The Gentle Barn in Dittmer, MO

The Gentle Barn is a farm animal rescue farm.  Its most famous residents are the "St. Louis Six" - six young steers who broke through fences to escape the slaughter house.  They ran amok through the streets of St. Louis, garnering national attention.  The six were captured and returned to be killed.  However, their flight had already become the stuff of legend.  The Gentle Barn was created to give them a permanent home.  One was seriously injured in the escape and ultimately had to be euthanized.  He is commemorated with a pond on the property.  The other five enjoy a happy life, grazing in a pasture.  The farm is also home to a variety of other rescues including a piglet, goats, sheep, turkeys, ducks and chickens.

It is a fun visit.  The farm is located about an hour drive southwest of the city in rolling, wooded countryside.  It is open with limited hours, currently Sundays from 11 - 1.  A visit includes a film about the Barn and lots of opportunities to play with the animals.  You can walk right up to the cattle and give them a back scratch.  You can hold the turkeys and rub the tummies of the pigs.  It is rare to be able to get so close to farm animals.  The funniest part was being approached by a turkey, who was having a lovely time standing in front of a fan.  The turkey puffed himself up, I think to establish that we were in his space.  He seemed disappointed that we weren't frightened.

One of the St. Louis Six

Another heading into the shade
This goat had tiny ears

A very soft goat

Lady turkeys

Piglet rescued after falling off a truck bound for a feedlot

The entrance to the pasture


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