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  Chloe Gridley amongst the smallholding’s Norfolk Bronze and Plumpy White turkeys
 rare breeds for meat to ensure demand is sustained. “Without this demand, the breeds will simply die out,” explains Fay. “We currently have some Ixworth hens in the orchard, and Plumpy White and Norfolk bronze turkeys ranging the woodland. We keep Llanwenog and Valais Blacknose sheep, Oxford Sandy and Black pigs, which rootle around the woods, and Boer Cross goats. We did have a few Dexters (a small breed of cattle) and will have cattle again in the near future. Whilst all the animals are free range, we have to fence in the birds otherwise we’d lose them to the fox.”
The family rears the livestock knowing what they’re intended for, so they rarely give them names or allow themselves to get attached. They enjoy a good quality of life and are never hungry or without shelter. Fay does confess, however, to developing a strong affection for her breeding stock and keeps a handful of retired nanny goats who will live out their days on the grassy slopes of the farm. Indeed, goats were the first animal to populate the smallholding. Fay loves their antics and the fact that, unlike many other livestock animals, goats are always apparently pleased to see you. Although
a very pragmatic and generally unsentimental person, Fay has realised that she will soon have to stop rearing goats, as their engaging personalities makes keeping them for meat too much of an emotional dichotomy for her.
“Since we started the smallholding,” observes Fay, “we have far more respect for the meat we eat, as we know where it has come from and are satisfied it’s led a fulfilled life. Our sheep fleeces are sent to the British Wool Board and used in tweed, carpets or sold to local spinners. It’s good to be part of something small, sustainable and local.”
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