Fort Ticonderoga’s history truly comes to life with the presence of livestock. Whether for sustenance or for work, animals were essential to the survival of any army at Ticonderoga. Herds of cattle provided meat and milk. Horses and teams of oxen hauled timber, cannon and supplies. Chickens and hogs were raised to feed officer and enlisted soldier alike. Fort Ticonderoga continues its heritage breeds program to bring period cattle and chickens to the garrison grounds for our 2018 portrayal of 1781.
Dominique chickens are America's first chicken breed, dating their origins in North American in the early 18th century. By the 1770s, these chickens would be common amongst local farmers and traders at Ticonderoga. Dominiques are dual purpose birds, used for both meat and eggs. The eggs they produced would have been sold to officers at Ticonderoga, and many officers even "supped" on these chickens as a rare meal. Today, Dominiques are on the "watch list" of heritage breeds. We strive to continue breeding these animals, helping to sustain the breed for future generations. Likewise, we use meat and eggs for our foodways programs. Come see these chickens free ranging around our garden!
Red Devon Cattle
Pastures with Red Devon cattle grazing inside an 18th-century fence greet guests as they drive up to the Fort. The pastoral beauty of period livestock helps transport visitors back in time, harkening back to herds of cattle driven to Ticonderoga for food and transport. Two bull calves born in the spring of 2017 are training to be a team of oxen. These two young oxen are called Mick and Mack. They go on short training drives daily as they learn to work together as a team and follow voice commands.