Charlotte and Wilbur
Charlotte and Wilbur are Australian Mini Pigs that were born in Gloucester NSW to miniature pigs Nesha and Pugsly in 2010. That makes them 7 year’s old. They came to Diamond Forest Farm Stay as little piglets and have lived here ever since. Initially we let them roam free but as they got a little bit bigger they became very naughty so now they have their own special pen which they share with Vivien.
Did you know?
Wilbur and Charlotte, as mini pigs, could have stayed really small. If they had only received a handful of fruit and vegetables each pig every day they would have still been very small. But….our pigs have been very popular with our guests over the years and they have gotten a lot more food than they should have so now our ‘mini’ pigs are about the size of a Labrador dog.
Pepper and Nutmeg: Our Rabbits
Pepper and Nutmeg came to Diamond Forest Farm Stay as 9 week old bunnies in 2016. We think they are a cross between a Dwarf Lop and a Mini Lop rabbit but we are not sure. The only difference between the two breeds is size with the Dwarf Lop being slightly larger. Dwarf Lop and Mini Lops can live to about 9-10 years of age and they come in over 40 different colours and patterns. We now know that Nutmeg is a boy and Pepper is a girl. We hope they will have babies soon.
Did you know?
Pepper and Nutmeg are quite fussy about their food. Along with their special rabbit food they like a little bit of greens like broccoli and lettuce but they really like nectarines, peaches, apples and apricots. They don’t like plums and grapes are poisonous to rabbits so we don’t give them grapes at all.
Leia the Orphan Jersey Cow
Leia was born in November 2016 at Diamond Forest Farm Stay. She was named after Princess Leia from Star Wars. Her mum, Gem, sadly had some complications and didn’t survive. This means that little Leia is an orphan. She is currently our youngest cow on the farm. Because Leia is an orphan we had to bottle feed her twice a day.
We decided that we would train Leia while she was very young to get used to having lots of people around her so we included her bottle feeding in with the Daily Animal Feed. Leia has gotten used to lots of people handling her, patting her and talking to her. This makes her a very friendly cow.
Now she is bigger she doesn’t need bottle feeding but she is not big enough to go in with the adult cows yet. Sometimes she stays in the paddock with the donkeys and goats so that she can have access to hay. Sometimes we let her out into the dam paddock. She loves it in the dam paddock because she likes to follow people around when they are fishing or canoeing.
Did you know?
Because she is so friendly, when Leia is old enough, we are going to train her to be our milking cow. Then we will be able to have nice, fresh, creamy milk for our breakfast and our guests will be able to learn how to milk a cow.
Nugget the Jersey Bull
Nugget came to Diamond Forest Farm Stay in 2007, as a 4 day old calf. You won’t see many bulls like our Nugget, or cows like Bambi, in this area because Nugget’s family originally came from New Zealand. Nugget is a breed of bull called a Jersey. Jersey’s are normally used as milking cows because they produce good quality, creamy milk. But we can’t milk Nugget because he hasn’t got an udder because he is a bull.
Nugget is the father of all of the calves born here on the farm. Usually we have one calf a year but some years we’ve had two cows so we get two calves. We usually keep Nugget, and any other cows we have, in the blue gum paddock which is up near Bluegum Cottage. This gives them plenty of room to roam and trees to hide amongst. Because there is not a lot of grass in this paddock we make sure they get a bale of hay regularly.
Nugget can be very playful sometimes and he will often push the hay ring, with a hay bale in it, all around the paddock. Sometimes he pushes it so far that we have to go looking for the hay bale!
Did you know?
Nugget is mostly blind in one eye so he likes to be face on to people. If you keep your movements slow and steady, with a little bit of patience you can even pat him on the nose. But make sure you watch his horns. Bulls like to toss their head about and even if he doesn’t mean to he may knock you with his horns.
At Diamond Forest Cottages we have 3 different breeds of sheep: Merino, Dorper and Damara. We have one Damara sheep named Mulberry. You can tell her apart because she is the only adult sheep with a tail. Damara’s make very good mothers, don’t need shearing as their fleece just falls out in summer and are bred as a meat sheep.
