Advertisement
How to add spoiler tags, edit posts, add images etc. How to - a user's guide to the new version of Boards
Mods please check the Moderators Group for an important update on Mod tools. If you do not have access to the group, please PM Niamh. Thanks!

Welcome to Smallholding forum, Tell us a bit about yourself/Smallholding

13

Comments



  • Hi, Loais. It is south facing hill. Soft ground with natural springs running through it.




  • honky101 wrote: »
    I am finallising the purchase of a property with 11 acres which I intend to run as a small organic farm. However I have no farming experience. I intend to have a very small number or goats and sheep, a cow, pigs and chickens and ducks. I hoping to get a Kerry cow, Galway sheep and a family of Old Irish Goats all of which are endangered irish breeds.

    I think complete self sufficiency will be a bit of a stretch but that it was I am aiming for. The house needs a lot of work but there is a barn and stables.

    Been a dream for a long time and been working pretty hard over last few years to save and make it happen. Hoping to leave the rat race in 5 years to concentrate on it full time.

    Some really great stories on this thread. Would love to hear how you all are getting on now a couple of years down the line and of course any advise you could pass on would be greatly appreciated.

    Sounds amazing. I'd love to do that myself one day.For now I have to make do with my little Dublin garden.
    Good luck, hope it goes well for you.




  • Hi, I live in Dublin, close to the hills in Tallaght. I have a load of chickens, a good few breeds, I used to segregate them but now I'm all about multiculturalism and integration so I let them at it. I have a 7 egg incubator also so pop chicks out that way too. I eat a lot of the roosters and keep the hens for eggs.
    I have muscovy ducks, they have some of the best meat I have ever tasted, absolutely delicious. I slow cook them.
    I have a load of rabbits too, a few breeds, the big ones are Californian and New Zealands, I have 2 recent litters. I eat them and keep their hides. I'm getting better at skinning them so that I keep the head and ears on the hide, I'm hoping to make some hats soon.
    I grow some food but not as much as I did years back, however I brew a ton of beer these days and recently got 3 hops plants so hoping to make a beer soon with my own hops and all Irish barley/malt.
    I have a bee hive but no bees, they all died 2 years ago and I never replaced them. I'm sorting that out soon. I used to have hives in Thomas street and Kevin street. The city honey was the best.




  • Roselm wrote: »
    Sounds amazing. I'd love to do that myself one day.For now I have to make do with my little Dublin garden.
    Good luck, hope it goes well for you.

    The Dublin garden is not to be underestimated! Our family of mother, father and three kids were provisioned from a corner-garden in an inner-Dublin housing estate throughout my childhood.........and I learned all I know of the good things of the earth from weeding my grandmother's garden in Inchicore as a small child.




  • Arse biscuits ..would you sell a pair of Californian's? Nd yes, Muscovy's good eating!


  • Advertisement


  • tattycat wrote: »
    Arse biscuits ..would you sell a pair of Californian's? Nd yes, Muscovy's good eating!


    Did you get a set?? Guy over here breeding the flemish giants... They really are huge!!!




  • Hiya migrant
    nope I didn't get the Californian's, and I've seen the Fleming Giant's being advertised. ..would make a good spit roast!! lol
    I mentioned it to OH, and got no interest...bit too big I think....are you tempted?




  • tattycat wrote: »
    Hiya migrant
    nope I didn't get the Californian's, and I've seen the Fleming Giant's being advertised. ..would make a good spit roast!! lol
    I mentioned it to OH, and got no interest...bit too big I think....are you tempted?

    Would get californians i think




  • Hi All, bought myself an old 2 storey farmhouse on 5 acres with numerous outbuildings, hay barn, sheds, milking parlour.... In the middle of renovating it but it is a slow process with little money and DIY and full time job over an hour commute away. Location - Waterford/Tipp border near Ballymacarbry.

    Currently have a couple of showjumpers and a colt foal and an 8 month old Azawakh. Living next to the parents while renovating the house where they have a full set up - raised beds, jersey cow, some breed of chicken (I am not a fan of chickens), aylesbury ducks, we get lambs every spring to rear. Dogs, fish etc, Orchard. I would like to replicate this or something similar and have the room just need to get the house done so can get the set up started.




