The Belted Barnyard

Cows

Most notable of our farm animals are our beloved signature black and white belted cows, a rare breed of Scottish beef cattle that was introduced to the United States back in the 1950s. In 1982, R.B. Fitch brought a herd of six Belted Galloway Cows from Virginia to Fearrington. There are now over thirty pet Belties grazing our pastures. Guests often refer to the Belted Galloways as “oreo cows.” Our Belties consistently bring home awards in their category at local and national fairs.

Fearrington farm manager Bob Strowd regularly shows our cattle at state and national venues. These include the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, and the North American International Livestock Exposition held in Louisville, KY, the largest all-breed, purebred livestock competition in the country. Farmer Bob also cares for our other farm animals, keeping them safe and healthy.

Goats

You may notice our black and white goats frolicking in the fields with the Belties. Named for a harmless hereditary genetic disorder known as myotonia congenita, fainting goats do not truly faint, but stiffen when startled. The goats appear to have arrived in Tennessee in the early 1800s, courtesy of a reclusive and unnamed farm worker who was most likely from Nova Scotia. Before he left the area, he sold his goats to Dr. H.H. Mayberry, who bred them. In 1996, a herd of goats found their new home at Fearrington.

Chickens

In 2015, another breed found its way to the Fearrington farm — black and white Columbian Wyandotte chickens! First exhibited in 1890 in Chicago, these rare, hearty birds are known for their good disposition in flocks. The Columbian Wyandotte is a medium sized bird with a white feather body and contrasting black and silver neck and tail plumage. Currently, there are less than four breeders in the country raising Columbian Wyandottes according to traditional standards, and most have less than 25 hens. Fearrington’s beloved chickens can be found pecking away near the Fearrington Barn in their coop. Providing eggs for The Fearrington House Restaurant’s seasonal menus and smiles for those who watch their antics are their only goal.

Our Non-Belted Friends

We can’t forget our donkeys — Mary Alice, Jasper and Charlotte! The donkeys live in the pastures at Fearrington alongside the Belted Galloway cows, Tennessee Fainting goats and chickens. Farmer Bob Strowd keeps the donkeys on a strict diet of grass, hay and grains. Their role at Fearrington, in addition to greeting visitors, is to help protect our precious cattle from predators.

beekeeper at fearrington village

Bees

In 2013, Fearrington Village’s honey bee program began with five local bee hives, and the simple goal of producing nectar flow the following year. It was important to select local bee hives because the bees would be acclimated to North Carolina’s climate – particularly the summer heat – and would be less likely to be stressed. Honey flavor is ever-changing, and even varies from hive to hive, due to the diverse array of gardens and pollinating plants available throughout the Village. Our gardening team is dedicated to installing native and pollinator plants, which contributes to the flavor of our honey. Our chefs choose not to mix the honey from different harvests to allow guests to enjoy subtle flavor changes throughout the season. At each harvest, our culinary gardener records the flowers in bloom and the time of year the harvest occurred in order to track how our gardens affect the honey’s flavor. These different flavors are then highlighted by the chefs throughout the Village.

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Meet Farmer Bob

Bob Strowd, Farm Manager

Bob is responsible for the daily care of the cattle, goats, chickens and donkeys at Fearrington Village. His farm tasks include feeding livestock, managing the breeding program, caring for their health (from birthing the calves to vet visits), and preparing the cattle for showing at the North Carolina State Fair.

Take a Tour of Fearrington

View our Interactive Map to learn about our campus

Fearrington Village is more than just a wedding venue or an inn. Behind every corner, there’s something to explore! We’d love for you to take a look around and plan your next visit to the village so you can see just how wonderful Fearrington Village is.

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