Strawbery Banke welcomes Spring with the 3rd annual Baby Animals: Heritage Breeds at the Banke, showcasing a variety of more than a dozen heirloom breeds of Barnyard Baby Animals (and their moms) that would have been familiar to earlier generations. The event, which takes place under a tent on museum grounds, April 21st through April 29th is a family-friendly opportunity to learn more about domestic livestock typical on coastal northern New England farms from the 17th century to present day.
Peter Cook, who assists with the coordination of animals for the museum's NH Fall Festival, is curating the event, securing breeders from NH, Maine and MA farms who are expert in heritage animals including lambs, kids, calves, piglets, bunnies, chicks and ducklings. The participants answer visitors’ questions, explaining the developmental needs of the babies, the various aspects of husbandry that are required to raise them and why they have chosen to preserve these sometimes-endangered domestic animals for future generations. Many farms are family projects enthusiastically supported by multiple generations of caretakers. The emphasis is on educational and interpretive information but there will also be opportunities to interact with some of the animals who are accustomed to being handled.
The Baby Animals event showcase heritage breeds of livestock that became popular during different centuries as settlers from the UK, Ireland, Europe, Africa and South America contributed to local agrarian cultural heritage.