THERE have been plenty of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ over the cute babies born at Staunton Country Park.
But this year, it’s more than ever before as there has been an unprecedented boom at the farm, just in time for the summer holidays.
Last weekend Tilly the Shetland pony gave birth to a foal in front of delighted visitors to the Leigh Park farm.
The foal was joined by a baby alpaca, a llama, three piglets and nine guinea pig pups.
It is the most babies born in the summer for some time.
Jo Edney is the animal care tutor at Staunton.
She has been helping out with the extra workload the babies have caused.
‘There is a lovely atmosphere down here,’ said Jo.
‘All the staff and visitors are cooing over the babies.
‘Horses usually give birth at dawn so it was a huge surprise when Tilly gave birth in front of visitors at the weekend, in the middle of the day.
‘I don’t think they could believe it either. There was a farmer on hand to help her out.
‘But generally we leave them to it to get on with it.
‘They know exactly what they’re doing and we try to intervene as little as possible.
‘Natural births are the best. If you start mucking around with the animals it stresses them out even more.’
Jo was lucky enough to witness KT the Tamworth pig give birth to her three babies.
She said: ‘This was my first litter of piglets that I’ve seen being born. It was a lovely experience.
‘It was slightly nerve-wracking too because I felt a bit responsible for them.
‘But KT is a good mum and knows exactly what she is doing.’
All the births were planned by the farmer so that the visitors had some babies to enjoy during the summer holidays.
None of the babies have names and staff are hoping visitors will come up with some good ideas once the babies’ characters develop over the summer.
Staff have been busy this week looking after more than 100 lambs that were born at Easter.
Now they have all been weaned each one needs to be wormed.
Staunton Country Park and Farm is open all week throughout the summer holidays.