  • You'll be grateful for the sheds no doubt!!
    Sounds good .keep us posted☺


  • Advertisement


  • @tattycat Hi, I've some Cali-NZ crosses, there are all siblings though




  • @tattycat Hi, I've some Cali-NZ crosses, there are all siblings though

    wgere are u based?




  • wgere are u based?

    Tallaght




  • Hi. We started with 6 chickens....just for fun and a few fresh eggs .... but the little critters were cute and entertaining, so we got a few more then a few more .... up to 17 now with 5 ducks also! Got more eggs than I can deal with, and a large enclosed area that I am trying to keep crows out of as they eat all the chicken feed!! But really loving the whole back-yard-farm thing .... :-)




  • New to smallholding the last few months... want to engage more on here as just so much to learn from others... great community on here...

    Have 4 acres which was a former tree nursery ten years ago in Delgany Co. Wicklow... 2 good sized polytunnel frames all in place so landed on my feet... although serious clearing up required... think no plastic on tunnels and 40ft ash trees growing in tunnels!!

    Pig herd number application gone in... waiting for inspection... hopefully this week or next... made up pig arc with salvaged galvanise and got some ply from a family carpenter... looks the job... have put up 4 strands of electric fence around about 1/5 acre to begin with... can expand when they have ploughed that area...

    will be trying to source veg etc to keep feed costs down... any feed tips appreciated. Trying to stay away from meal if possible.

    Once pigs settled in will be looking to get 1 tunnel covered and get fruit, veg and salad going... some chickens too.

    Exciting year ahead!!




  • bradygaz wrote: »
    New to smallholding the last few months... want to engage more on here as just so much to learn from others... great community on here...

    Have 4 acres which was a former tree nursery ten years ago in Delgany Co. Wicklow... 2 good sized polytunnel frames all in place so landed on my feet... although serious clearing up required... think no plastic on tunnels and 40ft ash trees growing in tunnels!!

    Pig herd number application gone in... waiting for inspection... hopefully this week or next... made up pig arc with salvaged galvanise and got some ply from a family carpenter... looks the job... have put up 4 strands of electric fence around about 1/5 acre to begin with... can expand when they have ploughed that area...

    will be trying to source veg etc to keep feed costs down... any feed tips appreciated. Trying to stay away from meal if possible.

    Once pigs settled in will be looking to get 1 tunnel covered and get fruit, veg and salad going... some chickens too.

    Exciting year ahead!!
    Make sure you have a couple of strands of electric fence around the poly tunnel in case the pigs escape.
    I used to breed and rear pigs Tamworth, GOS, Saddleback and commercials. Fed (fattened) them on soaked barely (bought from a local farmer) with some waste veg (mostly spuds) sourced from a local farmer as well as them having a wide area of grassland to graze/root. IMO outdoor pigs (with a proper dry shed/arc) are easy creatures to rear compared to other farm animals and seldom need any interference other than tagging bonhams and dosing breeding sows/boars.
    There is lots of info on the smallholding thread regarding poultry but there are other Irish poultry websites that specialise in keeping poultry that you could refer to for advise, here are a few that I know of :
    fowl.ie
    irishfowl.com
    Also http://www.poultryclub.org/
    And a informative site for pigs including the only Irish breed - Tamworth (Irish Grazers) http://www.britishpigs.org.uk/
    Also don't rule out rearing a couple of pet lambs for the freezer.
    Also you need a poultry flock number for your poultry and sheep one if you decide to rear lambs - http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/animalhealthwelfare/animalwelfare/registrationofpremisesanimals/




  • Any chance you'd have somewhere else for the polytunnels? Now is the time to think about their best position for you, while you still have no plastic for them. You'll have a right job digging out ash tree roots from 40ft trees, and there's no way you could easily do that without removing the frames anyway.

    I don't think you could just cut the trees down and build beds over the roots (but stand to be corrected!) - The stumps will keep shooting until they rot, AFAIK. And you probably know this already, but if you do move the frames, don't relocate them within at least 20m of any trees if you can avoid it!

    Ps. Sorry, never even posted here before! I only have hens, one polytunnel and 6 acres of ash. Not sure I'd even call it a smallholding - more just tipping away, low maintenance stuff!




  • Thanks for all the info and tips...

    Yeah would be interested in getting a couple of lambs in once get pigs set up first and one tunnel on the go.

