Many visitors to Caldwell are surprised to learn that Babby Farms exists… pleasantly surprised, that is! The non-profit farm has been open to the public for six years, and is home to over 150 animals. What started as a mobile petting zoo is now set on about 3 acres outside of the city (the farm occupies 12), and the variety of animals they house is amazing! All the animals are born in the United States, and many are donated from sister petting zoos around the country, many of which are effected by natural disasters and need a safe place for their animals to live.
“They really run the gamut from A to Z,” says Aaron Johnson, general manager of Babby Farms. “We’ve got Alpacas and Ant-eaters, as well as a Zibo and Zedonk – that’s a cross between a Zebra and a Donkey.”
There is a full-time zookeeper on site, and the animals are extremely well cared for – in return they care for visitors as well.
“We are truly dedicated to providing children and adults with special needs the unique opportunity of getting up close with a number of our animals – we call them our ‘Ambassador Animals,’” says Johnson. “Whether that comes in the form of playing with a baby goat in the petting zoo, or holding a lemur or sloth, we want to make Babby Farms a win-win experience for everyone.”
As mentioned above, one of the most popular exhibits at Babby is the petting zoo. It has baby goats, sheep, and kangaroos!
Babby Farms shows no sign of slowing down; they are working hard to become a self-sustaining farm, including growing their own hay this past year. They have two greenhouses as well. And their facilities are expanding too, they are adding a primate facility in late 2018/early 2019 which will open them up to run more animal encounter experiences.
“We love being here in Caldwell,” says Johnson. “We have an extremely supportive community behind us, and we can’t wait to expand further so more community members can enjoy our facilities.”
Babby Farms is open May – September annually. Check their website for this year's open days and hours.