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My French life: pigs, goats, chickens, ducks and geese!

Goat farm - my French lifeThere’s a goat farm not far from me in the little village of Boubers in the Seven Valleys region of Pas-de-Calais and so far this year 25 baby goats have been born there.

We went to meet the new goats and say hi to the old goats when we went to the shop to pick up some of the lovely fresh goats cheese and goats milk bread that they sell – mostly because I was off to London the next day to visit my sister who is obsessed with French regional foods and says that their goats cheese is the best and freshest that she’s ever had. I love the bread from there but it is the heaviest bread I’ve ever encoutered, you could use a small loaf as a door stop or build a house from them!

Bread oven at the goat farm - my French life
The bread is baked at the goat farm in this amazing wood oven

The goats are lovely and the family clearly are besotted with them – they have built a wonderful goat house for them with two storeys and different sections for the nursing mothers and young goats so that they’re safe and secure.

Goats are like dogs – well at least these ones are, they nudge you to be stroked and then follow you about staring with their big limpid eyes. We always want to buy a couple when we go but with the chickens, chicks, cats and dogs I’m not sure I’m ready to be clearing out yet more animal poo.

We’re trying to be more self-sufficient and I think geese and ducks may well be on the cards but I don’t really fancy milking a goat every day and I’m sure that I’d become quickly attached to them and not want to eat them. We’ve been thinking of getting a couple of pigs but I’m a bit worried about falling in love with them and not being able to take them to the slaughterhouse.

Mini pig my French life photo by flickr drs2biz

Someone told me about a friend who saw some micro pigs on the TV, fell in love with the idea and bought two of them.  They lived in her house and were just like miniature dogs, following her everywhere, being taken out for a walk, snuggling up to watch the TV at night! When they started to grow a little bigger she didn’t worry, thought that they had just matured and that was normal. The trouble with micro pigs though is that they are only really micro when they’re very young, and although they don’t grow to a big pig size they are still a heck of a lot bigger than micro when they mature. Eventually the pigs grew to a size where they were knocking everything over in the house and becoming a bit of a nuisance  The woman by then loved them dearly so she persuaded her husband to build a conservatory on the back of the house and the pigs live in that as they’re simply not prepared for an outdoor life. The woman and her husband go in the conservatory to play with them every day and they will be much loved pets for their possibly considerable lives.

If that happened to me, the husband would not build a conservatory and so I think if we get them and I happen to fall for them and not want them to be made into bacon and sausages – there could be plenty of rucks so I’m not sure yet whether to go ahead…

A bientôt
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