Thursday, May 18, 2017

Field Trip

We don't have BIG field trips very often. We usually have smaller groups of 4-12 kids plus adults. We have a wonderful friend that teaches at a nearby school and she was almost desperate for a fun field trip for the grade level.

It's always stressful for me to have that many kids come! She had about 160 children in her grade. We can only handle about 80-90 at a time as we rotate through stations, so they split the group in half. One half visited a historical site while we had the other half going through rotations on the farm.

The previous week (the entire week) was spent cleaning stalls, picking up winter debris, and looking around closely to see if there was anything that someone might get hurt on.

One of our sweet volunteers with Princess, the spoiled goat kid.

Each smaller group of 6-12 children started at one of the stations and rotated through.
One of our volunteers was in charge of blowing the conch shell every 15 minutes so we knew it was time to switch stations.

Station 1
Lamb and Wool

The children got to learn a little about lambs (he's not in the photo)
how to clean wool and get it ready for spinning,
and how a spinning wheel works.
*     *     *     *     *
Station 2
Felted Soap

The children learn how to wrap wool around
a bar of soap and felt it.

The children had a great time,
and it's always fun to take home a souvenir.

*     *     *     *     *

Station 3
Chickens and Ducks

One of our hens hatched a single chick.
She's in a rabbit cage so the visitors can see them, but not touch them.

We had volunteers of all ages!
The little boy in the green shirt is teaching the other children
about the chickens.

Well-behaved groups had the chance to go inside the chicken pen
and hold a chicken, see where they lay their eggs,
and see what their food looks like.
I'm pretty sure the ducks are hiding under the chicken coop!

*     *     *     *     *
Station 4
Feeding the Goats
Before the children were allowed to feed the goats
they had to pick up a rock that filled the palm of their hand
and put it in the old cement irrigation box at the back of the pasture.

The volunteers at this station had to finally put Scout someplace else.
He kept herding the goats into the stalls
which meant that the visitors couldn't feed or pet them!

If I had to guess....
I would guess that this was the favorite station.

One of the benefits we get from so many visitors is that
the goat kids learn that people are nice.
They are generally a lot more friendly after so many visitors.

 *     *     *     *     *

Station 5

"If you can hear me, touch your ears!"
One of the stellar chaperones!
This guy kept these children under control
and helped them learn a lot!

Fifteen minutes isn't enough time to show children how to milk a goat,
so the process was explained.
They learned why we feed the goats and the cow grain, not just grass.
They learned why we wash the udders well,
and they learned a little bit about how we give medicine when a goat or cow is sick.

They had the chance to explore a milker and feel the suction
as they covered the holes on the inflations.

Last visit at this station is getting to pet Echo.
What a sweet cow!
She stayed down for all the visitors, only getting up on her feet when everyone was gone.
This gave the children a chance to pet her,
and feel her horns and head.

*     *     *     *     *

Station 6
Honey Bees

Bees can sometimes be frightening,
but hopefully after our volunteer finishes teaching them,
they learn that real honey bees are nothing to be afraid of.
Our beehives are empty right now so it
is a perfect time for the children
to get a close look at the inside of a hive
as well as protective clothing.

*     *     *     *     *

We didn't have a station for the turkey and her chicks.
The children all got to see her wandering around the property.

We couldn't have had the field trip without our wonderful volunteers! They were here for almost 5 hours! They were cheerful, helpful, and we love them!

We hope you had a wonderful time!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Lots of Questions!

Welcome back!

This is your last post for the school year. I'll keep posting during the summer if you want to stop by and visit the blog to see what is going on.

I looked through all the questions you sent and picked some that I haven't answered yet.

We only have one cow. Her name is Echo. We've had other cattle (that's the fancy name for cows) but they were all steers, Echo is our first girl cow.

This is my favorite picture of Echo.

Remi is the dark steer on the left.
You can read a little more about Remi here.

We had to bottle feed Remi when he first came to us because he was so young.

This is Dinner and one of the goat kids.
He loved hanging out with the baby goats!
You can read a little more about him here.

*     *     *     *     *

This is Darcy. He died a few years ago.
He was a very sweet bunny and we took good care of him when he got sick.
We don't have bunnies any more.
If you want to see what happened to Darcy you can read about him here, and here, and here.

*     *     *     *     *

Yes! We have fun in the fall. We work hard in the fall, too!

This is what we like to do after we rake the leaves.
Sometimes we just like to be silly!
That's fun, too!
*     *     *     *     *

I don't know! We might get a girl sheep if Stew dies or goes to a new home. We usually only have one sheep at a time. They have to be friendly so people can pet them.

Stew is happy, and friendly. He likes hanging out with the boy goats.

This is my favorite picture of Stew.
You can read a little more about Stew getting sheared here.

*     *     *     *     *

We don't know exactly how old Clover is. We got her when Matt was in 5th grade. She showed up in front of our barn with two goat kids. When we found out who owned her we told them that they should make their fences stronger because Nubian goats LOVE to figure out how to get out of fences.

The nice man asked if we wanted to keep her so he didn't have to fix his fences.

We did, and we've been so happy that she has been part of the herd! She has been part of the herd since 2006. She was at least 4 years old when she came to us. That means she is about 15 years old.

This is Clover a few years after we got her.
Ginger is the other goat. She died a few years ago.
We still miss her.

Here's a funny picture of Clover.
She's a silly goat!
*     *     *     *     *

Thanks for stopping by this year. We had a lot of fun sharing our animals and our farm with you. I hope you enjoyed it, and that you learned some new things.

I hope you get to visit some fun places. Here's a post about Flat Stanley when he came to visit our farm a long time ago.

You can visit the blog during the summer, too. If you have questions you can type them into the comment box and I'll answer them.

Have a great summer vacation!