Three of the best and easiest farm animals to raise as a new farmer

If you are new to the world of farming, then you may need some advice on what animals are best to raise on your new farmland. It’s always best to investigate what each animals’ needs are before starting up, including space needed, produce and cost to raise.

1. Pekin Ducks

Pekin Ducks are by far the easiest animals to raise, so they are perfect for your start-up venture. Pekin ducks are a brilliant source of meat and produce generous eggs. In addition to this, they also require very little room to farm, you can create just a small enclosure and water area and they will be very happy. Ducks have much larger appetites than other farm birds such chickens but are also keen foragers as well. Birds of prey and neighboring dogs are your birds major threat but kept in secure fencing they will be safe.

Some Pekin Ducks
Three Pekin Ducks

2. Goats

Farming goats is an amazing first animal to keep. A good meat source, and also producing milk for dairy. If your farm has less available land, goats are a brilliant option for you as they don’t need a lot of acreages. Goats will consume shrubbery and wood so are great area clearers, but also love to feed on hay, vegetables. If your animals are kept in a smaller area, then creating a section of sheltered space will keep then healthy and happy in the wetter, cooler weather.

A young kid goat
A baby goat

3. Honeybees

Often an opportunity missed by many farmers. Honeybees are actually ideal creatures to farm as they need very little upkeep. On set up, you will need hive boxes and a water source, allowing the bees to break and drink. The brilliant thing about becoming a bee farmer is that the bees will come to you, at no cost at all. Have your hives prepared just after winter as they begin swarming mostly in the spring. To feed your bees you will need a simple sugar solution but they will also travel to collect food and not rely too heavily on what you feed them. The obvious reason for keeping bees is the production of honey to sell and also enjoy.

Bees
Bees in the hive

So there you have it, our top three simple start up recommendations for animals to begin your farming career. However, regardless of the amount of research done, raising livestock is always a learn on the job process for you and your animals.

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Four Of Britain’s Best Farms For Visitors

Want to relive your childhood countryside memories? Here are our top four favorite farms in Britain.

 

Vauxhall City Farm

A farm operated by volunteers, these helpers have impressively created and managed a city farm in the center of London. A brilliant farm that seems to be getting everything right! Free to enter and if their lucky, the children can spend the afternoon with farms goose Waffle and Stinker the ferret.

London
London City

Odds Farm

Ideal for a family day out. The kids can be taught about farm animals, both living outdoors and in the barn and spend time playing in the ball pool pits, whilst parents sneak off to the espresso bar. There are many yearly events held, with Halloween being the most popular; children can enjoy pumpkin carving and a visit to the scary “Boo Barn”.

Childrens ball pit
Ball Pool Pit

Cannon Hall Farm

This farm is home to the popular creatures the alpaca and playful pygmy goats. Be sure not to miss their pumpkin carving festival, an impressive 5,000 pumpkins were cleverly calved and displayed last year.

An alpaca
Friendly Alpaca

Hall Hill Farm

Hall Hill Farm is an award-winning farm. It has 290-hectares to explore along with the all-time favorites such as donkey rides, tractor rides and the farm train. Again a popular farm for the annual events such as Easter and Halloween, kids can take part in face-painting, fancy-dress and Easter hunts.

A donkey
A happy donkey

So if you fancy getting your wellies on and exploring the countryside or meeting some fun and friendly farm animals, then here are our top four most recommended farms. With brilliant activities for the children and lovely cafes to relax and unwind, these farms will have everyone smiling.

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WWOOFing – What’s It All About?

In the more recent years, where eco farming and permaculture is becoming more and more popular, you may of heard people talking about WWOOFing, but what exactly is it? Here is an article explain what it’s all about, how to become part of the WWOOFing scene and also the pros of volunteering at a farm.

 

What it is

WWOOF stands for ‘World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms’ and is an exchange program where in return for volunteer help, your hosts provide food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about an organic farming existence. It is designed to allow helpers to have involvement in a rural setting or a foreign country. The roles often include supporting the host for around 4 hours in day to day running of the farm, tasks including scattering seed, making compost, gardening and caring for farm livestock.

A lamb lying down
A lamb lying

How to get involved

The easiest way to get into the world of WWOOFing and hear about upcoming WWOOFing openings is to search the web. There are numerous websites advertising amazing experiences, some will require registration, but this is well worth it, as it means the host has been checked and certified, and you can also see comments and feedback from previous volunteers. WWOFFing is popular amongst a wide range of people, from all social and cultural backgrounds. There are many reasons for this, from the love of farming and animals to the appreciation of a calm and basic lifestyle. Volunteers usually spend around 1-3 months helping at a farm, with very often the invitation to stay longer.

