have been part of the picture since the early days. They live in a cool, fox-proof mobile chicken coop Francois built. I’m not introducing them by name because they free-range and that has lead to a higher turnover than we care to admit. Currently, we have three chickens and a rooster (he's a singer, that one!), and one of our chickens lays beautiful green eggs (yes, it’s a thing).
was one of 11 puppies looking for a home just on the other side of the Serra de Estrela. We answered a Facebook post, drove over, and came home with a little furball of love and mischief. He’s clever, cheeky, and tries to come with us everywhere as he suffers from total FOMO (“Fear Of Missing Out”). Mojito is also a wonderful big brother and protector, tireless in how he watches over his home and tribe.
the four original lady goats came from a mountain village just across the valley from us (a 10min drive) and have been entertaining us ever since. The tribe has grown through births, a male kid swap, and two new goats we got from friends. One day we hope to add goat cheese to the list of things we know how to make delicious quantities of.
Cleo, short for Cleopatra, is a Mirandese donkey - a Portuguese breed from the North (but not beyond the wall), whose fluffy coat does wonders against the cold and to make them look adorable. She’s young, feisty, and loves to cuddle. Ludwig van B. (aka Ludwig) arrived a grumpy old man, and was worn down by Cleo into becoming part of a duo. He’s a working donkey who knows how to pull a cart and plough a field, and we think he’s about 15 years old.
was one of 11 puppies found abandoned one day when we went mushroom hunting! We adopted her and took the rest of the puppy litter to the kennel in Guarda. She’s feisty, loves to play as much as her big brother Mojito, and is growing faster than we can keep track of. She has impressed us with how independent she is, and how happy she is to stay home even if we leave - a clear sign of JOMO ``the Joy Of Missing Out`` which is a perfect complement to Mojito's FOMO!
appeared at the barn of a nearby glamping project where we were volunteering in summer 2017. They already had enough cats, and he won us over with his knob of a curly tail and friendliness. He moved to our little piece of paradise with us, and has been there - hunting mice and voles as well as to welcome all the other animals - ever since.
We have four ducks, three females and a (lucky) male. They are crosses between Khaki Campbell, Indian Runner, and Magpie. Their dawdle is irresistible, and we are hoping for ducklings soon! Either way, we lov'em for their insect-eating and egg-laying skills.
This breeding pair of Guinea Fowl will soon be free-ranging alongside the rest of the Cramooz Tribe. They are excellent guard animals, eat lots of insects (including ticks... death to ticks!), and are delicious to eat - though we won't be testing that theory unless they start breeding like rabbits.
After we learnt about this old tradition of having goldfish in horse water troughs to keep them cleaner, we recently added two koi fish to one of our open water reservoirs. That way, they can add a splash of color while eating all those pesky mosquito larvae (nobody likes those, even though I am sure they play an important role in the ecosystem too).