    Tunnels will be primarily for salad leaves and strawberries so will have it on tables I reckon in trays and bags…. Is space between the frame to get a JCB in at the ash stump in one tunnel if needs be… that tunnel will prob only get going in 2017… Tunnel No1 is tree free so all good to go which ever way I choose….

    work full time office hours so not going to over stretch myself this year…

    Land is about 5 min drive from house so think chickens are a no go… would be killing myself to try get there morning and night to let them out and in from the coop…(M50 1hr commute each way daily!!)… if I thought there was a fencing set up where wouldn’t have to lock coop each night would love to have hens and the eggs… Any advice on this appreciated




  • bradygaz wrote: »
    Land is about 5 min drive from house so think chickens are a no go… would be killing myself to try get there morning and night to let them out and in from the coop…(M50 1hr commute each way daily!!)… if I thought there was a fencing set up where wouldn’t have to lock coop each night would love to have hens and the eggs… Any advice on this appreciated

    I personally don't know of any low-maintenance/low-cost fencing that would work to let the hens do their own thing at night. I know there's some sort of plastic net that can be connected to an electric fence unit, but I'd say it's a horrible price (I think my local gun club uses this in their pheasant raising pen). Also, all electric fencing requires constant maintenance to keep the current from being earthed, to my knowledge. I use 5 foot chain-link, which has been buried to 6 inches at the base and that keeps out foxes alright but won't protect from pine martins/minks (I'm lucky not to have had any of these in the neighbourhood so far).




  • bradygaz wrote: »
    Land is about 5 min drive from house so think chickens are a no go… would be killing myself to try get there morning and night to let them out and in from the coop…(M50 1hr commute each way daily!!)… if I thought there was a fencing set up where wouldn’t have to lock coop each night would love to have hens and the eggs… Any advice on this appreciated

    We have poultry netting that can be electrified, the bottom strand is not live to avoid grounding. If you pin cardboard or weed fabric down to the ground under the fence it will help keep weeds from growing and grounding the current.

    We got our netting from Farm Fowl in Wicklow. We have a leisure battery which is charged by a solar panel when we want to electrify the fence.

    We still close up the chickens at night, but this fencing should be effective against predators if you couldn't close them every night.


  • Advertisement


  • Just came across this thread - was a nice read :)

    Anyone on here still following it? How is everyone getting on with their small holdings?

    Im in my house about 2 years now and have about half acre to play around with - 2019 is the year I get cracking!! Thinking of starting with a few hens or ducks and an area for veggies. What veggies are the easiest to start with for a novice?

    Be nice to get this thread going again :0




  • We have an acre of land a mile from our house. We have had animals on it in the past but for the last couple of years, have opted to only grow there to allow more freedom to travel. We have about a quarter acre actually under cultivation which includes about 15 orchard trees, two tunnels, a large outdoor vegetable area, and a pond. The rest is native woodland which encourages biodiversity - and really, being in full time employment it would be difficult to cultivate more area than we have.

    We're near the sea in the east so relatively mild and less wet. There is excellent shelter all around the land. Our acre is low-lying so we have a system of drainage to carry away flooding in winter. This has worked very well and now even after a heavy rain the outside raised beds and tunnel are easy to work. We have had less success with open cultivation outside of raised beds - the soil is too wet in spring and easily damaged. Raised beds have allowed much earlier cultivation in the season and made weeding manageable.

    When we came to the land it was wild and had been for decades. This was useful in the sense that we saw which native plants grew where, and could assess the moisture and quality of the soil based on what was already growing. We have also left many areas wild including the paths (no strimming or mowing). Easier to do when it's not at a house where you want a more manicured look, but I would encourage you to leave some areas alone and see what life brings to them. The diversity of species and the number of insects and pollinators is something I really enjoy observing.




  • Yea the area is all around my house so would need it half manicured looking :D
    I have an area that's kind of hidden and not in view from any of the windows so might leave that a little wild and maybe scatter some wildflower seeds.

    Planning on starting with raised beds first for the veg to see if I can get the hang of it. What are the easiest veg to start with?

    Have a nice gravelly area that will be perfect for hens & ducks - just need to build a good secure pen.

    In the 2 years of living here im yet to see a fox or mink. Last summer we had loads of hares visiting our garden...would this be a good sign that there isn't many foxes around?
    There does be a good bit of shooting & hunting in the forestry behind us also.




