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Animals and agiculture

Ladugården (the barn) at Jamtli is attached to Näsgården and shows what a barn could look like about 1895. During the Historieland-season, the animals and the staff participate as actors in the historical buildings and settings. For the rest of the year, visitors can meet the animals and hear about them and agricultural activities at Jamtli in the barn. It’s even possible to visit us during milking time.

The animals at Jamtli are of native breeds, old Swedish breeds which have been in here for hundreds of years. At Jamtli you will find Nordsvenska (Northern Swedish) horses, Fjäll (mountain) cows, goats from Jämtland, sheep from Klövsjö, the Bjurholm hens and Mellerud rabbits.

The barn is open to visitors every day between 15.00 – 16.00 while we are feeding the animals. Welcome to us!

You can also book a guided tour at the barn, please call +46 (0)63 15 01 07

Horses

The Nordsvensk (Northern Swedish) horse is one of two national breeds of horses, the other one being the Gotland pony. As a breed, the Nordsvensk has been around for about a century, but its origins, go back hundreds of years. In the 19th century, heavier as well as lighter breeds from the south were crossbred in a rather random fasion with the traditional horse in the noth of Sweden. Horses with the original qualities became rarer. As a result, a project to conserve the original Nordsvensk breed was initiated around 1900.

Cows

In 1892, the Fjällko (mountain cow) was officially recognized as the breed best suited to conditions in northern Sweden. In the latter part of the 20th century, the breed experienced a genetic crisis, and crossbreeding with other dairy cattle was necessary. The project to “Rädda Fjällkon” (Save the mountain cow) was initiated, and with the support of the WWF, sperm from pedigree bulls was collected as the foundation of a gene bank. This breed is a typical dairy breed. Historically, it was important that the animals gained fat quickly in order to survive the long, dark winters. The capacity of the animals to produce meat was not considered very important. The “Fjällko” is fairly small, with an average weight of 430 kilos. It has strong legs and resilient hoofs, which enable it to find pasture in difficult terrain. The average “Fjällko” supplies about 3000 kilos of milk a year. The “Fjällko” can be up to 20 years old!

Goats

This traditional breed of goat (Jämtgeten), is well adapted to the kind of extensive farming that was the norm in Jämtland and Härjedalen. The goats that presently live at Jamtli are a mixture of a herd from Skåne Zoo and a herd that lived on a farm in Aspås in Northern Jämtland. The Jämtget is slimmer and more slender-limbed than the Göinge goat for example, which is a more common breed in the south of Sweden. It also has a more slender head. The goats are normally white or white with markings in brown, black or grey. Horned animals are most common, though polled specimens do exist.

Sheep

The current stock of Klövsjö sheep all come from a flock that Ivar Andreasson bought from Maj Olander in Klövsjö in 1991. The sheep are often white or black with white socks and /or markings in the face, although grey and brown occur. The wool is of piled rug type, usually long enough to reach down to the ground and has a clear centre parting. The Klövsjö sheep have a shiny, wool-free face and a short tail. Their posture is quite low and wide and the ewes are exemplary mothers and usually give birth to two lambs. These animals are very affectionate. This is important in the selection of domesticated animals. The ram can usually go with the herd throughout the year and is very protective of the ewes and lambs. The Klövsjö sheep should not be mixed with other breeds of sheep! The number of animals in the gene bank is constantly increasing, but more gene banks are needed.

Hens

The Bjurholm hen is a remnant of the previously prevalent rustic breed of chickens in Västerbotten. The hens are medium-sized and weigh about 1.5 kg. The rooster weighs about 2 kg, has proud posture but with a compact body. The legs are slightly below average height. The plumage is smooth. The downy layer of the body feathers is relatively large and well developed, suggesting a long adaptation to a cold climate. The hens are predominantly black but some are wild coloured or black with touches of gold in the collar. Wheat and blue also occur, as well as a variant that is white with elements of black.

Rabbits

The Mellerud rabbit is the second of our two Swedish rustic breeds of rabbits and was discovered relatively recently. At the end of 2007, there were 23 reported animals in 11 colonies and over the year 9 batches were born with a total of 36 kits around the country. The original animals were found at Edit Johansson´s in Mellerud. Edith was a deaf/mute lady approaching 90.

“Edith in the lake forest” had a number of rabbits of old regulars, (in pretty bad shape) and for her, the rabbits had always been an integral part of the household as they provided her with tasty meat. The animals had been in Dalsland from 1937 when her family moved there from Kristinehamn.

The agriculture of Jamtli

At Lillhärdalsgården 1785, there are three small parcels where rye, hemp and flax are grown. Two parcels are used for pasture. We normally also grow a few potatoes – it was during this era that this exotic vegetable was introduced in the area.
At Näsgården 1895, the fields are larger. Barley, grass for haymaking and potatoes are grown. Green fodder and oats is grown occasionally, and there is a small vegetable garden.
At Per Albin-torpet (the smallholding) 1942, we grow potatoes, grass for haymaking and vegetables. If we are able to find seeds from traditional plant types, we use them. Some of these are not certified for organic agriculture. Apart from this, we grow organically as far as possible. All work is done by horse and hand.