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Out & About: Meet Baby Farm Animals at Annual Billings Farm Celebration

  • Lambs Clarabelle, right, and Molly are bottle fed at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock. (Courtesy Tom Remp, Billings Farm & Museum)

  • Two days-old Berkshire piglets at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock. (Courtesy Tom Remp, Billings Farm & Museum)



Valley News Calendar Editor
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Woodstock — I can say with absolute certainty that Clarabelle is the cutest lamb I have ever seen.

She does have some serious competition from Molly, who is two weeks old to her four, and Diva, a two-week-old calf.

They’re just a few of the newest residents of Billings Farm & Museum who visitors can interact with at the annual Baby Farm Animal Celebration, taking place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Admission for adults is $16; 62 and over, $14; children, 5-15, $8; ages 3-4, $4; 2 and under, free.

Held since 2012 and always right before Easter, the event is the kickoff for the nonprofit organization’s season. Last year, about 2,300 visitors came to the event. For some visitors, it might be their first encounter with a farm animal.

“You don’t have a sense of farm animals anymore,” said Jen Kopf, manager of interpretation and education at Billings Farm & Museum. “It’s something very special.”

I visited Billings Farm & Museum for the first time on Tuesday and got to meet some of the animals, including five lambs. Clarabelle and Molly had to be bottle fed after their mothers couldn’t take care of them, Kopf said. The lambs are always a favorite among small children.

“They’re a friendly size,” Kopf said. “They’re not intimidating.”

During the celebration, Molly and Clarabelle will be on leashes.

In one of the barns, the eight ewes and one ram ran up to the edge of their pens looking for food and affection when they saw human visitors.

The cows also are affectionate. Kopf described them as “very friendly, very docile and very inquisitive.”

Chicks and ducklings also will be present and area farmers are bringing over a few baby goats and angora rabbits. The event includes children’s activities and heirloom seed workshops. The dairy bar will be serving ice cream, as well as hot chocolate and coffee.

Returning to Billings this year are the Berkshire pigs, which were historically raised on the farm. On Tuesday, two days-old Berkshire piglets were making their voices heard.

“There’s just this positive energy,” Kopf said. It’s a “sense of rebirth and renewal.”

Walking around the farm with Kopf and Marge Wakefield, public relations and development assistant at Billings, it was easy to see what she meant. Although snow still covered the ground, the sun was out and it was clear that spring was in the air. I delighted in petting Clarabelle and Molly, surprised by their facial expressions and their distinct personalities.

People of all ages who visit seem fascinated, Kopf said.

“There’s a lot of wonder on their faces,” she said.

Count mine among them.

Editor’s note: For more information, visit https://billingsfarm.org/ or call 802-457-2355. Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.