Ten minutes into my first farm tour of Antiquity Oaks, I noticed something was different. We had walked into the first pasture and goats pranced over to greet me. Then, in the mud pen, a pig approached me. When I bent down to acknowledge her, the pig fell down on her side. Deborah said, “Oh, she just loves it when you to scratch her belly.” We walked around for a few more minutes and I noticed a cow following close behind. When I stop, the cow comes in close- like she was going to kiss me. Deborah says, “Oh, she just thinks you’re going to hand feed her hay.”
I had to ask: “Deborah, how is it that your animals are so friendly?” It turns out that each spring Antiquity Oaks brings in WOOFers to care for the newborn farm animals. Generally, it’s college students who want to learn more about farming/homesteading and Antiquity Oaks shows them the ropes, which happens to include lots of time sitting with the newborns in the barn. In the process, the animals learn to love human contact.
That said, not all of the grown animals come cozying up to me. The ducks, chickens, pheasants, turkeys mostly keep their distance. The sheep in the pasture do come greet me, but the llama (their protector!) makes sure I know who’s in charge. Note: Picture of Deborah and her kids.
P.S. The old farm horse is as gentle as can be!