What started out in the mid-70's as a small park for a few European Fallow Deer, Pygmy Goats and some fowl, has grown into home for approximately 90 animals (not counting the “visiting” rabbits, squirrels and birds all looking for a free lunch!) Don't miss this favorite stop for Tweetsie visitors of all ages.
African Pygmy Goats
A miniature breed native of West Africa, Pygmy Goats are naturally social and good natured. They like to run, jump and climb. Pygmy Goats range from 16” to 22” when grown. A female is called a “nanny”, a male is called a “billy”, and babies are called “kids”. Gestation is 5 months. Births are single or twins, but sometimes triplets occur. Goats eat weeds, briars and grain. Goats can survive harsh weather, but do not like rain.
European Fallow Deer
The Romans took Fallow Deer to Europe over 2000 years ago. They are smaller than our native White Tail Deer, and the males have webbed antlers. Fallow Deer have 3 common colors, chocolate, white and spotted. Unlike White Tails, Fallow Deer keep their spots for their entire lives. Males are called “bucks”, females are “does” and babies are called “fawns”. In the spring, bucks grow velvety antlers. In the fall, they rub the velvet off onto trees, exposing sharp, bony antlers. This begins the “Rut” (breeding) season, and violent fighting for dominance between bucks. In the wild, the bucks shed their antlers in late winter, and grow a new set each year. A single fawn is born in May or June, unlike twins of White Tail Deer. Does “bark” to call their babies, and bucks “bark” to attract mates.
The Nubian Goat is a large, proud and graceful dairy goat developed in England by crossing British Goats with bucks from India and Africa (including Nubia, in northeast Africa; thus, their name). Their coat is generally short, fine and sleek, in any color or colors, solid or patterned. They are known for their long, pendulous ears that hang close to the head.
The emu is a large, flightless bird native to the grassy plains and dry open forests of Australia, where they have lived for about 80 million years. The name emu is from an Arabic word for “large bird”. In the wild they eat fruits, flowers, insects, grubs, seeds and green vegetation, and love caterpillars. They ingest large stones into their gizzards to aid in grinding their food. The female lays 8 to 10 large, thick-shelled dark green eggs, which the male will sit on until they hatch in about 8 weeks. During that time he will not eat, surviving on acquired fat and any morning dew he can reach from the nest, losing one third of his body weight. Some females stay and defend the nest until the chicks start hatching, but most leave the nesting area completely, and often nest again with another male, up to 3 times a season.
The llama is a large mammal in the camel family that originated in North America - 25,000 years ago llamas would have been a common sight in modern-day California, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Missouri and Florida. Llamas now reside mainly in South America, living in herds on the high plains of the Andes Mountains, working in altitudes that most animals cannot tolerate. They can carry loads up to 100 lbs, but they are never ridden. Used as a pack animal since the days of the Incas, they are also valued for their flesh, milk, and luxurious, soft wool.
The burro was brought to North America by Spanish explorers in the late 15th century. They are descended from the small donkeys of northeastern Africa. These strong, hardy, agile and sure-footed animals were used for pulling carts and as pack animals by explorers and prospectors in the western United States. Burros are intelligent, clever, curious, friendly and playful.
Miniature horses are generally identified as having a height of less than 34 inches at the withers (shoulder). They were first recorded in France in 1650 A.D., where they were gaining popularity as pets for Europe's nobility. Later, due to their size, intelligence and strength, they were used in European coal mines, and were called “pit ponies”. They come in various colors and coat patterns, and make wonderful domestic pets. Their average life span is 30 years.
Pot Bellied Pigs
The pot bellied pig is a domestic breed first brought from Viet Nam to the United States in 1984. When full grown, they will stand about 12 inches high at the shoulder, and weigh 80 to 100 pounds. (If the pig has been crossed with a domestic breed, they may reach weights of 200 pounds and 18 inches high or more.) Pot bellied pigs are very intelligent and can be housebroken.
“I visited Tweetsie as a kid in the early 70's. I am so thrilled to have found it thriving! I would love to take my kids for a visit.”
-Guest from New Hampshire