DearAggie: Presidential livestock | Home and Garden

Pricey Aggie: Did any U.S. presidents have farm animals?

We often hear tales about presidential dogs or cats roaming the halls of the White Residence whilst their owners are in office. For instance, soon after the president was elected, we discovered about the Biden family’s German shepherds. Of study course, the Bidens’ canines had been not the to start with presidential pups to are living at the White Dwelling. What couple of individuals comprehend is that numerous earlier presidents, particularly all those with agricultural backgrounds, retained other sorts of livestock at the White Residence.

Men and women choose to have animals for quite a few good reasons — from milk, meat and eggs to transportation to companion animals. Likewise, presidents and their households have saved many kinds of livestock at the White Dwelling for related factors. You may well have guessed that prior to refrigeration and railroads, early presidents retained livestock to give clean meals for the desk, particularly milk and eggs. Before cars and trucks and other motor automobiles have been produced, horses have been a major manner of transportation. Most early presidents had horses and/or ponies even though they were in place of work. Eventually, it was not unheard of for a president to be gifted animals although in business.

Thomas Jefferson was a huge proponent of American agriculture and frequently experimented with new farming procedures at Monticello, his dwelling in Virginia. He was among the the initially to graze sheep on the White Home lawn. He also kept a magpie, one of four birds sent back from the Lewis and Clark expedition, as a pet. Ponies named Reb and Billy Button pulled the carriage that took Ulysses Grant’s children to university. William Henry Harrison held a cow and a goat. Abraham Lincoln saved goats and turkeys for the duration of the Civil War. President Lincoln’s son, Tad, was rumored to have befriended one particular turkey and led him close to on a leash. Tad also kept two ponies. William McKinley, who saved a yellow-headed Mexican parrot, was gifted a rooster by a politician from the opposing party. The rooster was referred to as a “gold normal video game fowl” in reference to urgent financial plan of the working day.

Livestock at the White House persisted effectively into the 20th Century. Before his time in workplace, Theodore Roosevelt operated two cattle ranches in North Dakota. Whilst at the White House, the Roosevelts were acknowledged for their menagerie of animals including snakes, guinea pigs, ponies, a pig, a badger, and a lot more. Roosevelt’s son, Quentin, the moment introduced a horse named Algonquin into the White Dwelling to convenience his brother Archie, who was sick with the measles. William H. Taft grazed a high-quality Holstein cow named Pauline Wayne on the White Dwelling lawn to be certain a supply of refreshing milk. Calvin Coolidge stored a donkey when First Woman Grace Coolidge kept a pet racoon. Most notably, Woodrow Wilson grazed an complete flock of sheep on the White Home garden to preserve the manpower required to keep it mowed (a apply getting resurrected currently at installations of solar panels through the region). Wool from Wilson’s sheep was also auctioned off to increase funds for the American Pink Cross.

Abigail Jantzi is the dairy and livestock expert at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County.

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