Relaxed smallholding courses
Relaxed smallholding courses
Relaxed smallholding courses
Home Why come on a Smallholding Course? The Courses Bookings Meet the Animals Accommodation Admin & Terms
Home Why come on a Smallholding Course?
The Courses Bookings
Meet the Animals + Read the Blog Admin & Terms
Relaxed Smallholding coursesThe Courses
We currently offer three courses as outlined below.
Please fill in the form on our Bookings tab to book your place: it's that simple.

The Relaxed smallholding courses are delivered with passion, commitment and rigour, alongside a healthy
dose of fun!


'You were a mine of information and frankly, inspirational' - Sarah, Devon
A smallholder life for me: 1 and 2 day courses. Your introduction to becoming a smallholder*. Full details

Perfect for the would-be/about-to-be smallholder all set to live the dream: a course to inspire and give you both knowledge and confidence.

Dates for 2019
1-day, Saturdays: 25th May, 22nd June, 28th Sept
2-day weekends: 27th/28th April and 27th/28th July

Price: £80pp 1-day/£150pp 2-day, including lunch and snacks

Choosing your livestock: what, why and how many!!! Knowing which animals are right for you and your land! Full details

Designed for people looking to get their first animals or expand their livestock types: this course will provide support and guidance in making the right choices.

Dates for 2019
(Saturdays): 18th May, 24th August

Price: £80pp, including lunch and snacks

Passionate about Poultry: focusing on chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese, it all starts with the egg!! Full details

Learn how best to keep what is often the smallholder's first choice in livestock, looking at all aspects of care including feeding, shelter, health care and hatching.

Dates for 2019
(Saturdays): 4th May, 15th June, 31st August

Price: £80pp, including lunch and snacks

*PLEASE NOTE: A smallholder life for me courses, 1 day courses also available to book through DASH (Devon Association of Smallholders) on these dates:
Dates for 2019, 2nd Saturday of each month: 9th March/ 13th April/ 11th May/ 8th June/ 13th July/ 10th August/ 14th September/ 12th October
Please book direct via their website: DASH members will receive a discount
.
A smallholder life for me: 1 and 2 day courses. Your introduction to becoming a smallholder.

Relaxed Smallholding coursesGrowing your own, reconnecting with nature, owning a few chickens or even a pig, being self-sufficient (and self-reliant): all these are really healthy and exciting reasons for wanting to become a smallholder. A lot of people seem to dream about it at some stage in their lives: for us it was the retirement dream that we ended up bringing forward – by about twenty years!!!

A smallholder needs to balance the thrill and excitement of managing one's own land with a healthy dose of realism about both one's abilities (physical and mental) as well as the size of wallet!! And by land we mean anything from a bit of garden to several acres. (Interesting fact: we actually worked harder farming one acre than we now do on ten!!).

‘A smallholder life for me’ takes you on a journey that will try to help you turn your dreams into a way of life!

Relaxed Smallholding coursesWe begin by discussing the reasons why you want to become a smallholder alongside why you think it will work, the skills you (and your family) might need and why it is a good idea to be aware of both the potential rewards and problems: not enough eggs in the winter, too many in the summer; too wet in the winter, too dry in the summer...

We will also talk through the legal side of it all, the paperwork, what to look for in a smallholding, the kind of features that need to be in place/get sorted fairly quickly (fencing, fencing and then a bit more fencing!), housing, how to source livestock and basic livestock requirements.

We discuss the ideal starting points (chickens, a polytunnel, a cow!!) and when to begin, how your initial plans will be led by the time of year you move, what kinds of decisions you will need to make sooner rather than later AND get right – putting your first muck heap in the wrong place is not to be recommended! We also look at basic tools and equipment.

Relaxed Smallholding coursesWe will walk round the smallholding in order to meet all our wonderful animals and discuss all the above in situ - and yes we will show you the muck heap we had to move, TWICE - as well as all the lovely new field shelters we had built in the first three months and without which we could not have got through our first winter!! We aim to tailor the course to the particular situations and expectations of the participants so when you book, do please give as much detail about yourself as you can.

The 2-day course does all of the above PLUS we cover these additional topics in more detail: animal handling (moving from field to field, enclosing in small space for examinations, restraining etc), health (worming protocols, use of antibiotics, preventative approaches), husbandry (day to day care, feed and forage, mucking out) and keeping mixed species. Day two will be a little more practical and will involve some or all of the following (weather and animals permitting): moving stock, hoof trimming, health checks, body condition scoring of livestock, feeding, observing normal animal behaviour.

You will hopefully leave inspired and brimming with confidence and, we really hope, with a promise to keep in touch to let us know how you get on!!
Choosing your livestock: what, why and how many!!! Knowing which animals are right for you and your land!

Relaxed Smallholding coursesYou may have started with chickens (most of us do), you may have inherited a couple of sheep, or you may, as yet, have nothing, not even bought or rented your land… so how do you decide what livestock will suit you and your acreage AND know which species can live happily together (or not).

This course will introduce you to our fabulous range of stock: Dexter cows, Badger Face and Shetland sheep, Dairy and Boer goats, pigs (depending in time of year), alpacas and poultry (chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys) and teach you a little bit about each species: behaviour, handling, housing requirements, land requirements, health and husbandary (including vets), feeding and daily care.

Meeting the stock will allow you to consider the reasons WHY you might want that particular animal: are you interested in the produce (meat, milk, eggs, wool etc). Relaxed Smallholding coursesDo you want animals simply to graze your land? Will your animals be considered pets and/or must they all have a ‘purpose’? Do you want to develop your own breeding programmes?

We will also look at which animals can happily mix or not and how best to manage owning more than one species.
When you book this course you will be asked to rate each animal type according to your level of interest in them so that we can then focus on the animals most attendees are keen to meet and learn more about!

Why not read about our animals on the Relaxed At Home Smallholding Blog BEFORE you sign up. We are also happy to receive specific questions from you at the time of booking which we will then do our very best to answer on the day!!!
Passionate about Poultry: focusing on chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese, it all starts with the egg!!

Relaxed Smallholding coursesKeeping poultry is magical and the beauty of it is you can begin small and simple: maybe with a few rescue hens to give you a few eggs, and then once you get 'hooked', there are so many possibilities! Here on the Relaxed Smallholding, we keep and breed four species of poultry: chickens (many varieties), ducks, geese and turkeys and they all free range together. Pretty much all our birds are named so on our poultry course we will take you on a very personal journey!

The day will cover: housing, feed, handling and behaviour and how best to run mixed species together. We will also look how to choose the birds you want and the differences between some of the breeds, e.g. most domestic ducks don't fly well but Muscovies (our ducks) do. Chickens vary hugely from breed to breed, some are more flighty, some are great broodies, some are better layers than others. It is important to know WHY you want birds and so then find a breed that suits your needs/wants. We will also discuss predator control and common health issues.Relaxed Smallholding courses

Finally, we will briefly look at breeding: how to select ‘good’ hatching eggs, the use of the incubator V the broody, hatching and looking after the chicks – with luck and good planning, there will be chicks/ducklings/goslings available to see and handle!

Why not read about our birds on the Relaxed At Home Smallholding Blog BEFORE you sign up. We are also happy to receive specific questions from you at the time of booking which we will then do our very best to answer on the day!!!

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