We love baby animals – the delightful antics of cute chicks, bouncy bunnies and cheeky piglets provide great fun for all the family.
So, why not head out to see some this summer?
There are petting zoos and farm parks all over the Midlands, working hard to protect animals through their breeding programmes.
Many of the smaller projects offer free admission, or cost less than a fiver, whilst some of the bigger attractions provide a full day’s entertainment and are more expensive.
It’s always best to check opening times and prices beforehand to avoid disappointment.
Old Rectory Farm in Sheldon Country Park
This is a lovely farm, giving families the chance to see Jersey cows, sheep, pigs and chickens for free.
There’s also a children’s playground, a tea room and a viewing area to watch planes coming in and out of Birmingham Airport.
Balsall Heath City Farm
The farm began on Malvern Street, Balsall Heath in 1980 with just a few chickens to provide local inner city families with access to animals they might otherwise not see.
Since then it has developed to include lots more animals, like goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, turkeys and sheep.
This environmental education resource offers free admission.
Woodgate Valley Urban Farm
See pigs, poultry, pygmy goats, rare breed sheep, Dexter cattle and rabbits at Woodgate Valley Urban Farm, a farm project managed by volunteers which is open most days, costing just £1 admission for adults and free for kids.
There’s also the Farm Bazaar, offering a stock of bric a brac, toys, books and household items, plus a children’s play area, riding centre, a visitor centre, café and lots of lovely nature walks.
Note, you can enjoy watching the animals but it's not possible to touch or handle them here.
Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park
Work is done here to help save endangered species through involvement in the EEP (European Endangered species Programmes) captive breeding projects.
So, you’ll see plenty of unusual baby animals, like Alaotran Gentle Lemurs, Yellow Breasted Capuchin Monkeys, Northern Bald Ibis, Utila Island Iguanas and Cotton Topped Tamarins.
The small zoo, on Pershore Road, is near to Cannon Hill Park and the mac arts centre, offering lots of wide open spaces to run, a children’s play area and café.
Tickets cost £6 for adults £6, £3.20 for kids and under threes are free.
Sandwell Valley Park Farm
This fully-restored working Victorian farm is home to a number of rare breed animals and is a member of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
There are grazing meadows, a small museum and a tea room too in Sandwell Valley Park, which is near to West Bromwich.
Admission costs £2 for adults and £1.50 for kids and OAPs.
There’s also a lovely adventure playground and water play area too.
Broomey Croft Children’s Farm
You can feed and pet the animals, enjoy the play areas, gift shop, undercover picnic area and tea room.
Admission is £4.90 for adults, £4.40 for kids and OAPs and under twos go free.
Forge Mill Farm
Forge Mill Farm on Forge Lane, West Bromwich offers visitors the chance to see a variety of farm animals for free.
A children’s play area, farm trail, walks and lake make this a great day out.
During the summer there is a Maize Maze (admission charges are £3 for adults and £1.50 for children/over 60s.)
There’s also a shop selling farm meat and produce, gifts, light refreshments and plants – ideal place to pick up the ingredients for your tea before you go home!
Ash End House Children’s Farm
Kids can hold them chicks, ducklings and bunnies in baskets on their laps at Ash End House Children’s Farm in Middleton, near Tamworth.
There’s tractor and trailer rides around the paddocks and birds of prey demos too.
Most of the animals are under cover so it's a good place to go when it's raining too.
Tickets cost £7.95 for children and £6.95 for adults for the farm, or £10.95 / £7.95 for a combi ticket including the Big Play Barn.
Umberslade Farm Park
Bottlefeed newborn lambs and calves, hold the cutest little chicks, rabbits and guinea pigs and even ride a pony at Umberslade Farm Park in Tanworth In Arden, Warwickshire.
There’s also indoor Egg Splat cannons and ride-on tractors as well as two adventure play areas for different age groups and a farmhouse café too.
Tickets start at £7.50 for adults, £6.50 for kids and under twos go free.
West Midland Safari Park
You can feed the goats, colourful lorikeets, deer and giraffe at West Midland Safari Park in Bewdley, Worcestershire.
Staff have been celebrating a successful year of 64 animal births – including camel calves, Cape buffalo, a banteng calf, several antelope and deer, along with Cameroon lambs and poison dart frog tadpoles!
Admission, including a return ticket, costs £22 for adults, £17 for kids and under threes go free. Online discounts available.
Hatton Country World
Feed the cheeky pigs and goats, or pay a visit to the Guinea Pig Village, home to 250 little bundles of fluff just waiting for a cuddle.
Children’s shows take place throughout the day at Hatton Country World in Hatton, Warwick.
There are trampolines, bouncy castles, the drop slide and a Laser Combat Zone plus a sensory zone and soft play area for little visitors.
Prices start at £8.50 for adults and £9.50 for kids and under twos go free.
Feed lambs, watch animal shows and meet reptiles at Hoo Farm in Telford.
There are also otters, foxes, owls, meerkats, giant tortoises, lemurs and porcupine plus a new Farmyard Theatre Barn programme of events which enable visitors to enjoy the farm even when the weather is bad.
There’s also indoor and outdoor play areas, a picnic area, tea room and gift shop.
Admission prices are £9.95 for adults, £9.45 for kids and OAPs and under twos go free.