A vital part of plantation life includes the role animals play both domesticated and wild!
What meats did they consume at Shirley Plantation?
Pork, beef, fish, fish, crab, oysters, clams, dove, deer, duck, turkey, turtle and chicken were the main meats of choice throughout the generations of families to live on Shirley Plantation. Throughout the family archives are records of the livestock, companion animals, and wildlife that served the residents.
Were cats and dogs always at Shirley Plantation?
Shirley Plantation’s original outbuildings date between 1723 and 1738. Many of the outbuildings host their original doors with small holes at the bottom. These small holes were for cats to pass in and out freely in order to hunt rodents in the storage buildings, smoke house, stable and dovecote. In the 18th and 19th centuries, leftovers or table scraps were usually removed from dishes out the north windows of the old kitchen where dogs played their role in cleaning up the yard.
What animals are at Shirley Plantation today?
During the 1960s, C. Hill Carter raised hogs, cattle, sheep, and chickens as a food source for their family as well as for profit.
The goats you see in the pastures at Shirley today are mostly rescue animals and used for educational programs and interpretation.
Chickens have been residents at Shirley Plantation probably longer than any other livestock. They make great pasture companion animals as well as provide eggs, meat, feathers, and manure for fertilizer.
Shirley also has two cats, Tunnah and Sugah, which are part of the visitor experience as you may see them roaming the grounds during your visit. Two of the dogs you may meet (on a leash) belong to Carter family members and one which belongs to the foundation director. Other than these dogs, only service animals trained to aid disabled persons are allowed in the historic area. Pet Friendly: there is a designated area for safely walking dogs on a leash across from the visitor parking lot in the opposite direction of the goat and chicken pasture areas.
Meet our friendly animals online by clicking onto the menu bars to the right or, better yet, … come out to visit us soon and meet them “in person!”