We have one full bred Merino here named Boss- and yes she is a little bossy. Merinos are bred for their fleece and have a very good reputation for fine soft fleece. This means that Boss needs to be shorn once a year. Boss and Mulberry came to us about five years ago after her previous owners had to move off their farm and into town. They couldn’t take their pet sheep with them and wanted them to go to a good home. Their original owners had stayed here and liked that all of our animals were well fed, well looked after and happy and they asked if we would take Mulberry and Boss to live on our farm.
The third breed of sheep we have at Diamond Forest Farm Stay are Dorpers. Dorpers are all of our sheep with a white body and a black head. Our Ram- MR T- is a Dorper. Dorpers are a South African sheep also bred for meat and don’t need shearing. They are a very fast growing sheep and tolerate Australian conditions very well.
Did you know?
Every year we have new lambs born at Diamond Forest Farm Stay. With sheep twins are very common but they aren’t always identical. In 2017 we had two sets of twins. Twin boys and twin girls. Our twin boys looked very different to each other. One was black and the other one was white!
Plymouth Rock Chickens
At Diamond Forest Farm Stay we have two types of chickens. The larger type of chickens that we have here are Plymouth Rocks. Plymouth Rocks are large, long lived birds and we initially brought them to Diamond Forest Farm Stay because we thought they would be great to have free range wandering the farm. We thought, because they are such a large bird, that they wouldn’t be so easily taken by foxes. Unfortunately, because Plymouth Rocks are bigger they can be a bit bossy and they weren’t particularly friendly so now we keep them in their own special pen. There are lots of different varieties of Plymouth Rocks but we have what is called the Barred Plymouth Rock (because of the colours of their feathers) and I think you will agree they are quite a pretty looking chicken.
Did you know?
We have one Plymouth Rock chicken that is very friendly. Her name is Elsie. Elsie was born with a deformed leg so she is not able to mingle with the other Plymouth Rock chickens. To keep her safe we keep her in with friendly Cochin Bantam Chickens in the other pen. Here she has her own cage to make sure she doesn’t miss out on food and water. During the day she gets around quite well amongst the other chickens and at night we put her to roost in her own cage so the other chickens don’t bother her.
Our Three Turkeys
Here at Diamond Forest Farm Stay we have three turkeys: Graham- a bronze turkey and Max and Jenny- the white turkeys. Jenny and Max came here from Greenbushes in 2015. Graham has been here for a long time. He was one of about 20 turkeys that we originally had on the property. However the rumours that turkeys aren’t very smart are true and sadly we lost many turkeys to foxes over the years. I once saw Jenny fly into a paddock to steal the ponies feed, but then she couldn’t remember how to get out so she spent all day pacing along the fence trying to find a way to get out. Not once did she think to fly out of the paddock, even though she had flown into the paddock that very morning. In the end I had to go into the paddock, catch her and bring her back out again.
Graham, though, seems to be quite sensible and that is why he has managed to survive for quite a few years. Now, to keep our turkeys safe we keep them in the chicken pen with our Plymouth Rock chickens. We clip their wings so they can’t fly out and they happily roost in amongst the chickens, bossing them around and getting the best bits of food.
Did you Know?
Yes turkeys lay eggs just like chickens but they look a little different. Turkey eggs are quite pointy at one end and have lots of little speckles all over them. They are also much bigger than a chicken egg. When it is egg laying season and we let our guests collect the eggs from the pen, you just might end up finding a turkey egg!
Uther the Saanen Buck
Uther came to Diamond Forest Farm Stay in 2014 as a 1 year old buck arriving in the back of a station wagon. He had his own collar and would happily follow you on a lead just like a pet dog. Uther, unlike our other goats that are Angoras, has short hair that never requires any shearing.
Uther has one big horn and one little one that curls around because he keeps knocking the end of one off when he head butts the other goats. So we call him our Uni-goat- like a Unicorn but he’s a goat. The reason he likes to head butt the other goats is because he is a buck and that means he likes to be the boss and get all the best food.
Did you know?
If Uther can get a nice big piece of watermelon all to himself he will devour it in seconds but this makes his lips turn pink and he looks like he’s wearing lipstick!
