Our Farm Animals
Why Do We Raise Heritage Breeds?
In addition to standard breeds we raise many heritage breeds of livestock on the farm. Heritage breeds are animals with a history. These are the animals that settlers needed to survive in the early years of our country. These animals are healthier and heartier than many of their modern counterparts and thrive in more natural environments. Many heritage breeds of livestock are in danger of disappearing and our goal as a farm is to conserve these wonderful animals for future generations by featuring only pure heritage stock.
Queens Farm is home to two Dexter steers, "Dexter" and "Jethro". Dexters are among the smallest cattle breeds in the world, standing an average 40" tall and weighing 700-900 pounds. The Livestock Conservancy considers them to be a recovering (and formerly rare) breed. A useful and productive multi-purpose farm animal, the Dexter breed originated in Ireland and came to North America in the early 1900s.
Dexter cattle can do important work for sustainable agriculture. They are hardy and forage-efficient (which will make it possible to rotate them in our woodland) and they do not eat as much grass/hay nor require as much acreage as larger cattle (which make them a sensible fit for Queens Farm). Steers can be easily trained, which offers potential for draft power. Additionally, their manure is an incredibly rich compost ingredient.
As a proud member of the American Dexter Cattle Association, we are thrilled to welcome Jethro and Dexter to New York City.
We have recently started a new fiber program at Queens Farm. We raise alpacas and Cotswold sheep, whose lustrous wool is sold in our Gift Shop. The Cotswold is one of the oldest breeds in the world. These hearty animals prefer to live on pasture and don't need much more than grass, water and salt to be happy. Their fleece is very fine and grows so quickly that it needs to be sheared twice each year. We encourage visitors to attend our Spring Sheep Shearing event each May and learn more about our program!
Note: The farm sells a limited quantity of unprocessed fleece. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.
We raise heritage breed pigs here at Queens Farm. This season we have two male pigs, which are a mix of Yorkshire and Gloucestershire Old Spot breeds. Pigs are exceptionally playful and curious animals, and they love rooting around in our woodland (a win-win, since this adds healthy diversity to their diet while keeping invasive overgrowth in check). Additionally, we feed them spent grain from Brooklyn Brewery along with fruits and vegetables from the fields.
We raise about 250 laying hens at the farm. Currently, our hens consist of the following breeds: Buff Orpington, Araucana, Delaware, Barred Rock, Silver-Laced Wyandotte, and a Rhode Island Red & White Rock cross. Our flock lays about 10 dozen eggs each day, which come in white, brown, and even blue hues! Our laying hens spend their days on pasture, and are fed oyster shells and alfalfa for their health and for the production of high-quality eggs.
The farm has a mix of Nubian, Toggenburg, and LaMancha goats. Our farmers rotate our goats through different wooded areas of the farm for shade and fresh forage, where they control undergrowth and invasive plants by grazing. Our goats are very friendly, and visitors are welcome to feed them with goat feed available in our Gift Shop.
Queens County Farm Museum is home to Italian honey bees. Our
raw wildflower honey is
available for purchase in our Gift Shop or at the Union Square Greenmarket, while supplies last. Click here for availability.