CRITTON CREEK FARM


 

Critton Creek Farm (CCF) raises and sells hardy pureblood Spanish goats and high-quality Savanna crosses. Our herd rotates through rolling pastureland in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, 30 miles southwest of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. The goats feed on a mix of native grasses, legumes, vines, and briars, with hay and grain provided as needed through the winter.

Our breeding program aims to produce large, hardy kids with distinctive breed characteristics who promise to be good mothers or productive bucks. In our Spanish herd, we breed composites, blended from Valera, Smoke Ridge, and Weinheimer. In our cross herd, we use Savanna bucks with both Spanish and cross-bred does.

Our kidding season started in early April this year (2014). We expect to have about 65 kids for sale - a mixture of pureblood Spanish and Savanna-Spanish crosses. Please go to our pages describing our Spanish goats and Savanna crosses to learn more about our herd. Check out our photo page to see our herd sires and some of our 2013 bucklings and doelings.

If you are interested in strengthening your meat goat program with hardy does or bucks at reasonable prices, helping preserve heritage breeds, managing your land in an environmentally friendly way, or just adding an attractive and fun animal to your property, please contact us.

Looking Back, and Ahead

CCF began operations in 2009 with the goal of building a distinctive herd of high-quality Spanish and Savanna purebloods who could rotate sustainably through our pastures and be managed selectively using on-farm productivity testing. By the end of 2010, our herd had grown to more than 40 goats and we had sold all of the available kids and adults. Since 2011, we have focused on developing a strong Spanish composite goat by strategically mixing three strains (Valera, Smoke Ridge, and Weinheimer). The resulting kid crops have demonstrated the benefits of hybrid vigor: Our Spanish newborns consistently exceed our expectations in size, hardiness, and coloration.

In 2014, we will continue to breed Spanish goats and begin to diversify our livestock by investing in heritage cows (registered Irish Dexter Low Lines) and heritage hogs (registered Tamworths). We also are strategically thinning our woodland to create a series of small cleared spaces that will host new undergrowth and contain clumps of oak, hickory, and other hardwoods ("pasturettes," as we call them). We will rotate our goats, cows, hogs, and horses through these spaces, abutting forests, and traditional pastures. Our goal is twofold: to provide a naturally diversified food source for our livestock and to reap the ecological benefits of rotating multiple species through multiple environments.

In late 2014, we will be selling registered Tamworth piglets, as well as our goat kids. And in 2015, we expect to have for sale next year's crop of Spanish kids, several registered Dexter calves, and more registered Tamworths. If you are interested in any of these wonderful heritage animals, please check this home page later this year, or contact us by phone or email.

To learn more, you can reach us by telephone (304-947-5229) or email (pireys@earthlink.net).

Photos © 2010-2014. Lynn Golemon, Priscilla Ireys, Henry Ireys or Joe Razes.

 

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Priscilla and Henry Ireys    Critton Creek Farm    Rt 1, Box 174    Paw Paw, West Virginia 25434

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