here that have been given up because of the fighting issue and then neutering is their only option if they are to have company. The only downside would maybe be his age and to whether you want to risk it or not. If he has always been on his own and has lots of human contact i am sure he is quite happy.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  12. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Hi Sara, it may not be the answer, but to get over losing one of our pet rabbits, we adopted a rescue guinea pig for company and they got on like a house on fire............

    Sarah L
    Posted 9 years ago #
  13. Hi Anitopia and Sarah,

    Thank you both for your advice. I will consider what is best for Guiness.

    Would the operation put him at risk as he is 5 years old?

    I would love him to have some company.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  14. Mama
    Member

    Sara , What a lovely guinea pig. Won't even think about another. My sons had one many years ago and it was the most evil thing you could imagine . Only my hubby dare feed it . It got loads of tlc but it did not seem to have any affect. Hey ho childrens pets. Better then the gerbils that ate my kitchen curtains!!! and the hamster that escaped and made a nest in the divan draw of my bed and ate the sheets in it !! Happy days. Good luck on finding him a friend. Regards Mama.

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #
  15. Hi Mama,
    Glad you like Guiness - he is a handsome fella, a friend bought him for me when I left teaching.
    I had two rabbits when I was young - Blackberry and Brighteyes they were lovely. They were both male so we had to separate them and my dad made them a palace! Fond memories.
    Have a good day.
    Best Wishes
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  16. anitopia
    Member

    He is indeed gorgeous.

    The only risk is the fact the op is done under GA. I havent lost a guinea pig yet because of the op but it is always a risk with any animal.

    Please do not get a rabbit to go with him as they can be very mean to guineas and one accidental back kick can break a guineas neck. Rabbits can be very territorial and i have seen horrid injuries done to guinea pigs with their necks literally ripped open :-(. Guinea pigs also have different nutrional needs to rabbits. I in the past did keep them together (in the 70's) but it is recognised now that it isnt good because of the amount of injries sustained by guinea pigs. Really isnt worth the risk.

    If you did decide to get him neutered there a lots of female guinea pigs is rescue who would love a new home.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  17. Hi Anitopia,
    I had read that it's not admissable to mix rabbits and guinea pigs anymore. I would like to get him a guinea pig friend. I think I will ring the vet to find out the cost.
    Thanks for your advice.
    Kind regards
    sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  18. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Well i had no problem with my rabbit and its two consequent guinea pig friends, but i have read that rabbits can be too aggressive.
    Bes option is to collect a guinea pig or two from rspca or another rehoming centre as they will more than likely have neutered the animals in their care , if they are not already :)
    http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/rehoming/petsearch?p_p_id=petSearch_WAR_ptlPetSearchPortlets&p_p_lifecycle=1&p_p_url_type=1&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-1&p_p_col_pos=1&p_p_col_count=2
    Regards,
    Sarah

    Sarah L
    Posted 9 years ago #
  19. Hi Sarah,

    Glad to hear that you didn't have any problems with the rabbits and guinea pigs mixing. I think it's like all animals some will get on and others won't!
    We have a cow, number 32 who can't stand me, she bucks her head and snorts at me if I get too close to the fold yard gates and troughs, as you can imagine I am very wary if I have to go in with the cattle, always on the look out for 32. I don't know why she dislikes me so much, she is generally bad tempered but everyone has noticed that she comes for me if I get too close!

    If my guinea pig is male and hasn't been neutered and I got a female that had been done would this cause any problems? I would assume he would still have urges but she wouldn't be able to get pregnant. Are guinea pigs aggressive when breeding. Male quail seem to be more so than the male guinea fowl I have, infact guinea fowl are very discreet maters!

    Thanks for the link
    Best Wishes
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  20. anitopia
    Member

    mmm the RSPCA dont have the best record for neutering guineas and it is very unlikely you will find a spayed female as the operation is very intrusive for them and not many would come through it. I have had to have two girlies done after infections in the womb and sadly neither survived.

    With regards to the RSPCA and neutering.

