Our Animals

Feeding the animals

As you drive up the road, purchase a tin of sheep nuts ($2.00 coin) from one of the two green sheep nut dispensers. Stop to feed the pigs, goats, donkeys and miniature horses as you see them. There are some tame deer you can hand feed. While we try to keep the animals nearby, they often wander off, particularly during the hot summer days. The animals respond to rattling the nuts in the tin; it may take some time for them to come. 

When feeding the animals, keep your hand open and flat and watch children around crowding animals. It is advisable to get out of the car to feed the animals.

Learn about all our animals below and find where the animals live on our interactive map. 

Miniature Horses & Donkeys

The Miniature Horses are a specific breed and must be no taller than 34” to 38”. Originally bred in Europe in the 1600’s as the pets of nobility and for use in coal mines. (In 1842 by law they replaced young children as mine workers.) They can be frisky, especially when it’s feeding time so please supervise all children.

Kunekune Pigs

The Kunekune is a small breed of domestic pig from New Zealand. Kunekune are hairy with a rotund build and love their food! The black-spotted one is Button and the Ginger toned pig is called Ginger! These pigs love to play in the waterhole. If you call “Pig Pig Pig” and rattle the tin, they will come up to hand feed.

Say Hello to Button & Ginger

ALPACA WOOL IS SEVEN TIMES STRONGER THAN SHEEP WOOL

Lamas & Alpacas

The Lama and Alpaca are both domesticated animals that have never been in the wild. The lama is considerably larger than the alpaca and has long banana-shaped ears while alpacas have straight ears.
In South America, lamas are used for pack animals, meat and the wool is used for rugs and ropes. The alpaca is used for fine fibre production, named the “super fibre”. Alpaca wool is seven times stronger than wool from a sheep and is naturally hypoallergenic.

Goats

The feral goats (the coloured ones) have been domesticated for over 8000 years in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Goats are agile animals, able to exploit steep hill slope areas unsuitable to other animals.

Most of these goats originated from young captured in the Skippers Canyon area. Gold miners brought these goats to the region to provide a source of milk and meat. These gregarious animals mate throughout the year, with a gestation of 5 months they often have twins. 

GOLD MINERS BROUGHT THESE GOATS TO THE AREA AS A SOURCE OF MILK & MEAT

Red Deer

The red deer is one of the largest deer species. First introduced from Scotland in 1851 to New Zealand, red deer is the most commonly hunted deer in New Zealand. The red deer in Deer Park Heights, are used for breeding young stock to finish for export meat. The male red deer produce velvet which is used for medicinal purposes all over the world. You will see red deer scattered throughout the farm, they’re very timid and can be frightened easily.

Himalayan Tahr

These agile goat-like animals originate from the Himalayas and prefer rocky bluffs and steep faces. The Himalayan Tahr was released into the Southern Alps in 1904 from the UK. This herd was bred up from young ones captured in the wild. They mate between June to August with the young born in Dec – Jan.

Fallow Deer

These timid deer were introduced to NZ from the UK in 1864. There is a herd of 100 in the fallow block on Deer Park Heights. You have to look closely to see these small deer as they flit amongst the tussocks. There are two species: Spanish Fallow and Black Fallow. The white ones you see are ‘albino like’ are Black Fallow Deer. The Hinds fawn in December, they are not commercially farmed here.

Stags

The Stags in the enclosure are male Red Deers. The Stags impressive antlers are structures of display and are used for combat in the mating season. A Stags dominance is primarily determined on body size and antler size. Stags have an annual growth cycle of antlers which starts in spring and can grow up to 2cm a day. At the end of the rutting season (autumn) the antlers drop off, and they develop a new pair of antlers every year from bony outgrowths called pedicles at the top of the skull.

Miniature Horses & Donkeys

The Miniature Horses are a specific breed and must be no taller than 34” to 38”. Originally bred in Europe in the 1600’s as the pets of nobility and for use in coal mines. (In 1842 by law they replaced young children as mine workers.) They can be frisky, especially when it’s feeding time so please supervise all children.

Kunekune Pigs

The Kunekune is a small breed of domestic pig from New Zealand. Kunekune are hairy with a rotund build and love their food! The black-spotted one is Button and the Ginger toned pig is called Ginger! These pigs love to play in the waterhole. If you call “Pig Pig Pig” and rattle the tin, they will come up to hand feed.

Lamas & Alpacas

The Lama and Alpaca are both domesticated animals that have never been in the wild. The lama is considerably larger than the alpaca and has long banana-shaped ears while alpacas have straight ears.
In South America, lamas are used for pack animals, meat and the wool is used for rugs and ropes. The alpaca is used for fine fibre production, named the “super fibre”. Alpaca wool is seven times stronger than wool from a sheep and is naturally hypoallergenic.

Goats

The feral goats (the coloured ones) have been domesticated for over 8000 years in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Goats are agile animals, able to exploit steep hill slope areas unsuitable to other animals.

Most of these goats originated from young captured in the Skippers Canyon area. Gold miners brought these goats to the region to provide a source of milk and meat. These gregarious animals mate throughout the year, with a gestation of 5 months they often have twins.

Stags

These Stags are male Red Deers and live and roam freely in their enclosure. The Stags impressive antlers are structures of display and are used for combat in the mating season. A Stags dominance is primarily determined on body size and antler size. Stags have an annual growth cycle of antlers which starts in spring and can grow up to 2cm a day. At the end of the rutting season (autumn) the antlers drop off, and they develop a new pair of antlers every year from bony outgrowths called pedicles at the top of the skull.

Red Deer

The red deer is one of the largest deer species. First introduced from Scotland in 1851 to New Zealand, red deer is the most commonly hunted deer in New Zealand. The red deer in Deer Park Heights, are used for breeding young stock to finish for export meat. The male red deer produce velvet which is used for medicinal purposes all over the world. You will see red deer scattered throughout the farm, they’re very timid and can be frightened easily.

Himalayan Tahr

These agile goat-like animals originate from the Himalayas and prefer rocky bluffs and steep faces. The Himalayan Tahr was released into the Southern Alps in 1904 from the UK. This heard was bred up from young ones captured in the wild. They mate between June to August with the young born in Dec – Jan.

Fallow Deer

These timid deer were introduced to NZ from the UK in 1864. There is a herd of 100 in the fallow block on Deer Park Heights. You have to look closely to see these small deer as they flit amongst the tussocks. There are two species: Spanish Fallow and Black Fallow. The white ones you see are ‘albino like’ are Black Fallow Deer. The Hinds fawn in December, they are not commercially farmed here.

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