The Pilgrims: Animals

posted in: Pilgrims | 0

We only know of two animals, both dogs, brought over on the Mayflower. These were an English mastiff and an English spaniel.

English mastiff
English spaniel

However, it is believed that chickens may also have been brought over because chicken broth was made in early 1622 for Edward Winslow.

Another source theorized that even pigs and goats may have been onboard the Mayflower. We do not know for sure one way or another.

“In 1623, Emmanual Altham visited Plymouth and reported there were six goats, fifty pigs, and many chickens.”

Also, in 1623 the ship Anne arrived with three cows. Four more cows are known to have arrived a year later on the ship Jacob.

“By May 1627, there were 16 head of cattle and at least 22 goats living in Plymouth.”

We know from three estate records in 1633 that rams, sheep and lambs were part of their estate.

“The first horses and oxen did not begin arriving until the 1630s, most being brought to the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the north.”

These animals provided milk, meat and eggs for the families.

Also, their droppings provided great manure for the gardens and fields.

Often it was the duties of the children to tend to and maintain the animals and their surroundings.

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