Farmyard Friends

Posted in Education, Experience, Farms & Agriculture, Pineland News & Events on

A 2 hour Farm Pass is needed to access both our Farmyard (Educational Venue) and Valley Farm (Working Dairy Farm) for a self-guided tour and to meet all the farm animals. The farmyard is open daily year round from 9am-3pm with laying hens, goats, sheep, potbellied pigs and peafowl as year-round residents and an engaging outdoor play area. Beginning in mid-May and continuing through September, we welcome a wider variety of animals from local farms to our pastures including alpaca, pigs and more. In June, July and August of each summer we offer educator led hourly activities in the farmyard, some of which could include hand milking a Holstein cow, collecting chicken eggs or meeting the sheep. To learn about different farming methods, animal jobs and products, or ask us your farm animal questions, Contact Education at education@pinelandfarms.org or 207.650.3031.

Here are some of the Farmyard Friends you’ll meet any time of year:

Clover

Born 5/2/2016
Vietnamese Potbellied Pig

Clover loves to be patted and scratched and especially loves belly rubs. He has much less white on his face then Willow. They both love pumpkins, carrots, apples and more! Together they can devour a small pumpkin in less than 5 minutes.

Potbellied pigs are descendants of the wild boars of Europe, they migrated to East Asia where they adapted and became smaller than their cousins.

 

 

 

 


Willow

Born 6/5/2018
Vietnamese Potbellied Pig

Willow likes to be near us but she is shy and doesn’t want to be patted. When Willow and Clover are not rooting around in their pen or looking for attention they can be found snuggling in their hay bed. Sometimes they burrow so deep in it that you can’t even see them.

Potbellied pigs are popular pets due to their pleasant disposition, small size and ability to bond with humans. They can be house trained, learn tricks and are almost odor-free.

 

 

 

 


Peach

Born 4/6/2019
Katahdin Ewe

Peach came to us in December 2020.  Her roommate is Francine. They were a little nervous when they first met but soon became best friends. Peach loves chin and nose scratches. She likes the occasional snack as well, either a small handful of grain or some baby carrots.

The Katahdin breed was developed in Maine. They are a hair breed, so instead of growing a thick wool coat she has a short dense hair coat. She does not need to be sheared, her hair will naturally shed in the spring.

 

 

 


Francine

Born 3/23/2019
Finnish Landrace Sheep

Francine loves to be the center of attention. She is often right at the fence of her pen looking for pets from us and visitors. As soon as you stop petting her or if you’re in the barn and not paying attention to her she will Baa very loudly until you turn your attention to her. She is very bonded with us and loves when we go in her pen and sit with her. She will sit beside us and lay her little head on our laps.

Finnish Landrace or Finnsheep, were first imported from Finland to North America by the University of Manitoba, Canada in 1966.The breed is considered to be several hundred years old, descending from the mouflan that live in the wild on Sardinia and Corsica, They are also said to be related to other Scandinavian short-tailed sheep.

 


Pherdinand

Born 4/15/2019
Shetland Sheep

Pherdinand and Phineas are brothers and best friends. Pherdinand has a slightly darker face and dark horns. They both are a little more shy than our other sheep but can be won over with a couple treats and chin scratches.

Phineas and Pherdinand came from “A Wing & A Prayer Farm” of Shaftsbury, VT. Shetland sheep are a small breed that produce a beautiful high-quality fleece every year. Their fleece comes in 11 colors.

 

 

 


Phineas

Born 4/15/2019
Shetland Sheep

Phineas has a lighter nose & lighter horns. Phineas and Pherdinand absolutely love when it’s their turn to be outside in the pasture and really enjoy running around with Peach and Francine. They are both wethers.

Phineas and Pherdinand have small spiral horns. Only male sheep grow horns. Their horns will not be full grown until they are 3 years old. Shetland Sheep originate from the Shetland Islands in Scotland. They will grow to be 90-120 lbs. Shetland sheep produce 2-4 lbs. of fleece every year. They can be sheared once or twice a year depending on the farmers preference.

 

 


Puck

Born 3/18/2019
Oberhasli Goat

Puck is dark reddish/brown and has a black stripe down the center of his back. He is the only boy in our goat herd. Puck is very friendly and loves to be near everyone; goat or human. Like Tansy, he loves all treats and is also very fond of chin and neck scratches. If you stop petting him before he’s ready to be done, he will pick up one of his front hooves and gently pat you on the leg until you resume petting him.

Oberhasli are an American breed of dairy goat with gentle dispositions. Puck will grow to be 30-34 inches tall at the withers and 150 lbs.

 

 


Tansy

Born 3/30/2019
LaMancha Goat

Tansy looks different from our other three goats because she appears to not have any ears. This is a characteristic of her breed; all Lamanchas are born with very short or no ears. Tansy is the youngest but biggest goat in our herd. We refer to her as the Herd Queen as she seems to be the boss in the goat pen. We have yet to find a treat that she won’t eat. In the winter, Tansy and Puck love to go outside and run in fresh snow.

