The 310 acre property was purchased in 1979 from Mary Kramer–widow of Bill Kramer. Mr. Kramer had a fascinating history. He graduated from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) at age 16. He was described as an electronic genius. It is reported that he designed the tracking station after Russia put into space the first Sputnik in 1957. At times his genius was unfortunate in that his electrical wiring and plumbing were unorthodox. More than a few times have we heard electricians and plumbers say, “Well, it will work but I have never seen it done that way before.” The ranch house was built out of heart pine lumber salvaged from homes of families that were moved to create Eglin Air Force Base in the 1930’s as the country prepared for World War II. Eglin AFB is 750 square miles in area.
The ranch had a registered Charolais cattle herd. This was the primary endeavor for years. As Peaches and Brian (children of Bill and Jane Buckelew) were growing up and participating in local shows and the American-International Junior Charolais Association, the cows provided much pleasure and many learning experiences. Our best animal, Turbocharger, was the National Senior Champion Bull in 1989. The herd is now smaller as other interests came to the farm.
About 19?? someone gave the Rocking B-A-B Ranch two Blue India peafowl. That was the beginning of another chapter. After the two India Blues succumbed to an encounter with a Chevrolet, we decided to replace them. At that point we discovered there were more colors of peafowl than the “blues”. More pens were built and more colors added. Peafowl mentoring by Brad Legg and family of Missouri were very helpful as we increased our flock. Now we have 44 breeding pens, 2 chick barns, an incubator house and a large flight pen. The peafowl enterprise reached a new level after Josh Nelson became part of the Rocking B-A-B Ranch team. Josh has a gift for understanding the complex world of peafowl genetics, color and patterns, and avian production. We hope to reach even greater heights as we have added genetically pure (progeny of wild caught birds) green peafowl. Specifically, Pavo Muticus-muticus, Pavo Muticus-spicifer, and Pavo Muticus-imperator green peafowl.
Another chapter started when a friend gave a subscription to Miniature Donkey Talk magazine to the Rocking B-A-B Ranch. We discovered the mini-donks had the same value as the registered Charolais cows. The cows would eat a tub full of feed per day. The mini donkeys ate a handful a day and the mini donkeys would love you back. Our herd now has blacks, browns, spots and sorrels as well as the gray dun donkeys. We have about 25 breeding jennets and 4 breeding jacks and babies as they arrive. They are especially useful at the annual Live Nativity held in Fort Walton Beach at Christmas time. Approximately 5000 people visit the scene and play with the animals in the Shepherds field. What an attraction for kids of ages – from 1 to 80 years.
We hope you have time to visit our animals on this web site and we extend to you a hearty welcome to visit the Rocking B-A-B Ranch and see them in real time. Contact us ahead so we can plan for your visit. Enjoy your visit!!