Up Close and Animal

Visit This Pipe Creek Ranch For Hands-On Fun on the Farm

Article by Caroline Heiberg

Photography by Jessi Edison

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

There’s nothing like a hands-on experience, and a petting farm is an ideal family outing for kids to learn. Paisley’s Pasture in Pipe Creek is the place to go for activities and education about ranch life and the animals that make it fun. This local, family-owned business gives you the chance to take a private tour and enjoy many “Instagramable” opportunities. If you’re searching for a unique outdoor activity to engage the little ones, Paisley’s Pasture is the place for you! 

Parents bring children of all ages on private tours of the ranch. Everyone can get a taste of ranch life on these lively experiences. No two children are alike on the ranch, so owner Erin Douget directs tours based on the interests of each group of guests. Small groups learn about ranching, living environments, and the health of the animals. Little ones can even collect chicken eggs and brush members of the herd. Whether a child’s favorite animal is a cow, tortoise or pig, the most popular task on the ranch is feeding the friendly livestock. Pigs will eat anything, while the 200-pound tortoises enjoy fruits, vegetables, and large leaves of romaine lettuce. Delicious!

You can’t visit Paisley’s Pasture without noticing their unusual breed of cow. The Miniature Scottish Highland cattle are the ranch’s main attraction, with a herd size of roughly fifty animals. Small in stature with shaggy hair and gorgeous horns, this breed has gained popularity because it’s different from a typical cow. Basically, they are really cute! Add in their gentle temperament, and that makes them ideal for entertaining and educating (and posing with) children. Their docile demeanor is worth a visit by itself, but chickens, pigs and dogs also offer many other interactive opportunities.

If your child doesn’t have much experience with animals, that’s not a problem. For some visitors, this may be their first opportunity for animal interaction, while others may have a lot of experience with pets. Either way, learning about dogs with jobs is often a new experience. The ranch has three livestock guardian dogs, a dog bred for protecting herds from predators. At 150 pounds each, these three gentle giants are tasked with keeping the other animals safe. Their exciting working life is often a highlight for visitors, especially for children who may have been fearful of interactions with dogs before their visit.

Adults and children alike find benefits from ranch tours. Owner Erin Doguet is passionate about educating visitors on ranch life. She always takes the time with families who are interested in adding livestock to their land to make sure they’re ready to care for animals. Thorough education regarding the animals, their health and their living environment is critical in supporting the life of each bovine. Socialization is a cornerstone of animal development at the ranch and interaction with guests is a benefit for the herd. By the time they are ready to leave, they are as gentle and sweet as golden retrievers.

Paisley’s Pasture is equally as picturesque as it is educational and offers different sites for photography opportunities. The rural backdrop creates a memorable setting for family portraits, with many visitors commemorating birthdays or newborns with this out-of-the-ordinary photo op. An antique car and the herd are just a few of the ideal settings for that rustic aesthetic. Guests may use their own photographer or use one of the photographers that the ranch already works with.

In addition to photography and one-on-one tours of the ranch, a few members of the herd are available for traveling to birthday parties and other events. Erin has traveled with the animals to festivals, birthday parties and even wedding receptions. Cattle have attended teacher appreciation days at schools, nursing homes and even a movie set, calming residents and employees with their docile and friendly demeanor. 

Where did the name come from, you ask? Paisley is Douget’s 13-year-old daughter. As an idyllic example of the benefits of animal interaction, she is a skilled educator and can expertly answer questions from guests about animals and their living environment. Her passion for the livestock is evident — she enjoys everything from incubating eggs to dividing up herds to feeding and naming the animals.

Visitors rave about their time spent learning and playing at Paisley’s Pasture. Once you and your family meet their gentle beasts, Paisley’s Pasture is sure to be an experience you’ll remember for years to come.

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