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  • Writer's pictureSylvia Manovski

Life on the farm

I moved from the suburbs to Gordon approximately 10 years ago and cherish the outdoors and the animals we care for. Living in the country allows for life at a slower pace; room to breathe in fresh air and appreciate the little things in life. Beautiful views. Peace, quiet and privacy. The joy of watching our native wildlife: the amazing number of different birds, the kangaroos in the back paddock, the odd koala strolling down the road and occasional visit from an echidna. And even the never ending number of rabbits that have brought a number of challenges to establishing and maintaining a garden!

Our first farm animals were Wiltshire sheep: 1 male (Baarney) and 1 female (Baarbara)

Five years down the track and numerous lambs later, we have sold off our rams and have kept 3 generations of female sheep – 5 in total. The beauty of having Wiltshire’s is that apart from being strong and healthy, and not needing treatments such as worming or tail docking, their wool actually falls off in spring/summer – so there is no need to shear them! Of course they do tend to look a bit scraggly with clumps of wool remaining until it all falls off, but the birds love collecting the wool that has rubbed off on trees and fences to use in their nests.

Our last 2 lambs were born in September 2019: twin lambs of which one was well undersize and abandoned by her mother. So this little munchkin came home with us for a few months, living in the garage until she gained enough weight (and needing numerous bottle feeds day and night).


Despite the odds, she made it……and is such a sweetheart! We named her Suzie, and she loves to have a cuddle, or follow you around whilst doing farm chores. She definitely is our favourite.


I’m not sure whether it was me or my husband, but with all our children now grown up and out of home, we must have been suffering from empty nest syndrome! – November 2020 saw us add goats, alpacas and miniature ponies to our farm animal family.

It began with our alpacas: Coco (male, dark brown), Api (female, white) and their offspring Teddy (light brown).

Coco, Api and Teddy

They definitely have distinct personalities: whilst all were quite shy at the start, Api is the most outgoing, and with consistent contact every morning, she is now eating treats out of a container I hold onto – I’m hoping she might let me give her a pat soon.

Coco is inquisitive, but still shy (and a bit of a sook) whereas Teddy is definitely in charge of his dad and bosses him around.

Api spends her time in the ‘female’ paddock with the sheep, and in particular can be found roaming around with Suzie, whereas the boy alpacas share space with our 2 male goats: Whitebeard and Blackbeard.

Whitebeard and Blackbeard

These two are as mischievous as you can imagine, and I spent the first few weeks chasing them around as they’d find any gap in the fence to escape. They seem to be quite settled now, and love to come over for some morning treats, and a rub on their noses.

Our last 2 farm animals are our beautiful girls: Princess and Betty.

Princess (grey) and Betty (black)

These two have spent most of their lives together – Princess is approx. 20 years old and Betty around 15 years, and we purchased them together from their previous owners who were no longer able to care for them. As with a lot of animals the smaller of the two, Princess, can be quite bossy (she lives up to her name!), especially with Betty. And Betty can be quite cheeky too. They love to test the boundaries when I bring in a new routine, but after a few days of teasing me, they are so well behaved.


My mornings are spent tending to chores – moving the ponies into a larger paddock for a few hours, feeding the alpacas and goats, checking water troughs and cleaning up horse manure. It’s a new morning routine which I absolutely love, and if you are staying at The Farmhouse, you are welcome to join me and see the animals.

They would love to meet you!


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