Suc­cess­ful breed­ing

Country Smallholding - - Welcome -

Breed­ing live­stock is hugely ful­fill­ing and re­ward­ing, but it can also be heart­break­ing and even trau­matic when it goes wrong. Most small­hold­ers will have ex­pe­ri­enced these highs and the lows. There is a real sense of achieve­ment in help­ing to bring new life into the world, not to men­tion a sense of won­der and awe. When things don’t turn out well, how­ever, we can feel a tremen­dous sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity, as well as sad­ness and dis­ap­point­ment. This month we launch a new se­ries on suc­cess­ful breed­ing. It is writ­ten by Jack Smel­lie, who has a small­hold­ing in Devon. Jack is pas­sion­ate about her live­stock, and thinks deeply about the many is­sues in­volved in breed­ing. This is very ev­i­dent from her first fea­ture, on pages 8-11. Jack goes back to first prin­ci­ples, ask­ing why we choose to breed live­stock in the first place. For small­hold­ers, the rea­sons are of­ten com­plex. She also asks what con­sti­tutes suc­cess in this con­text. Again, the an­swers are not that sim­ple! We hope you en­joy this thought-pro­vok­ing new se­ries, and that it helps you as you bring new life into the world on your small­hold­ing.

Si­mon McEwan, Ed­i­tor

Jack Smel­lie with her two Boer goat nan­nies

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