clock 10 am – 5 pm
A woman and two girls observe a pack of alpaca in the Farmyard.
Explore | Exhibit

The Farmyard

For more than forty years, The Farmyard has been a favorite of Museum visitors of all ages. Get an up-close look at traditional farm animals, including goats, chickens, pigs, and more! Learn how our Animal Care Team keeps the animals healthy, use an interactive scale to see how you measure up, or just say hello to your favorite farmyard friend!

The Farmyard opens daily at 10am.

Meet Some of Our Farmyard Animals

Two miniature Hereford steers eat hay.

Dusty and Dallas

Although our Miniature Herefords are only 42 inches tall, they are not considered a dwarf breed. They are half the size of a standard Hereford cattle and are known for being extremely calm and highly trainable. Dusty and Dallas are on permanent loan to the Museum from Spring Trail Ranch in Hillsborough, NC.
A buff colored alpaca stands in a pen with two others.

Alpaca Family

Our three female alpacas—Ray, Emily and Equinox—came to the Museum from a farm in Durham, NC, and are all related. Look closely and you'll notice alpacas don't have top front teeth. They have teeth on their bottom jaw and a hard upper pallet—good for cutting and chewing hay.
A donkey stands in front of a red barn.


Born on November 6, 1998, Lightning is a gelding, the name for a neutered male in the horse family. Lightning's yard often contains items he can pick up and explore as part of his enrichment program. Look closely and you might even find him playing with a large rubber ball!

Animal Enrichment

Behavioral enrichment enhances the quality of animal care by providing environmental stimuli that encourage animals to express natural behaviors. For our farmyard animals this might mean hiding food in piles of mulch for our pigs to root through or introducing new smells to the alpaca yard. Keep an eye out during your visit and see if you spot anything unexpected in The Farmyard—it may just be part of our daily animal enrichment!

How Do You Measure Up?

How many people does it take to equal the weight of an alpaca? How about our donkey? Interact with and use the same scale our animal care specialists use to weigh our farmyard animals and see how many friends it takes to equal your favorite animal.

A group of children stand on an industrial scale and look at their weight.