Modern visitors to the estate today can see many of the same animals kept by George Washington in the 18th century.

Visit with all the animals who live at Mount Vernon, including breeds who were raised on the estate in George Washington’s time. Ossabaw Island Hogs, Hog Island Sheep, Dominique Chickens, and Red Devon Cattle can be found around the Pioneer Farm, in the Paddock area, and elsewhere. Mount Vernon is also home to horses, mules, and oxen. 

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For the safety of our heritage breeds, disturbing or feeding animals is not permitted.

Where Are the Animals?

Hog Island Sheep

Pioneer FarM, PAddock Area

Sheep were very important, providing wool for clothing and blankets, manure for crop fertilization, and more. Today, Mount Vernon raises Hog Island sheep, a rare breed that is native to Virginia and dates back to the 1600s.

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Pioneer Farm, Paddock Area

Today the term "Ruby Red" may be used to describe a juicy grapefruit or a rich port. But in the 18th century, a Ruby Red was a very important and versatile member of the plantation community.

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Ossabaw Island Hogs

Paddock area

Hogs were very popular in the 18th century as a valuable source of food. Ham, salted pork, bacon, lard, scrapple, and chitterlings were all very common. Today, Mount Vernon raises Ossabaw Island hogs.

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Paddock Area

The Washingtons raised a variety of domesticated fowl, including chickens and turkeys, to supply their table with both meat and eggs.


Pioneer Farm

available seasonally

As an avid horseman, Washington maintained a stable of fine, well-kept horses. They provided transportation, pulled carriages, worked in the fields and wheat treading barn, and were even used for recreation.

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Aladdin, the Christmas Camel

12 Acre Field

AVAILABLE Late November through December

In 1787, George Washington himself paid 18 shillings to bring a camel to Mount Vernon to entertain his guests. Since 2008, Mount Vernon has welcomed Aladdin the Camel each Christmas season for just the same reason.

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