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Apr 26, 2016 5:03 PM

Meet the pigs of NH's yesteryear and other baby animals at Strawbery Banke

PORTSMOUTH - If you love viewing baby animals, this is the perfect opportunity for you: The Spring Barnyard Baby Animals event at Strawbery Banke.

The New England livestock farm of yesteryear is a lot different than today’s. Many of the animals that they raised in the 1700s and 1800s have become rare. On today’s commercial farms, they prefer breeds that are easy to handle in large groups.

A week-long live exhibit at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth showcases many of these ancient heirloom breeds of pigs, sheep, goats, and birds. Museum Curator Peter Cook spent months putting the exhibit together, hoping to educate people about rare farm animals. Some of them were once plentiful on local family farms.

David Schmechel is a farmer who breeds Gloucester Old Spot Pigs. He brought “Missy” a mother pig along with her litter of six piglets for exhibit.

“They were nearly extinct in this country. In the 1990s, there were only four in the entire country,” Schmechel explained as he petted one of the hungry piglets.

The Jacob Sheep, identified in the Book of Genesis, is another ancient breed, prized in New England for its soft dark fleeces.

The exhibit is inside a tent and will be on display until May 1st.

You can find more information on their website.

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