Sorting Vegetables
A group sorting beans

Why WWOOF?

An experience like this on a farm has so many attributes. The first is gaining real life knowledge of organic and bio-dynamic farming, something that is becoming a real focus point in the twenty-first century and so important for the worlds future wellness. Another reason is the brilliant atmosphere that the hosts and other volunteers creates, the owners and helpers are often the calmest and most peaceful of people making it a very calming and communal practice.

A scarecrow
A scarecrow in a vegetable patch

 

All in all, WWOOFFing is a brilliant insight into the world of farming and permaculture. It is the perfect opportunity to spend time learning practical skills and experiencing a rural and real lifestyle. Volunteers are well received, and your host will look after you well, with accommodation, and often beautiful organic, fresh meals.

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Three Of The Best Countries To Work As A Fruit Picker

Have you ever considered working on a farm? Here are the top three countries that we recommend to work as a picker, a great way to experience culture, learn a skill or fund a gap year.

  1. Australia

The picking season usually starts in December and finishes in May. Fruit picking is mostly outdoors which means you can continue to soak up the Australian rays whilst you work. A huge perk of becoming a picker in Australia is the wages; as a fruit picker, you can be paid in two different ways; either per hour or for the amount of fruit you pick, in Australia the minimum wage for this sort of work is AUD $21.6 per hour, and if you are a quick and enthusiastic picker then you can easily take home way above this. In Australia the fruit picking community is brilliant, with people from all over joining the industry, they love to work hard then play hard.

A wallaby in the bush
Australian Wallaby in bush

 

  1. Italy

When you think of Italy you think of beautiful vine yards and fruit farms, so why not really experience it. Get amongst the traditional family run farms and truly become part of the Italian culture, be welcomed into the family whilst working, learn a new language and meet amazing hospitable people. We recommend Tuscany a truly gorgeous region of Italy.

Mountains in Italy
Italian countryside

 

  1. New Zealand

In New Zealand you will find an abundance of wine, pear and apricot farms.  Fruit picking jobs in NZ are also a fantastic way to see parts of the countryside you may otherwise never see. We recommend Hawkes Bay a region with picking work available throughout the year. With gorgeous weather in the summer months and stunning snowy mountains in the winter, New Zealand must be home to some of the words most beautiful scenery.

Beautiful scenic view of NZ
The countryside in New Zealand

So if you fancy a stint of agricultural work, love the outdoor lifestyle and getting stuck in then one of these three countries is bound to have what you’re looking for.  Fruit picking should not be mistaken for just a last minute fall back for poor backpackers, instead it can offer a truly brilliant and rewarding experience, as well as a viable method of travelling the world.

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3 Profitable Farm Projects

Looking to make a living from  farming? Have you considered these three easy farming ventures to get the money rolling…?

Farming can be a sluggish business during the start-up period, so when you’re decide to own a farm you must begin with one high-profit idea. This original idea should link with your final farm plan; for example, a plant for plant farms, a certain animal for livestock farming. It must most importantly be able to fund its early investment within a few weeks or sometimes months. This will then be able to pay for your end goal, that is maybe a slower farming endeavor.

  1. Microgreens

If square footage is valued on your farm, a brilliant option can be microgreens. Although they can be a fastidious and hard work, microgreens can produce a large income very swiftly. The majority of varieties are complete and ready to harvest in two to three weeks and bring over £10 per pound. One big consideration when deciding to grow Microgreens is that they must be sold fresh, and have demand in the market.

Farming Microgreens
Growing Microgreens
  1. Chickens

If you’re starting an animal farm you must consider beginning with a fast-producing livestock such as chickens. Chickens are fast growing and prepared for market in six to eight weeks. Chickens take a very small amount of room compared to many other animals and can be fed on pasture which in addition can increase their worth, bringing in a large pay packets rapidly.

Farming Chickens
Chickens being farmed
  1. Rabbits

Another brilliantly speedy-producing animal for farming is rabbit. Similar to chickens, you can have rabbits matured for market in eight to ten weeks. We would suggest investigating your local processors or home-processing regulations before setting up this venture to ensure its legally viable. Yet, rabbit is in high demand among chefs making them highly sought-after and lucrative.

Farming rabbits
Rabbit Farming

 

So there you have it, if you are ready to start up your first farm and need that first stop money maker, then there are our top three suggestions. Do however consider your farming space, local law and product demand before diving too heavily into your initial set up venture.

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Three Reasons To Own A Dairy Farm

Having a dairy farm business that is yours has such a huge number of positives, the freedom of being your own boss is fantastic, and once you have stepped into the world of farming you will look back and wonder why you didn’t jump in and reap the benefits earlier. 