Although Uther doesn’t need sheering he does need to have his hooves trimmed regularly. Unlike our other goats, Uther’s toenails grow really fast and if we let them get too long he has trouble walking.
Uther will do just about anything for a slice of bread. If you want to pat him hand feed him a slice of breed and he will come right up to the fence. Just don’t touch his horns as I think he’s a little embarrassed about only having one big one!
Here at Diamond Forest Cottages Farm Stay we have several different types of ducks: Pekins, Khaki Campbells, Appleyard and some that are a combination. This means we have some white ducks, some brown ducks and some ducks that have quite pretty feathers that change colour in the sun.
In late August and early September we begin to collect eggs for our incubator to hatch baby ducklings. We collect them otherwise the ducks will lay them out in the water weeds somewhere and nest there at night. Because the ducks are nesting outside of their pen they are not safe from foxes. Each year between October and February we often have ducklings in our petting pen for our guests to see and feed on our Daily Animal Feed Run.
Did you know?
The ducks here at Diamond Forest Cottages Farm Stay are free range. Once we let them out in the morning on the Daily Animal Feed Run they are free to roam wherever they want on the farm. Sometimes they visit our guests staying in our cottages. Sometimes they even go over to our neighbour's farms! As it gets dark they always come home. They know where they are safe and where they get fed.
When you are familiar with the colours of the drake (boys) and the duck (girls) you can quite easily tell them apart. However during breeding season it becomes easier to tell which ones are the drakes because a single tail feather begins to curl and their colours become much brighter almost iridescent.
Violet an J.R Our Donkeys
Violet and J.R (short for Just Right) came to Diamond Forest Cottages in 2008 when they were just 8 months old. Violet ( the multi-coloured one) and J.R are brother and sister and came here from a farm in Pemberton. You might think, in 2017, that they are getting old but donkeys can live up to 30-35 years.
Usually donkeys are used as pack animals but here at Diamond Forest Cottages Farm Stay they are here to make friends with our guests and they like that. It also means because they are not working hard at all they will probably live quite a long time.
Donkeys are members of the horse family.
Donkeys are quite characters and like to play games but they also get bored very easily. You can see in their paddock all the chewed fence posts. The donkeys have done that! They also like attention and if they see someone across the dam they will bray very loudly to get their attention so that hopefully that person will come over and say hi.
At first they may seem shy when you approach their fence and if you try to pat them they will move their head away. I have found the best way to get them to come close is to stand right next to the fence and pretend to ignore them, especially if you have a friend with you and have a conversation without looking at the donkeys. Slowly they will creep forward until they are almost right up against the fence.
Peacocks and Peahens
Currently at Diamond Forest Farm Stay we have one Peacock- Flynn and one Pea hen- Henny. The blue Peafowl (the type we have here) originally came from India but Flynn was born here on the farm and Henny came from a farm near Greenbushes.
Peafowl are large pheasants with the male – the peacock- having a beautiful tail of iridescent feathers. These tail feathers fall out every year in about January/February and they spend most of the year growing back. The large, beautiful tail is used in mating rituals when the peacock is trying to impress the pea hen so they can have baby pea chicks. The peacock will fan his tail out and rustle his feathers in the direction of the pea hen.
Young Peacocks, like Flynn, will often practice their tail display on other birds like our chickens and our turkeys. You can tell he is a young peacock because his tail doesn't get very long yet. Next year it should be much longer. Female peahens often use their shorter, grey tails in a similar way but it is more about being bossy to other birds. Peahens can be quite bossy when they want to be.
Did you know?
Both Flynn and Henny spend most of their day with the chickens but they also like sitting on the roof of our house and visiting our cottages to see if our guests will feed them. They are quite successful in getting food from our guests. We don't mind. It keeps our peacocks happy and that means that they will stay close where we can keep watch over them.
Katie the Shetland Pony
Katie came to Diamond Forest Farm Stay with Mark in 2006. She is somewhere between 30-35 years old- which means she is very old but she is very healthy and she really likes to eat. In fact we often joke that poor old Katie only has to look at food and she puts on too much weight, so we have to watch what she eats and make sure she is in the right paddock at the right time of year. This means Katie and Sally get moved around the farm a lot. Her favourite paddock is the dam paddock and on hot days she will wade out amongst the water weeds.
