Our interest in heritage breeds is closely tied to our passion for stewardship and our concern with the ongoing struggle that agriculture faces as an industry in these modern times. By definition, heritage breeds are traditional livestock breeds that were raised by farmers in the past, before the drastic reduction of breed variety that was caused by the rise of industrial agriculture. Some of the breeds and species we have chosen to focus on here at Dream Hayven are highlighted below (beyond our beloved Fell Ponies, of course!):
We were drawn to this 'chicken with the fluffy feet' as our ponies have a similar appearance in their "feather"! The cochin is also known for its large size, and very docile nature, which we agree is the best part about them. We raise all our poultry free-range and organically on non-GMO feed. Pictured is our barred cochin hen Harley, and Checkers the rooster.
Silver Appleyard Ducks
This big, colorful duck was developed by Reginald Appleyard at his famous Priory Waterfowl Farm near Bury St. Edmund, England. They are extremely friendly, good layers, and are listed on both the Livestock Conservancy and Rare Breeds Survival Trust as 'threatened'.
Reported in the English press in 1860, the imported birds were exhibited at the UK's Crystal Palace Poultry Show. Listed as a 'threatened' species, they are easily identified by their curly feather mutation, which prevents them from flying. Also regarded as the friendliest of geese, we have hand raised ours from hatchlings.
This wonderful species has gained in popularity over recent years, upgrading their status to 'recovering' on conservation watch lists. We appreciate their natural ability as farm protectors, keeping many types of predators away from our farm. Pictured is our donkey "Fiona", who is a favorite in our commercial petting farm.
Olde English Southdown
The original Southdown is historically one of the most important of the British breeds of sheep, valued for fleece, meat, and for improvement of other breeds. It was developed in southeastern England, specifically in the Chalk Hills or "South Downs" of Sussex. We specialize in a registered descendant breed called the Olde English Southdown Babydoll Sheep. They are considered a miniature breed of sheep, known for their smile! Wasn't Molly a cute lamb?
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Although not an agricultural species, they do have a heritage going back centuries in the royal courts of England. Known as the 'lapdog of royalty', records indicate King Henry VIII gifted spaniels to his many wives, and his daughters. Our neutered male Cavalier "Wembley" is the most loving companion a family could ask for!
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