Beware of the llamas at Ferme du Domaine Quinchien: they like to give kisses. The farm’s sheep, cows, deer, chickens, emu and other animals are also more affectionate than visitors might expect, and love to be stroked and kissed.
According to Diane Lévesque, who operates the farm with her husband, it’s because her animals were hand-fed and raised from babies to be treated like friends, not food.
“The animals give what we give,” Lévesque said. “We give affection and very good care and they give it back because they are happy and well treated.”
Domaine Quinchien does not raise animals for meat, but rather as pets. The farm in Vaudreuil offers families a chance to get to know more than 100 animals from 20 different species.
Lévesque and her husband acquired the farm in 2004 and began buying and adopting farm animals and wildlife about 10 years ago. Over the years, they built the farm’s barns and outbuildings to house their furred and feathered friends, doing much of the work themselves.
Last fall, they completed a renovation of the older buildings and decided to formally open their petting farm to the public. The couple wants to educate children and adults about the animals and demonstrate the importance of showing compassion for other living things.
Domaine Quinchien is open for drop-in visitors on weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. As of June 21, it will be open from Wednesday through Sunday (same hours). Daycares or school groups can come during the week if arranged in advance.
It costs $12.75 per adult, $7.50 per child or $35.95 for a family of four with discounts for seniors and groups of more than 20 people. Guided tours are available in English, French or Spanish. The farm has a covered rest area where visitors can enjoy a picnic, as well as an indoor lunch room and play areas for children.
The farm also hosts birthday parties and offers a 15 per cent discount on admission prices, with an option to add on pony or wagon rides.
Ferme du Domaine Quinchien is located at 552 route de Lotbinière in Vaudreuil-Dorion. For more information, call 438-837-9808 or visit fermequinchien.com.