The Brooksvale Barnyard is home to three miniature horses, two pygmy goats, two Dorset sheep, Barred Rock & Rhode Island Red chickens, a White Crested Black Polish rooster, rabbits, and honey bees. The horses, sheep, and goats all have stalls in the barn with access to their pastures. The public is welcome inside the barn if the doors are open. Otherwise, the animals can still be visited while they're outside grazing, munching on hay, or sun bathing. The rabbits are located in cages under a line of trees adjacent to the barnyard and the chickens have their coop right in front of the sheep's enclosure. PLEASE--no feeding anything to our animals and parents PLEASE monitor children closely, Thank you!
Hi everyone! My name is Lightning and I've been at the park for 11 years. I'm 15 years old and I came to the park as a rescue with my mom, Tina. My mom isn't here anymore, but I have her picture in my stall along with her stall sign. My mom had problems with her stomach and with things she ate, which is why she isn't here anymore. My people who take care of me say I have the same issues, but I just don't realize it! I have my own special grain and I have to wear this thing called a grazing muzzle when I'm out in the grass field so I don't eat too much. I don't mind it, because I know it keeps me healthy! Actually, all miniature horses like me have problems where they can't eat too much or they can't eat certain foods. This is why I'm not allowed to take any food from visitors. Anyway enough about my diet-- I'm friendly, but sometimes I like to be alone. If I poke my head out of my stall, I would love to be pet! I love to run and I'm so smart that I know what "walk", "trot" and "canter" mean. I also love it when I get to jump! I'm very happy here and I love quiet, soft and slow movements from people. If someone is loud and moves their hands around a lot, I get very scared. My people are also training me to pull a cart like my sisters! I'm doing pretty well if I say so myself, although I'm not too sure if my sisters are happy about it. Who says you can't teach an old horse new tricks?
Tina was Lightning's mother and sadly passed away on September 25, 2015 from the sickness Colic. She had many issues with her digestive system and her diet had to be monitored extremely closely. Tina will always be remembered at the park and by visitors who loved her. She was definitely the queen of the barn! Her stall sign with her name on it and her picture are hung on the back wall of Lightning's current stall as a reminder Tina will always be with us. Tina's passing is also something we want our park visitors to be aware of to spread the importance of not feeding our animals--miniature horses are extremely fragile with their diet and many foods will make them sick, including grass, apples, or carrots. Situations such as Tina's are devastating and these animals are family.
Hello! My name is Lacey and I’ve been at the park for over a year now. I came with my sister, Hazel, because Lightning needed some new friends so she wouldn’t be alone. We horses do better in herds than by ourselves, and Hazel and I were up for the challenge to come live with Lightning. Now that Hazel and I are settled into our new home, we love all the space we have to run around. Sometimes when my people are lunging me and Lightning at the same time, I like to race her to try to prove I’m faster! I also really love to pull the cart. My people trained Hazel and I and worked with us for a long time, although sometimes I just get too excited and want to go, go, go! I have so much energy that sometimes I just need to run, and if I’m not able to, I can get a little cranky. This is why it’s best to watch your fingers if you pet me. Sometimes I can get a little “nippy”, as my people say, but I don’t do it to be mean. I don’t always enjoy being pet—I like to do my own thing. After all, I’m eight years old now and in horse years that’s practically being a grown up. Besides running and pulling the cart, I’m also quite a good jumper. I may be small, but I sure can fly! Speaking of being small—Hazel, Lightning and I can’t eat any food than what my people give us. Small horses mean small stomachs, and if we eat too much, we can get very sick. My people give us just the right amount of food and we so grateful that we’re healthy.
Hey guys! I’m Hazel and I’m the smallest miniature horse here! I’m affectionate and love to be pet. Sometimes when I’m laying down my people will come over, sit down next to me, and pet me until I just fall asleep…what an awesome life I have! I’m six years old, making me the youngest of my sisters. I may be the smallest and youngest, but I sure don’t let them push me around! My least favorite thing to do is exercise. I try to avoid it at all costs, but if my people ask my nicely, I’ll do it. The only type of exercise I truly enjoy is pulling the cart. It’s so fun for me! Actually, I’m so good that my people let the camp kids learn how to drive with me one summer and I was able to give rides to people at our Fall Festival! It was hard work, but that’s what I’m bred for. Miniature horses were used to pull carts in coal mines, and because of our small yet strong bodies, we were perfect for it. I also love to be groomed. I’ll let my people brush me for hours and even let them braid my hair. I’ve been told my long hair is beautiful and perfect for braiding… so who could blame them? I love to roll in my nice sand pen, and everywhere, really. My defense mechanism is to roll when my people try to take me for walks in hopes that I won’t have to continue, but it doesn’t always work. I have a funny and goofy personality, and I love my home!
Hey! My name is Kay-Kay and I have a grey and black coat. I’m a Pygmy goat and I love to play! I’m six years old and I was born here at the park with my twin sister, Ella. We are both females, even though I have a beard that I inherited from my mom. Sometimes I get pretty chatty and I will “baaa” at anyone who walks by my pen, so be sure to say hi back! I love to head-butt my sister to try to get her to play with me, but sometimes Ella just wants to eat or sleep. I’m friendly and love pets and scratches, so if I come into my stall to say hi don’t be shy!
