Have you got young children? Then make sure you visit the children’s activity farmyard! Here your children can get right up close to cows, chickens, rabbits and all the other animals that can be found there.
Animals and farming are inextricably linked. Animals have provided people with food, drink, clothing, footwear, medication and objects for particular tasks. Animal dung was good for making land more fertile. Horses and oxen were used to pull heavy loads.
In some old farmhouses, of the so-called ‘los hoes’ (open homestead) type, people and animals literally lived side-by-side in one room. Usually, however, animals were kept in separate sheds and pens. In the spring, cows and sheep went outside into the meadows or onto the heath.
Rare domestic breedsAs time has gone by, certain animals have become ‘redundant’. Horses, for example, are no longer needed to pull heavy loads, as we now have machines that can do this work. Many animals that would once have been part of any farm have now become rare (agricultural) domestic breeds. The museum has a number of these for you to see.
All the animals in the meadow are rare agricultural domestic breeds. You will come across cows such as the Friesian red and white, the Dutch Belted cow, the Blaarkop, the Baggerbont, the Witrik and the Brandrood, and breeds of sheep including the Drenthe and Veluwe moorland sheep, the Friesian milk sheep and the Zwartbles.
Organic methodsAt the museum, cattle are bred using organic methods. The animals are not high-yield animals, which means, for example, that the cows are allowed to suckle their calves for longer than is usually the case in the farming industry. The dung from the animals is used on the gardens, fields, orchards and meadows.