Pot-bellied x Kune Kune Pig
Here at the Farm we have a special cross between two breeds, the Vietnamese pot-bellied pig and the New Zealand Kune Kune pig.
Pigs are known to have very sensitive skin. You will often see them wallowing in the mud, making sure they stay cool and protect their skin from the sunlight. The short, stiff hairs on their skin are called bristles and were once commonly used to make paint brushes!
We have two female Pot-bellied x Kune Kune Pigs, sisters Angel and Good.
African Pygmy Goat
Pygmy goats are a type of dwarf goat originating from West Africa. They are hardy little animals and can live in almost any climate although they do like a cosy shed to shelter in during the cold winter months.
Pygmy goats are smaller than regular domesticated goats, but their general features are much the same with hooved feet and two small horns. Their coats can vary greatly in colour from caramel, grey, black and white. Pygmy goats are well known for climbing, and will hop up and down on anything they can find.
We have a pair of pygmy goats, males Dan and Bob.
Here on the Farm we have a free range flock of mixed chicken breeds, including Silkies, Light Sussex, and Vorwerk.
Many of our hens came to us via the British Hen Welfare Trust; a charity that rescues and rehomes ex-commerical chickens.
We have six Embden Geese on the Farm. A breed of domestic goose, Embden Geese are thought to originate from the North Sea region, in the Netherlands and Germany.
Embden geese are pure white with short, orange bill and feet and blue eyes.
Females weight around 10kg while males can reach up to 15kg in weight.
A female is called a goose, a male is called a gander and a young is called a gosling.
Geese tend to forage for food. They do not necessarily need a pond to be happy, unlike ducks. Geese prefer access to grass and spend most of their time on dry land, only needing a small amount of water to regularly wash themselves.
Hebridean or St. Kilda Sheep
We have a flock of Hebridean Sheep here at Dedham Therapy Farm.
A small breed from Scotland, Hebridean Sheep are a multi-horned breed, with both ewes and rams having two, four, or even more horns. Hebrideans are hardy and able to thrive on rough grazing, and so are often used as conservation grazing animals to maintain natural grassland or heathland habitats.
Badger Face Sheep
This breed originates from the Welsh Mountains. It is also known by the name Torddu, which means Black Belly.
We have four here on the Farm.
A very hardy breed, Dartmoor ponies can withstand cold and wet conditions without suffering at all. Over the centuries it has been used as a working animal by local tin miners and quarry workers. The Dartmoor pony has a kind temperament, the ponies being reliable, gentle and calm. Most Dartmoor ponies stand between11.1 to 12.2 hands (45 to 50 inches, 114 to 127 cm); a pony should stand at no more than 12.2 hands under the breed standard, introduced in 1924. Recognised colours included bay, brown, black, grey and chestnut.
Our boys Barney and Fred were rescued by Orsett Animal Hospital and are on permanent loan.
Guinea pigs are rodents, weighing between 0.5–1.5kg, and measuring 25–40cm long. They live an average of 4–8 years. Unlike similar rodents, guinea pigs mate for life in the same pair bond and thrive in groups of two or more.
We have three female Guinea Pigs at the Farm called Julie, Daisy and Mia.
Donkeys are the smallest member of the horse family. There are three categories of donkeys. Miniatures are 36 inches and under. Standards are between 36 and 54 inches. Mammoths are over 54 inches. All measured to the shoulder.
Donkeys form very strong bonds with other donkeys and animals, and even short term separation from a companion can be stressful.
We have two geldings called Minstrel and Tiger. Minstrel is black in colour and is four years old. Tiger is grey and ten years old.
Did you know? Donkeys can live for nearly 50 years!
Anglo Nubian Goat
We have two Anglo Nubian goats here on the Farm. Female Minky and her son, Monty. They are one of the heaviest and tallest breeds of goat with males weighing up to 140Kgs and females to 110Kgs. They have long, pendulous ears and the nasal bone is markedly convex in shape.
Kune Kune Pig
The Kune Kune, pronounced Cooney Cooney, is a Maori pig from New Zealand. They were kept by the Maoris as pets but were nevertheless eaten on special occasions. They were allowed to wander freely in Maori villages, scavenging for food around and inside the houses and it is probably this longstanding close association with man which has made them so friendly and docile.
We currently have one Kune Kune Pig called Peppa.
We have a British Blue steer here at the Farm called Bryan.
Sadly, his mother died and he had to be hand-reared by ourselves at the Farm. As a result, he’s very tame and loves people, so has come to the Farm to be part of our group of therapy animals.
We have two dwarf rabbits at the farm called Daisy (white and black) and Thumper (grey). Dwarf rabbits are the smallest species of domestic rabbits, varying in size from about one and a half pounds to three and a half pounds. They are small and round with short, pointy, upright ears.
We have a larger rabbit called Violet. She loves to be held and stroked and fed dandelion leaves.
Rabbits can live up to 9 years. A male rabbit is known as a buck and a female is called a doe. A young rabbit is called a kit or a kitten.
Rabbits like to be outside on the grass.
Beau joined in November 2018, he is a Shetland Pony and stands at 9hh (91cm) high.
The Shetland Pony is a British breed of pony that originates from the Shetland Isles of Scotland, this makes them very hardy ponies that can live in harsh climates. They have long thick coats in the winter to protect them from the snow, wind and rain.
Ponies range in height from 70cm to 107cm (from the floor to their shoulder). Although small they are very strong. They are used for riding and driving and are quite intelligent and even cheeky!
We have two Border Collies at the Farm Cookie and Misty. They are our two of our Nurture Dogs. They are very friendly, intelligent and playful. They love to go for a walk or catch a ball.
Border Collies are working dogs, often found on sheep farms rounding up sheep, they are also very good at agility.
Tom is an English Pointer, ten years old and our gentle giant. He is known for standing still awaiting to be brushed and cuddled. Tom is great at agility and will gladly show you his tricks in return for some treats. He also loves a tennis ball and likes to carry two or three in his mouth at once!
Slovakian Pointer x English Pointer
Mila is a Slovakian Pointer x English Pointer. She is nine years old and leader of our pack. She is always on the go, fantastic at agility and loves to be stroked, cuddled and brushed.
Mila is one of our most adept therapy dogs, she knows just how to interact with just about anybody.
Yorkshire Terrier X Llhaso Apso
Badger and Bumble are our two Yorkshire Terrier x Llhaso Apso dogs. Badger is 4 years old and the brother of Bumble. Bumble is 3 years old.
Although Badger is small he thinks he is as big as Tom and Mila and likes to boss the other dogs about. Badger is fantastic at agility and loves to play ball.
Bumble is Badgers shadow and is never too far away from his brother. Bumble likes to play ball, play with Badger and sit on your lap and be stroked.
Labrador X Border Collie
Our newest member on the farm is Willow, she is a couple of months old and still a puppy. Willow is learning her job on the farm and how to be a Nurture Dog, this will come naturally with her kind nature. Willow loves a cuddle but is still a bit of a wriggler, she is very playful and loves attention.