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All Posts By

Marta Tobler

Meet Wilbur the Loud One…but the Little Squealer is Just SO CUTE

By | Meet the Critters | No Comments
When Wilbur came to join the petting zoo fall of 2017, we just couldn’t get over how cute he was…but just like any cute critter…there are down sides. Wilbur is like any mini pig and we had to use ear plugs while getting him used to being held because he was…well…loud!
Wilbur loves food – especially mini marshmallows.  We are quickly coming to understand the terms: hog, pig sty, and squealer in a much more literal sense! One morning, while sitting with Silas (who wasn’t feeling well) Marta observed Wilbur and his buddies (Hamlet and Runt), root around in their nice plush bed until they had broken the zipper, pulled out the insert, and shredded the foam pillow all over their pen. They then proceeded to dunk the foam in their water and push each other around in it. Can you say PIG STY?
Wilbur has terrible manners and chews his food very noisily and most certainly with his mouth wide open! If you get past the fact that Mini Pigs are noisy, destructive, greedy, and that you are going to pick up after them just like a toddler, they are quite entertaining. Wilbur’s antics and personality will leave you chuckling for quite some time! What child wouldn’t be amused by a mini pig in a petting zoo at their birthday party?! After all, the Cowboy Critter staff cleans everything up after each petting zoo, so your only job is to laugh along!
Pigs are sensitive to both the heat and the cold because they don’t have much hair, and they aren’t capable of sweating. Right now, Wilbur lives in the basement were it is warm, but in the spring time, he will go back outside so that he has more room to run and play. When the days start getting hot in the summer, we will dig a pit and fill it with water so that, yes, Wilbur can wallow in the mud to cool down. Don’t worry, we wash the animals before we bring them to petting zoos!
Most farm animals get along really well. Silas and Wilbur seem to like each other well enough, but the pony ride horses are still terrified of Wilbur. Horses can be chickens at times, and it is hilarious to see a 800lb animal scared of a very brave and very pink Wilbur! Once the horses spend a little more time around Wilbur in the spring, they will get used to his smell and calm down a bit, but at the moment, the interaction is quite amusing!
Wilbur will be traveling with our petting zoo this year, and his brothers Hamlet and Runt may also be available upon special request. If you are interested in having Wilbur in your petting zoo, please don’t hesitate to book! We expect that Wilbur will be in high demand because he really is just that CUTE.

Cooper the MOST Huggable Pony Ride Mini

By | Meet the Critters | No Comments
While Mini Cooper isn’t new to our team, he is certainly the star of the show! Cooper is a 2005 pinto colored Miniature Horse. Many people say that he reminds them of their childhood Shetland pony.
Miniature horses were originally bred to look exactly like a classic horse…just on a smaller scale. Typically they are lovable pets, but they can also work a little. Often times they can pull small carts for parades and competitions, and some are even trained as service animals. Like dogs, some minis can be taught to guide the blind and provide support for individuals who deal with seizures or have trouble walking. While many minis are know for having a difficult personality, just as many are sweet and lovable companions. Here at Cowboy Critters Petting Farm and Pony Rides, we are so thankful that Mini Cooper falls into the saintly category!
Mini Cooper isn’t trained as a service pony, but he does love his job. Often he can be seen as the star of our petting zoos, and sometimes he gives pony rides for very small children. Cooper is extremely gentle, and sometimes the very small children are much more comfortable taking a pony ride on Cooper than they might be on Prince or Lacey or larger ponies. When he isn’t delighting small children and adults alike, Cooper spends his free time with his friends grazing on delicious green pastures! Many families opt to come visit Cooper and his friends here on the farm where they get to meet Hunter (Cooper’s kitty friend), and spend more one-on-one time with the Critters.
While he is in the petting zoo, Cooper absolutely loves attention. He loves the treats, petting, and even having his mane braided. Many young St. Louis girls have learned to braid with Cooper as their patient subject. Since horses don’t mind having their hair pulled like humans do, Cooper holds very still even when many mistakes are made.
Cooper mainly gives pony rides and participates in petting zoos, but he has also been in an office building to help film a short and fun mid winter video! The video is currently in production, but when it is complete, it will be posted so that everyone can enjoy the performance!

Meet Silas, the most adorable MINI CALF

By | Meet the Critters, The Proprietor's Pen | No Comments

Born in April 2017, Silas still has a little growing to do, and is absolutely lovable AND huggable! He is quickly stealing the hearts of all the critter crew members — much to the consternation of Mini Cooper (mini horse) since he was the previous favorite!