Katie is very friendly and is quite easy to catch but she also likes to run and sometimes she won’t let us catch her at all, just for fun.
Did you know?
In summer ponies shed their winter coat and you can see horse hair all over the paddock. At these times Katie can often be seen scratching her bottom on a fence post to fasten the process of shedding her winter coat.
Katie likes to eat apples, carrots, corn, pears, tomatoes, broccoli and lettuce and she loves being fed at any time of the day. She especially likes visits from children bringing her extra treats even though she gets plenty of food on our Daily Animal Feed.
Cochin Bantam Chickens
We have two breeds of chickens on our farm stay and one breed is the Cochin Bantams. These chickens are very friendly, sweet chickens- even the roosters- and are great for children. We keep them in our petting pen with our rabbits, our ducklings and chicks and also any injured animal that needs special care. Because the Cochin Bantams are so friendly we can trust that they won't pick on any young or injured animals.
Being a Bantam means that they are a small chicken and there are many types of bantam chickens. We have chosen the Cochins because they are friendly but also quite hardy as we have quite hot weather as well as quite cold weather throughout the year.
Did you Know?
We have several roosters in our pen. A rooster has a larger and brighter comb, longer and brighter tail and fancier neck feathers and he crows....Can you tell which ones are our roosters?
These chickens will quite happily let you pick them up as long as you have some seed to feed them. But you will have to catch them first and some of them can be pretty fast.
Vivien: The Smallest Pig, The Noisiest Pig
Vivien came to Diamond Forest Farm Stay in June 2015. She is an Australian Mini Pig. Vivien came to us from a family in Mandurah who could no longer keep her. This family had dogs who liked to chase Vivien. To keep Vivien safe from the dogs they put her into the chicken pen. But then she ate all the eggs!!!
So Vivien came to live with us. We didn’t know if Vivien would get on with Charlotte and Wilbur so we were very cautious about putting them all together straight away. So we put her into the paddock right next to them so they could all meet in safety through the fence. But Vivien decided she didn’t want to wait so she pushed under the fence to be with Charlotte and Wilbur. We tried putting her back into the paddock but she kept sneaking back in so we let her stay where she wanted to be.
Did you know?
Our pigs love cherries and peaches, plums, potatoes, carrots, beetroot, tomatoes, pineapples, watermelon, greens and coconuts but they don’t like brussel sprouts!
Pictured: Jimmy, Houdini & Nigel
Here at Diamond Forest Farm Stay we have three Angora cross goats: Jimmy, Houdini & Nigel. Angora cross means that they are half Angora goat and half Saanen goat (pronounced Say-nen). Their mum, June, was a Saanen and their dad Ben was an Angora.
All three of our goats were born here on the farm. Jimmy was born in 2013 and Houdini & Nigel (twins) were born in 2014. Although they all have different personalities (Jimmy is bossy, Houdini always escapes and Nigel just follows Jimmy around) they all kind of look the same and it is very hard to tell apart; except for Houdini. Houdini likes to escape a lot and if you see a goat in with our sheep or our donkeys or on his own in the dam paddock it is always Houdini.
Did you know?
Our goats like pears, peaches, melons, tomatoes, mangos and bananas. We also like to keep them healthy by giving them lots of greens but goats aren't all that fussy when it comes to food. They will happily eat weeds, brussel sprouts and even lemons!
We currently have 3 alpacas at Diamond Forest Farm Stay. Rolley is our male Alpaca and he is the daddy to all baby alpacas that are born here on the farm. Blondie is our oldest female alpaca. She is also older than Rolley so that means that sometimes she still bosses him around a bit. Scarlett is our other female breeding alpaca. She is also Blondie’s daughter but she is not Rolley’s daughter. Every year we have two Crias born here on the farm.
Did you know?
When Alpacas see something they don't know, like a new dog, they all face the dog and put their ears forward. If the dog gets closer, they sound the alarm. This warning call sounds a little bit like a squeaky toy. It's so unusual that most of our guests laugh when they hear it.
