Fort Steele Animals

The agricultural team at Fort Steele works with a variety of domesticated farm animals to offer demonstrations of farm life in the late 1800s. There are several Clydesdale horses on the site and a new foal was born 9 days before we were at Fort Steele. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get a got picture of the newest Clydesdale, nor of any of the Large Black Pig piglets.

Here are a few of the animals…

Muscovy ducklings
These two Muscovy ducklings stayed pretty close to their hen and drake parents. The one towards the back of the photo was a lot more energetic that its sibling, which made it hard to get a shot where both of them were reasonably in focus.

Barred Plymouth Rock hen
This Barred Plymouth Rock hen was sitting on a couple of eggs. The woman at the Pioneer House explained they planned to allow more than the usual number of eggs to hatch this year, to increase the size of the flock. The Barred Plymouth Rock chicken is a cold hardy bird, making it particularly suitable to Canadian winters.
Saanen kid
I’m not 100% sure this is a Saanen goat kid, but Fort Steele information suggests it is. Saanen goats originated in Switzerland, which would make them quite suitable for raising in Canada. It’s hard to believe this little kid belongs to the largest dairy goat breed.

In addition to the domesticated farm animals, there was an abundance of birds in the area. A bald eagle hunted in the area several times a day and perched in a dead tree across the Kootenay River in between flights. Songbirds were plentiful. I enjoyed the chance to photograph some of the hundreds of tree swallows nesting at the Fort…

Tree swallow
This nesting tree swallow gathered some building materials and then spent several minutes surveying the surroundings and making test approach flights to its nesting box before finally going inside.
Tree swallow in flight
Several tree swallows entered and exited an opening in the eaves of the Blacksmith’s shop. I managed to snap this one in full flight.

4 thoughts on “Fort Steele Animals

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. It’s a very engaging way for grade 5 and grade 7 students from the Calgary Science School to learn Canadian history. And it’s pretty engaging for the parent volunteers who go along, too! There’s nothing quite like getting up every few hours all night long to stoke the wood stove in the sleeping barracks to make you appreciate our modern standard of living!

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