Bramble Gate is ideally located as it is just at the end of our street, hidden behind some trees and bushes. It gets its name from the bramble bushes that surround us, in fact we were quite over run with them when we first began! We didn't want to get rid of many of the bushes as they were at the heart of the land. A year into our 'hobby', and with more space, we decided to expand our little family.
Myself and my wife, Sharon, went on a pig handling course in 2011, and that was it; we fell in love with the Lincolnshire Curly Coat pig. By 2012 we had our own pair. The Lincolnshire Curly Coat were the perfect addition. We already had a passion for the rare, and they don't come rarer than that! The Lincolnshire Curly Coat were thought to be extinct for many years, until they made a reappearance not too many years ago. As a breed they need protecting, and we are proud to say we are part of their re-establishment within the UK.
By 2013 we were itching to expand further, and by chance we were asked how we felt about taking on a bunch of white Rhea. We jumped at the chance to give a home to these majestic birds. Smaller than the emu, but just as beautiful, they are a great addition to Bramble Gate. The addition of the rhea re-enforces our belief that rare, uncommon, yet extraordinary animals need preserving, and by breeding them here we get to add to their numbers, while learning so much about them.
Alice and Albert are our adult breeding pair of emus. They are where it all began, and we have to admit, they get a bit spoilt! We hatched them right here, and they are almost four years old now. They are both very tame, extremely nosey, and even more playful. They are very close, and to an outsider they might appear very similar. However we can instantly tell them apart; they have slight differences in appearance, and even bigger differences in personality.
Albert is more bold, and certainly more mischievous. You have to watch him; if something catches his eye, he will pinch it, especially if its shiny! He also likes to be centre of attention, and always has to be first under the sprinkler and first to feed.
Alice is a bit more shy, but loves a bit of fuss. At times she is happy to wonder around on her own, but it doesn't take too much encouragement from Albert for her to be causing some trouble as well!
Dotty and Mable, our two female Lincolnshire Curly Coat pigs, joined us nearly two years ago now. The two sisters were just two months old when they came to Bramble Gate. It was an exciting time for us getting these two happy little Curly Coats and the more we got to know them, the more our love grew. Like many pigs, they are very cheeky, and a bit greedy!
Mable is our swallow belly. Mable is the more chilled out of the two. She loves feeding time as its a chance to get her belly rubbed. Her favourite thing to do is collect clumps of mud and hide them in her bed!
Dotty, the blonde, is often a very naughty pig! She is very agile and its been a hard task trying to keep her penned in. She has no trouble jumping the fence, and once ate a whole row of newly planted fruit trees. Dotty loves cuddles but when she excited she has a tendency to push us over!
We have two male rheas and four females. The males, Roddy and Blanco are larger than the females, with a larger wing span. They all live happily together, and we hope to start breeding from them in the spring. As the rhea are our newest additions we are still getting to know them. They are still quite shy but they are slowly coming around, and are settling in well. We haven't named our female rhea yet as we want to get to know them first to make sure their names fit! We are very excited to see our rheas grow and certainly enjoy having these beautiful birds here at Bramble Gate.
We are particularly proud of what we have here at Bramble Gate as we built it all ourselves. From keeping chickens in our garden, to renting a small plot of land with hand built fencing, to moving where we are know, still building everything ourselves. All of our shelters, including our pig arcs were built right here, and we never waste anything. All our old fencing is recycled into something new, and there always seems to be something new that needs building. Or, if our pigs have been up to no good, there is always something to be fixed.
We also pride ourselves on being environmentally friendly and always strive to be ethical in everything we do. We are particularly aware of the many animals and creatures we are actually home too. When we first moved onto the plot we are on now, it was quite over grown. When we began work, we were concerned about the damage to existing habitats. To maintain these habitats, and encourage local wildlife to flourish, we surrounded ourselves with bushes and natural hedges, allowing mice and voles to burrow, while natural food grows to feed them and the wild birds. We also grow most of our fruit and vegetables here. We have a large vegetable plot that allows us to grow quality seasonal produce, which feeds us as a family, but also gives us fresh veg for the animals. Albert loves our fresh cabbages, and the pigs cant get enough of our pumpkins. Last summer our potato crop was particularly successful, producing some very large potatoes, and feeding us until the end of the year! When purchasing materials or food we are always keen to source locally in order to keep our community spirit alive, and support other businesses as they support us.
So, welcome to Bramble Gate! We hope this website provides you with an insight into our little business, and lets you see for yourself how rewarding these animals can be. Its not easy always easy taking care of so many, but we certainly enjoy the challenge. All our birds animals are hand reared, happy and healthy. They all come from quality trusted breeders and we provide them with a nurturing environment to ensure they want for nothing. Even though we are breeders, we see our birds and animals as part of our family and we can guarantee their welfare comes before profit.
So what is Bramble Gate?
Bramble Gate began as an unusual hobby and over the years has grown into a family run business that specialises in breeding Emus, Rheas, and the rare and distinctive Lincolnshire Curly Coat Pig. Based in the beautiful Lincolnshire countryside, Bramble Gate is a nurturing home for all of our striking animals.
The initial idea to purchase emu eggs came after we began to breed chickens and attend farmers markets and auctions. Once the idea came to us we couldn't shake it, and before we knew it, we had emu eggs on our hands. After purchasing all of the proper equipment we hatched off our eggs and Albert and Alice were here. As novices we spent a lot of time reading up on Emus and monitoring the chicks behaviour, and we learnt as we went along. We built the pens and shelters ourselves and no sooner than all the work was finished, we found ourselves needing to expand. This is when we purchased the land we are on now.