Sacrewell is home to an array of rare breed animals from native UK breeds to the traditional farm stock. Our paddocks showcase our successful rare breed programme as we support the Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST) to help save rare and native breeds.
The RBST have released the 2022-23 watchlist which gives an accurate reflection of a breed’s conservation status.
Read on to find out which rare breed animals we have at Sacrewell farm.
Rare Breed Animals
Use the quick links to navigate to a particular animal:
British Landrace Pigs (priority rare breed animals)
We are very fortunate to have two British Landrace pigs on site at Sacrewell – Larry and Lissie. They have successfully bred and welcomed many little piglets over the years. All of which have been sold on to other successful breeders.
Landrace pigs are most well-known for a being a large white pig with heavy drooping ears. They are a very versatile breed that can live indoor or outdoor. The sows (a female pig) are well known for their ability to produce and rear litters of 12 piglets.
Larry & Lissie
Boar (male) & Sow (female)
Our resident Landrace pigs joined Sacrewell farm in May 2020. Throughout their time with us they have successfully bred three litters and are due to farrow (give birth to a litter of piglets) again in May 2023.
Larry is very docile and loves a fuss, Lissie is a little more high maintenance but equally loves a scratch. Their favourite things to eat are fresh vegetables from our kitchen garden. Veg produce is often gifted to them once we have had a school visit in harvesting. When they aren’t munching on fresh veg, they spend most of their time outside looking for bugs and truffles.
Oxford Sandy and Black Pigs (at risk rare breed animals)
The Oxford Sandy and Black pigs were on the brink of extinction 20 years ago but due to the hard work from dedicated rare breed farmers there has been an increase in numbers of these rare breed animals.
These pigs get their name from their sandy coloured coat and black patches. The breed has many qualities including an excellent temperament, great mothering abilities and high-quality meat produce. They have grown in popularity recently and are a favourite for first-time keepers and all those that have kept pigs.
Tanya & Sandy
Both sows (female)
Tanya & Sandy were born on 11th July 2022, and we welcomed them to Sacrewell a few months later as weaners. Weaners are piglets that are 2-3 months old and no longer reliant on their mother’s milk.
They both love foraging outside but they do like to retire to their pigsties at night and sometimes for an afternoon siesta!
Dexter cattle (UK native breed)
Dexters were considered rare until recently and are now a recovering breed.
Dexter cattle originated from Ireland in the 18th Century and are now the smallest native breed of cattle in the British Isles. They are a hardy dual-purpose breed that produces excellent beef and milk. The milk they produce is high in solids, making it ideal for butter and cheese production.
Dexters are also a great suckler cow for rearing offspring and are often used for conservation grazing as they can rid pastures of pest plants.
Here at Sacrewell farm we have three Dexter cattle – Fleur & Almer and the not-so-little Otis.
Fleur & Almer
Both cows (female)
Our resident Dexter cows joined us in June 2018. They love roaming our paddocks and grazing on fresh pasture. They are particularly well-known for ignoring their boundaries and enjoying the greener grass on the other side!
Both extremely vocal but very friendly (we know where Otis gets it from!), they are always sure to let the livestock team know when it is dinner time.
Steer (male that cannot reproduce)
Otis was born on 24th June 2022 right here at Sacrewell. Unlike his mother Almer, he is black in colour and is now boasting a fluffy fringe!
He has been castrated so he cannot reproduce. Castrating a bull helps to reduce their aggressive tendencies and makes them easier to handle. This has allowed us to keep him at Sacrewell for the public to enjoy. As Otis continues to grow, his ‘moo’ is getting deeper, sometimes it can be mistaken for a lion roaring!
Suffolk Punch Horse (priority rare breed animals)
Suffolk horses also known as Suffolk Punch horses are the oldest English breed of working horse. These majestic horses are strong with a good temperament and are often referred to as gentle giants. There are less than 500 pure bred Suffolk horses in the UK making them more endangered than the Giant Panda.
These horses were traditionally bred to work the clay soil of East Anglia and we are very fortunate to have two breeding mares on East Anglian turf. They are still used for agricultural work but over the years they have become a more versatile breed.
