Burgess Farm’s animals are often the highlight of a visit to the farm. Personable, fascinating, friendly, and fun, they offer real-life examples of working farm animals in a safe setting. Read on below to learn more about the different types and breeds of animals that call Burgess Farm their home!
Our five goats are Nigerian Dwarf Goats, a miniature dairy breed that originated in Nigeria. Bred for small stature and friendly temperament, the goats are a perfect fit for an educational farm.
Our two oldest goats, Rosie and Anna, used to be dairy goats. Burgess Farm is their retirement home! Our three younger goats, Hulk, Gotye, and Kitten, are triplets who were born in 2012. The two males are neutered and the female is not suitable for breeding, so instead of earning their keep through breeding and dairy production, they help us clear brush (including poison ivy!) all over camp. We also compost their bedding and manure to make beautiful fertilizer for the garden.
Our three sheep are Jacob sheep, a breed whose origins may be up to 3,000 years old. Bred throughout the centuries for hardiness, black-and-white spots, and high-quality wool, they represent a true rare breed that is now making a comeback.
Our oldest sheep, Morgan, is a ewe (even though she has horns!); she was born in 2013. Sir Lamb-celot, who is mostly white with two large horns, and Merlin, who is mostly black with four horns, are both wethers (neutered males) and were born in 2014.
Each of our rabbits represents a different breed. Quercus is a Flemish Giant, a breed whose focus is on meat and pelt production because of their large size (they can reach up to 20 pounds fully grown). Chi is a Lionhead/Angora mix. Angoras are bred for their luxurious, long hair, which can be collected by brushing or shearing for use in spinning, weaving, and other fiber crafts.
Our flock of chickens represents a wide variety of heritage breeds chosen for good egg production, cold tolerance, and mellow temperaments. A few of our birds are lightweight, flighty breeds: they patrol outside of the coop for bugs to eat (including ticks!) but are capable of evading capture by the local coyote and hawk populations. Some examples of breeds in our flock include Golden Campines, Araucanas, Lakenveleders, Egyptian Fayoumis, and Cuckoo Marans.
Two of our ducks are Cayugas, a breed that originated in New York. We also have one Khaki Campbell, an excellent egg laying breed, and one Pekin, a breed of Chinese origin.
Our honeybees represent an integral part of sustainable agriculture: without their pollination efforts, we wouldn’t have many of our favorite fruiting plants! We have one observation hive (a small hive with glass sides), one commercial Langstroth hive, and one top-bar hive. All hive entrances are located in a fenced-in area for the safety of visitors to the farm.
Our farm cats help keep the local rodent population in check. They’re an efficient, organic, and human-friendly way to keep unwanted critters at bay!