About The Manor
Hey there, I’m Katie, and I am 1/4 of the Clan of Craft that makes up Craftmade manor. The other 3/4s are my husband and two children. We started our farm because we wanted to know exactly where our food was coming from. It was sparked with a desire of being more self-sufficient as a family (with a smidge of anarchy thrown in), and probably like every other backyard farm, started with chickens. We started with a small group of around 15 and included a rooster since, the whole point of being self-sufficient is to be able to keep your stock, flock, seeds, etc. going without having to go to an outside source. From there, our love for what we started grew. Soon we were growing a fairly large garden in the summertime and then we made the leap from easy, barnyard chickens to actual livestock and specialty chickens; Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats and English Orpington chickens.
We chose these breeds for their ability to meet our needs of self-sufficiency, but also fit our "small size" (plus they are really cute). While we still maintain our "barnyard flock" to provide eggs for our customers, our Orps are a passion for us. These big, beautiful birds are very gentle and look like fuzzy beachballs when fully grown. We breed many colors including Black, Blue, Splash, and Chocolate. While they take a little longer to mature than our standard American breeds, they are worth every minute of the wait. We have bred and raised these birds for the last 6 years and have learned many new things since we started. My husband used to show poultry, so we use his knowledge to make sure we are breeding our birds to meet English standards.
When we first started looking at Nigerian Dwarfs, we noticed that there were two ways to purchase these animals; unregistered and registered. We decided to get registered animals because we are the type of people who when we do something, we want to do it to the best of our ability and knowledge; and that was with registered animals. So, our first step after the purchase was looking into the ways to showcase our animals, and those ways for us are Linear Appraisal and DHIA Milk Test. From our first Linear Appraisal, we were hooked on finding out what makes a Nigerian Dwarf stand out among the rest of the breed.
In 2019, we started DHIR Milk Test and were shocked to find out that some of our girls were awarded Superior Genetics (SG) designations! I mean, this is kind of what we were hoping for subconsciously, but in reality, I didn't think we would make that level of quality so soon. So when we found out this led to a whole new level of information that we needed to learn so that we could make informed decisions about our breeding program and animals going forward. Let me tell you, learning what those designations meant and how we needed to use this information to improve our herd was intimidating, to say the least! After doing a TON of research and talking to our mentors about what this new information meant for our herd, we made the plunge and started to look at buying a buck. In the past, we have always leased bucks as opposed to keeping any onsite, so finally deciding to buy one was a little scary for us.
Our vision for our farm is to see our animals bring joy to their new owners and our farm goods to help people know the animals that make their food. We are in the process of adding milk herd shares, goat cheeses (I can't wait to start making this), and produce from our garden. While we test as Owner-Sampler for our milk test category, I am a certified tester and they are not always easy to find near you, so we offer DHIA Testing services to our surrounding area for both Langston DHIA, Lancaster DHIA, and Diary One DHIA associations. We also are always open to any questions about our animals, our way of life, and any services or products we offer; if you have any, please don't hesitate to ask!