Grace & Seren
Both mares (females)
Our resident Suffolk punch horses joined us in July 2020. Seren has successfully foaled both years, one of whom is Star a filly. A filly is a young female horse. Grace sadly lost a foal in the first year of being at Sacrewell farm but is now pregnant and due to foal in June 2023, as is Seren.
Both Grace and Seren spend their days (and nights) outside in the fields at Sacrewell. They have a large shelter where they can bed down for the night but normally, they sleep standing up!
Shetland Pony (UK native breed)
The Shetland pony is a Scottish breed of pony originating in the Shetland Isles (North Scotland). Shetlands are clever, strong, hardy and cute. They are commonly used as a riding horse for children and are sometimes used for therapeutic riding purposes.
Shetland’s usually only have one foal at a time, but twins are possible albeit quite uncommon.
Luna joined Sacrewell in March 2021. During the day you can find Luna roaming the fields with Tramp, Mr Mint and the Falabella horses, and at night you can find her tucked up in her stable with Tramp.
Gelding (castrated male)
Tramp has been at Sacrewell since January 2012 along with our donkey Mr Mint. Tramp is one of our oldest residents at Sacrewell Farm.
You can find Tramp lusting after Betty, one of our Falabella horses and eating grass. Tramp loves to roll around in the mud, so his white coat doesn’t stay white for long!
Falabella Horse (world’s smallest horse)
Falabella horses are a miniature horse rather than a pony and are usually only 6-7 hands high. Hands is a measurement used to determine how tall an equine is.
The Falabella originated from Argentina so is not a native UK breed, but it is classed as the World’s smallest horse! We are lucky enough to have three Falabella horses at Sacrewell farm, you can visit them every day on the farm.
Winnie, Betty & Myrtle
All mares (females)
Our Falabella Horses were kindly donated to Sacrewell in October 2022. Winnie is mum of Betty and Myrtle who are sisters.
Their favourite thing to eat is carrots but they do enjoy running around the paddock with their friends – Luna, Tramp & Mr Mint the donkey. They spend their evenings indoors in their stable but their days roaming free and grazing on grass.
There are more than 40 million donkeys in the world, mainly in deprived countries as they are predominantly used for working. They help carry and transport heavy items that man cannot do.
Donkeys were first domesticated around 6,000 years ago for their meat and milk. They descended from their African wild ass ancestors. The domestic donkey is from the same family as a horse and their life spans from 27-40 years.
Mr Mint joined Sacrewell in January 2012, along with Tramp our Shetland pony and his half sister Joules who sadly passed away last year.
You can find Mr Mint awaiting a fuss and being nosey in the hope of some hay! He is a placid soul that loves rolling around on his back in the field and eating the hedgerows. Especially the one outside his stable.
Boreray Sheep (at risk rare breed animals)
Boreray sheep originated from St Kilda off the West Coast of Scotland. They are a very hardy breed that can cope with sparse grazing. Most sheep have a cream fleece with black and white face and legs.
They are a small slender breed that are long lived with an average lambing percentage of 140%. This means each ewe averages 1.4 lambs a year. Both ewes and rams are horned with the rams boasting spiral horns.
Senior, Rocky, Merry, Pippin, Thumper, Bambi, Bunny, Libby, Lisa, Laura, Pongo, Scar, Abbie, Alice, Julius, India and Ida
Rams (males) & ewes (females)
The Boreray breed originally joined Sacrewell in 2019 and the flock has risen from 3 ewes to 11 ewes and 5 rams in the last 3 years.
Boreray sheep enjoy living in large groups with lots of natural shade and hiding places. You can find them lounging amongst the bushes and small trees in their enclosure during the spring and summer months. They also liked to run around in circles, which the Livestock team call their zoomies! If you look closely, you can see paths which they have made in the grass as they follow each other in a very duck like manner.
Hill Radnor Sheep (at risk rare breed animals)
Hill Radnor sheep are a domestic breed native to the UK. They are classified as a mountain breed and have a dense white fleece with light brown face and legs. The rams are horned, but the ewes are polled (without).
These rare breed animals are listed as at risk on the Rare Breed Survival Trust watchlist, with the majority of their population in Wales, there are very few flocks in the remainder of the UK. Hill Radnor sheep are hardy and do well on limited forage. Their ewes are known for their good maternal instincts with a lambing percentage of 120-165% depending on their location.
