As the United State's population increases, more and more people are living in urban areas and never have a chance to interact with a farm animal. Farm animals provide many of the daily food products people consume, yet children as well as some adults believe that all food comes from the store or a restaurant. By providing a petting farm, children can actually interact with farm animals in a safe environment while learning that the store is not the beginning of their food source.
- Variety of farm animals
- Housing for the farm animals
- Feed for the farm animals
- Watering system
- Area for guests to interact
- Area for isolation of sick or injured animals
Select the animals you will want to include in your petting farm. Young calves from dairies, goats, rabbits, chicken, pigs, and horses are all great candidates. You will need to provide proper housing for each type of animal and know their dietary requirements. Fresh drinking water is required by all of the animals at all times. Prepare for your animals before you acquire them.
Set up the area for interaction with the animals. For example, a rabbit should have a low fenced area where the children can be supervised while they play with the animal. The fence will keep the animal from accidentally escaping, yet serve as a barrier for children who are too timid to interact at the beginning.
Set up an infirmary. Occasionally, one of the animals may be injured or sick and you will want to isolate it away from the petting farm area. This will give the animal a quiet place to recuperate while the other farm animals take the limelight.
Plan activities that your guests can do with the farm animals. Many of the farm animals can become ill if not fed on a regular basis; others will eat continuously throughout the day with no ill effects. By knowing which animal can be fed and which ones are for petting only, you can create activities for your guests to enjoy around the animals' well being.
- Photo Credit calf image by Nerijus Dilba from Fotolia.com
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