Warmhearted, animal whisperer
WINCHESTER — Carrie Paquin doesn’t do things by halves.
If she’s jumping in, both feet are getting wet and the splash will ripple for miles.
Carrie moved to Winchester in 2012, where she later met her partner Trevor. Their blended family includes five kids – two girls and three boys – between the ages of 20 and six.
“We say we have 18 kids because sometimes it feels like that,” she jokes.
In March of last year, Carrie and Trevor started down a path that would change their lives forever: hobby farming.
“Trevor said he wanted to get chickens, so he picked up nine baby chicks from a friend and built the chicken coop,” explains Carrie. “Then I wanted to get ducks, so we got ducks, and after that came the geese…”
Their animal empire snowballed and now includes: 30 ducks, 30 turkeys, 3 geese, 2 steers, 2 bull calves, 12 pigs, 9 goats and countless chickens.
And there’s no end in sight. The couple has big plans in the works for Porch View Hobby Farm, which currently sells eggs, turkeys, chickens and pork.
“I’m really into providing for my family,” explains Carrie. “Last weekend, I made dinner and it was one of our chickens, served with potatoes, onions and corn from our garden…so every single thing on our plates was from right here. The next morning, we had our bacon, our eggs and our home fries. It feels so good because I know what went into these animals.”
Carrie says she had no idea how much she was going to love pigs.
“They have the best personality,” she notes, “they’re like dogs – really sweet and loving.”
Carrie says people often ask her why she gives names to the animals that wind up coming to dinner, without a seat at the table.
“The first thing I do is love the hell out of them. I give them the best life because that’s what they deserve. We love all of our animals.”
She explains that the best part of their agricultural adventure has been the people she’s met along the way, including the farmers who’ve offered up years of wisdom for the cost of a smile.
“I don’t know what I would do without Dundas Vet,” notes Carrie, “They’re amazing – I call and they come right over. When Maple (mama pig) was dying, I had Dr. Pasmanter here three days in a row and when we had to put Maple down, she cried as hard as I did. That’s the type of vet that everybody should have because they care. They are part of the success of my farm.”
In between caring for dozens of animals and raising five kids, Carrie works full-time and runs the ‘What’s Up, Winchester?’ Facebook page.
The idea for the group came from her hometown, which has a ‘What’s Up, Arnprior’ page that Carrie follows to keep up with her old stomping grounds.
“I love this town so much and the people who live here,” she explains. “The purpose is community connection…bringing everyone together in a positive, friendly way.”
The group launched in August of 2017 and now boasts 7,100 members.
“I’m really big on local businesses,” notes Carrie. “Businesses can promote themselves as much as they want on the page. It’s such a great vehicle for getting information out there.”
She explains that ‘What’s Up, Winchester’ brings out the best in people.
“This town just rallies around people in need and the love and support I see on that page is surreal.”