NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: New small holding in Lancashire  (Read 3172 times)


  • Joined Jan 2014
New small holding in Lancashire
« on: January 24, 2014, 05:46:24 pm »
Hi everyone,

We are an extended family of 13 who have bought a house and 3+ acre small holding in West Lancashire.

Both my Sister in Law and I are SAHM and we have a desire to make this small holding that is going to offer us some self-sufficency, home grown food and making the most of what we produce. We would like to eat home grown meat and be able to eat food that we know has had a fabulous life!

So we already have 2xturkeys, 28x chickens (and a couple of very happy and vocal cockerals), 3x dogs, a large allotment area (approx 20mx100m), and orchard (full of plum, apples and pears), fruit bushes (gooseberries, blackcurrant and red currant), we have also located wild pear trees and crab apples!

We would like to add more livestock this year!
A few weaners to raise to bacon weight
A lamb or two - thinking of maybe a Cade Lamb?
A small gaggle of geese (ebden we think) for meat
A couple of goats (to use as 4 legged lawn mowers and to keep on top of brush)
Ducks (Aylesbury we think)
Some more Turkeys (we have already sourced these we think!)

We want to grow more on the allotment and have a plan for the year - this is an area i feel confident with as we have grown veg for years!

So, what advice would you give a novice? all pointers greatly appreciated!

Michelle & Family x

(the picture is the view from our little piece of the country... and we LOVE it!)
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: New small holding in Lancashire
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 07:36:46 pm »
Hello Michelle from West Yorkshire  :wave:
sounds great fun what you are embarking on
my piece of advice would be add up all the costs of buying and keeping livestock and then double them and you will have it about right.
also if you are growing veg for the family, look at what you can buy cheaply.. for instance i get 10k of onions from my local asian supermarket for £3.50, you can't get the onion sets for that.
Good luck and have fun


  • Joined Jan 2014
Re: New small holding in Lancashire
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 07:42:39 pm »
Hello Michelle & Family :wave:
Just dying of jealousy about your little of heaven.  I can offer no advice as I'm a wannabee and knew on here myself. :)

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: New small holding in Lancashire
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 10:26:34 pm »
 :wave: and welcome from Shropshire. Your life sounds great but I wouldn't rely on goats as lawnmowers. they are browsers rather than grazers and would be more interested in the vegetables. However, they are great for milk and meat.


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: New small holding in Lancashire
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 11:11:27 pm »
My advice is - don't expect to be self sufficient for 13 on 3 acres of land.  With so many working the place you will be able to grow intensively, with intercropping and successional sowings, but there will not be enough, especially of meat, for all of you every day.
Oh and please have more than one sheep - they are a flock animal.

Good luck with your new life and I wish you all every success.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie


  • Joined Mar 2013
  • East Sussex
Re: New small holding in Lancashire
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 08:36:08 am »
It sounds and looks absolutely wonderful - good for you, enjoy every moment :wave:


  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: New small holding in Lancashire
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 08:51:37 am »
Hello! Sorry, but I have absolutely no idea what SAHM means! Good luck with your smallholding, some good advice above.


  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: New small holding in Lancashire
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2014, 02:50:26 pm »
Good luck with your new venture - sounds very exciting and you are obviously brimming with enthusiasm!

We keep goats, chickens, sheep and have a plum orchard (and a few pear/apple/cherry trees scattered about) we are on around 4 acres and despite trying, even being self sufficient in veg proved to be a struggle. Research what will grow well where you live and perhaps grow lots of those things and find someone to barter with?  we swapped eggs for tomatoes, goats milk soap for oats and flour etc etc and it works well.

Livestock wise, you will need to keep them in the appropriate numbers and do your research well. Goats were the steepest learning curve I've ever encountered in my life, they don't much like grass and will expect shelter, browse material and whilst they will keep your grass down a bit they will also need a good worming programme, vaccinations and hoof care.
Sheep need to be in a flock or you will have a sad, lonely cade lamb. They aren' twithout their issues either...many a night I've been out at 2am attempting to kick start a bloated lambs rumen, syringing ginger goo into them and generally wishing I could go to bed! nature of the beast with orphans  ;)

Having said all of that we've enjoyed our switch from the rat race in london to countryside bliss (both from countryside originally but found ourselves nursing in london...) Hubby still works full time and I now run the soap business (also full time, quite by accident was meant to be a hobby)   perfect way to bring children up too!
enjoy the forum
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...


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