Restaurant with animal birthing room aims to show origin of food

150 calves are born at the farm every day. Photo / Farmhouse Restaurant
150 calves are born at the farm every day. Photo / Farmhouse Restaurant

A new restaurant is taking the term 'farm-to-table' to a whole new level by letting diners watch baby farm animals being born in a purpose-built birthing room.

At Farmhouse Restaurant in Fair Oaks, Indiana, customers are invited to visit a separate barn where live births happen every hour, with 80,000 baby pigs born each year and 150 calves born every single day.

And diners need not worry about the animals ending up on their plates; since it is only a dairy farm, the employees at Farmhouse get their meat and poultry from neighbouring farms instead.


Photo / Farmhouse Restaurant

The Birthing Barn features stadium seating surrounding a room encased with glass, so that hundreds of visitors can catch a glimpse of the miracle of life.

The restaurant, which is run by co-owner Carl Bruggemeier, sits on the 23,000-acre Fair Oaks Farms and boasts up to 500,000 visitors each year.

The goal of the birthing room, he says, is to expose people to where their food comes from.

"Most of us go into a grocery store and don't really know where things come from or how they got there," he told Today.com. "We don't even give it much thought."


Photo / Farmhouse Restaurant

By contrast, more than 55 per cent of the menu at Farmhouse comes directly from the farm, and Mr Bruggemeier says the eventual aim is for that figure to be 80 per cent.

In the same vein, the restaurant kitchen is behind a transparent glass wall, so diners can watch while their meals are being prepared.

Some of the meals featured on the menu include a pork tenderloin sandwich, slow-cooked country short ribs and bacon-wrapped meatloaf.


One of the meals on the menu at The Farmhouse Restaurant. Photo / Farmhouse Restaurant


The Farmhouse Restaurant. Photo / Farmhouse Restaurant

Not only does the restaurant take special care to keep their customers informed about the origins of their foods, but it is also entirely eco-friendly.

The facility runs on energy produced by cow and pig manure, or 'poo power' as it is dubbed on their website.

"Sustainability isn't just something we claim, it's how we live," reads the site.

What's more, a visit to the farm is an experience in itself; tourists can explore a 7,000-tree fruit orchard, which provides much of the menu at the restaurant.


Diners can interact with some of the pigs in a 'Pig Adventure'. Photo / Farmhouse Restaurant

They can also take part in the 'Pig Adventure', where they can perform a hands-on sonogram and interact with some of the pigs.

And the 'Dairy Adventure' provides an in-depth, up-close look at sustainable dairy farming.

Adult tickets for a single adventure cost US$15 or $25 for both. Kids two and under can visit for free, and tickets for those between the ages of two and 12 cost $10 for one adventure or $20 for both.

- Daily Mail

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