  1. The Money

You are your own boss. If you are passionate, business minded and ready to excel, then owning your own dairy farm could be your money maker. With a wide market and high demand, a successfully run dairy farm can produce a brilliant annual salary. Match this with a beautiful farm cottage and view of the country side and you could not ask for more.

Farming Wage
Creating money through farming

 

  1. The Outdoor Lifestyle

Another brilliant reason to own your own dairy farm is the outdoor lifestyle that goes with it. Waking up to rolling hills and fresh air and a stroll across the paddock is a pretty idyllic walk to work. Owning a farm allows you to surround yourself with the natural environment day to day and escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Muddy wellies, sunshine and country life, yes please.

Scenic Countryside view
A farm – countryside scene

 

  1. A love for animals

Some people just connect with animals, they know how to keep them calm, healthy and happy. If you have this magic touch, then dairy farming could be the industry for you. Cows are gentle animals who are affectionate, emotional and intelligent. Owning your own farm allows you to have the space for your cows and also other more domesticated animals, such as dogs and cats.

Dairy Cow
A happy looking cow

All in all, there are many reasons why owning a dairy cattle farm is so brilliant! Whether for your bank, lifestyle or happiness, having a job that allows you to live the existence that is perfect for you, allowing you to spend time with these brilliant animals, look after the land and enjoy the outdoors.

 

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What I learned by working and Listening to Music on Headphones

It is extremely common for parents to adopt the method of giving their kids chores around the back yard, which can help teaching  them the faculties of responsibility. If asked, most adults would be able to detail  earning pocket money by doing various tasks around the house hold when they were kids and I believe this is a great way to keep on top of things around the yard. Because so many parents teach in this form, it is little wander then that companies such as Snuggly Rascals have been offering ultra-comfortable and super soft Headphones by the thousands. But how does listening to music help us work around the work around the yard.

This is why my kids listen to music when doing chores.

Focus

Listening to music can put us into a state of focus and it is vastly common to see kids singing along whilst and enjoying the household chores. This actually aid kids in understanding that focusing on a task helps them to get the task at hand completed faster and more effectively.

Fun

Listening to music can create a fun and enjoyable atmosphere whilst working around the house. If you like to teach your kids the art of responsibility by doing house hold chores, what better way than to show them that it can in fact be a blast. Ultimately this also shows kids that the things you find fun are the things you will do with great accomplishment and so it works to make every task as fun as possible.

Singing out Loud

As obvious as this may sound but listening to music whilst doing tasks enables kids to sing to the top of the voices. What may not be recognised amongst adults, is that this in fact helps to burn all of that energy they have stored up and therefore, makes house hold chores a great way for kids to start to wind down once they have finished.

Ultimately music Through Snuggly Rascals headphones can make most activates fun and enjoyable but we believe there is a great opportunity that is created my companies like Snuggly Rascals to show kids the art of responsibility whilst making it exciting.

 

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Farmers Turning To Fibre Optics

It is rare to find a business that can say it is not touched by the advances of technology and it has now become the case, where a business must go with the new stream or be left behind. Beyond what is recognised as old technology is the newly released creation of Fibre Optics and Fibre Optics Optical Transceivers, and now many industries such as, the Farming Industry is turning into the direction of the advantages of this technology to ensure a level efficiency regarding the way they network and maintain a presence online. This is why so many companies that exist in the Farming Industry move toward the high tech products that ProLabs has on offer.

Fibre Optics

How many practical applications can there exist by pushing light down a plastic pipe? Well, just as electricity powers machinery, beams of light  can power and carry information. Within society, business owners rarely notice how commonplace fibre-optic cables have become, which is mostly due to the light-powered signals they carry are actually  beneath our feet. The industries that are now using this technology is now countless and is still progressing, so how does it help with businesses such as Farming.

 

Computer networks

Fibre Optic cables is now the most common  way of transferring information over vast distances. This is because they have three huge advantages over copper cables:

Less Attenuation:
 Information travels nearly 10 times further, which makes fibre networks simpler and cheaper to operate and maintain.

No interference:
Fortunately, unlike with copper cables, fibre optics does not have any “crosstalk” (electromagnetic interference) between fibres, so they transmit information more reliably with better signal quality and carry information more efficiently.

Higher bandwidth:
Fibre-optic cables carry far more data than copper cables of the same diameter meaning that all data is being transferred without interruption but with higher quantity.

 

Fibre Optics For My Business?

We most commonly wish to see the differences with our own eyes to be certain we have made the best choice. However, with technology like Fibre Optics, the changes that you will  see is the transformation of network and communication. This means, the most likely change above all, is consistency and efficiency. By turning to Fibre Optics Optical Transceivers, communicating is now easier, more reliable and furthermore, whilst you are transferring data, it will be without disruption. As a result, Fibre Optics is not only more effective, more efficient, it is also incredibly cheaper to maintain.

