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Rare Breeds Program

Farmyard Friends Learning Center is dedicated to shaping today's youth that will lead our farming industry into a brighter and more sustainable future. Part of our teaching platform is continuing to build and enhance our rare breeds program which allows children to learn rare breed history and the necessary skills to protect, maintain, and exhibit these valuable resources. FFLC provides leased animals ranging from common livestock breeds to rare and endangered breeds. We provide youth with scholarships to cover the costs of leasing and caring for their animals. We assist with the travel cost for youth to attend national livestock breed conventions to compete in competitions and develop important life skills. The Farmyard Friends Rare Breeds Program's purpose is to continue to teach and involve our community in the positive impact of promoting and restoring these breeds in Maryland and across the country.


My name is Jumanji but sometimes I answer to Gus. I am around 15 years old and an American Cream gelding, or fixed male draft horse. Did you know there are less than 500 horses registered with the American Cream Draft Horse Association? Although I am not registered, we are awaiting my DNA test results to confirm that I am one of less than 2000 American Creams in the entire world! My diet mainly consists of grass and over 22,000 pounds of hay a year (400 small square bales). I spent the last 3 years living with a wonderful family in Indiana, but have recently returned to Maryland, where I was born.


I go by Benny with my closest friends, so you can call me that too! I am a gray Miniature donkey jack. Jack is a term for an intact male. All miniature donkeys must be under 36 inches tall at the withers when fully grown. My withers are the highest point of my back, just above my shoulders. Did you know that my dentist can estimate how old I am based on the condition and wear on my teeth? He believes I am at least 14 years old.


My name is Caramel and I am a ewe, or female sheep.  My birthday is in January. I’ll be turning one! My mom got sick when my twin brother and I were 4 weeks old, so we were raised as bottle babies. This is why I am so very curious and friendly! My breed is a Barbados Blackbelly sheep. There are only 3,000 Barbados Blackbelly sheep in the United States today, but that is a great increase from the 100 sheep recorded in 2004. My relatives are from the Carribean Island of Barbados. We are known for our black bellies (hence our name), high parasite resistance, and having hair instead of wool.


My name is Tifu and I am a 3 year old American Southdown sheep. I am a ewe, which just means female sheep. Southdowns are on the Livestock Consrvancy’s rare breed list, although our breed is currently listed as recovering! Southdown sheep are known for having white wool on our face, legs, and bodies. We are a moderately sized breed of sheep, with adult ewes ranging from 130 and 150 pounds. I have lambed one time since residing at The Farmyard and my lamb’s name is Sarabi.


My name is Sarabi and I am a Southdown ewe lamb. This means I am a young female sheep. I have white wool which my owners shear twice a year to keep me cool, clean, and safe from external parasites. Being sheared also helps me look my best when I compete in livestock exhibitions. Southdowns are often considered meat sheep, but our wool is sometimes used for spinning as well.

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