Rare Breeds Discovery / Adaptation Program

If you are looking for a new approach to teaching the concept of ‘animal adaptations’ to your class, then the 3-day ‘Rare Breeds Discovery/Adaptation Program’ is something that you should consider; it is ideally suited for children in the fourth or fifth grade and is a supplemental tool, which can be used to help fulfill the MCAS requirements on animal adaptations.

Daisy and Erma the sheep

Daisy and Erma the sheep

The majority of the animals living at Dalby Farm are rare farm breeds; the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC), a watchdog organization that compiles annual census reports on the various rare farm breeds and categorizes them according to their population status figures, has been a very important reference tool that has been used to choose which animals will live on the farm. Virtually, all of the rare farm animals living at Dalby Farm are on that list. The category in which they appear, however, may vary from year to year, depending on the efforts put forth by various organizations to increase a breed’s population.

Rare farm animals are not only more interesting than one would imagine but also, are more of an integral part of our future survival than you might believe. They have many physical adaptations that have helped them to survive and thrive over the years; each breed has their own interesting background and history. They all have established their own relationship with, and impact on, our evolution through the years as well. Our world has changed significantly over the past 100 years. Technology has greatly impacted the role, and ultimately, the population status, of certain farm animals. In fact, livestock breeds that have been cultivated for centuries are vanishing at an alarming rate.

The Rare Farm Breeds Discovery/Adaptation Program is a three-day educational experience that combines classroom learning with farm-based interactive education at Dalby Farm.

Baxter the bunny

Baxter the bunny

Initially, students will be introduced to the concept of animal adaptations in the classroom prior to visiting the farm. Day two will involve a field trip to the farm, that will take approximately 2.5 hours. Students will view a slide show and will take a guided tour. The farm animal’s role in our society and how it has changed over time as well as the adaptations that have helped them to survive, are an integral part of the presentation. How their survival is linked to our survival is discussed as well.

During the tour, students will meet ‘focus’ animals, which are living examples of adaptations. Following the tour, the group will gather for a picnic lunch and an interactive activity will then be presented. Finally, teachers will be given a work-sheet for the children to complete, either back in the classroom when they return to school or later at home. Day three of the program will take place back in the classroom; students will engage in a hands-on exercise, which will help to reinforce their understanding of animal adaptations.

  • The Rare Farm Breeds Discovery/Adaptation Program is offered Monday through Friday, September 1st through October 31st.
  • All visits must be scheduled and will last approximately 2.5 hours.
  • The cost of the 3-day program is $12.00 per student.
  • One FREE chaperone may attend for every 10 students in the group. Any additional chaperones will be charged $4.50 per person.
  • $100 non-refundable deposit is due upon booking to guarantee tour date, balance due on day of tour. (In case of cancellation due to inclement weather, and the visit is not rescheduled, the deposit will be returned).
  • There is a $35.00 service fee for any returned checks.
  • It is very important to ARRIVE ON TIME! Depending on other scheduled bookings for the day, your tardiness could cut into the time allocated for your tour.
  • It is suggested that groups should have at least one chaperone per ten children.
  • Dates and times are subject to weather and availability.
  • Outhouse (port-a-potty) facilities are available on site.
  • You can visit our Country Store after your visit.

This 3-day program is designed to teach older children the importance of rare farm animals, why we need them and why it is critical to protect them from extinction. Their habitats are discussed as well as the different evolutionary adaptations that they have acquired as a result. This is a great opportunity to reinforce learning through hands on and is a perfect compliment to school science programs.

For more information or to reserve a date for your group to visit, call us at 781-545-4952.


Book a Rare Breeds Discovery / Adaptation Request Tour

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If you require further assistance, you can reach us at (781) 545-4952.