Quit blaming the groundhog for the weather. The baby animals at Indian Ladder Farms prove that spring is here.
Indian Ladder's annual spring event, Baby Animal Daze, not only brings smiles to visitors' faces, but also represents the beginning of the farm's growing season. It's a welcoming of new life and a promise of earth's bounty to come.
It's also a favorite with area families.
It gives kids the experience to get close to animals, to pet the animals, said Liesl Bailey, special events coordinator at Indian Ladder Farms. Animal guides are there to assist, holding the animals for kids to touch.
For first timers " kids who haven't experienced baby chicks or bunnies " it can be "really special," said Bailey. So much so, that kids who've come in the past insist on return visits.
The babies this year are bunnies, pigs, calves, goat kids, lambs, and assorted poultry chicks. Even turkey chicks, "which are really, really cute," said Bailey, before they grow up and become, well, rather ugly.
Another building hosts a Farm Animal Learning Center with hands-on exhibits about domesticated animals and products that come from them, as well as how to feed and care for animals. Bailey said it's "where you can learn about the co-dependence between animals and people."
Baby Animal Daze runs through Sunday, April 22, with special events on the weekends. Also on weekends, pony rides and horse drawn wagon rides will be available.
Companion animals will be featured during the weekend of April 14 and15. A local adoption agency will bring dogs and cats looking for homes. A new addition to the pets' weekend will be Musher Vick and his Second Chance sled dogs, adoptees trained to work as a sled team.
The Blessing of the Animals will take place Sunday, April 15 at 2 p.m. Visitors are welcome to bring their own pets to the ceremony. A procession around the farm will allow the farm's own animals to be blessed.