Our ranch has been so busy over the last few weeks with new arrivals of all types of animals, so it’s time to introduce all of the new arrivals to you!

Tiny Turkeys

We’re excited to announce that our amazing turkey hen, Gertrude, has hatched six chicks! These tiny chicks were hatched between June 16 – 18 and are having fun running around their enclosure, under the watchful eye of their mom.

Gertrude and her chicks are Ridley Bronze Turkeys, which is Canada’s only heritage breed of turkey. Unfortunately, the Ridley Bronze Turkey is considered to be critically endangered, with only 250 reproducing hens left in the world. We are incredibly excited to have this rare breed call Heritage Park home for the summer and even more excited that they are doing well and reproducing!

These tiny turkeys won’t stay little for long, so make sure you swing by the ranch to check them out!

Pretty Cute Piglets

Also joining the party are three adorable piglets! Meet Abbigail, Dixie and Dora, our new Berkshire x Tamworth piglets. Both the Berkshire and Tamworth breeds are considered heritage breeds, meaning the breed was in existence prior to the industrialization of the farming industry.

Berkshire pigs are a British breed, originating from their namesake Berkshire, England. They are also the oldest recorded British breed, dating all the way back to the late 18th century. Over a century later, in 1838, they were brought to Canada and quickly became popular for their high level of intellect, which contributes to their easy-going nature.

Despite only being a few pounds when born, they grow incredibly fast with males growing up to 600 lbs. and females reaching 400 lbs. On average, it takes less than a year for them to reach 200 lbs.!

Typically, the Berkshire’s coat is mostly black, with spots of white on their legs, snout and the tips of their tails. Fun fact: their dark colour makes them less prone to sunburn, which is important for Alberta’s hot and dry summers!

Tamworth pigs are another heritage breed and are believed to have originated from the domestication of wild hogs in the early 17th century! Also, originating from England, these pigs made their way over to Canada in the 1870s, where their numbers would increase to 10% of total swine in the country in the early 1910s.

This hardy breed typically has a ginger coat, which also aids them in sun protection, and one of the longest snouts of present-day domestic breeds. The males can also reach up to 705 lbs. and females can reach upwards of 575 lbs.

Make Way for Mootown!

In addition to our adorable piglets and chicks, we have also welcomed two purebred Highland Cattle, Daisy and her baby Mootown, who was born in April!

Highland Cattle originated in the Highlands and west coastal islands of Scotland and are one of the oldest registered breeds in the world. Although the exact origin of the breed cannot be determined, there is evidence to suggest that the breed goes all the way back to the 6th century!

First brought over to Canada in the 1880s, the number of Highland cattle stayed relatively small until large-scale breeding and importing began in the 1920s.

Due to the severe climate of the Scottish Highlands, this breed is extremely hardy and able to prosper in harsh conditions, despite not having a fat layer like other cattle. Instead, they have an especially thick, double layer wooly coat that keeps them warm in the winter and sheds in the summer. Their coat can be a wide variety of colours, but are typically a reddish brown.

While Highland cattle are a very large breed with mature bulls reaching up to 1800 lbs., cows reaching 1100 lb, they are extremely docile and almost never show signs of aggression.