see goats, pigs, sheep, ponies, chickens and ducks
Come and meet the true characters of Cogges - the animals that live on the farm. Pick up a pot of vegetables from reception and have fun feeding them! From the end of June, 'Meet the Animals’ sessions will be available at the weekend and Bank Holidays. Stroke the animals, and talk to our volunteers about how to look after them.
Meet our goats near the entrance and pick up some veg to feed them, but watch out for naughty nips! Explore the farm and you'll also see old favourites Jonathon, Timmy and Lewis, our Pygmy goats who first came to Cogges on loan in 2012 and thanks to kind donations meant they could stay and live happily with us. Depending on the weather, you'll find them in the fields or yard - so do go and say hello as they still love seeing their adoring public!
Visit our sheep grazing in the pasture during open season. Witney is traditionally a woollen trade town, famous for Cotswold sheep and mills, and the famous Witney blankets which were often traded abroad and even with native Americans as seen on the TV Westerns! You can watch shearing in summer, and some school trips may include lambing. Find out more about the Witney Wool heritage trail.
Oxford Sandy & Blacks are a breed which was threatened until a few years ago. Fortunately, a resurgence of interest and a breeding programme have seen much healthier levels in recent years. The Victorian sties offer an excellent home to our pigs; dry and safe, warm in winter and cool in summer. Pigs are susceptible to sunburn if over-exposed to the sun, but these North-facing sties offer good shade and the pigs get showered down regularly with cool water in the warmer weather, which they love. Pigs are very playful, so we incorporate this into their housing and feeding – they particularly love interaction with the public.
Everyone loves our ducks and chickens! In the farmyard and on the dairy lawn, you will see a range of heritage breed chickens and ducks, many roaming freely around saying hello to their visitors. We hatched two clutches of chicken eggs in 2019, the first a small bantam variety and the second our bigger rare breed egg layers - both are thriving. You can buy our hen and duck eggs - they don’t come more free-range than this!
Animals have been vital to Cogges since its earliest days. The farm has long been associated with the wool trade, though Cogges has always adapted to the agrarian economics of the time. Over the centuries, many different animals have lived and been farmed at Cogges. The animals that are here now help to tell the stories of Cogges through the ages, and give an idea of some of the small scale farming that still takes place in the county and Cotswolds.
We also care for guinea pigs and rabbits on the farm as they offer a great introduction to understanding the basic principles of animal care. They need the same routines and attention to diet as all our other animals. A favourite activity at Cogges is our 'Meet the Animals' sessions every weekend at 11am and 2pm (resuming end of June), where your children can find out more about how to care for them.
Animal welfare is paramount to us, and with the help of a team of dedicated staff, volunteers, professional veterinary support and local farmers the animals enjoy high standards of living.
The dedicated team of volunteers and work experience students is led by Kirsty, who has a Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management. Further support comes from Cogges Veterinary Surgery, who offer advice and treatment for the small animals, and from Hook Norton Veterinary Surgery, who do the same for the farm animals.
All the animals are on a closely monitored feeding plan, with feed according to their size and age. This ensures they are kept in good condition and are happy. The pigs, goats, guinea pigs and rabbits can be fed vegetables by visitors to supplement their daily ration, although these may have to be limited on busy days.
You can book a visit with some of the animals for birthday parties and weddings.
Would you like to make a donation to help us feed and care for the animals living on the farm?
Our Shetland ponies, Toffee and Treacle, are mother and son. Toffee was rescued from a roadside in 2013 and Treacle was born in 2014. Cogges provides a peaceful and safe setting for them both. They need to graze after the sheep have taken down the grass levels, as too rich a diet can be dangerous to them.
If you would like to help Toffee and Treacle and our other animals, find out how below.