 

More and more Farmers are realising that it is what goes on behind there scenes that help their businesses only in this case, it is what goes on beneath the ground. This is why people have been seeking out companies like ProLabs to ensure all of their systems will function without default.

 

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The Mental Health Benefits of Farm Work

Within our western culture, society consistently paints a corporate picture which promotes the idea of happiness. With annual salaries being the main focal point which can seemingly benefit an employee’s lifestyle and thus, their Mental Health, it has become less recognised that a particular occupation can, in fact, be a source of reward and happiness. One of which that Mental Health Training Professionals such as Clearfocus, say can create a sense of Well-being and good Mental Health is farm work.

Here are some Mental Health benefits of farm work

Connecting with Nature

Nature does not need to be regarded as only the great wilderness. Although there are farms of which expands across a vast land mass, it is in fact simply being outside and amongst an open surrounding. Reports suggest simple factors such as the amount of daylight of which is absorbed between sunrise and sunset can contribute to good or poor Mental Health.  For example, as shown by researchers, vitamin D level below 20 nanograms per millilitre (ng/mL) raises the risk of depression by as much as 85 percent.

Lack of Distractions

Distractions have become a method which has been adopted for a sense of relief from negative thoughts and emotions; which is actually contributing to a negatively habitual cognitive behaviour, whereby individuals attempt to hide from there problems through distractions. Farm work can often cause, by default, the worker to approach their problems with a lack of distraction and thus, learn cognitive skills that are more closely linked to mindfulness.  

Physical activity  

Naturally, working on a farm requires most individuals to perform physical labour. Although to the eye this can seem to be a hindrance, however, beyond personal preference there have been numerous reports expressing the mental health benefits of physical activity. This is due to the fact that when we perform any kind of physical exercise, our brain releases chemicals that bring on the sensation of euphoria, or otherwise known as “the runners high”.

It should be said that the Mental Health benefits mentioned in this article result from the nature of farm work but of which can also be transferred into an individual’s daily life. This is why workplace Mental Health training professionals regard occupations like farm work to have the capacity to actually improve one’s Mental Health.

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All about Serpentine Farm

Serpentine Farm is owned and operated by Jane Sommers. Jane has spent most her life involved with horses, starting with weekend riding lessons as a child. She purchased her first mount shortly after graduating high school; a young Arabian gelding who was very athletic and highly trainable. Shan allowed Jane the luxury of experimentation, trying out many styles of riding, and finally leading her to a passion for Dressage. Along the way, Jane started many colts and showed young horses in hand and under saddle. College life focused on equine reproduction, both in school and on the job. After many years of breeding and training horses for other people, Jane began to breed her own Warmbloods in 2000. Events aligned just so, so that, in 2002, Jane was able to begin building Serpentine Farm. The farm is the culmination of years of dreaming, practical experience, and passion, plus a ton of elbow grease (and a big orange Kubota tractor).
Jane shares her passion for animals with anything that walks or squawks. She lives with three dogs, way too many cats, and an assortment of livestock. She volunteers as a foster parent for the local pet rescue association, and usually has at least one rescued equine rehabilitating on the property.

Barn Manager Velvet Perry has been with the farm since Spring 2005. She was looking for a place to keep a starving Paint gelding she had just rescued. Little did Jane know, but their meeting would be vital to the success of Serpentine Farm. Velvet took over the management duties of the young horses almost immediately and cared for all the horses (and goats and sheep) as if they were her own. Velvet runs a tight ship and without her hard work and dedication the farm could not have grown as quickly as it has. Velvet’s husband, Dean, and their two boys have been very generous in sharing Mom with Serpentine Farm.


Another lover and collector of animals, Suzanne Reed joined Serpentine Farm in the fall of 2005, bringing her TB and Hanoverian broodmares, a TB stallion, and a plan to breed quality hunters and jumpers. Suzanne rides hunters and competes in the amateur division, which is the target of her breeding program. She selects bloodlines that combine proven jumping ability and athleticism with great temperaments and rideability. Suzanne grew up riding mostly Thoroughbreds on the East Coast. Returning to the saddle after twenty years off to raise her children, she discovered that Warmbloods had become the horse of choice in the show arena. She made the switch, but refuses to abandon her first love. Suzanne is committed to incorporating Thoroughbred bloodlines, using individuals of superior quality with excellent temperaments, to breed European and Iberian Warmblood sporthorses suitable for the amateur rider. To support her horse habit, Suzanne works on climate change policy for a non-profit organization. She shares her Sacramento home with two dogs and a cat and is involved in pit bull, cat, and Thoroughbred rescue.

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