She will grow to be about 28 inches at the withers and 130 lbs. The goats here at Pineland Farms serve two purposes, to teach our guests about goats and the products that can be made from their milk and to keep our pastures under control.

 

 


Basil

Born 3/11/2019
Nigerian Dwarf

She is all black with a large white spot right on the top of her head. Basil is the most calm of our goat herd. She is often found lounging on top of any of the toys in the goat pen, peacefully chewing her cud. Unlike our other three, Basil is not a big fan of the snow and would rather stand in the doorway watching the others play than join in. In the summer and fall though she is always outside with her buddy, Poppy.

Nigerian Dwarf goats produce about 2 quarts of butter fat rich milk a day. Considering their small stature that is quite a lot of milk!

 

 


Poppy

Born 3/5/2019
Nigerian Dwarf Goat

She is black with tan spots, which are called “moonspots”. She is the oldest, yet smallest of our herd. Poppy is a little more adventurous than Basil. She loves to jump in the wheelbarrow when we are cleaning out the goat pen in the mornings. She is very independent and is the only one of the herd who you will sometimes find out in the pasture alone while everyone else is inside.

Both Basil and Poppy, are often mistaken for baby goats because of their small size but they are actually almost full grown. They both love treats, like Tansy and Puck, but are a little more selective about which ones they will eat.

 

 


Zeus

Born 4/2016
Indian Blue Peacock

Zeus is full grown. This year his tail will be 5-6ft long. Every fall, Zeus goes through a process called molting, this is when all of his tail feathers fall out so he can grow new ones. For the first 4-5 years of his life his tail gets longer after each molting. You have the best chance of catching him with his tail up or hear him honking if you visit anytime from April to August.

 

 

 

 


Hera

Born 5/2016
Indian Blue Peahen

Hera is full grown. Most peahens are brown and look more like turkeys, however as you can see Hera is all white. This is because of a genetic mutation called leucism, which means that her feathers lack melanin. We think it makes her look like she’s always wearing a wedding dress. Just like our chickens, Hera lays eggs. She lays eggs from April to August. Her eggs are all white and are about twice the size of our chicken eggs.

 

 

 

 


Our farmyard flock of chickens

Our farmyard flock of chickens has 14 hens that are 5 different breeds. We have Cochin, Polish, White Sultan, Ameraucana and Cuckoo Maran with some new additions coming later this spring!

Our Ameraucanas are medium sized chickens that are various colors. Extra feathers under and beside their beak gives them the appearance of a beard and sideburns. They lay small to medium sized blue/green eggs. Yolko Ono is one of our favorites. She has white and gray feathers.
White Sultans are the smallest of our chickens. All white feathers cover their body and feet and they have a small crest of feathers on their head. Slug, the very smallest of our chickens lays two very petite all white eggs a week! When the chickens are free ranging in the farmyard Slug doesn’t go too far. She is most often found lying in the grass sunbathing right out front of their coop.
Yolko Ono, Slug, Nugget, Survivor, Avalanche, Dolly Parton, Evelyn, Loretta Lynn, Temple Grandin, Mavis Staples, Bianca Jagger, Frida Kahlo, RBG and Jane Goodall

Our production flock of chickens

Our production flock of chickens has 200 hens and they are all Golden Comets. Each one of the hens lays one medium sized brown egg about every 26 hours, so each day our farm educators collect 200 eggs that get processed and sold at our Market!

Golden Comets are a hybrid breed created by crossing a New Hampshire Red rooster with a White Rock hen. This pairing makes a highly productive and very hardy breed of chicken. They are very popular among farms not only because of their high egg production but also because they are a sex-link breed. With most chicken breeds, you have to wait until they are 4-5 months old before you can tell the difference between the males and females. The Golden Comets however, you can tell right away when they hatch because the males and females are different colors.

Our chickens have a spacious coop where they nest, eat, and rest, and they also have an outside pasture where they can go hunt for bugs and worms, and enjoy the sunshine. Every night our educators make sure all the chickens are tucked inside the coop and close their outside door to keep them safe from predators. Another form of predator control that we use for our chickens is Harold, the decoy owl. Harold is moved around the perimeter of the fence tops to keep the resident red-tailed hawks away. Important members of the ecosystem, hawks and other birds of prey help control mice and voles populations on farms. However, hawks often threaten chickens, ducks or other fowl because they are such keen predators.

In order to maintain our high egg production, we introduce new chicks to our flock yearly. They will arrive on the farm at only a few days old and when they are 16-18 weeks old they will begin laying eggs. Within a month of starting to lay eggs, they will be at peak production.  Keep an eye out later this year for updates on when our new Golden Comet chicks will be arriving.

Schedule your 2 hour visit to the farm so you can meet all our hard-working hens and even take home some of their eggs from The Market.


 

 

Share this: