Meet the Farm Animals
Rare breeds and birds of prey at Mary Arden’s Farm
Make friends with Ellie the horse and our donkeys, Bill and Ben. There are also lots of rare-breed farmyard animals to meet as you explore the wider farm, including English Longhorn cattle, Cotswold sheep and our woolly Mangalitza pigs. Don’t forget to ask at the ticket desk for some special goat food to share with your new friends!
Meet the owls, hawks and falcons as we demonstrate the age-old art of falconry, a popular Tudor pastime and often featured in Shakespeare's plays.
English Goat Kids
We are delighted to announce we are expecting English goat kids in May 2020. Mary Arden's Farm have managed English goats for over a decade. English goats are a new breed on the Rare breed list this season. The English goat is the latest breed to join the Watchlist and, with fewer than 60 breeding females recorded for the 2019 English Goat Breeders' Association. It entered the list as a Category 1-Critical breed.
English goats originated in 1872 and have been a recognised breed from 1970. They are a beautifully marked breed, deer-like, often with shades of brown or grey. They have a spinal stripe (a dark line along the back) and similar markings on their legs and neck. We have two English goats on site 'Miranda' and 'Karen', both of whom are currently sporting an undercoat of soft cashmere for winter.
Mary Arden’s Farm borrowed a young male goat from an English goat breeder in Hereford last year. The male's visit has left Karen and Miranda expecting. Miranda herself being bred here.
Faye is a volunteer here at Mary Arden’s Farm and is a member of The English Breeders' Association. Faye is one of the farm's longest serving volunteers and can be found attending to the goats here regularly.
Of course the English goats join our other goats here, the Arapawa breed. Visitors can see Moth this year who was bred on site last year and is developing into a nice young goat. She is cute, friendly and children like her.
'English goats are really lovely, funny goats. They are very willing to interact with people and like children. Now that the breed is under the RBST umbrella we can raise awareness, increase demand for breeding stock and encourage the establishment of new herds. I'm pleased because it means we are securing the breed’s future for our children and our children's children.' Faye Mary's Arden's Farm Volunteer
Other new additions to MAF this year will include cute Portland lambs in spring. The Portlands are gorgeous sheep and do really well on the land here.
o The Portland is a typical representative of the old tan-faced sheep that was found throughout South West before the Roman invasion.
o The sheep were originally bred on the Isle of Portland and whilst the rest of the U.K. was experimenting with breed development, the sheep of Portland remained isolated.
o By the early 20th century the Portland was under pressure from other breeds and in 1920 the last Portland sheep left the island.
o The sheep’s small size and distinctive look have earned the breed many devoted admirers.
Discover a unique half day falconry experience with our expert Falconer. Fly beautiful owls and Harris hawks and learn about how their ancestors were used by the Tudors for hunting. For more information and prices please call 07736 524512
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