Heritage Livestock Breeds at Historic Brattonsville
Historic Brattonsville is home to an award-winning Heritage Farm Program. Demonstrations of historical farming techniques and day-to-day activities are presented by costumed interpreters throughout the year on the Bratton Plantation.
The farm maintains representative numbers of livestock to interpret the important role they played in the lifeways of historic peoples in the region. The farm currently keeps a flock of sheep, small numbers of poultry, cattle and pigs.
Meet the Animals
Gulf Coast Sheep
Historic Brattonsville is home to a flock of rare Gulf Coast Sheep. The breed is listed as “critical” by the American Livestock Breed Conservancy because their worldwide numbers are fewer than two thousand. Brattonsville’s Heritage Breed Program is actively working to preserve this unique and important animal. Gulf Coast Sheep are a remnant population descended from Spanish sheep first brought to Florida in the 1500s. With nearly four centuries of free ranging the Gulf Coast region, and strong natural selection, they have developed a great tolerance to heat and humidity and a strong immunity to parasites. Every spring Historic Brattonsville’s ewes have lambs that have been sold to other museums and breeders throughout the United States.
Our hogs are a Heritage cross breed hog. They are Tamworth/Berkshire and Mulesfoot/Old Spot cross. In the mid 1850s, a lot of livestock were cross bred due to either availability or to make a better hog. Some breeds we have today were created during this time, while other breeds like the Red Guinea hogs, were bred out to extinction. The hogs we have at Historic Brattonsville are a great example of what you would typically find during the mid 1850s in the Carolina Piedmont.