Biodiversity in agriculture is critical to food security, and Abbey Gardens is committed to preserving and demonstrating heritage livestock. Their genetics have evolved over centuries of farming to be well adapted to our environment and resilient to pests and disease. In an age of factory farms and genetically-modified food sources, supporting heritage breeds is one important activity in support of food security and resilience. At Abbey Gardens, we showcase two rare breeds: Ojibwe Horses and Chantecler chickens.
Meet Our Rare Ojibwe Horses
There are only about 200 Ojibwe horses in existence. And you can find two of them right here at Abbey Gardens.
This rare Canadian breed, formerly known as the Lac La Croix Pony, is small, friendly and versatile. And they like visitors! Children can meet brothers Maple and Sammy in one of our educational programs, or you can drop by to see them. You’ll find their companion, a miniature appaloosa named Flapjack, nearby. These rare breeds are the stars of our Equine Assisted Learning program, which offers a unique experience to get up close and personal with them while learning life skills in a fun and interactive way. It’s fun, soothing approach to personal development.
The Chantecler is a breed of chicken originating in Quebec in the early 20th century. With plumage that lies tight against the body and an exceptionally small cushion comb and wattles (to protect against frostbite), the Chantecler is one of the most cold-hardy chickens and is suitable for both egg and meat production.
Our heritage breeds are cared for by our programming coordinators and a team of volunteers. Your support contributes to their care and feeding, including maintaining the safety of their enclosures, interpretive signage that explains the benefits of the breeds, vet care, and the development of programming like our Equine Assisted Learning program and APPLE program.
Abbey Gardens Pony Powered Learning Experience (APPLE) is founded on the Certified Building Block™ program, which is the first nationally recognized Equine Assisted Learning program. This Equine Assisted Learning program series was originally designed to facilitate the building of personal development skills, while ‘using horse sense’.
Working together with our Ojibwe Horses, participants will learn appropriate assertiveness, how to set boundaries, build strong communication skills and develop foundations for leadership. Unleash your potential with customized equine programming at Abbey Gardens.