  • I think the easiest vegetables for beginners are: potatoes, kale, climbing beans, courgettes squash & pumpkins. But really try anything you like to eat.

    Be aware that hens and especially ducks leave a lot of droppings (and in the case of ducks, they are very wet). I have always found it much easier to keep them on soil or grass, than on gravel. With any kind of hard or mostly hard surface you will have to scrape off the droppings periodically. With soil you can just add wood chips or move them to another area. The area treated this way becomes a source of compost over time.

    Foxes are common all over Ireland and like other dogs they can smell your poultry from miles away. If you have birds you will have predators.

    Good luck, it really is a very enjoyable way to spend time and I hope you enjoy growing.




  • LouD2016 wrote: »
    Just came across this thread - was a nice read :)

    Anyone on here still following it? How is everyone getting on with their small holdings?

    Im in my house about 2 years now and have about half acre to play around with - 2019 is the year I get cracking!! Thinking of starting with a few hens or ducks and an area for veggies. What veggies are the easiest to start with for a novice?

    Be nice to get this thread going again :0
    I would suggest that you set up a hen house with a permanent fox proof run or make/buy a portable coop. Get yourself a few pol pullets in Spring and they can be bought in most farmers markets throughout the Country.

    I would stay away from ducks until you have a proper set up for keeping them. Ducks require a depth of water to submerge their heads into in order to keep their nostrils clear and this leads to messy/dirty pens.

    If you want to keep poultry then I would suggest that you treat yourself this Christmas and buy Chris Graham's book "choosing and keeping chickens". It covers all the basics.




  • BTW if you want to keep poultry irrespective of how many you intend to rear there is a legal responsibility to obtain a flock number from DAFM - Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine.

    Here is a link to the DAFM website
    https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/animalhealthwelfare/animalwelfare/registrationofpremisesanimals/

    https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/farmingsectors/poultry/PressArticlePoultryLegislativeRequirements160511.pdf




  • Not in a position to have a smallholding unfortunately but I have just found this thread and have some serious envy going on! Great reading the stories.




  • Hello,
    Just joined boards, been reading alot of treads, super helpful.
    Hubby and I have been talking along time about having a small holding. I got John Seymours book on self sustainability and its really hammered home how much we want to do this for ourselves and our children, to pass on the life skills.

    We are hoping to buy a few acres this year, 5 acres would be nice. An opportunity to buy 40 acres farm land and house might be possible, it's much bigger than what we had planned but location wise it's good. To make it work for us we are thinking it could be possible to plant majority of the land with native broadleave forestry using the grant scheme and the rest of the land for small holding.
    Hubby is interested in rare breed sheep and cows. To go organic would be great.

    Currently renting on 0.5 acres and thinking of getting hens in the new year.

    That's where we are at the moment, slow and steady

    Thanks for reading and looking forward to learning more.




  • Hello, my name is Pam and I live with my partner Miles on a 3.5 acre smallholding in lincolnshire. We are hoping to move to Ireland to continue smallholding. It is expensive and at times difficult here.
    I am currently looking at legislation for livestock etc, to make sure there is no reason we can't continue as we have here in Lincs. So far seem promising! We have kept everything but cows, we currently have a 40ft polytunnel, chickens, golden guernsey goats, sheep and a veg patch. Our house is for sale so we have sold almost all of our animals.
    We are looking at the south east for property, we don't need to be near anything really as we have no children and won't need to work for a mortgage. I will have quite a few questions to pose on here to befuddle you all


  • Advertisement


  • spamchops wrote: »
    Hello, my name is Pam and I live with my partner Miles on a 3.5 acre smallholding in lincolnshire. We are hoping to move to Ireland to continue smallholding. It is expensive and at times difficult here.
    I am currently looking at legislation for livestock etc, to make sure there is no reason we can't continue as we have here in Lincs. So far seem promising! We have kept everything but cows, we currently have a 40ft polytunnel, chickens, golden guernsey goats, sheep and a veg patch. Our house is for sale so we have sold almost all of our animals.
    We are looking at the south east for property, we don't need to be near anything really as we have no children and won't need to work for a mortgage. I will have quite a few questions to pose on here to befuddle you all


    Welcome Pam and Miles and look forward to hearing your news as your plan evolves.


Advertisement