Hi everyone! My name is Ella and I have a cream colored coat with some black markings. I look just like my mom did when she was here, just without the beard that my twin sister, Kay-Kay, has. I’m six years old and I have been here since I was a baby. I’m sweet and affectionate, but a little shyer than my sister. My hobbies are mostly sunbathing, getting warm and sleeping in some straw, or nibbling on some hay. Kay-Kay likes to head-butt me when she wants to play, but sometimes she doesn’t get the hint that I just want to relax and enjoy my awesome life here at the park.
Hello! My name is Creampuff and I’m around 10 years old. I was born at the park and I also gave birth to my daughter, Lady Ba-Ba, here as well! I’m a white Dorset sheep with black markings on my nose. Sheep are known for being pretty shy and to keep to themselves, but I’ve become pretty used to people so sometimes I will come up to the fence to say hi. But if I don’t, I like my quiet time. Just like my friend Kay-Kay, I am also known to head-butt. Other than that, I love to chow down on some hay and just lie down and relax. I get my wool sheared every summer-- usually around late May or early June. My haircut happens just at the right time because I then feel good for the summer and I don’t have my heavy wool to carry around with me in the hot weather. Also, my wool grows back just in time for winter when it gets really cold and I need it. I would say I have a pretty great life here as a sheep!
Hi! My name is Lady Ba-Ba and I’m six years old. I’m a white Dorset sheep and I was born here at the park. My mom, Creampuff, and I have lived together my whole life. I would say I’m the most shy out of all the sheep and goats here, which is why I mostly like to stay close to my mom. I like to lay in the sun, graze on some grass, and gobble up my grain every morning and night. I love my quiet time and get scared by loud noises and running! However, I am a friendly sheep and once I get used to certain people I’m sweet as can be.
Hello, my name is Cloud and I'm a female lop rabbit. I was brought to the park by one of the staff members and I have quickly become a favorite to the park visitors because of my cute stuffed-animal like appearance!
Hey guys, my name is Dobby and I was brought to the Park by Hamden Animal Control in 2013. I am a mixed breed with an interesting coloring, almost that of a brindle. I am a true gentleman and I have been used in our camp program in the summer!
Hi all, my name is Little Foot and I am a female mini Rex and was brought to the park by a family. I am soft like velvet and very cute!
What's up? My name is Spencer and I'm a Polish rabbit, which is a breed of a dwarf rabbit. I was brought to the park in 2010 and I am extremely friendly-- I even enjoy getting a bath!
Hi there, my name is Wasabi and I am a female Tan, which is a small fancy breed of rabbit that are shown often at fairs. I am six years old and am the most shy out of all the bunnies.
Hey, my name is Babs and I am the newest rabbit to join the Brooksvale animal family! I was abandoned at a local transfer station and was treated for mites in my ears. After about a week of my people cleaning my ears and making sure I was healthy, I was brought outside to join my rabbit friends. I have become extremely sociable and am enjoying my new life!
Hi all! We are a flock of Barred Rock and New Hampshire Red hens. Us Barred Rocks will be two years old this summer, and us Reds will be one year old this summer. We Barred Rocks have a black and white striped pattern and we are friendly birds. As baby chicks, we were all black with some white patches. We New Hampshire Reds arrived here last summer and were yellow as baby chicks. The difference between Rhode Island Reds and us New Hampshire Reds is in our tail feathers. New Hampshire Reds have some black in their tail feathers and are a darker shade of red overall than Rhode Island Reds. All of us chickens are used in the camp program during the summer when we arrive here as chicks. Campers learn how to feed, give us water, handle us as chicks, and collect eggs from us older hens. When visiting us, we will probably come up to the fence and do our usual squawking and it’s because we think you have food for us. This is why you should watch your fingers! We might accidentally peck it, thinking it is food, and may hurt you in the process. Of course we don’t mean it, we are just being chickens. We also love our new coop! It fits us all just perfectly and this yard for us is like living in a five star hotel.
Hi there, my name is Prince and I’m the only rooster. I’m a White Crested Black Polish chicken and my story is quite interesting. I grew up with the New Hampshire Reds, but as we all got older, they started to peck my white feathers out. I also developed slower than the rest of my friends. By the time the Reds didn’t need a heat lamp anymore as chicks, I still did. I became very tired and wasn’t eating or drinking much, until my people noticed that I wasn’t doing well and had to separate me with my own food, water, and a special heat lamp just for me. After that, I became healthy again and went to live with my friends. Unfortunately, I was still pecked on. So, to make a long story longer, I lived in the barn for a while until my people gave me a haircut that allowed me to see much better. I was reintroduced to a couple of the New Hampshire Reds and now I'm able to live with my flock again! I have one special lady friend that does not peck on me and we live in a separate area of the chicken coop together.
The park acquired two bee hives in the spring of 2016. The apiary is located behind the horse pasture, with plenty of signs and barriers to keep the public at a safe distance. The bees are a great addition to the park; pollinating the many flowers in the area and best of all--making honey! Unfortunately, the Park lost both hives during the 2016-2017 winter. We are contributing our bee loss to the fluctuating temperatures from the winter. In April of 2017, the Park obtained two new hives. Here's to hoping for a better year!