In the small rural community of Hampshire, about 15 minutes from Charlottetown, in Prince Edward Island, you can find a goat farm. But, this is not just any ordinary goat farm. This is a family-friendly farm where visitors can interact with the animals. Well, heck, you can even take the goats for a walk on their leashes!
I have known about Island Hill Farm for several years now but always thought it was more children-oriented. However, one day this summer, while I was on holidays, we decided to pay a visit to the farm and discovered that there were more adults, than children, wandering around playing with the goats! In fact, two women told us that they visit the farm every few months to see how the baby goats have grown and to see what’s new and happening on the farm. As one woman told me, she originally thought it was a place that you only went if you had children but soon discovered that adults like the goats just as much as small children do.
When Flory Sanderson’s husband gave her a few goats one year for Christmas, it was the catalyst for her to start a goat farm. It’s a popular venue for birthday parties, particularly for younger children. In fact, I have seen photos of some pretty elaborate birthday events held at the farm. There are, of course, the goats to play with along with bunnies, chickens, pigs, alpaca, and the various and sundry animals one would expect to see on a farm.
There are activities and demos that take place throughout the day that include story time with Flory and goat milking demonstrations.
There are also opportunities to bottle feed the goats which is always a popular activity.
With over 70 goats, Flory will amaze you by identifying each by name and, if you ask her, don’t be surprised if she can also tell you their lineage and who each goat’s siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents are! Flory loves her “kids”!
The goats love to go on walks and are very accustomed to being around people. They trot right along on their leashes. Some don’t need leashes as they just follow along, stopping to munch on some grass along the way.
On our walk, we headed down the hill from the farm and over to the beehives. If you want to stop and take a break, the goats will obligingly stop and wait for you.
It’s a little bit of an uphill climb back to the farm. The farm youth volunteer who was on the walk with us said we could let the goats off their leashes on the return trip back to the farm as they would just follow along, knowing their destination, which they did.
At the end of our visit, we enjoyed a taste of goat milk ice cream made on the farm and it was delicious. You can also find a small gift shop on the premises that sells goat milk soap, etc. The farm, located at#351 HWY 225 , in Hampshire, PEI, is open year round. A nominal entrance fee applies. You can find more information on the farm’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IslandHillFarm/
Visiting Island Hill Farm brings out the “kid” in everybody, no matter your age!