Monthly Archives: April 2020

Caring for the New Kids on the Block During the Time of COVID-19

IMG_7946

Farmer Olivia Madigan feeding one of the new kids.

 

With more than 100 animals in its care, Frying Pan Farm Park has long been a magnet for families and local animal lovers, especially in springtime. That’s when the farm sees the majority of its baby animal births, and who can resist a cute kid, calf, lamb or piglet?

Though visitors are restricted in the animal areas this spring because of the coronavirus pandemic, farmers remain hard at work behind the scenes caring for all the barnyard critters.

Frying Pan is a working farm that preserves and interprets farm life of the 1920s to 1950s. The farm has dairy and beef cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, peafowl, ducks, turkeys, and cats. Four farmers are currently handling all the feeding and animal care duties. Two other groups of four are trained and ready should anyone in the primary cohort get sick or need to go into quarantine. In such a suburban region, it is hard to find other Park Authority staff with the skills needed to care for horses, cows and other farm animals.

Fortunately, much like grocery stores, farm feed stores are considered essential businesses and are continuing to provide hay, grain, customized feed blends, minerals and other supplements. Unlike grocery stores, the feed stores have not been struggling with any supply chain issues at this time.

IMG_7933With limited staff to cover feedings three times a day/seven days a week, the team’s ability to take a day off or get a break is limited. However, the farmers are all committed to provision of exceptional animal care. Staff members say the animals don’t seem to be reacting to the absence of visitors, but the younger animals are not getting acclimated to visitors as they usually would.

News about animal births, and photos of the youngsters, can still be found on the Park Authority’s website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. News of these births accompanied by video or photos is always popular!

IMG_7915It can get lonely on 130 acres, and Farmer Paul and staff are looking forward to the day when visitors can return to Frying Pan to see all the newborns and the daily changes happening on the farm.