The Animals of Bull City Farm
Here are some of the ladies responsible for our eggs:
Our colorful Animal Welfare Approved Eggs come from our completely free-range chickens. They're in the same pastures as our sheep, cows and horses scratching through manure making sure every bit of this fertilizer is utilized. In the summer they help keep our fly population down by eating larvae. They eat lots of insects, small vertebrates and grass making their yolk not only better tasting, but better for you. Plus did you hear? Our girls are Animal Welfare Approved!
These beautiful chickens are known for their sunny disposition and reliable egg laying. We love them because they let anyone pick them up. Even the kids! They lay light to medium brown eggs.
These birds are not quite as friendly as the Dominiqes. They lay brown eggs on almost a daily basis.
Leghorns are more slender than our other breeds and lay white eggs. They spend their time racing from one interesting thing to another; only ever stopping for water, food, and egg laying!
Called the Easter egg chickens because of their blue, pink or green eggs, these chickens are slow to trust but once they do they make wonderful pets.
These chickens are mostly standoffish, but they lay light brown eggs reliably. Because of their orange eyes and red comb they almost always look mad!
They look very much like the Dominique but darker.Their sweet disposition makes them the perfect match for our farm. They lay a beautiful dark brown egg that looks like it's made of chocolate! We've only had this breed for a few years but we certainly see our future with Marans in it.
Wendolyn and Gwendolyn were our first female St.Croix sheep. We were, and continue to be, amazed by the breed's birthing ease and parasite resistance. They are hair sheep which means no shearing! This fact alone was enough to win me over. Each Fall they fluff up then shed it all in the Spring. The piles of hair they leave behind look like mini sheep explosions.....it's a little disturbing.
Shaun, our breeding male, has always seen himself as the boss of all, no matter their size. The horses are very tolerant of him even when he needs a scratching post. Felix (our 3 year old gelding) especially enjoys Shaun.
We decided to add some Katahdin genetics into our existing herd for greater genetic diversity in 2013. We were curious to see if they could add some "bulk" to the herd. We are impressed with the size of our crosses but not their parasite resistance.
We have the BEST friends! Two such friends asked us to partner with them in bringing this Hungarian breed to NC. Elizabeth and Roberto are the owners of the very successful Old Havana Sandwich Shop in downtown Durham. They were looking for a breed suitable for curing and came across the mangalitsa (also spelled mangalica). All they needed was a farmer friend to raise them and love them. Of course, they thought of us. Our herd of Mangalitsas are a fabulous addition to the farm.......we're enjoying them in all their hairy glory.
This article is well written and full of great information about the breed.
Meet our hog breeds:
Our pigs are on pasture 100% of the time. We feed a pelleted food optimized the health of the animal and heavily supplemented with seconds from area organic vegetable farms. Our heritage mixed breed pigs are rotated frequently so they have fresh forages, roots to dig up and bugs to eat. Most importantly, they have the opportunity to run around and generally behave like pigs.
We raise our pigs outside and you’ll taste the difference compared to conventionally raised pork. Ours is sweeter, more flavorful and you’ll have the additional peace of mind that comes from knowing they had a great life.
The American Guinea Hogs
These were the first breed we raised on the farm. We quickly realized that, although this was a breed we wanted to keep on the farm, they aren't always the best option for our customers. We LOVE their temperament, ability to forage and wonderful taste of their meat but they take too long to reach maturity and max out at about 120lbs after which they gain fat rather than muscle (I can only sell so much back fat).
We'll keep a few around for visitors and for our die-hard Guinea Hog customers.
The Berkshires and the Berkshire Crosses
The base genetics for our breeding program come from the Berkshire (the English county Samantha was raised in), chosen for its ability to forage, tasty meat and good temperament.
Mavis is by far the shyest of our ladies but the best mother on the farm. She was adopted by our first cow, Sally, when Sally's calf was born stillborn. We've had Mavis since she was 1 day old, and appreciate her sweet personality.
We LOVE cows! In fact we’re a little crazy for them, we have a summer camp devoted to them, we have cow art, photos and stuff all over the place, plus we make cheese. We process males and sell them for meat but our girls are here for life!
I'd like to introduce our beautiful Jersey girls so you can love them as much as we do.
Rose is our latest addition and is already my favorite cow on the farm. She is our youngest's 4-H heifer making her just about as sweet as they come. We can't wait to breed her this winter and teach her how to milk.
Levla is the exact opposite of Mavis. She's a bit bossy and most definitely the most popular in the herd. We fondly refer to her as the "Herd Boss". Despite having trouble getting bred she is a very important member of the farm family. She whips all the new steers into shape and keeps everyone out of trouble. She’s sort of like the classroom teacher.
The Rest of the Crew
Maisy was our first donkey. Even though she’s very protective of her “boys” (she takes care of the male sheep) she always has time for a kiss and cuddle. Her temperament is so pleasant that we frequently take her off farm for educational programs. She gets quite upset if she sees the trailer go down the driveway without her….silly donkey.
Felix is our young gelding. He's spunky and playful. He reminds us of our youngest child...a 12 yr old boy. Felix pesters Buck (just like our youngest pesters his brother), nibbling him and walking into him until Buck puts his ears back and chases him around the pasture. It’s funny to watch. Despite this he's a very well behaved horse as soon as a person enters the pasture. Our oldest child taught him all he knows....which is turning out to be quite a lot.
Meet our equines
As with every organization it takes a few key members to keep the whole thing running smoothly. The donkeys and horses do this for Bull City Farm. They love everyone, protect the herd animals and generally keep everyone entertained.
When my oldest was 4 years old a neighbor, who had four girls (all grown at the time), told me the secret to keeping girls away from boys and out of trouble...The secret you ask? Get them into horses! I took his advice to heart and signed my girl up for lessons. 16 years and 3 horses later I have to agree him…horses turn out great girls!
Buck is my favorite horse, even though he is being very naughty in this photo (he has a hold of his reins). I love everything about him…he’s versatile, he can pull a cart and plow, he’s very loving, he’s handsome and tolerant. He is just about the perfect animal in my mind. He always wants to know what everyone is doing and is happiest when he can see the house. He is the BEST!
Ariana was our first horse. She’s a Trakehner/ Arabian cross with a lot of dressage training. We found an online sales ad for Ariana about a year of our (then) 13 year old riding her saying she was "un-rideable" and "should be used as a brood mare". It’s amazing what a horse is willing to do when you’re ignorant of what they “can’t” do. When equiped withan English saddle, Ariana is for a more experienced rider but if you put a western saddle on her she can be ridden by anyone. We think something negative happened along the way during her performing years, but she doesn’t associate this experience with a western saddle. Either way we’re happy to have her!