Small animals are kept on the Farm for educational purposes. The rabbits and guinea pigs are ideal for younger children to meet, and while they are pets rather than working farm animals, even they have to go out and work too – travelling with the mobile farm to shows, events and small animal handling sessions. Ferrets however, are traditionally kept on farms.
The rabbits you see here are domestic rabbits, bred to be kept as pets. They eat grass and hay, and their teeth are continuously growing because all the chewing wears their teeth down. Pet rabbits are kept in hutches, but in the wild make their homes underground in burrows and warrens and spend most of the day grazing above ground. Rabbits are the third most popular pet after cats and dogs, but need more space and care than many people realise!
Despite their name, Guinea Pigs are not pigs and not from Guinea. They are large rodents, and originated from the Andes in South America. Easy to look after, they make a good first pet for children. They mainly eat grass and hay, and live for 5-6 years.
You’ll find the ferrets in their own enclosure, for good reason — on many farms, ferrets are kept to deter rabbits. Being agile and inquisitive tunnellers with a long lean body shape, they can access burrows and warrens to chase rabbits, which are a great pest to plant crops. As pets, ferrets are fun but demanding. Like dogs and cats, they need to be well handled to become socialised.
As they are curious with a strong urge to smell and taste everything they come across, they may nibble, so we recommend you avoid putting your fingers in their cage! Ferrets can spend up to 20 hours a day resting and sleeping, but when awake, they are playful and lively. They need a lot of interaction with their owners and opportunities to play and explore, otherwise they can become bored and unwell as a result.