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Heifer Ranch caretakers Pass on the Gift of lambs to the Little Rock Zoo.
Heifer Ranch caretakers Pass on the Gift of lambs to the Little Rock Zoo.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Have you been to the Arkansas Heritage Farm at the Little Rock Zoo, yet? The Zoo has partnered with Heifer International on this interactive and educational exhibit where the public can pet, groom and feed animals. 

The opening on April 2 featured a Heifer “Pass on the Gift” ceremony, an event integral to our field work, in which we officially handed off livestock the Heifer Ranch donated to the exhibit that focuses on sustainable farming and how farm animals can provide life-changing benefits to farming families. 

We are excited to support a fellow local organization dedicated to conservation and education! Here's why this exhibit is a must-see:

A wooly sheep sniffs the camera.
Come pet me!

1. The animals of course!

The exhibit features common farm animals as well as interesting heritage breed species such as Katahdin sheep, Blackberry sheep and various breeds of heritage chickens and turkeys. The exhibit also features geese, African Pygmy goats, miniature donkeys and dwarf miniature horses. In other words, cute level: maximum. Guests will be allowed to pet, feed and groom most animals in the farm!

2. The new playground

The new exhibit overhauls the old Children’s Farm area of the Zoo and includes a big red barn, smaller barn, and chicken coop. Also included is a new playground with equipment suitable for persons with disabilities. A fun feature of the playground is a slide built into the side of a two-story silo!
Chicken tractors allow chickens to always roam in fresh grass while remaining easily accessible by farmers.

3. A Chicken tractor in action

Thinking about getting some backyard chickens? Come check out a chicken tractor in action! In addition to animals, Heifer provided support for the exhibit by donating a chicken tractor, which displays a sustainable method of farming where a moveable chicken coop with no hard surface flooring is moved around to provide aeration and manure in specific farm areas. Chicken tractors are now found on large farms as well as in residential backyards.

4. The scavenger hunt

Can you find all “Seven M’s” in the farm? The “Seven M’s” explain how an animal can be a catalyst for change by providing: milk, manure, meat, muscle, money, materials and motivation. We like to use the "Seven Ms" to illustrate what animals provide for people and how they can help end hunger and poverty. You'll have to carefully examine the graphics and signs accompanying each farm animal to find the jumping cow that reveals each of the seven Ms! 
Find the jumping cows to reveal all seven Ms!
Find the jumping cows to reveal all seven Ms!

5. Prime opportunities to learn something new

Between the live animals, the scavenger hunt and the interactive play graphics, The Arkansas Heritage Farm provides the perfect chance to slip some serious learning in with a big spoonful of fun! Whether you're interested in learning or teaching about animals, Arkansas agriculture, sustainable farming or alleviating poverty, there's a chance for hands-on education for everyone here!

So what are you waiting for? Come on down!  


Molly Fincher

Molly writes stuff for Heifer International's website, magazine and blog.