Meet the Farm’s Animals
We have two regular cows here at the farm. They are not always both here as sometimes they head off to another farm for a holiday.
Daphne is a Dairy Shorthorn, which is a breed renowned for her gentleness and quiet behaviour. This kind of temperament is essential when we have so many young people and inexperienced handlers attending the Farm.
Finna is an Ayrshire which used to be a very popular breed in Australia, but has since become quite rare.
Our cow is brought into the barn twice a day, at 10.15am and 4pm. Everyone is welcome to come and give her a brush!
During the third school term most of our horses go on a well earned holiday, so during that time there is usually only two horses on site.
If you would like to meet our horses and learn their names feel free to ask a friendly farmer when you come and visit!
The Farm has a close relationship with the Waler Horse Society of Australia Inc. and we play a role in remembering the role Waler horses had in Australian history. Unfortunately the Farm doesn’t currently own a Waler horse.
The Collingwood Children's Farm currently has three Berkshire pigs; our boar Jacob, and two sows Maybelle and Myrtle. Our sows are bred throughout the year, taking turns to spend time with Jacob, which means there is no particular season for piglets to be born.
The Berkshire was introduced to the Farm as part of the Federation Rare Breeds Display Project, as they were popular at the time of Federation, but are now quite rare.
The Farm own and manage a small herd of beautifully marked Anglo Nubian goats. This breed is a dairy breed that originated in the 1890s from Indian and African bucks mated to English does.
Anglo-Nubians are a quality dairy breed that is very popular with cheese makers because of their large daily milk yield that has a high protein and butterfat content.
At the Farm we have two very different breeds of sheep, the English Leicester and the Shropshire. Although our flocks are small, we play an important role in helping to preserve the genetic fingerprint of these two heritage sheep breeds. As they are old English breeds, the Shropshire and English Leicesters only have one breeding season in autumn, with spring lambing an annual event.
We shear our sheep at the end of spring. For more information about the event, check the ‘What’s On’ page closer to that time!
Hand Spinners and Knitters Guild of Victoria sometimes use our wool and also hold demonstrations at the Farm.
We have a small flock of Chinese Geese at the Farm. Whilst Chinese Geese are not the most aggressive of breeds, it still pays to be careful around them. Our little flock is certainly very vocal if they feel you are getting too close!
Here at the Farm with have Muscovy ducks that wander around the barn during the day and live with the geese at night. Muscovies are unable to quack, instead they hiss or squeak weakly and are probably the only breed of domestic duck that can still fly (females only; the drakes are too heavy). They can also look a little odd with their bright red skin baubles around their eyes. These are their caruncles and both males and females have it.
We have six breeds of chickens at the Farm.
As you will see when you visit the Farm, all our chickens look very different and hail from all over the world. Although the Light Sussex and Orpingtons are a more traditional meat breeds, they do still lay eggs. Our Leghorns and Scots Greys are known more for their egg laying, while the Faverolles are a versatile dual-purpose breed. The cute little Chinese Silkies are an ornamental breed but are still good egg layers.
All our chickens are rare breeds which we working hard to preserve for future generations.
We have three cats at the Farm.
Miso - a black and white female
Toki- a grey and white female
Mash - a grey and white tabby.
As they are doing a very important job for us - keeping the rodent population down to a manageable level - they don’t always like pats.
The guinea pigs at the Farm are kept for their small size, unique appearance and gentle temperament. They like to have a quiet chat and a cuddle. The Farm has cuddle times daily at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 3.15pm which you can enjoy (Except for Market Day).
Have you ever wanted to look inside a beehive, watch beekeepers open hives, or even don a protective bee suit to help them do this? Are you interested in learning more about bees and beekeeping? Perhaps you already keep bees or are considering becoming a beekeeper. Do you wish to learn more about the importance of honey bees for our food security? Then our apiary may be just the place for you to visit. It is open on the second and fourth Sunday of each month from 10:30 to 3:30, except during winter when it is only open on the fourth Sunday. (In 2018 it will be open on 16th December in lieu of 23rd December). Entry is free. To reach the apiary, go to the end of St Heliers St, Abbotsford and go through the main entrance to the Farm precinct. At the Capital City path turn right and walk approx. 300 metres along it. The apiary can also be reached along the Capital City path from a westerly direction. The apiary is jointly managed by the Collingwood Children’s Farm and the Victorian Apiarists’ Association Melbourne Section.
If you wish to book a ticket to join the beekeepers at the hive openings, then email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you wish to learn more about our apiary, go to www.facebook.com/collingwood.bees
The earthworms are of the red and tiger varieties, and are housed near the pig pens in their own worm farm. They are used to process our food scraps and to develop worm castings.
Our Worm-Farms are getting ready to move, so they are currently empty.