At Rare Breed Goats the welfare of our feathered friends is paramount – all the birds live in small flocks so it possible to give them the real care and attention they need to live a happy life roaming around the farm and roosting in the trees and barns. In essence, our feathered friends live a life as natural as if they were in their original habitat...well we try our best.
We have two species of Peafowl the Indian Blue Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) and the equally stunning White Peafowl
The Indian Blue Peafowl are the most well known peafowl and the one you will most commonly see around. They can be found in the wild of the Indian sub continent.
These were the birds that the early civilisations held in high regard and looked upon them as treasure.
Contrary to popular belief, White Peafowl are not albinos, because their eyes are blue, not pink. It is speculated there may be a few white peafowl bred naturally in India. White was one of the first variations to be discovered and made popular, and has been around for many years.
The white is a colour mutation, and although it can carry other genes, such as the blackshoulder and white-eyed, they are not visible because of its completely white colour.
The breed of Turkey we favour is the Norfolk Black Turkey
This breed of Black turkey is believed to have been brought to England from the Americas and Mexico via Spain in the 1500s. Many farmers in East Anglia and especially Norfolk liked it so much they kept this bird, hence its name - the Norfolk Black.
The Norfolk Black turkey is widely regarded as one of the oldest and one of the original turkey breeds. It’s statuesque stature and deep black plumage made it very desirable when turkeys were first imported into Europe. It is a slightly slower growing bird, but has a fantastic flavour that is slightly gamey to taste.
The Norfolk Black has developed over the centuries through selective breeding and is now recognised as English in origin.
Our Chickens we breed are the Buff Orpington's
An English heritage breed, quite fat, and absolutely beautiful in golden-yellow plumage and bright red combs. This is the classic Beatrix Potter chicken, the round barnyard beauty with the many-toed socks that Mrs. Tiggy-winkle, the hedgehog laundress, found so troublesome to wash.
The first Opringtons were black, and now they come in several standard colors. But for some reason, the Buffs make the best “pet” chickens. All of our Buff Orpingtons have had unique personalities (Marigold likes to go for walks, and Buttercup patrols the yard for squirrels–chasing them mercilessly), but they all share certain qualities: they like to be scratched, held, and carried; they like to sit in your lap while you read a book (preferably aloud so the chicken can hear); they never peck at you unless they are trying to get your attention (so that you will scratch, hold, carry, or read to them!). They are just the best, sweetest, dearest chickens, and we couldn’t love them more.
One more good thing about them–unlike some of the other common backyard breeds, Orpingtons are too fat and heavy to get off the ground. While your auracana might regularly make it over the fence into the neighbor’s dog-filled yard, your Buffs will stay put.
And finally but by far not forgotten are our Muscovy Ducks.
The Muscovy was originally a wild bird from Central / South America and it is the only domesticated duck that is not derived from the Mallard. Muscovy's are non-migratory birds and tend to roost in trees at night. The Muscovy was one of the first ducks to be domesticated but did not come to the UK until the 12th Century. It is thought that the Muscovy got its name from Muscovite Company which traded the ducks during the 1500s.
There are a wide range of colours, from White, Blue, Black and Chocolate here at Rare Breed Goats we tend to have White and Black ones.
They are generally gentle birds unless the female is sitting or has a young brood then just watch your fingers.
Muscovy drakes do not quack, but instead product a low hiss. The females only make a short, weak quack and this is what makes them the quietest of all the ducks.
They can fly well and are good escape artists so weather you choose to clip their wings or not is your choice, we don't with any of our feathered friends as we feel the natural escape from prey is always needed.
They do not swim as much as other breeds because their oil glands are under developed. This means that they do not require a large source of water.
The drakes can be quite large weighing 4.5 - 5.5 kg while the females weigh 2-3 kg.
Years ago my father told me that by keeping Muscovy's they would keep the vermin down, at first I was sceptical, however years of experience of keeping feathered friends increases vermin therefore we wouldn't be without our natural vermin control our Muscovy's.