Erdenheim is home to about 60 head of Black Angus cattle. With over 350 acres of grassland to graze upon, our cows play an important role in fertilizing and restoring pasture. All beef that we have for sale is from cows pastured in our fields and born and raised here on the farm. The herd is constantly growing in numbers so on any given day you may see a new born calf taking its first steps in the sun.
Originally from the region of Galloway, Scotland, these cows are a rare breed. You can identify Belted Galloway by the distinctive white band that wraps around their bellies. The Belties, as we like to call them, are listed under the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. We here at the farm are grateful to be a part of the conservation effort.
In Scotland, Highland Cattle are spread throughout the mountainous territories, called “The Highlands.” They have a long curved horns and a thick wavy coat in order to protect from the cold climates of their native land. Because of this, their meat is often leaner than that of other cattle as they are able to thrive without producing as much subcutaneous fat for warmth as other breeds.
We have about 350 chickens here at Erdenheim Farm. These are all egg laying hens that enjoy spacious coops with outdoor access. Our chickens are fed with an organic feed made locally in Oley, PA at a family run mill. The hens also enjoy supplemental feed from fresh greens year-round as we clear microgreens from our greenhouse benches between plantings and put them into the chickens’ yard.
Our eggs are laid, hand collected, washed, crated and sold all here on the farm with zero fossil fuels used for transportation. All of these are important factors that distinguish our eggs from any you may find at a store. We have several breeds of chickens: Plymouth Rocks that lay brown eggs, White Leghorns that lay white eggs, Rhode Island Reds that lay brown eggs, and Ameraucanas that lay beautiful blue/green colored eggs. These colored eggs have nothing to do with feed, only with breed.
We raise two breeds of sheep here at Erdenheim Farm. Our larger flock are Cheviots. These are sheep from the border area between England and Scotland. They are a dual purpose breed with medium quality wool and good meat. These are the all white sheep that you see on our pastures around the Sheep Barn.
We also raise a South African breed of sheep called Dorper. These black headed sheep are a cross between the Dorset and Persian breeds. They are a meat breed and are also remarkably friendly compared to the typically shy and nervous Cheviot.
The family of Sicilian donkeys that live on the farm play an important role as guardians of our sheep. Donkeys are often used for their territorial instincts to protect flocks against predators such as coyotes. Ours have done a fine job and we give them a good scratch (and some carrots) every now and then to show our thanks.
Erdenheim Farm is proud to announce that we have partnered with the Philadelphia Zoo to help preserve the rarest breed of goat on Earth. The Arapawa goat has an incredible story: hundreds of years ago this was a meat and diary breed in the UK. Later on a small number were left on a New Zealand Island (Arapawa) by colonial explorers who thought they would return and have a source of food waiting. They never returned, and hundreds of years passed during which the breed was lost everywhere except on that island where they thrived. Today there are about 300 of these beautiful goats left in the world thanks to a conservation effort that removed some of the goats from the island which New Zealand is trying to restore to its native flora and fauna.
In November 2016, the Philadephia Zoo gave two young female goats (does) to the farm, named Venus and Basil. Then in November 2018, the zoo gave us a 4 year old buck named Crowley. Since then we have had two successful years of breeding with Crowley and the two does. In the Spring of both 2019 and 2020 we had 3 goats kids born, so we now have 9 Arapawa Goats at Erdenheim Farm.