Silas hit the ground running on the Cowboy Critter team. The day after he was hired, he was at his first TV news station! The very next week, he attended a ManaPro commercial set, and the following weekend was in Manchester, Missouri, for his first Live Nativity! Silas also loves the attention…erm…treats that come as a perk for working at Cowboy Critters Petting Zoo!

Silas is a Miniature Zebu calf. He is smaller than our sheep at the moment, but will probably pass them in height by the spring. When full grown, Silas will be much smaller than other cattle breeds. He will not be considered full grown for another 2 – 2.5 years, and will stand less than 42” at the shoulder.

The Miniature Zebu breed is known for being exceptionally docile and easy to handle. Silas is no different. He has quickly acclimated to life here with the petting zoo, and has already made friends with many of the other petting zoo critters!

Probably the best way to really meet Silas is to bring him to your event!

Silas is traveling with our indoor live nativity this year, and has already attended several birthday parties as a member of the petting zoo! If you want to meet him in the St. Louis area, he will be at the Journey to Bethlehem in Columbia, IL Dec 8th – 10th!

If you haven’t attended a petting zoo with Silas yet…you’ve missed out on meeting one of the cutest animals alive!

Enjoy a warm, INDOOR live nativity

By | The Proprietor's Pen, Uncategorized | No Comments

It is that time of year again…”Jingle bells”, Christmas cheer and “Away in the Manger,” and many church communities in the St. Louis area would love to bring a live nativity to their Christmas Eve service. Live sheep, goats, mini cow, and mini donkey are the perfect addition to any Christmas Eve nativity scene. Our adorable nativity critters are quite friendly and available to travel anywhere in the greater St. Louis area from O’Fallon to South County, Florrisant to Arnold!

There is just one problem. Christmas in St. Louis is a pretty chilly time of year, and no one enjoys standing out in the cold even if it is to pet our adorable nativity animals. Many people are willing to brave the cold because the nativity scene is just that cool, but why suffer if you don’t have to?!

In the past, it has been difficult to bring the nativity scene indoors because the goats are a bit messy at times, but now the problem has been solved! Our team recently designed and tested a heavy duty, portable, waterproof and natural looking liner to protect flooring from the mess. Just recently the liner was tested at the Fox 2 news station for a World Vision segment. We brought the critters in the TV studio with all the equipment and the liner saved the floor from virtually all mess! Since our original test, the design has been further improved and is ready to travel anywhere in St. Louis to accompany the indoor live nativity scene.

How did we do it? The base of the floor liner is made from two sheets of heavy duty greenhouse plastic that can stand up to virtually any wear. The next layer is soft padding to absorb moisture and give the animals a soft place to lie down. On top of the padding is a natural stable looking fabric to fit in with our beautiful wooden nativity coral panels. The final step was to roll the plastic over the edge for extra leakage protection — problem solved!

Now, bring our live nativity indoors at no extra cost! Just imagine how much the interactive nativity critters will contribute to your family Christmas Eve experience.

You really can stay warm and enjoy the nativity story up close and personal!

Welcome Prince our newest pony ride member!

By | Meet the Critters | 2 Comments

Flying Diamond Morgan’s Prince was born in 2011 near Springfield, MO, and joined the Cowboy Critters team summer of 2017. He has been giving pony rides in St. Louis and St. Peters since 2014, and the children love his puppy-like personality.

Because Prince has a brilliant white color (when he isn’t rolling in mud that is) he makes the perfect candidate for unicorn and My Little Pony parties! Prince loves the extra attention and awesome look that he gets for each party! We travel anywhere to give pony rides in the greater St. Louis area, and even into Illinois. So, please ask for Prince if you want to host the perfect My Little Pony ride party!

Rainbow Dash is by far Prince’s most popular alter-ego, but he is plenty happy to come dressed as Apple Jack, Rarity, Shutter Fly, or ever Twilight Sparkle! As Prince’s make up artists, we need some time to make sure that we have all the right colors, so please don’t hesitate to call now if you want to host a unicorn or My Little Pony ride party in the St. Louis area (add $50 for dye costs).

To see pricing click here

As you can see, Prince loves attention. While we have only done unicorns, My Little Pony and spartan warrior, we are happy to look into other ideas if we have enough time to gather supplies. Our goal here is to make dreams come true, so please don’t hesitate to ask!

~Prince and Marta