Sally the White Pony
Sally came to Diamond Forest Cottages in 2014 to be a friend for Katie who was lonely. Sally used to be on a horse stud but she wasn’t having foals any more so they no longer wanted her. A Vet in Greenbushes found out that Sally was no longer wanted and rescued her hoping to find her a new owner.
Sally was just perfect for us because she was just the right size for Katie. Her original name was White Horse Glamour but we decided to call her Sally because that was the name of the Vet that rescued her.
Did you know?
Ponies can live to about 35 years old. We think Sally is in her early 20s but we are not sure
Ponies’ height is measured in hands. Sally is 10 hands high which means she is quite small. Not as small as Katie who is only 8 hands high
Ponies develop a thick winter coat for winter- like Sally has in the picture above. In summer that coat falls out leaving Sally with a nice smooth coat and lots of white hair all over the paddock
Sally is very head shy which means that she doesn’t like to be touched about the head or caught with a halter but if you are patient and quiet she will come closer and maybe take an apple from your hand.
Bambi the Jersey Cow
Bambi came to Diamond Forest Farm Stay in 2007, as a 4 day old calf. You won’t see many cows like Bambi, or our bull Nugget, in this area because Bambi’s family originally came from New Zealand. Bambi was named by a guest who thought she looked a lot like the little Bambi in her story book.
Bambi is a good mum and has a calf every year. In November 2014 she had the steer Victor. In December 2015 she had the little heifer calf, Molly. In 2016 she had a little bull calf called Alfie. Most of her calves go to other farms but we do keep them here for a while until they grow big enough to be on their own.
Did you know?
Bambi particularly likes to eat bread and if you hold a piece against her nose she will lick it out of your hand. Be careful not to get too much cow slobber on you though. Bambi has a different colour tongue to Nugget. Can you guess what colour it is?
Flyby the Big Horse
Flyby came to us through Farmer Mark 9 years ago. Flyby is a retired racehorse but unfortunately he didn't win many races. His racing name was Crooner but his stable name was Flyby so that is what we decided to call him when he came to the farm. He was born on the 4th of September 1993. Can you work out how old he is?
Did you know?
Horses graze for up to eighteen hours a day. That means Flyby needs a lot of feed. He likes to eat apples, pears, corn, carrots, sweet potato and watermelon. We also make sure he gets hay and has plenty of green grass because horses graze for about 18 hours every day.
Flyby, like any horse, needs lots of care. He gets his hooves trimmed by a farrier every 6 to 8 weeks, in winter he wears a rug at night to keep him warm and he has to have a high and dry paddock where the ground is not all soggy from the rain.
Horses generally sleep standing up but as he gets older sometimes Flyby likes to have a little lie down or even a roll in the sand, but he is easy to tempt away from his nap by offering him an apple.
Choppa the One Eared Red Kangaroo
Choppa, our one eared, red kangaroo, came to Diamond Forest Farm Stay as a very young joey. He had been involved in an accident with a B-double semi-trailer truck while he was still in his mother's pouch. Because he was in his mother's pouch he was protected from a lot of injuries but he was still injured. He had lots of scratches and grazes and his tail and ear were badly damaged. Choppa was found by another truck driver who took to a Vet. The Vets managed to save his tail but not his ear, but they tidied it up so that it looked nice and neat.
Choppa is named after a famous biker, Choppa Reed, who had only one ear. The truck driver was unable to look after Choppa so he brought him to Diamond Forest Farm Stay. Choppa is a red kangaroo from the Port Hedland area. In Port Hedland area the dirt is red so Choppa would blend in to his environment.
Did you know?
Choppa’s favourite foods are fresh green grass, watermelon, carrots and carrot tops, kale, apples, grapes, papaya, corn, cherries and healthy greens.
Choppa has a specially built pen that he shares with Clancy, the orphaned grey kangaroo. Every morning the first stop on our daily animal feed is to go into the kangaroo pen and feed Choppa and Clancy. All of our guests can get up close to our kangaroos and give them a part. Just don’t pat Choppa on his head. He’s very sensitive about only having one ear!