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.
Norfolk Bronze Turkey
We have one male or ‘stag’ Turkey here at the Farm called Colonel. He enjoys showing off when anyone walks past by puffing up his feathers. Colonol’s pink face helps keep him cool in hot weather by bringing blood close to the surface of his skin, it means he can turn his face bright red when he is angry or if he’s just showing off.
We have six Emden 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 over twenty 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.
We have two Guinea Pigs here at the Farm called Daisy and Piggy.
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 two geldings called Minstrel and Tiger. Minstrel is black in colour and is four years old. Tiger is grey and ten years old.
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.
Did you know? Donkeys can live for nearly 50 years!
Anglo Nubian Goat
We have three Anglo Nubian goats here on the Farm. Male Casper, female Minky and their 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 two Kune Kune Pigs – male George and his sister, Peppa.
British Blue Cattle
We have a British Blue calf here at the Farm called Bryan. Sadly, his mother died and he had to be hand-reared. 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.