The Top 5 reasons to desex your pets.

desex your petsIt might seem odd but desexing your pet can often be the best thing you can do for them.  It doesn’t make them unhappy but it does help to keep them safe.   Desexing has many health benefits as well as behavioural ones.  Take a look at our top 5 reasons to desex your pets.

  1. It keeps them from wandering.

Dogs and cats will both wander from home when they are looking for a mate.  A stray male can create many babies in just one night as he goes from female to female.  Even worse, though, is the risk he puts himself at by wandering around the streets. He could be hit by a car or captured by your local pet patrol (the better although more expensive option).

  1. Reduces the birth of unwanted animals

The RSPCA says that its shelters take in around 160,000 animals nationally each year, many of which are the result of unplanned breeding.

What do you do if you are landed with a litter of unwanted kittens or puppies?  You give them away and hope the new owner is a decent sort of person.  You give them to a pet shop to sell and hope that they will be cared for.  Or you dump them somewhere and pretend they didn’t exist.

Perhaps that’s not your sort of behaviour (thank heavens) but unwanted animals are a liability rather than an asset, and they can become “disposable”, a view which makes me angry and upset. If you don’t want your pets to have babies, desexing is a simple step to take.

  1. Decreases their desire to fight.

Often your pets will choose to fight to protect their mating territory, or keep other males away from their female mate. By desexing your pets you remove the need to fight over mating rights but you are also reducing production of the hormone which makes animals, especially males, aggressive.  If you have children at home, an aggressive pet is bound to be a problem at some stage.

  1. Stops them from making a mess at home.

Female pets leave little blood droplets when they are on heat, which can stain your floors and carpets.  Male pets choose to spray their urine around the house to mark their territories.  If they have not been desexed, the smell is much stronger and it’s difficult to remove the odour.  The smell of tomcat lingers for a long time and they manage to spray in the smallest and most hard to get to places….

  1. It’s good for their health.

The National Desexing Network says that there are many health benefits for your pets, including:

Reduced risk of getting cancer or other diseases of the reproductive organs, such as testicular cancer, prostate cancer/disorders in males, and cystic ovaries, ovarian tumors, acute uterine infections and breast cancer in females, and also other diseases like mammary cancer, perianal tumors and perianal hamias.

The cost of desexing your pet is probably far less than the price you might pay if they are not.

If you love your pets, please make the decision to protect and care for them.  Book an appointment with your local vet and have your pets desexed.


It’s shearing time.

sheep shearing This has been a busy month on the farm so far.  It is shearing season!

Mid to late spring is usually shearing time. Each year before the warm weather starts our sheep are shorn.  It’s important that they aren’t shorn too early in the year because it’s pretty cold when you go from wearing a thick woolly coat to wearing only your underclothes!

At the same time, we don’t want our sheep being exposed to the hot sun when they have just been shorn.

We also have to take into account the lambing season and the availability of shearers, too.

Yes, shearing time is busy.

It is not just our sheep who need to be shorn, either.  Our alpacas have a thick, woolly coat which requires shearing, too.  Shearing an alpaca is not as easy as shearing a sheep;  they are very talented spitters!

alpaca shearing

It is quite a spectacular sight when, as you stumble out of bed in the morning, you see a hillside dotted with glowing, white creatures.  Imagine how light on their feet they must feel after losing all that woolly weight!

Balancing earth and technology

All small business owners will tell you that it’s difficult to balance work and family life.  When you run a farm it is even more difficult, but luckily we like a challenge.

I would never say that I was on top of technology.  (Isn’t that what kids are for?)  Some days, though, technology is definitely on top of me.

Website security and upgrades, updating information, adding new information, sending out email newsletters, battling the email inbox…  Last week my phone decided to stop working and I lost some information that I needed.  These are just some of the things we work on as small business owners.

For us, there is the ongoing work with the farm and our gorgeous animal family.  Feeding, cleaning out their “bedrooms”, keeping them healthy, taking those that need it for their ‘haircuts and manicures” all soak up time but animals also love some company, even if they tell you otherwise.  They enjoy it when we spend time just talking to them.

Annie's Cedar Farm Cottages

We also have the cabins to maintain and keep spotless.  We like everything to be as perfect as we can make it for our guests so the gardens are weeded and trimmed, and the interiors of the cabins cleaned until they are immaculate.

Now, should I mention housework?  Hmm, perhaps not…

There are days when the computer crashes, the cows decide to calve and the kids need to be picked up from school all at the same time, but that’s life, isn’t it?

Why do we do what we do?

We love it.

There is nothing better than waking up here in peace and serenity, and starting the day off with a visit to the animals for a morning chat over their brekkie.  We love welcoming our fabulous guests and getting to know them.  It’s wonderful to watch the pleasure on their faces as they walk around the farm.

Living and working on a farm is a busy way to live but it’s a great place to bring up your children and let them learn about life from the grassroots up.

On the days when technology seems to be out to get me I remember that I have a good backup system and support team and built-in tech gurus called teenagers.

On the days when the animals seem to be more difficult than those teenagers I remember that they are all “human” too and we all have bad days.  A little extra TLC does wonders.

Above all, running a small business from home means that I can enjoy more time with my family in this wonderful place, and can create a home-away-from-home environment for you.

Come on over and meet the farm family.


Keeping our cows happy.

We love our animals and spend a lot of time caring for their health and happiness.

Some of our guests and children can be quite surprised at the amount of work involved in caring for farm animals, especially cows.  They think the cows look after themselves and feed from whatever they can find in the paddock.  If you are not familiar with farm animals, that is a logical conclusion.

In fact, there is not enough food in a paddock to feed cows for very long, despite the amount of grass that seems to be growing. Not all of the grasses are edible and some, like clover and bracken fern, can be quite dangerous to cows.  Some grasses are more nutritious than others, too.

That’s why farmers feed their cows every day.  We keep our cows healthy and happy by adding hay to their diets.  When you stay with us you can help us feed them.


Like any other animal, cattle need immunising against disease.  They have an immunisation schedule which begins in infancy, just like human babies do.

Our cows are also drenched periodically to help protect them against intestinal worms and parasites.

Lining up for drenching

The best way to tell that our cows are healthy and happy is to look at them.  You can tell if they are carrying too much or too little weight.  Changes in the texture of their coats will tell you that something is wrong so we check them regularly.  Our cows virtually tell us when they need extra help.

Cows are big, lumbering creatures with gentle faces and gorgeous big, brown, innocent eyes.  They wouldn’t hurt a fly and one of the things I love to do is to watch them with their young.  Cows have distinct “moo’s” and after a while it is clear when they are calling for their calves or telling us to bring out the hay!

When you stay with us at Annie’s Cedar Farm Cottages, you will be able to help us feed the animals and get close to them.  Working with these beauties is an experience you will never forget.