Although the farmyard has been closed to visitors over the winter, it's still been a busy time for us. As a working farm, as well as caring for our animals, we have been taking care of our equipment too; painting and wood preserving, servicing the farm vehicles and equipment, repairing rooves and making sure all of the animal enclosures are in good condition. The most exciting job so far has been placing our order of Easter eggs ready for the Easter Holiday!

The animals have all stayed here during the winter - the horses have new coats and are put indoors at night time, the guinea pigs have their own winter home, and the piglets have heat lamps to make sure they're cosy in the cold weather.

There's also some great news ready for when we open at half term: We had a litter of piglets born on 7 January, another last week, and some more due next week, so there will be lots of baby animals to see from 16-24 February.

For any budding farmers, we're offering some pig and chicken keeping courses during 2013, so check www.chatsworth.org/whats-on to see what's coming up. We also often have animals for sale at the farmyard - at the moment some Gloucester Old Spot cross pigs - so please contact us or look at the for sale board in the farmyard to find out more.

You can find out more about half term in the farmyard, which takes place from 16-24 February, at http://www.chatsworth.org/whats-on/events/half-term-opening-of-farmyard-and-adventure-playground

Cheryl Burfield
Education Co-ordinator, Farmyard

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