Sunday, April 22, 2018

Dairy Barn

Here we have another view of the Dairy Barn, before heading indoors to see the herd. Looking at the map of the property given to me upon entry, I realized after the fact that I had missed a couple of exhibition spaces in this building, in areas away from the cows. Oh well, there's always next time.

The herd consists of several different breeds. When they're all in here, they're in tie stalls. When the weather's warm enough, they spend their time out in pastures, only coming in for milking in the afternoons. The calves get first dibs on the milk from their mothers, and the rest of the milk is sold as part of the national supply. Calves are off in another section I'll show you tomorrow. Female calves end up joining the herd, while male calves will be sold to other farms after a certain age. On the odd winter day when it's mild enough, they get time outside while their stalls are cleaned and fresh straw is put down for them. And there's a technology involving a low electrical current that prompts them to step back to relieve themselves away from the straw. Workers come through replenishing their hay as needed, and water pipes feed into bowls between the stalls. There is even the sound of birds chattering away, and one sees them amid the pipes- though how they get inside the barn is another matter.

Panels on the walls and over the stalls detail milking, cow biology, breed types in this herd, how much they eat, and their summer pastures. One also makes note of the fact that a previous barn at this site went up in a fire. Each of the cows have names, marked above their stalls with their breed type.

A section of stalls nearby is set aside as a maternity ward. This is a Canadienne breed cow named Adele. She was lying quietly the first time I came by, and then having some hay when I came by afterwards. Her time for giving birth was coming up, and so she was placed down here and checked in on regularly by farm staffers. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018


A pair of alpacas are among the animals here in the Horse and Cattle Barn. They looked impatient for spring.

Two calves share a stall here. They're born in the last couple of months. They are siblings, of the Simmental breed of cow. One was up on their feet, the other having a rest. In this first shot, you can see the walkway used by workers to access the stalls.

Emma, also a Simmental, was born last year, and is in the neighbouring stall. She is in fact their sister, as the signage indicates all three had the same father and mother. The Farm handles breeding through artificial insemination.

A mother and calf were sharing a stall. Cleo is a three year old cow of the Blonde D'Aquitaine breed. Fernando was born this year. The signage cautioned that Cleo is a protective mother.

Another pair, calves by the look of them, were here with their mother.

And one more cow for today (with more tomorrow as we head over to the Dairy Barn).

This display dealt with the horse shoe process.

Back outside the barn, the horses were having lunch.

Late in my visit, with the skies clearing, I took additional perspective shots of this barn.

Friday, April 20, 2018


Several of the horses were out in one enclosure here at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum during my visit, while a couple of cattle were in another enclosure nearby, the weather being warm enough to let them out for awhile during my visit. This big horse looms before the background of the Horse and Cattle Barn. Horses, various breeds of cattle, and some other animals can be found inside during the winter, and would get some time here or in other pastures in warmer weather, as the dairy herd does.

Here we have another view of the barn. The animals spend colder weather indoors, and the building is equipped to keep temperatures suitable for them through the year, as well as with fans to circulate air throughout. Public paths circle around the edges of the building, while central passageways allow for workers to access the stalls for cleaning and feeding.

This formidable fellow is a Hereford bull named Hercules, born in 2011.

Most of the cattle in here are females. They would be raised for meat on other farms. Here they get names.

This one, for instance, bears the name Everest, and is a Charolais breed.

While this one is an Angus named Lady, caught at two different points in my visit.

It's not all cattle and horses in here though. This pair were busy preening themselves.

This is one of the display panels here in the barn, having a look at the famous horses used by the Mounties during their Musical Ride.

Thursday, April 19, 2018


This is the Meadowview Barn on the grounds of the Museum. For Easter weekend, staffers were inside, with baby chicks and ducklings present and accounted for. Most of them were in temporary enclosures, with staffers handling one at a time.

Baby chicks are a bundle of fluff.

The little ducklings were quite content to run between their food and their water.

A full sized chicken was here too, standing on the palm of one of the staffers, looking quite at ease.

The Soil Lab is a room that is an annex to the Dairy Barn; it was visible in the shot of the barn I showed you in yesterday's post. Displays on soil types and climate conditions can be found within. I stopped in to have a look.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Kitchens

A reminder to members of City Daily Photo: the theme for May 1st is Laugh.

I ascended to the second floor of the Learning Centre during my visit, and took a photograph towards the Meadowview Barn, which I'll show you in tomorrow's post.

This floor has much of its space taken up with two large kitchens for demonstrations. On this day, one of those kitchens was used by a staffer to talk about eggs. Other displays in this room I'll be holding over until next Easter, as they are appropriate for that.

The other large kitchen space had a baking demonstration going on. There were ovens baking what was being produced over at the demonstration area- chocolate and lemon cakes. The smell of fresh baking filled this area.

A view out the windows looked towards the Dairy Barn. If you note the small building at the lower right, that's the Soil Lab, which I'll also feature tomorrow.

This view gives you a sense of the size of this space. Two fully stocked kitchens are over on the opposite wall, with the demonstration happening to my left. Cake was being sliced up by the woman at the table.

Here we have the demonstration area itself. The lead baker was talking as she worked. The mirror above the table gave the audience a chance to see her work from a different angle.

Fresh cake was just being sliced. It tasted good. I would have saved some for you, really I would... but, well... long story short, I can't be trusted around chocolate anything.

Display panels in the halls examined the importance of bees.