The animals that live here at Ancient Spring Farm all have big personalities! Meet some of them below.
Darcy is the farm watchdog and chicken protector extraordinaire. She was born in New Mexico, lived in Colorado, and then traveled with three beloved chickens to the farm. Nothing gets past her, be it a squirrel, a delivery person, or the vulture that likes to sit on top of the chimney.
Warlock is a mustang who was born in the wild on the California/Nevada border in 2009. Having subsequently lived in Colorado, he's not too thrilled by the bugs and humidity here at the farm, although he certainly loves his big pastures! He's super smart and does hunter/jumper, trail riding, and driving. He'd love to have some horse friends but right now his good buddies are Sid and Fred.
Sid is a Boer goat who was born on the farm in February 2020. He's the sweetest goat around! Don't let his sweetness fool you, though. He can definitely do some roughhousing with his best friend, Fred!
Fred is a Boer, Alpine, Nubian-cross goat who was born around the same time as Sid. Fred can be very sweet and loves to get his chin rubbed. However, Fred is quite the jumper and head-butter and can be downright ornery at times, too! Fred is obsessed with Warlock, and mostly Fred gets ornery when Warlock leaves his sight.
You might think from this photo that Louie is one tough dude, and you'd be right. At somewhere around 14 years old, he's an impressively smart and resourceful barn cat! But he'll also melt into a love bug when he gets pets, rubs, and treats, which he requests regularly. Louie was born on the neighbor's property but has lived on the farm for at least a few years.
Smokey is young, wily, and very friendly at first meeting. But watch out for those teeth and claws if he decides he's had enough attention! Smokey is a relatively recent addition to the farm and, now that he and Louie have agreed to a truce, seems to be fitting in well. He's kind of obsessed with the chickens and guineas but thankfully they're too big for him. Listen for his soft meow as he appears out of nowhere for some love!
This lovely lady was born in Colorado and, along with her lady friends, Mabel and Pearl, and protector, Darcy, traveled across the country to live here at the farm. Hedwig (Black Australorp) is all beauty and not too many brains but a cherished lady nonetheless.
Five new little ladies came to the farm in summer 2022 after spending the first month of their lives with a broody hen at our friends' farm down the road. They're now all grown and laying delicious, healthy, free range eggs for sale here at the farm! The ladies are Emilie (Starlight Green Egger), Ida (Welsummer), Hazella (Cinnamon Queen), Leona (Ameraucana), and Lavender (Lavender Orpington). They contribute a lot of fun and personality to the farm!
The 2023 Baby Ladies
Four new teenage ladies came to the farm on April 1, 2023. They've now grown into real ladies and are laying delicious free range eggs for sale here at the farm! The baby ladies are Bet (Barred Plymouth Rock), Violet (Sapphire Gem), May (Columbian Wyandotte), and Frieda (Blue-Laced Gold Wyandotte).
The 2023 Baby Traveling Ladies and Gent
Five more babies joined the farm on May 18, 2023. They were all supposed to be ladies but one turned out to be a gent! He (JD, formerly known as Louise) is already huge and the ladies are growing themselves. They sleep in a mobile chicken coop in the pastures with Warlock and the goats. Meet baby traveling ladies Nellie (White Leghorn), Thelma (Rhode Island Red), and Nina (Simone) and Koko (Taylor) (Easter Eggers).
Much to our delight, in 2022, pheasant Bonnie Prince Charlie chose to make the farm his home, having escaped death at the neighbor's shooting club. Charlie spent much of his time near Warlock or around the chicken and guinea coops but sometimes he cruised past the house and garden and visited the bird feeders.
In early 2023, we were visited by a whole new group of stunning male pheasants and their harems of females. Four males circled the house one evening, and one male brought eight (!) ladies to the coop area one morning. Listen for the males' calls and beating wings as they communicate with other nearby pheasants!
Two of the adorable 29 fainting goat (myotonic goat) bucklings we raised for goat breeders Lookout Mountain Growers in 2022 are now permanent residents of Ancient Spring Farm! We picked these boys for their good looks and big personalities. As with all of the bucklings, we named these two in relation to their moms' names.
Johnny's mom's name is Hot Topic. Who was in the news in summer 2022 and who played a pirate (pirates often have eye patches, right?) in some movies? That's right, Johnny Depp!
Chalk Bag (Chalky)
Chalky's mom's name is Climber, and Chalky was probably the most agile and jumpiest of the fainting goat bucklings. When Chalky came to the farm, we laughed at the juxtaposition of his black balls (teehee) and his mostly white body. They reminded us of a rock climber's Chalk Bag. Alas, Johnny and Chalky had to give up those parts of themselves in order to live as pets on Ancient Spring Farm but we hope their good lives here will make up for that sacrifice!
Hot Item (Aon)
In July 2023, we welcomed Johnny's full sister, Hot Item, from Lookout Mountain Growers! Her barn name is Aon, which is Gaelic for one (i.e., she's number one). She and Dubh are the foundation of Ancient Spring Farm's new fainting goat breeding program. We'll breed her and Dubh to Lookout Mountain bucks this fall to hopefully get some beautiful babies next spring!
Mountain Top (Binn Dubh)
Aon's friend and sista from anotha mista (actually two different parents!) is named Mountain Top after her mother, Mentone (a town in Alabama at the base of Lookout Mountain, where Lookout Mountain Growers used to be). Mountain Top's barn name is Binn Dubh (or Dubh, pronounced almost like Dove, for short), which is Gaelic for black peak.
This little blue-eyed cutie is a 2023 triplet whose mom, Fabulous Felicity, was overwhelmed with feeding three little mouths. As a result, Lookout Mountain Growers raised Fabulocity as a bottle baby. Now she loves people and will be our fainting goat ambassador for farm visitors! We'll breed her and Flyer to Lookout Mountain bucks in the fall of 2024, as these babies have some playing and growing up to do before they become moms.
Flyer (Fly Girl)
This wasn't planned (we just fell in love with her for herself), but it turns out that Flyer is Chalky's baby full sister (one year younger)! She's already taking after her mom and older brother by climbing on everything. She's so beautiful and confident that we call her Fly Girl around the barn. We'll let her get her wings before breeding her to a Lookout Mountain buck in fall 2024.
We gained (or at least first discovered) a new friend in 2023 - a groundhog we've named Chuck! He likes to dine in the pasture close to the barn and then he scurries down into the wooded drainage when we get too close. Welcome, Chuck!