Touch and feed friendly farm animals
Wander around our small family farm surrounded by stunning scenery and encounter a large variety of friendly farm animals. From sheep, goats, horse and cow, to pigs and peafowl, llamas and alpacas, and much more can be patted, fed and watched.
We have a variety of ducks roaming the grounds, including Muscovy, Pekin, and Appleyard, plus the odd visiting Paradise duck native to New Zealand. Depending on the time of year, you might see rafts of ducklings following their mothers across the farm or over the farm pond.
Clydesdale horses are a breed of draft horse – large horses bred to be working animals before the availability of tractors. Originally from Scotland, Clydesdales were introduced to New Zealand in the late 19th century. We have one beautiful Clydesdale, affectionately called Frank the Tank. He is over 16hands tall and his best friend is the donkey.
While dairy farming is one of New Zealand’s major economies, the Glenorchy area is mainly sheep country. The few cattle you will see around here are raised for meat. On our farm you will be able to meet Daisy, the whopping big ginger and white Simmenthal and her friend Buttercup, a black and white Friesian heifer.
Sheep dogs are an integral part of the New Zealand farming life. Farmers train dogs to obey whistle and spoken commands to help move sheep from place to place on the farm. We have two trained sheep dogs on our farm; one huntaway and one heading dog as well as a smaller farm dog, a Jack Russell cross.
Central Otago has a history of High Country Sheep stations that run the famous Merino sheep. On our small farm we run Perendale sheep which are an adaptable and hardy all-round breed of sheep. Our pet sheep and lambs will allow visitors to get close to pat and feed them. Most our lambs are born from October onwards.
In New Zealand domestic fowl are called chooks. And if you own chooks you may also have a rooster or two. Our chooks are free range, which means they are free to roam the farm during the day, and they sleep (roost) either in a tree or the hen house. You’ll see them scratching for food, dust bathing, and sometimes the roosters are courting the pretty hens. While you are not allowed to feed the chooks, they are very entertaining to watch.
Our friendliest domestic fowl are “Barbu d’Uccle”, or Belgian Bantams. Talk to us as we are more than happy to point them out to you.
Alpacas are native to the mountainous areas of Peru, Bolivia and Chile. They were first introduced to New Zealand in the 1980ies. Alpacas are bred and raised for their soft, lustrous wool fleece. For the keen knitters amongst our visitors: we sell our alpaca wool in our small farm shop. We keep alpacas as companion animals; their curious yet very sensitive demeanour makes us appreciate their trust.
Llamas – originally bred for their strength – also originate from the mountainous regions of South America. Llamas are the bigger cousin of the alpaca. Llamas are able to carry loads up to 35kg and they are used much like packhorses. Here at our farm llamas are kept for company. Llamas and alpacas get on well together.
Wild rabbits are declared a pest in New Zealand as their huge numbers destroy our pasture. The rabbits you meet here at the farm however are domestic breeds; they are friendly and children just love watching them. The biggest rabbits we have are Flemish Giants. They are the size of a small dog.
Donkeys originate from arid and dry places in the Middle East and were domesticated over 6,000 years ago. Donkeys are highly intelligent, which sometimes can translate into the famous donkey stubbornness everyone has heard about. They are very sure-footed and often see danger well in advance of their owners. Our donkey Pablo has a big following especially amongst the ladies.
KuneKune are a medium size breed of very friendly pigs from New Zealand,. Kunekune means “fat and round” in the Māori language. KuneKunes make fantastic pets, they are smart and they don’t root or dig up the ground as much as other pig breeds. We also have a pen of other pig breeds, amongst them one ferral “Captain Cooker”, and some bigger breeds which weigh up to 350kg once fully grown.
Turkeys are native to the Americas, and most widely associated with the USA and Thanksgiving Day. There are turkey farms here in New Zealand. Our turkeys are free range hence they can roam freely. They generally move as a flock and the males (gobblers) can often be heard from afar. During mating season the gobblers display their feathers to impress the females (turkey hens), which is quite entertaining to watch.
The peafowl family is best known for their stunning colours. The peacock (male bird) will display his beautiful tail feathers (train) and rattle them to try and impress the peahens. Our peafowl are still young. They may not always be visible as they roam freely and can fly up the highest trees if they want some peace and quiet. If you are lucky you will see a peacock fly, it’s rather impressive.
Kids just love watching our Guinea pigs! In their generous enclosure we house up to eight males who all have their own personalities and roles in the group. These friendly little animals, despite their name, are not from Guinea nor are they related to pigs. They are rodents and originate from South America. The guinea pig was first domesticated as early as 5000 BC for food, but here in New Zealand they are popular pets and are not eaten.
Goat farming in New Zealand is typically for the milk, which is made into speciality goat cheeses. Goats are very nimble and fearless, they climb, jump, crawl and run over or under anything they want to. If they stay in their paddock, it is because they want to be there. You need to have good fencing before you get a goat or two. Goats in general are very social, curious, independent, and intelligent creatures. Our goats are all of different breeds. Feel free to talk to us if you’d like to learn more.
Miniature horses are bread to resemble a full-size horse on a much smaller scale. Some people keep miniature horses for company, others keep them for small children to ride. Personality wise miniature horses are known to be smart and rather bossy. Our miniature horse Bernie has the most beautiful blue eyes and a blonde mane. He is the leader of the paddock, brave and fearless.
A mule is half donkey and half horse. Miniature mules are very rare. Compared to the miniature horse the mule’s ears are longer, and the mane and tail are much shorter and less “spectacular”. However mule and horse are compatible and make great friends. Around food they are very competitive. The funniest difference between them is their noise. A horse neighs, a donkey brays, and a mule? It does a bit of both.
Red deer is one of the biggest deer breeds. Our hind (female) has been found abandoned at only a few days old and was hand-reared. She grew up with horses and sheep and is more interested in pats than the food you offer her. A red deer’s coat changes from beautiful soft, shiny, and “red” in late spring to light brown and coarse like a doormat in winter. Red deer are an introduced species, they are being farmed throughout New Zealand and their meat is sold and exported as venison. Wild deer numbers are being kept under control by hunters.
Bees are a very integral part of the world’s ecosystem as they pollinate plants.
Come and watch our show beehive and learn many interesting facts about the honey bee. Did you know that they travel five kilometres or more to collect pollen and nectar for the hive? The hive is busiest during warm summer days.
There is local Manuka honey available at our shop.
Australian brushtail possums are declared a pest in New Zealand. They were introduced from Australia for their fur. But soon there were too many possums on the loose to control. Without natural predators possums started to affect and decimate native bird numbers and destroy native bush. While we trap and kill possums on the farm (as part of our pest eradication programme) we find it equally as important to show people the likable side of possums: they are generally slow moving, docile animals that will only get tricky to handle if startled or cornered (a bit like wild cats). Meet Monkey and Crash our two neutered possum boys, and learn about their many lovable qualities.
10:00am - 4:00pm
(Closed Mondays & Tuesdays)
We are open our usual hours and days over Christmas and New Year 2023/24.