The FBA Farm was created in the spring of 2013 to provide pupils with an outdoor space to enjoy learning about animals and the environment. It began with two little rabbits called Cookie and Oreo, who were joined not long after by a group of little chickens and a very busy beehive. As the farm family developed, two new brothers arrived, aka Billy and Barry the goats, followed by three ducklings Huey, Dewy and Louie. As time went on the farm grew and extended into a larger space by the carpark. New small furry animals arrived and soon we had lots of rabbits and guinea pigs to add to the joy of the farm. Many students visited each day as the farm became a place of wellbeing, creativity and belonging.
Currently at the FBA Farm we have rabbits, guinea pigs, quails, chickens, ducks, and goats, as well as a regularly visiting cat. Students from FBA enjoy being able to visit before and after school, and during their lunch break. On a visit they enjoy petting and holding the animals, or even taking the goats for a walk, as well as checking the animals are cleaned out and have enough food and water.
Watch this space for photos of all our farm family
In March 2014 the boys arrived! Billy and Barry were two little goats who had been the runts of their family. Originally from the Lambourne Activity Centre, Billy and Barry soon settled into their new home at Frances Bardsley School for Girls. Surrounded by many adoring fans, they soon settled in and began to put on weight as they ate anything and everything that was given to them. Nowadays, the brothers have a strict diet of their 5 a day fruit and vegetables and an ample supply of sweet meadow hay to keep them fit and healthy, with the odd treat of cornflakes. They are Boer Goats which is a particular breed of mountain goat usually found in South Africa. Their strong hind legs enable them to stand firm on any ground. This has proved true with Billy and Barry when we have tried to move them but they wish to remain where they are. They get on well with each other but, like all brothers, fall out from time to time and enjoy head-butting each other. They are well-loved members of the Farm Family.
Which came first the chicken or the egg? In our case it was the egg. Our first batch of chickens came from an incubator of eggs. Pecky is one of original batch and is the strong Mother of all the other hens. We now have five hens who all get on well together and lay many eggs during the Summer months. They have their own large Hen house and can be very vocal as they welcome in each day. They enjoy perching on top of their hen house, and when roaming free they have a favourite tree that they love to scrabble beneath.
Rabbits and Guinea Pigs.
The farm has had many small furry friends over the years including, Rosie and Thumperlina the Lion mane rabbits, and Rocky and Prince the guinea pigs. The animals share a huge house at the bottom of the garden next to Billy and Barry’s enclosure. This gives them the space to be free and have lots of exercise outside of their hutches. We currently have Bunnybee, Fluffy the rabbits and Stitches the Guinea Pig. They all live happily together in their blended family sharing the space (and food!) with two quails!
The Farm welcomed its first ducks in 2014 after the creation of ‘Duckingham Palace’. The three original ducks soon multiplied into 11 and enjoyed swimming in the newly created pond, which had been dug out by students. In 2020 they also upgraded to a home pool in their house which they love climbing in and out of. We currently have 9 ducks which are Indian Runners and are very well behaved. At the end of the day the order of “Bed!” is issued and all the ducks go in single file back to their house so they are safe from foxes overnight.
The quails arrived at the Farm back in 2016 and have been firmly in residence ever since. They are timid little birds who hide in the nesting area of their home but enjoy the run of the animal pen when everyone leaves the farm area. Despite their shyness they have a really strong bond with Bunnybee, Fluffy and Stitches and all visit each other’s homes, stealing whatever food is available! Their speckled brown feathers enable them to blend into the vegetation hiding away from predators and any unwanted attention. Despite being the quieter members of the farm, they are definitely important members of the farm family.
The Billy and Barry Show
– – COMING SOON – –
A spy cam into the everyday world of our goats, Billy and Barry.