    One of mine Crusoe was a feral guinea pig (basically a couple had escaped and set up home in a field and bred and bred until someone noticed). Crusoe was brought to my attention as he was fighting with the males and obviously couldnt be with the females and also biting staff. He was on death row as no one wanted him and he was taking up a hutch but the RSPCA wouldnt/couldnt neuter him as the cost is too high. Anyhow some one told me and i agreed to take him here although it was a 4 hour round trip to get him!! Well i had him neutered and now he shares with three girls and is lovely but the RSPCA couldnt wait to get rid of him. Even the lady said they are on the bottom of the list as dogs,cats and then bunnies take priority

    Posted 9 years ago #
  21. Mama
    Member

    Anotpia, You are such a kind person, death row, awh poor thing. I am not surprised that you are so tired with all your commitments. Don't even think about any more animals until your spare time is more relaxed and you can enjoy them.Three children and everything else sounds more than enough. Looking at it all you have enough to do already. Just perhaps enjoy the forum and reading about what other folks do and gain a bit of knowledge before hand. Best wishes Mama.

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #
  22. Rabbits and guinea pigs, years ago we got a rabbit and on the suggestion of the shop got a guinea pig as company they lived together very well for many years, then the rabbit seemed as though he was trying to mate the guinea end result..dead guinea pig with a broken back, of course if i new then what i know now i would have seperated them, still sad now when i think what Basil went through x

    mo x
    Posted 9 years ago #
  23. Omegaman
    Member

    Same experience for me. When the children were young we had a rabbit and guinea pig together for company (it seemed to be the recommended thing in those days) and when the rabbit became amorous, the guinea pig ended up with a broken back. The children were so upset. Ken

    Posted 9 years ago #
  24. anitopia
    Member

    mama - i am okay and tbh the animals are my release as it isnt them which cause me tiredness and stress. They help me relax and spending an hour with them grooming and chatting is the perfect prozac. My dogs are my friends as well and hardly ever answer me back :-) except for the staffie/spaniel who always has a lot to say for herself but she is my soul dog and i love her lots.

    Without getting into too much history lets just say 18 year old rebellious teenage lad who since the age of 14 has been trying to take on the world and its mother...lol! Families eh!

    So sad to hear about the other piggies but is was very common practice to keep both together and i have done in the past and luckily they were both okay.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  25. Mama
    Member

    Anatopia, Been there ,done it ,had two boys and live to tell the story. Now they are both my pals and nice young men, it will pass!!! You are right ,animals are a release and stress buster and this forum also gives us some laughs and an insite into animal life and behaviour. Mama.

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #
  26. anitopia
    Member

    Mama you are lovely and i wish i could just pop over for natter and coffee but France is a tad too far away.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  27. Mama
    Member

    Anitopia, I am a yorkshire woman and coffee is only on the menu for breakfast and after dinner, you must know how us yorkshire folk are.!!!!!! it is tea we drink. You never know what tomorrow may bring, France is only a tad too far today . We could have a natter maybe on facebook although I don't go on often as I am very busy during the day . Sure you are too by the sound of it. Keep your chin up and send the pest to me. I am 4ft 11ins tall and can hurl a serving tray like a frisbie!!!!!!! Not polictically correct these days , sure I would be locked up but as I said my sons are now nice young men and very caring, love me lots and show it. They still talk about the times I used to chase them round the kitchen and have us all in hysterics.
    Think we are supposed to talk about widlife. OOPS . Have a good weekend . Best wishes Mama.

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #
  28. Hi Anitopia and Mama,
    Animals can be a great comfort and help to take the mind off stresses of everyday life.
    If I neeed a break from the computer, as I work part-time doing computer work as well as doing farming things, I can often be found outside with the cats or poultry or when I had the pigs I could be found in the pig barn watching and talking to the pigs - you could always tell if I'd been to visit the pigs as I had a nice aroma of pig about me!!!
    Best Wishes
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  29. Mama
    Member

    Sara, I think all manure smells fab, sad or what. There is just something about the smell that says grow ,grow ,grow you plants. Regards Mama.

    Goose Girl
    Posted 9 years ago #
  30. Hi Mama,
    I grew up in a pig farming area so am used to the smell of pig manure!
    Am now getting used to the smell of silage which we feed to the cattle.
    Have a good weekend.
    Best Wishes
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #

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