Fatima, Gertrude, Helda, Henrietta, Wanda, Snotty, Patty, Gretel and their lambs; Rolo, Snickers, Twix, Whispa, Bounty, Crunchie, Kit and Kat
The Hill Radnor breed originally joined Sacrewell in 2020 and the flock has increased over the years due to our successful breeding programme.
Sheep like to live in groups and the Hill Radnor sheep are no different. You can find our Hill Radnor ewes grazing the pastures at Sacrewell farm with our cade lambs from 2022. They do love attention especially the hand-reared ewes which makes handling them much easier. They are always pleased to see the livestock team especially at feed time!
Jacob (UK native breed)
Jacob sheep have been found in England for more than 300 years, but the history of the breed is a mystery. The ewes are consistently good mothers and will produce sufficient milk for triplets. They are hardy breed that are easily overwintered. This breed have good foot health compared to others attracting a good health status.
They are also known for their high-quality wool which is excellent for spinning. Jacob sheep skins offer a good fleece perfect for rugs and other wool garments.
Jay was born locally on 9th March 2022 and came to Sacrewell a week later. Jay is the only Jacob we have on site at the farm but we hope to change that in the near future as we expand our rare breed and UK native breeding programme.
You will find Jay in the field along with the Hill Radnor, commercial sheep and our cade Boreray Rocky. He enjoys being part of a flock and not living independently. His favourite time is feed time, and he will always run for hay!
English Goat (priority rare breed animals)
The English goat was a native breed to the UK before the major imports of foreign goats. They are beautifully marked and deer-like. English goats are tractable, docile and co-operative. They thrive in the British climate and don’t mind rain or snow.
They are best known for their milk production; the English goat has high level of solids in its milk which makes lovely cheeses and even soap!
Houdini wasn’t born at Sacrewell but joined us on 6th July 2020 from Burghley House in Stamford. He got his name from becoming an escapee artist in his first few months. Being much taller than the other goats the original goat fence wasn’t enough to contain him and his appetite!
Now he very much enjoys his paddock along with the Boer and pygmy goats and doesn’t break free. He is however partial to an apple and has mastered how to get one off the tree if he stands on his hind legs in his enclosure.
Boer goats originated from South Africa, they have been specifically bred for their meat. They are regarded as the world’s premier meat goat. Goat meat has become increasingly popular as it is low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
This breed are large and stocky with a white body and brown head. They have lop ears that hang downwards over their eyes and backward curving horns.
Boer goats have a good natural resistance to disease allowing them to enjoy a longer life. Bucks (male goats) have an expected life span of 12 years and does (female goats) can live from 12 – 20 years.
Doe or nanny (female)
Acorn, mum of three, joined Sacrewell in 2018. She has successfully given birth to three kids – Crash & Eddie (twins) in 2020 and Chestnut (2021).
She is calm natured and haltered trained perfect for school visits, as this allows us to teach the children about Boer goats and animal care.
Chestnut was born on 30th March 2021 right here at Sacrewell farm. She is very friendly and enjoys a stroke. Her favourite thing to eat is goat nuts – a nutritional protein feed.
We often take Chestnut on a goat walk as she is also halter trained. The livestock team don’t get very far as she is happy to stop and eat all the long, juicy grass!
Crash & Eddie
Wether (castrated male) & Doe (female)
Crash & Eddie are children to Acorn, born 1st March 2020 at Sacrewell. Eddie was born with a wonky jaw and half ear but that doesn’t seem to stop her living her best life. They are brother and sister so enjoy getting up to mischief in the field!
When they were kids you could find them hiding in the tyres in their paddock but now, they are a little too big for them. Eddie has a fear of bridges so doesn’t enjoy a goat walk over the mill bridge and crash likes to climb on the climbing frame in their enclosure.
They spend all their time outside but do enjoy their shelter at night and when it’s hot.
Pygmy goats are a miniature, dwarf breed bred for companionship and enjoyment. The maximum height of a pygmy is about 56cm for males (less for females). They are generally quiet and docile and often kept as pets.
