Friendly Farm Animals


This adorable creature, aptly named Gabby, accompanied me yesterday on a delightful trek around Gabby’s pastures, where a group of friendly farm animals live under the care and guidance of a lovely woman named Dotty. (I am in love with this cat.) As we wandered about the three acres of property Gabby would meander up to each place we stopped and give her version of who I was meeting. I found this very endearing.

How I came to be at the Friendly Farm Foundation on a grey winter day was that I became intrigued with a professionally painted sign in the back window of a vehicle just in front of mine recently. So intrigued, in fact, that I followed the vehicle into a parking lot, parked and jumped out to inquire of the emerging driver to please tell me what the Friendly Farm Foundation is! Dotty kindly took the time to explain that she owns a number of farm animals she takes around to schools, fairs and nursing homes so that folks who might not otherwise have access to meeting and learning about farm animals (that would be me, actually) have the wonderful opportunity to do so. While folks are not encouraged to hold the animals, they are encouraged to pet them. This entire concept captured my heart and imagination, so yesterday I rang and arranged for the tour. Here are the enchanting animals I met.

This is either Tom standing next to Tim or Tim standing next to Tom. He is a slate grey turkey, and immediately spread his tail feathers and ruffled them in my direction. “Should I be flattered?” I asked Dotty. He was cute. I had never seen a turkey with this coloration before. Have you? I’m used to wild turkeys.

Next to the turkey cage were the Shetland geese, Amos and Andy. Lots of boys.

I loved that all the animals had their own spacious living quarters, with sheds and lean-to’s to protect them from the elements. Every pen was clean and comfy.

Living next to the geese were the donkeys. (Imagine the cacophony of the sounds that emanate from cage to cage!) They were curious as donkeys tend to be and I found them very sweet as well.

Hello, sweetheart.

My next encounter was with this sheep, who has a face quite unlike sheep I’ve met before. He reminded me of a koala bear. Don’t you think?

Just beyond the sheep, who apparently had been “playing with the chickens” just prior to my arrival–wish I’d seen that!–were the pygmy goats!

Surprise, surprise! They are both pregnant. It takes five months for a goat to come to full term. Wow. All the goats I’ve met in the past were rather nosey. But this pair of friends were very respectful of my space as I was of theirs, even though I did enter their pen, once Dotty had reassured me they would not be butting or nosing me. Dotty clearly has carefully chosen the animals she introduces to the public.

We made our way through a large area that housed many kinds of hens and roosters. (Five roosters!) Rest assured I inquired whether any of the roosters were aggressive, not being naive to that possibility, but true to her word, all the roosters graciously allowed me to pass through unmolested. I was charmed to see a small grey hen moving quickly under the bushes with a tiny posse of babies trailing behind her, following her into the thicket, safely out of sight. These guys all made it into the lens of my camera, however.

These chickens remind me of some old Renaissance painting. Aren’t they beautiful?

This hen captured my attention for the intricate designs in her muted feathers. I’ve never seen a hen who looked like this before.

And look at this stunning fellow, a Black Brahma!

On the far side of the chicken yard was a large pen housing two very large cows. I was told they are Pinzgauers, which is a new name to me. They were both very imposing, but docile. This one is (strangely) named Shorty, and I learned that she, too, is very pregnant!

Dotty, who has been raising farm animals her entire life, informed me that she has helped deliver hundreds of sheep and cows and goats. I’m trying to imagine what my life would seem like if I had that under my belt. She is one of the earthy, practical, amazing women who can midwife birth, even difficult births. I am in awe of such women.

Rounding out the tour we passed back through the barn where two lovely soft rabbits live, named Bunny Foo, a mini-Rex and Boscoe Bunny, a mini-Lop. Here they are.

This is the softest animal I have ever touched in my whole life. Delicious experience!

As we stepped outside the barn Dotty introduced me to the trailer into which all these animals get loaded up to make their trips out into the world, introducing people of all ages to the lovelihood that is all things animal. Quite amazing, actually. I am curious and fascinated that the destiny of this particular group of animals is to bring joy and comfort to people. Domestication is a long road I do not take for granted.

Ending my tour where I began, I bade farewell to the companionable dear Gabby and her Mommie, the very hospitable Dotty. Thank you so very much for the most delightful winter day!

