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 five 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 da 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 loves to swim, and his default setting is happy.
the four original goats came from a mountain village just across the valley from us (a 10min drive). The tribe has grown, changed, and been downsized, so now we have five female goats who (mostly) behave. 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. On good days, she helps us herd the goats, too!
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, and loves to play. She has impressed us with how independent she is, and how happy she is to stay home, a clear sign of JOMO (“Joy Of Missing Out”), a perfect complement to Mojito's FOMO.
appeared at the barn of a nearby glamping project where we were volunteering in summer 2017. They 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 here - hunting mice and voles and welcoming all the other animals - ever since.
We have six ducks, four females and two males. They are crosses between Khaki Campbell, Indian Runner, and Magpie. Their dawdle is irresistible, and we are always hoping for ducklings. Either way, we lov'em for their insect-eating and egg-laying skills.
Bonnie & Clyde hang out with the chickens and free-range their days away. They are excellent guard animals, eat lots of insects (including ticks & processionary caterpillars), 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).
The Pot-Belly Pigs
Miss Piggy & Bacon are two black and white pot-belly pigs we adopted. They are learning to free-range, and do wonders making our leftovers disappear. Jury's still out on whether they really are the smartest farm animal, but they are definitely cute!
Fuji the Cat
Fuji is a rescue who is just a little bit cross-eyed and was F's birthday present in 2020. After a rocky start, she and Murdoch are now besties - and we hope she'll turn into a hunting companion for him too (fingers crossed).