A memorable stay on Landmeterskop

Dear Valerie

Thank you again so much for the most wonderful time spent on Landmeterskop farm.

Not only did Mila have a fantastic time but so did we. From the accommodation, to the Du Bois home styled cooking everything was delicious and beautiful.

We would also like to give Tsala a special mention… she had such a good way with Mila, always including her and making her feel part of the “group”.

We certainly will be returning with friends.

Gosh, was it hard waking up this morning and going to work.

I have attached a few pictures of our stay.

Regards

Nadine and Allan

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Heifer-calf on a lead… and new chicks!

The latest addition to our family of animals at Landmeterskop, a heifer-calf, normally hangs out with a flock of lambs and our chickens in the paddock nearest to the farmhouse. When the lambs were brought in to the craal to be weighed, “madam” came along. The workers couldn’t separate her from the lambs, as she simply stayed in the middle of the flock. Eventually Louis managed to get a lead around her neck, and she obediently followed him back to the paddock.

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Valerie also recently had to fetch new Leghorn chickens as most of our laying hens are a little over two years old and will now start to lay less eggs. The first 2 years of a hen’s life is her most productive. By the time she’s 5 years old she will only lay half as frequently as she did during her first 2 years. While Louis and Luca were “unloading” the new chicks and making sure that  they had food and water and were settling in, Jack and Jesse, kept a close watch!

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The names of our cottages

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At present Landmeterskop farm grazes 1000 ewes – Dormer crossbreeds which we breed for stock production. In winter oats, rye grass & clovers are sown as pasture and in summer these cultivated pastures have to be irrigated. Our two cottages are named after the Dormer and Merino sheep breeds.

DORMER

dormer

The Dormer was developed at the Elsenburg Research Station in the Western Cape by crossing Dorset Horn rams and German Merino ewes. Further development took place in co-operation with farmers in the Western Cape Province where winter pastures are used for slaughter lamb production. The first sale of Dormer rams was held at Elsenburg in 1947. A Dormer Breed Society was established in 1965 and the breed was recognised as a developing breed in 1970.

The dormer is a white-woolled mutton sheep with a sturdy frame – developed for the climatic and grazing conditions of the Western Cape. As a temperate climate breed, it is fairly widely distributed in the Free State and Gauteng Provinces.

Qualities

• An efficient producer of slaughter lambs off pastures

• high fertility

• excellent mothering ability

• long breeding season

• easy lambing

• multiple births – depending on the system of management

• quality mutton

Normal production environment

Natural and planted pastures in temperate climates.

Merino

merino

The SA Merino’s history can be traced back to 1789, when the Dutch Government donated two Spanish Merino rams and four Spanish Merino ewes to Col Jacob Gordon, the military commander at the Cape. Later introductions (1891 onwards) included American Vermont and the Australian Wanganella and Peppin merinos. It was soon clear that the Australian varieties were more suited to South African conditions and these formed the bulk of the merino imports in the early years. Selection for adaptive and functional traits over a period of 200 years led to the emergence of the South African (SA) Merino – a locally development breed that is on a par with the best of the world and that makes up over 50% (14 million) of the total number of sheep (25 million) in South Africa. The SA merino’s locally developed status is supported by the fact that it is the only sheep in the world that can produce 10-15% of its own live mass in clean wool.”

The SA Merino is found in the drier Northern Cape province, on the fertile lands of the winter rainfall areas of the Western Cape and in the Karooveld and Grassveld areas of the Eastern Cape and Free state. Wellknown Merino Breeders with large top quality flocks are also found in the East Griqualand of KwaZulu Natal and the most parts of Mpumalanga.

The merino is a unique dual-purpose breed, producing unequalled top quality medium to ultra-fine wool and marketable carcass from a wide spectrum of grazing/climatic conditions.

Normal production environment

Semi arid grassveld, The Karoo, Sour Grassland and semi intensive crop production areas, like the Overberg.

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Feeding time for some of the lambs on Landmeterskop!

Activities on Landmeterskop Farm

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Landmeterskop lends itself to long, leisurely walks or bike rides along the farm trails; swimming in the farm dam, and picnics along the dams or the perennial stream running through the farm. The more adventurous might want to walk amongst the fynbos growing naturally on the sandstone slopes of the mountain – many species of the Watsonia and Protea families, Leucadendron, Mimetes, Serruria, Leucospermum, Vygies (Mesembryanthemums), Brunia, Staavia, Pelargonuim, Oxalis, Adenandra, Erica family, Dischisma ciliatum, Selago, Lobelia family, Syncarpha family, Metalasia Gladiolus family. There are more plant species in the Overberg region than in the entire United Kingdom (a total of 2 500, of which 300 are endemic). Some areas have a higher density of plant species than the Amazon.

Apart from the fynbos, Landmeterskop is also a bird-lover’s paradise! Many of the 350 bird species of the Overberg could be seen or heard here: African Fish Eagles (Haliaeetus vocifer), Secretary Birds (Sagittarius serpentarius), Blue Cranes (Anthropoides paradiseus), Burchell’s Coucal (Centropus burchellii), Malachite Sunbirds, tits (tinktinkies), guineafowl, various owl species, Fiscal Shrikes, Cape Robin-Chats (Cossypha caffra), Bokmakieries (Telophorus zeylonus), Cape Bulbuls, Karoo Prinias, Protea Seedeaters, Cape Siskins, Cape Sugarbirds, Orange-breasted Sunbirds, Southern Tchagras, Victorin’s Warblers and woodpeckers. More common species include Bar-throated Apalis, Cape Batis, Cape Grassbirds and Swee Waxbills. Also expect to find a good selection of birds of prey such as Verreaux’s Eagles, Lanner and Peregrine Falcons, Rock Kestrels and a variety of accipiters such as African Goshawks, African Harrier-Hawks and Black and Little Sparrowhawks.