Love and animal blessings,
Kathryn xoxoxo

22 Responses to “Friendly Farm Animals”

  1. What fun, mom! They’re adorable!! The markings on that hen are Gorgeous, and the bunnies are super cute! What a Lovely tour!

    Love you,

  2. Hi, Antonia! So glad you enjoyed the afternoon’s adventure! Thank you! Love, Mom xoxox

  3. All animals you met and presented to us, are so cute. Simply adorable. I am considering taking few hens, but I am not sure if I am ready for this kind of challenge.
    Snow seems to melt finally.

  4. Good morning, dear Ewa! I had a rooster and a hen once. I LOVED them! The biggest challenge was keeping them safe from predators. They lighted up my life from day to day in the garden. I recommend trying! You can always rehome them if it doesn’t work. ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy hen! Kathryn xoxo

  5. This brought a smile. Really enjoyed the tour!
    Love the image of the bunny, and that is some cat! I just love that expression. The chickens do look like a painting. I can just see their movement in that image. All the animals look so happy, like the goats and the beautiful cow.

  6. Hi, Philip! They really were fun to visit. And, yes, that cat is amazing! Very talkative. I’m guessing a bit of Siamese in her line, as much as she doesn’t look like it. She acts like it. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s gratifying to see animals being happy and well cared for. Always. Kathryn xoxo

  7. I dare anyone to scroll through those photos and not end up with a smile on his or her face. Such fun. I saw the donkey and thought, Oh, that’s my favorite. And then I encountered the pygmy goats and then the bunnies. Well, they’re all equally appealing. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. Good morning, Judy! Welcome. And thank you. Yes, this is actually a post one could turn to again and again and end up with the corners of one’s mouth turned upward, I do believe! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
    Kathryn xoxo

  9. This reminds me of a childrens’ petting zoo. I love the brown rabbit.

  10. Hi, Donna! Yes, this is very much like a petting zoo model, though expanded to include folks of all ages. I’m certain there are “studies” out there that verify that all human beings benefit from contact with loving, lovely animals. I’m sure you agree! ๐Ÿ™‚ And the brown bunny is wonderful. I wish I could enable my readers to feel his soft fur! (Wouldn’t that be clever??) Kathryn xoxo

  11. Aw, thanks for sharing! All so cute. I want to steal that cat, a rabbit, and a goat, please. I have a cat that’s Siamese and Calico, and I’m sure she and Gabby could have quite a conversation!

  12. Hi, Jennah! Welcome! Menu of Animals! LOL! Yes, I understand! Glad you have a fuzzy soft companion in your life, too. Kathryn xoxo

  13. I am in love with them all. They are so sweet and well cared for. That donkey has the most expressive eyes. You did a great job taking their photos.~~Dee

  14. Awww. Hi, Dee. I’m so happy you loved them all. And thank you for your kind acknowledgment of my photos. ๐Ÿ™‚ Kathryn xoxo

  15. Gorgeous! I love the turkey… such great color!

  16. Welcome Dirty Girl Gardening! I’m fascinated that we all seem more drawn to one or another animal. It makes sense, but I’m still kind of pondering that fact. ๐Ÿ™‚ The turkeys were interesting, for sure. Thanks for the visit! Kathryn xoxo

  17. meow, cockle-doodle-doo, eeee-aaaaw, mooooh, cwack-cwack! Great animal pics, Gabby’s a great looking specimen! Cheers~

  18. Welcome, Gilbert Landscaping! Aren’t you too funny?? ๐Ÿ™‚ And thanks! Kathryn xoxo

  19. What a great idea! I think I’ve fallen in love with the donkeys!

    ….and thanks to the bit about the rabbits, I now have the daft children’s song ‘Little Bunny Foo Foo’ going round in my head *sigh* ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Hi, Liz! The donkeys were very sweet, for sure. I may have to google “Little Bunny Foo Foo” now. Oh, yes, I will! ๐Ÿ™‚ Kathryn xoxo

  21. Hi, I had so much fun with your adventure. I felt like I was meeting them all as well. I love the way you write! Thank you for sharing!

  22. Hi, Christi,and welcome! Glad you enjoyed the romp! Kathryn xoxo

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