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Wild by Design is a mini design toolkit to inspire creative solutions for people to live in harmony with nature

Land :: Animals

“If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit" (Chief Seattle)

We have been experimenting with keeping animals for the joy of their authentic personalities and their benefit in an integrated land use approach.  Sometimes it is hard work for us and sometimes they work for us.  Overall the most positive thing about the animals for me is the added feeling of life they bring to the land; most negative is the wrestling with constraining their wills with fencing to stop them reorganising/ trashing our plants and structures.

We are slowly digesting the conundrum of eating animals we have lived with.  There is much we can learn from native peoples about conscious killing of animals for food as a sacred harvest.

Ducks

Indian runners and khaki campbells, carnivorous slug managers, that make manure, eggs and are excellent companions to have around

Chickens

Curious creatures, giving us eggs and manure.  I’m just not sure what they are thinking at all.

Sheep

These friends are deep.  Our time and energy to socialise with them varies.  Last spring, Simon milked 2 ewes for a month.  Lleyn sheep are hardy, milky, meaty and competent mothers.  Some of them are very interested in music, some in getting caught in brambles.

Pigs

These beasts came for a holiday and turned the field into mud.  We then sowed barley and beans which got engulfed by grass very quickly.

We then got some smaller Kune Kunes that have been with us a year now.  At first we had fun with them free range and considered keeping them as house pigs.  It quickly became apparent they were too into turning things over and raiding the duck food and now live in our west field. 

Meoow

Our beloved cat, rodent police officer.

Horse

2 horses have visited so far.  Monty is half shire, half donkey.  He stayed for a month and taught jasmine much about horse logging, love and claiming our space in the world.

Magic came and tidied up straggly grazing, was lonely and went when she’d eaten the whole field.