Families Go Wild in the Farmyard!

Today’s task was in the farmyard, so we started off, as with most farmyard days, with collecting eggs. As it was cold today, we didn’t expect to find many, as chickens lay fewer eggs when it’s cold, to conserve energy.

We went into the chickens’ enclosure, making sure we didn’t let any escape through the door. The chickens seemed very interested in us, and kept crowding around us as we walked around.

We found one chicken sitting down in the boxes where they lay their eggs, so we checked for an egg, and there was one there! It was warm to touch, as she had been sitting on it.

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We hung out with the chickens for a while, and watched them as they wandered around and explored. They pecked us a bit (especially Ilana!), but it didn’t hurt!

With the egg gently placed in the bucket, we returned the bucket to the feed room and moved onto the next task - to muck out the stable!

We fetched wheelbarrows, and tools from the hay barn, and gathered in the stable.

Some of our volunteers hadn’t volunteered with us before, so we went over the three golden rules of the farm. The first, is to walk at a normal pace, to make sure we don’t fall and hurt ourselves, or startle animals. The second is to speak in a normal voice, so we can hear each other, and not scare the animals. The third, is to wash our hands after being in the farmyard or gardens.

With the rules understood by everyone, we got to mucking out. We worked well as a team to remove the donkey poo from the stables and put it in the muck heap.

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We also replaced the drinking water for the donkeys, added some fresh wood shavings to their bedding, and put hay in the racks for them to eat in the afternoon. When we went to get the hay, we took the opportunity to remind ourselves about the differences between hay and straw, and what they are used for.

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We put all our tools away, and put the wheelbarrows back in their place. Then, it was time to write down some feedback, so that our volunteers can have their say about what we do in future sessions. Mario the Sebright chicken joined us in the ecostation, after he practically jumped into the arms of one of our volunteers!

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