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Saturday, February 4, 2023
FairfaxFrying Pan Park begins to look like maternity ward

Frying Pan Park begins to look like maternity ward

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Spring is birthing season for animals of all types, and Frying Pan Park is welcoming both newborns and the public that wants to get a glimpse of them.

The largest number of newborns are expected to arrive on schedule from March to May. Likely to be next is Hokie, the park’s Angus cow from Virginia Tech, who is expected to deliver a calf in late March or early April.

In 2020, Hokie gave birth to a bull calf named Skipper. Both mother and son competed in the NASCOW race held at Frying Pan in October.

In April, Frying Pan will be one big maternity ward, with cows, goats, sheep and pigs all giving birth in quick succession. In the first part of April, deliveries are expected from sheep London and Bristol, goats Penelope and Stella, and Pattie the pig.


“The sheep and goats typically have one to three babies at a time; the sow could have as many as 12 piglets in her litter,” farmer Paul Nicholson said.

Pattie’s fellow swine Thelma is due in mid-April. She’ll be followed into motherhood by a sow named Ariat, and by cows Rain and Helene. From mid-May to mid-June, a cow named Florence and the pigs Hazel and Taylor will welcome their offspring to the farm.

After the births, the babies are carefully monitored for several days to make sure they’re feeding properly and getting stronger, park officials said. Once they’re thriving, and depending on the weather, the farm staff put the babies with their mothers where the public can see them. Currently, visitors can look at lambs and piglets that were born in February.

“We generally have the babies out during the warmest part of the day,” Nicholson said.

Frying Pan Park is operated by the Fairfax County Park Authority, and has almost 100 animals on the working farm. Local residents can interact but are cautioned against feeding the animals.

The farm is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Sundays and is located at 2709 West Ox Road in Herndon. Admission is free.

For information, call (703) 437-9010. To see more about new arrivals (and arrivals-to-be), see the Website at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/frying-pan-park/arrivals.

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