Farm Animal Activities
Some farms have timed feeding and activities – be very prompt as the farmer needs to get back to his farm duties afterwards!
Some farms only let you get hands on in these supervised times so ask how much you can interact.
Some farms allow you to get involved with the animals at you leisure all day – great fun.
Some farms have a mix of both and have some activities that can be done at a time that suits you, and the rest of the time you can interact when you wish – the best of both worlds!
All About Eggs!
Some farms will even let you collect your own eggs and eat them up for Breakfast – ask your farmer today.
Awoken by the rooster – how much fun! He’s looking after his brood and showing its morning to the farmer and his guests! Farms need roosters to breed chicks, and eggs from a hen that runs alongside a rooster are said to be higher in Protein.
Have you found a chook sitting on a nest of eggs (called a clutch) – make sure you can eat them as they may have little chicks in them – Don’t disturb the hen she is incubating her eggs for the next generation of chooks at your NSW Farmstay.
Found some eggs but they look dirty? Well often they are, as chooks scratch the dirt, have a drink, and then walk over the eggs….every egg at the supermarket are washed thoroughly in a washing machine type machine which holds gently the eggs that’s why THEY look SOOOO clean.
To check eggs are fresh simply put them in a mixing bowl or saucepan of water if they are on the bottom they are lovely and fresh. If they float – throw them out!
Chooks love scraps remember Farmers were environmentalists before it was fashionable, every scrap of peel or food even stale food is great for chooks. They wont eat Banana or citrus peel though.
Safety First – Stay Aware…
Entire male animals, Stallions, Rams, Roosters and Bulls can be more forceful as they are still entire and have the instinct to ‘be the boss’. Observe, ask questions and move slowly when meeting all farm animals. Farm animals are not tame like dogs and cats, they are domesticated which means simply conditioned to be near or controlled by humans. Use common sense and always err on the side of caution.
Literally keep your younger children at you arms length and continually watch them.
Don’t walk behind farm animals or squeal near them as you may startle the animal.
Pick up toddlers and hold babies.
Don’t touch a horse near the mouth he will think you are offering food – you don’t want to be bitten in error, because your fingers smelt like food.
Speak quietly and softly – farm animals are wonderful and love to be treated gently, soon the animals will come to meet you as soon as you appear in or near their paddock. Perhaps you will be known as ‘The Farm Whisperer’ when you return to Sydney from the farm stay!
If a mummy ewe is standing with its lamb, or a mummy alpaca with its little cria, or a mummy mare with its foal DO NOT go and pick up the baby to take it over near your child. Naturally she will panic as she loves and understands from the moment it was born that she has the role of protector of the animal. Ask the farmer to bring the baby is by far the best, and even then slowly approach. The mummy may let you pat her and the baby but she certainly won’t until she trusts you.
Alpacas and donkeys are guardian animals. They will attack and could even kill a strange dog or a fox by crushing it. They are used by farmers mainly for flock protection not for fibre in Australia, best to take your dog for walks on the lanes not in paddocks full of farm animals. It’s no your dog that necessarily will scare the animals and cause injury, it is the alpaca or donkey who may lash out at a guests doggie.