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IMG_6644Our handsome Oxford Down ram Bertie has been enjoying the company of the lovely Jacob Ewes of Stepney City Farm as well as a few of our own ewes. He’s all raddled up and wasted little time! Putting a ram to the ewes now in November should mean lambs will arrive in April if all goes to plan as the typical gestation in sheep is 5 months.

The harness Bertie wears is called a raddle. This holds a crayon which marks the ewes as he services them. These markings allow farmers to keep track of which ewes have been covered and by changing the colour of crayon, when this occurs. By monitoring the marks, we can work out if and when the ewes have come into or gone out of season.

Mudchute Bertie seems to be doing a fine job, so we hope to welcome new lambs in the Spring. If any Oxford breeders are interested in his tupping services, please do get in touch via farm@mudchute.org.

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Princes the pot belly slurping up her supper!

Princess the pot belly slurping up her supper!

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Our pigs have been enjoying a nutritious bowl of Whey for dinner thanks to local dairy Kappacasein, who make gorgeous cheeses in Bermondsey. Whey is a byproduct from cheesemaking and is milk with the solids (the curds) removed, rather like the liquid at the top of your yogurt. A protein and vitamin rich food source, the whey is a fantastic animal feed, but would otherwise be discarded. Kappacasein use organic British milk, from Commonwork Organic Farm in Kent.

Our pigs each receive 10L for dinner with a few “croutons” and by their rapidly emptied bowls and the sound of their noisy slurping, they find it tasty as well as nutritious!

Our partnership was born from the FoodSave initiative which helped local businesses and food producers reduce their food waste. If you produce a byproduct that you think might be used for animal feed, please get in touch with us by email to farm@mudchute.org.

A delivery of whey direct from the cheesmakers.

A delivery of whey direct from the cheesmakers.

Whey with soaked croutons.

Whey with soaked croutons.

Clover the Gloucester Old Spot waiting for her dinner.

Clover the Gloucester Old Spot waiting for her dinner.

Tasty whey for our saddlebacks and pot belly.

Tasty whey for our saddlebacks and pot belly.