Everything DOG

Doggy Daycare, Overnight Boarding and Behaviour

We are a subsistence farm, which means we grow our own.

When we moved to the farm in 2011, we made the decision to try our hand at growing as much food as we could. Neither of us had a background in any sort of farming, although Retha's grandparents were farmers, so it was a case of learning as we went. We started with chickens, then a goat was "procured" from a scrapyard (ask no questions, tell no lies), then we got more goats, then pigs, then a cow, then more cows... and in the background we began to prepare specific areas for crop production. We have 30,000 square metres, which lends itself very nicely to managing a small subsistence environment. 

Prior to us taking up residence the farm had been used as a stable yard for a number of years, and had been heavily overgrazed due to overstocking of horses (the most damaging to the grazing system). The waste from our livestock is worked back into the soil and we are currently able to produce almost all of the food we eat right here at home. 


Our goats are Scrappy (the brown girl) and Jemima (the white girl). If ever you see a goat in a South African movie or commercial, it is very likely to be one of our goats. They are RCCs - Red Carpet Caprines. Scrappy and Jemima have done work for DSTV, FNB, Takealot, and various South African soapies and productions. 

For a time we had a small breeding herd of Boer goats, but goats are surprisingly choosy eaters, and the availability of browse (leaves) on our property was simply inadequate. In the interests of our bank balance and the health of the goats, we sold them as a starter herd to a lovely young man who still keeps in touch. 

Our cows are a small herd consisting of Blommetjie the Jersey (milk) cow, Heidi the red Dexter and Jelly Bean the Hereford cross. They have calves from time to time. We have grazing arrangements with some of our neighbours, so the cows go out in the mornings and return home in the afternoon with access to around 30 acres of rotational grazing year-round. 

Our brown pig, Munsie, was originally bought as one of a pair, with the intention of raising them and then processing them for our freezer. We did so with the boar, but Munsie remained behind, and over the years she has produced many litters of piglets for us. Munsie is a career mum and unless we take the boar away, she will find a way to get to him (if you value your life, don't get in her way)! Our breeding boar, Kevin Bacon, is currently sowing oats at a friend's farm, and Munsie is enjoying some well deserved rest with her daughter for company. We are hoping to introduce a spotty boar to our programme in the hopes of breeding pigs with pigmentation that is better suited to outdoor living and less prone to sunburn. Update: in July 2017 we welcomed Lord Wiggle, our future herd sire and a purebred Kolbroek!

Our chickens are the end result of a combination of different breeds that have been left to do their thing, and become chickens that do well on our farm. These chooks need to be parasite-resistant, fast, clever, lay decent sized eggs as well as being good to eat. They are a combination of many breeds including Old English Game, Koekoek, Black Australorp, Silkie, New Hampshire and Rhode Island Red. 

Our horses are Bugsy Malone, Lex, Jelly Bean and Bernie. I bought Bugsy in 2009; Lexi was a rescue from the Onderstepoort Biological Products herd; Jelly Bean was given to us in 2012, and Bernie was a rescue from the Brakpan SPCA in 2016. From time to time we ride, but mostly the horses just stand around mowing the grass.

We had a brief foray into sheep (we don't really talk about it) and before we opened the business we had ducks and geese. But waterfowl and dogs don't mix very well as a rule, and after some collateral damage we rehomed the ducks and geese to a colleague of Retha's for their own safety. 

In terms of veggies, we successfully grow a variety of seasonal vegetables including lettuces, cabbages, marogo, maize, sweetcorn, onions, garlic, various tomatoes, peas, beans, squashes etc. This feeds our family, staff and tenant included, with the waste going to whichever livestock species enjoys it the most. Unfortunately we don't sell any of our produce to the public.   


We are so fortunate to have a fair amount of wildlife on our property and within the estate. South African Hedgehogs, African Bullfrogs, an enormous amount of other frog and toad species, various snake species (no highly venemous ones though), chameleons, liguaans, dassies, genets, various mongoose species, black-backed jackals, scrub hares, small antelope species such as duikers, incredible birdlife (a favourite of ours is the grey hornbill, and occasionally we catch the call of a fish eagle), and even a developing troop of vervet monkeys complete with mums and bubs! Not all of these species traverse our property but they are in close proximity all the time. All of these species are naturally-occurring and free-roaming, just as they were hundreds and even thousands of years ago.

We also offer safe refuge to a colony of ex-shelter cats who live in our barn. While they are not pets, they are not feral or wild either, and all of them are sterilised and up to date with vaccinations. They do a fine job keeping the vermin population down, although not all of them are hunters and the vast majority choose only to hunt the food bowl! These are cats that stood a poor chance of being adopted into pet homes, due to their aloof and standoffish natures, but we have some real cuddlers amongst the colony! They are the #1 reason that visiting dogs must be exposed to cats.