They feed on a high proportion of fibre with hay being the main feature. Pygmy goats graze well but do require a low protein goat mix twice a day.
We are fortunate enough to have four pygmy goats at Sacrewell farm, you can find them in the field every day.
Hardy, Winston, Archie and Bubbles
All wethers (male)
Our pygmy goats joined Sacrewell in 2017. All unique in their colouring with different characteristics, these wethers offer great entertainment to the public and staff.
You can find these older chaps grazing the fields or snoozing in the sunshine. They are all partial to an afternoon siesta but generally sat next to their shelter rather than in it!
Their favourite things to eat are a variety of fresh fruit. The pygmy goats aren’t very patient when it comes to food, the livestock team are quickly hassled when carrying a trug of feed.
Alpacas originated from South America but have been domesticated from their wild relatives over the years. They are considerably smaller than llamas and are bred primarily for their wool. The wool can be used for many woven items including blankets, hats, gloves and scarves.
They are social animals so they like to live in groups. Alpacas are gentle, intelligent and extremely observant animals. They can sometimes be aggressive, and they tend to spit to show their dominance.
Peaches, Honey & Jasmine
Peaches, Honey & Jasmine joined Sacrewell in 2017. They are enjoying their new environment – being nosey and observing the public.
These fluffy trio are cousins; you will find them in their paddock eating grass or hay. They stay outside in all weathers and are incredibly hardy, they do have a warm shelter, but they prefer to stay out and keep an eye on what’s going on! They are incredibly lazy so sometimes they don’t even stand to eat!
Cria (juvenile alpaca)
Twiglet was born on 14th July 2022 right here at Sacrewell, she is the daughter of Jasmine. You will find Twiglet in her paddock either snuggled up to mum or laid flat in her sandpit sleeping deeply.
Most alpacas are intelligent, but Twiglet doesn’t seem to have that trait! She is adorably cute and fluffy though so we will forgive her for her vacant daze! Twiglets favourite thing to eat is hay, you can often find tufts sticking out the corners of her mouth.
Orpington Chickens (UK native breed)
Orpington chickens are a UK native breed that were founded in Kent by William Cook. They are docile, placid, friendly creatures that don’t mind being handled. Orpingtons are large, graceful birds that come in six colour varieties.
The hens can lay 90-175 eggs a year that are light brown in colour. The eggs they lay are small for their size. Orpington chickens are ideal for a first-time keeper and make ideal pets.
Mr Black & Lady Lavender
Cockerel (male) & hen (female)
Mr Black & Lady Lavender joined Sacrewell on 4th July 2021. Sadly due to Avian flu they’ve been kept in a large enclosure with a run for most of their time. At present the public cannot see the chickens up close but you can see their hen house from afar in the education paddocks.
This pair love enrichment such as pecking toys and fresh vegetables. They do not like the heat so in Summer we have to ensure ample shade, a dust bath, plenty of water and frozen treats.
Polish bantams are one of the most unique looking breeds of chicken. They are small sleek birds with a pom pom crest on their head.
They are predominantly bred as show birds, but they were originally known for their egg production. On average polish bantam hens lay 100 small white eggs a year.
Polish bantams are quiet and friendly chickens that don’t mind being cuddled or held, making perfect pets.
Lizzy & Blizzard
Lizzy and Blizzard were hatched and hand reared at Sacrewell in 2016, they are neighbours to the Orpington chickens Mr Black & Lady Lavender. Lizzy and Blizzard love a cuddle as well as fresh fruit and veg.
Sadly they are also kept in due to Avian flu but they have plenty of space to roam and multiple perches to enjoy. We keep them entertained with lots of chicken enrichment too including peck treats.
We also have an array of rabbits and guinea pigs that you can find in our Hutton Barn at Sacrewell farm. Come and visit our fluffy friends every day from 9am – 4.30pm.
New life on the farm
For those that enjoy the promise of spring, visit us at Easter for our new life on the farm event. There’s lots going on, including natural craft activities, an educational bird egg trail, a wildlife webcam and much more.
What’s more if you’d like to get up close and bottle feed our cade lambs, we have a VIP lambing experience just for you. You can find out more details here.
We hope to welcome you to Sacrewell soon.