HANCOCK, Mass. (NEWS10) — Hancock Shaker Village, a museum of Shaker history and working farm near Pittsfield, is offering Zoom calls with baby goats, lambs, and calves to offset the economic impacts of closing its doors due to COVID-19.

“If our visitors can’t come to baby animals in person, we are so happy to bring the animals to them online. The reaction of a baby goat or lamb crashing a board meeting, or a birthday party, has been priceless.”

Director Jennifer Trainer Thompson

The free option, “Virtual Farm Friends,” is geared toward kids but fun for all ages. Every Wednesday at 11 a.m., newborn livestock are streamed on Facebook Live, and then posted to Instagram and YouTube. Geared towards schoolchildren (though fun for all ages), the sessions are filmed in the Round Stone Barn and outdoors, each featuring a certain type of animal.

Other paid chat options are available at different donation price points, and Hancock Shaker Village is in the process of adding more sessions to meet growing demand. Fundraising video conferences that support the closed museum include:

  • 15-minutes on Tuesdays at 10:30 am and 11 a.m. for up to six people: $50
  • 15-minutes on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. for meetings or parties of up to 20 people: $150
  • 20-minutes on Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. for unlimited VIP tours*: $300

*VIP tours are hosted by farmer Billy Mangiardi and Jennifer Trainer Thompson, the Director of Hancock Shaker Village.

This year is Hancock Shaker Village’s 60th anniversary.