Saturday, March 26 was Baby Animal Day at Billings Farm & Museum, a working dairy farm and museum in Woodstock, Vermont, dedicated to telling the story of Vermont’s rural heritage. This event was held prior to the general opening of the farm which will take place on April 30.
The stars of the day were three little lambs, complete with knitted sweaters, guarded over by their mothers. The lambs seemed oblivious to the large crowd of both children and adults transfixed by the sight. Another pen held two white bunnies cuddled up together and sound asleep. Also introduced to adoring fans were two male calves, one a day old, the other a week old. As both are male, they will be sold off. Because the farm is a working dairy farm, only the females are kept as future milk producers.
After getting our fill of the babies, we took a stroll through the cow barns and listened to a fascinating discussion of the breeding program at Billings Farm. Some of the cows we saw are currently pregnant, so additional babies will be arriving in the weeks to come. We were amazed at how spotless the barn and the cows were. Within the barn, we also saw the calf nursery with a number of babies still too small to join the herd in the adult barn.
We also toured the 1890 farm house which gave us a look into the family’s life during that era. The creamery in the lower level was especially interesting. The Billings family produced butter for sale to metropolitan markets. Rather than have to use man-power to move the churn, Mr. Billings invented a water-powered “engine” to keep the churn moving.
As the day was a perfect Vermont spring day, we finished our afternoon with a walk through the property. A truly pleasant day was had by all.