At Muscoot Farm you can experience farm animals, agriculture, wildlife, and history in a family-friendly atmosphere. Once a working dairy farm, Muscoot Farm is now a Westchester County park open to the public 362 days of the year.
Please note that until further notice the Farm Complex and buildings at Muscoot Farm are closed. The parking lot and hiking trails however, remain open from 10am-4pm daily. For additional information on Muscoot and other Westchester County facilities please visit westchestergov.com for additional information.
The Muscoot Farm Farmer's Market returns Sunday, May 31, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.!
Walk-ins are now welcome, though it is still required that only one person per family attends.
Face masks are mandatory and social distancing guidelines will be in place.
A limited number of patrons will be allowed in at one time, so there may be a line at the entrance.
Farm complex and buildings are closed; hiking trails open.
Hey Now Hairy Cow!
The "Hairy Coo", also known as a Highland, is a Scottish breed of cattle. It originated in the Scottish Highlands and the Outer Hebrides islands of Scotland which are mountainous, cold, wet, and windy. They have a long shaggy coat that can be red, black, or white that helps them handle the tough weather. Now, what cattle breed do you suppose has the longest history as a registered animal? Yep, it’s the Highland, which has been recorded in the Highland Cattle Herd Book since 1884. But they may be even older. There is archeological evidence of the Highland cattle breed dating back as far as the 6th century—that's 1500 years ago!
One of the Highland’s most distinctive characteristics is its impressive set of horns. While not as long as a Texas Longhorn’s eight-foot span, the Highland nevertheless has impressive horns that can reach up to three or four feet from tip to tip. Highland cattle are large animals that require a great deal of respect to handle safely, but they generally possess an easy-going temperament, usually staying calm and not becoming overly upset about most day-to-day happenings.
Highland cattle are browsers like goats, which means they can eat grass from the pastures as well as forage (like alfalfa and clover) and other edible plants—they’ve even been used to help clear properties of dense bushes! Besides their cool coats, long horns, and hardiness, Highland cattle are great because they can live for a long time, up to 20 years! Highlands make a great long time friend. Let's listen to curator Jonathon Benjamin while he reads "Ferdinand the Bull" to our own Highland cattle: Rua and her daughter Lilly Bell!
Did you know Bee's Dance?!
Bees in a colony work with each other to gather food. They try to find the most pollen and nectar in the least amount of time possible. When a bee finds a really good flower patch it will go back to the hive to tell the other bees how to find it. They do this through dancing! The dances they do tell the distance and direction of the flower patch. To help convince the other bees it is a good flower patch the dancing bee gives the watching bees a taste of the nectar she gathered. She also lets them smell her. Smell and taste helps other bees find the correct flower patch.
Bees use two different kinds of dances to communicate information: the waggle dance and the circle dance. In the waggle dance the dancing bee waggles back and forth as she moves forward in a straight line, then circles around to repeat the dance. The length of the middle line, called the waggle run, shows the distance to the flower patch. The bees dances the waggle run at a specific angle away from straight up. Outside the hive, bees look at the position of the sun, and fly at the same angle away from the sun. That gives them the direction!
The circle dance is pretty simple because it only tells the other bees one thing about the flower patch’s location: that it is somewhere close to the hive. This dance does not include a waggle run, or any information about the direction of the flower patch. In this dance, the bee walks in a circle, turns around, then walks the same circle in the opposite direction. She repeats this many times. Sometimes, the bee includes a little waggle as she’s turning around. The duration of this waggle is thought to indicate the quality of the flower patch she has found.
Below Muscoot Farm's Curator, Jonathon Benjamin, reads a book about bee dancing and talks about some of the things we have growing in our greenhouse that are hoping to be pollinated by bees this Summer!