Our Farm Animals

Barleylands is home to lots of traditional farm animals including goats, sheep, chickens and ponies as well as Alpacas and several rare breeds. Find out more about them below. Keep an eye out for seasonal events including our lambing and kidding nursery when you may even see a live birth. We also have regular interactive activities supervised by the livestock team. Depending on the season, this could be bottle feeding lambs, meeting newborn chicks or holding a rabbit.

Sheep and Lambs

We’re proud of our sheep at Barleylands, with a flock of both commercial and rare breed varieties. From the quintessential Suffolk sheep to the French Bleu de Maine, and the super cute Devon Longwool to the cuddly and curly Gotland, we’ve got a sheep for everyone.

You can take a stroll around the park to watch our girls munching grass in their fields. Don’t forget to pick out your favourite breed! Sheep can recognise up to 80 individuals so you might even make a new friend too.

Keep an eye on our events for lambing and shearing updates.

Bagot Goats

We’ve been looking into making Barleylands a Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST)-approved farm park.

We’re delighted to welcome some beautiful new and rare residents to the farm: our own trip (group) of Bagot goats. We even had our first baby Bagot kids in April 2021!

The first known record of Bagot Goats in the UK is in 1389, a herd owned by Sir John Bagot of the Blitchfield Estate in Staffordshire.  They are classified as ‘endangered’ by the RBST with only around 200 breeding nannies remaining.  Nowadays they are mainly kept for conservation grazing, helping to increase the biodiversity of natural areas.

Golden Guernsey Goats – Sunflower and Nutmeg

We have two beautiful new arrivals to the farm, our Golden Guernsey Goats, Sunflower and Nutmeg. Like our Bagot goats, they too are a rare breed and we hope to breed them when they are older to help increase breed numbers.

Cows – Rosie and Jessie

Cattle are a much loved animal on the farm, and we have both a heritage breed and commercial varieties at Barleylands. Our Simmental heifers are Rosie and Jessie and a typical dairy breed; it’s girls like these that your milk comes from.

Cows are extremely curious by nature and are, unless startled, normally gentle giants. Their tongues are strong and tough so that they can pull grass and hay. If they lick you, you’ll realise it’s like sandpaper.

Jessie and Rosie arrived at the farm in 2019 when they were still tiny calves but these ladies have now grown into beautiful fully grown cattle. You can find them out munching pasture during the summer months and in the animal barn in winter. They recently went off to meet a bull so they should have some beautiful babies in the Autumn.

 

Highland Cows – Annie and Flora

There are two magnificent Highland cows at Barleylands called Annie and Flora. Highland cattle are not only on the rare breeds list, but are also listed as a Heritage breed. This means that they existed before true domestic farming practices began and have changed very little ever since.

Highland cows are extremely hardy, surviving even the harshest winters due to their thick coats and their ability to eat even the toughest grass. When warm weather arrives they normally shed their long hair for a smoother, neater summer look.

You’ll find Annie and Flora grazing pasture in our Barleylands fields. They can be quite shy, but they’re extremely photogenic and sometimes allow a quick ear scratch.

Alpaca – Hornbeam

Alpacas are a peculiar animal from South America. They are closely related to Llamas but are much smaller in both weight and height. Barleylands’ alpaca resident is called Hornbeam. He is an extremely fuzzy character who will often come across for a nuzzle and a munch of some food.

Alpacas have found their way into farming for both their fleece and their use as a security animal. Their hair is extremely fine, and can be used to create beautifully soft and highly sought-after garments. They are also territorial and this makes them ideal as guardian animals. If a fox enters a field, they are quick to chase it away, helping farmers to look after their sheep, goats and even chickens.

Nanny Goats and Kids

We’ve got a wonderful mixed flock of pet goats at Barleylands, all with their own unique personalities. There is a strict hierarchy amongst every herd, and you might be able to spot who’s boss because she’ll be eating from your hand first!

Did you know that goats are really intelligent? They’ve been known to problem solve and teach each other. Maybe this is why they’re so good at escaping. We’ve got a team of agility goats that are constantly learning new tricks and look forward to showing you what they can do.

Keep an eye on our events for kidding and training demonstrations.

Equines – Horses, Ponies and Donkeys

Our animal barn stables are home to Bobby the donkey, Freddie the welsh pony, and Eyeore and Jenny, our two adorable Mediterranean miniature donkeys.

These lovely, intelligent animals have become firm favourites at Barleylands. If they’re not in the stables, look for them in our pasture. Donkeys, in particular, love to roll around in the dirt whilst Freddie with dash up and down his paddock causing mischief wherever he goes. They love a good brush and even a hose down when the weather is hot!

Keep an eye on our timetable for the chance to meet, feed and groom our friendly donkeys and pony.

The Pigs – Polly and Flossy

Barleylands has been home to our two wonderful pigs, Polly and Flossy for a few years now. They are both very friendly sows, and Flossy even knows how to sit on command!

Polly is a Berkshire; a rare breed pig that many farmers across the country are keen to save. Meanwhile, Flossy is a mangalitza cross so she’s not only the pinkest pig in the park, but extremely curly haired too.

If the girls are not in the animal barn look for them in their fields where they’ll be doing what they do best; snuffling through the grass or sunbathing back to back. You might even catch us putting on their suncream.

Oxford Sandy and Black Pigs – Bella and Bertha

While we are trying to make Barleylands a Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST)-approved farm park, you will see lots of new rare breeds joining the farm. These two girls are our Oxford Sandy and Blacks, called Bella and Bertha. The breed originated in Oxfordshire and is over 300 years old, however they are now an ‘at risk’ rare breed and we want to play our part in helping boost numbers with these two girls.