Monday, 30 April 2012

The goats are here!

Just a quick little post - between parcel packing and bottle-feeding - to let you know the goats are here!

Meet Rufus, 10 months old, a neutered goatling. He is what is knows as an AOV (any other variety) or 'scrub goat'. Pretty basic, as goats go, but he is adorable - very gentle and affectionate.


And Emma and Eve are just five and six weeks old respectively and are Anglo-Nubian pure breed goats. They have marvelous ears!

I am bottle feeding the girls so it's a lot of work and early mornings, but I love it.


Goats really can't stand getting wet so the weather has not been ideal for their first few days, but I have managed to take Rufus out for a few walks between rainstorms. He has already decimated some raspberry canes and the lower branches of an apple tree. Starting as he means to go on :)

The next post will involve Cottontails and some toys, I promise, but in the meantime don't forget we do have wooden goats and barns for sale... and the bonus is that these goats don't need feeding at 7.30am!

 (I really must get myself a farmer's wife style headscarf...)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Celebrating the rain - save 15% and why not buy a mac!

It's good weather for ducks, as they say. And my three runner ducks are certainly in their element today, racing around quacking loudly and generally having the time of their life (as I struggle to juggle duck food and an umbrella).
(This is not one of my ducks, this is an actor, handmade by Catherine Tough)

And it's all this rain that has inspired this month's offer at Cottontails. Save 15% on everything until midnight tonight (Wednesday 25th) with the discount code: showers

 (I am starting to wonder if the discount code should have been 'torrential rain'?)

And we're not the only ones celebrating the rain today - I love this graphic that appeared from gorgeous Seasalt this morning.


Do check out their outerwear for rainy day clothes - isn't their Seaside Mac gorgeous?

I think I need one for feeding the ducks...

Anyway, don't forget the Cottontails offer - use the discount code 'showers' to save 15% until midnight tonight!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Sad and happy goat news

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about our soon-to-be arriving goats, Martha and Rufus. Since then things have changed a bit and I haven't written about it before now because it's all been rather sad and unresolved. But I am getting over it now and have some happier news, so here's what has been happening.

Nearly four weeks ago now, just 10 days before Martha and Rufus were due to move in, a terrible accident happened at Canon Frome Court, their current home. Along with the herd of older goats, Martha and Rufus escaped from their yard and they all got into their feed bin. It is very dangerous for goats to overeat on their rich concentrated food and they were all very poorly indeed. All the older goats and Rufus responded to treatment and pulled through, but very sadly Martha passed away the next day.

It was all terribly upsetting and sudden. And to make matters worse, I had been there in the morning of the accident, milking and looking after them all, so it was almost certainly my responsibility for not closing a bolt properly. Everyone at Canon Frome was so lovely but you can imagine the guilt and the grief.

Well, since then some decisions have had to be made. Firstly we delayed Rufus coming here on his own, it wouldn't have been fair on him. And then we set about finding him a new companion. Initially I looked for another female goatling (last year's kid, like Rufus) but they are few and far between, then I looked at older milking nannies but decided I wasn't ready for the twice-daily milking commitment yet. So in the end I settled on a little kid, one of this years. But as little kids are so, well, little it wouldn't be wise to put such a baby in with Rufus straight away (even though he is a gentle, neutered and not-very-big 10 month old boy). So - upshot is I am having two little girl kids. And Rufus.

As I write Mike is busy transforming the goat shed into something that will house the two kids in one pen, and Rufus in the next. They will 'run together' (goat speak) in the yard / fields when I am around to supervise, and hopefully they will all share a pen one day when the kids are bigger.

The two kids are just a few weeks old and very lovely. They are Anglo-Nubian goats which means they have long floppy ears. (They are sometimes called 'rabbit goats' - perfect!)

They are all arriving on Thursday. First we drive down to Wales to pick up the girls (a box in the car will be fine for them), then come home via Canon Frome Court to hook up a stock trailer for Rufus. So we should be arriving with all three of them around teatime Thursday.

It's been a quite a journey, these last few weeks, and I am so looking forward to them all arriving. At last.

Rufus and me

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Facebook banner pictures

Rather frustratingly Facebook have changed their page design so it involves a sort of 'headline' banner across the top of the page. I suppose it's nice, it's just that these things take so much time to create.

Anyway, I have spent the last hour or so creating a couple of banner pictures based around some of the new Maileg toys (if the images look a bit empty it's because I wanted something simple, plus Facebook place a logo in the middle of things too).

I liked both and couldn't decide which to upload. At the moment I have the bunny in the deckchair design up, but will replace her with the cowboy at some point.

Whilst on this topic, do go and visit our Facebook page here if you haven't already - I write little snippets on there much more often than complete blog posts, so it's a bit more current and a good place to read about new arrivals, little offers etc.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Nose a-twitching, a pricked up ear... Ragtales toys are nearly here!

After a relaxing Easter weekend (the most important holiday of the year for bunnies) Humphrey is now is a state of high alert - he is listening out for a new toy delivery with his nose twitching and his ears pricked extra high.

And what is the cause of this excitement?

Well, it's the imminent arrival of a new and seriously lovely range of toys from Ragtales, a brand new English toy making company.

The lovely pictures below say far more than words really, and all I will add is that it is rare something comes along which I think is so perfect for Cottontails - it's that wonderful mixture of charm and quirkiness.

This is just a small part of the range and you can see these and a everything else from Ragtales on the website here. It's all available to reserve right now, and I'll let you know when the delivery arrives - i.e. as soon as Humphrey starts to thump... :)

***Update 11th April***

Humphrey: Thump, thump...
Me: What?
Humphrey: Thump, thump...
Humphrey: Thump, thump... oh for heaven's sake, Ragtales is here!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

New Cottontails leaflet now out!

Why is Charlotte the cow looking so happy? And what is that she has under her arm?

Why, it is a new Cottontails leaflet!

It opens up into a little 'poster'. Charlotte is featured along with a few other creatures who are all keen to spot themselves in print.

And on the reverse, there are lots of simple activities to keep cows rabbits children entertained.

As always a massive thank you to Kaitie and Jay at Leaff Design who have been instrumental in putting it together. They were especially wonderful at handling a last minute change of plan (there was supposed to be an origami rabbit project involved in the poster, but it proved too tricky for me to master let alone cows rabbits children and I had visions of the whole thing ending up in waste baskets across the country!)

This will be going out with all our parcels over spring and summer, and come the autumn we will have a new full catalogue.