Not for the faint-hearted: the world’s weirdest farms

If you’re South African, chances are that these farms will make your hair stand on end. We discover a farm where you can feed bugs to the meat-eating plants, and one where the milk comes from spider-goats

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From a carnivorous Californian farm where you feed bugs to the meat-eating plants, to a leech farm in Wales, learn about the world’s funniest farms and oddest livestock.

Moose milk farm

There are fifteen cows (that’s female moose to you) on site of the Kostroma farm in Russia, all of which produce milk filled with healing minerals such as iron, selenium, zinc and lysozyme.

In Kostroma, Russia, happy moose live by the Volga River on a farm dedicated to the production of moose milk. Yep, you heard that right! Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi
In Kostroma, Russia, happy moose live by the Volga River on a farm dedicated to the production of moose milk. Yep, you heard that right! Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

The milk is sold to a local medical centre where it’s used to treat a variety of different ailments. The farm also serves as a research facility for the majestic moose. They’re fitted with radio transmitters to help track and understand their behaviour.

Moose can never truly be domesticated, so it’s more of a ranch than a farm. The moose roam free in the forest during the summer once they grow up. However, the adult moose always come back each winter to take part in daily feasts of delicious steamed oats. I mean, wouldn’t you?

Milk that contains spider silk

Spider-goat. Spider-goat. Does whatever a spider-goat … er … does. But what does a spider-goat do? Well, it makes milk that contains spider silk. The spider-goat is a hybrid animal created by scientists. They spliced golden orb spider DNA with goat DNA and – ta-da! – the spider-goat mashup was born!

It’s weird, but true. A spider-goat makes milk that contains spider silk. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi
It’s weird, but true. A spider-goat makes milk that contains spider silk. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Now you have a goat that produces milk that contains the golden orb spider’s silk. And with great milk, comes great responsibility. While you won’t find goat cheese that sticks to walls in your local grocery store, scientists extract the webbing silk from the milk to make highly resistant products such as fishing line, body armour and even parachutes.

If you have an urge to visit these web-slinging goats, you’re in luck. The University of Utah does schedule tours.

A breeding place for leeches

While the medical practice of leeching (having leeches suck your blood) has been long outdated, some still believe in the medical wonders of a good slug-sucking every now and then.  Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi
While the medical practice of leeching (having leeches suck your blood) has been long outdated, some still believe in the medical wonders of a good slug-sucking every now and then. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi
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While the weird medical practice of leeching (having leeches suck your blood) has been long outdated, some still believe in the medical wonders of a good slug-sucking every now and then.

Extremely sterile, this leech farm in Wales is more of a leech laboratory, testing what medical benefits might come from the return of this old medical practice.

The medical leech industry still provides over 60 000 leeches to hospitals throughout Europe annually.

Also, leeches play a big role in certain veterinary procedures. Poor leeches. Talk about having a job that sucks!

Californian carnivorous ranch

California Carnivores is a plant farm in Forestville, California that grows more than 500 varieties of carnivorous. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi
California Carnivores is a plant farm in Forestville, California, that grows more than 500 varieties of carnivorous plants. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Please feed the animals at California Carnivores, a plant farm in Forestville, California. It grows more than 500 varieties of carnivorous, or meat-eating, plants.

Guests are encouraged to BYOB (“bring your own bugs”) and feed the hungry flowers and vines.

If you find a little critter-eating bouquet you want to take home, the hungry flowers are available for sale at the farm or online.

Owner Peter D’Amato doesn’t worry about feeding his hungry crops, because they manage to snag their own dinners – like the venus flytrap that eats … well, flies. In fact, Peter often saves clueless frogs from becoming a late-night snack.

ALSO READ: No bull: Scientists potty train cows to use ‘MooLoo’

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