Wandering Animals

You just never know what animal you might see pass by the window of our farmhouse. Since moving to the farm in 2004 we have had a runaway bullock, numerous calves and cows wandering about in the yard when they were not supposed to, a rat scuttle across the yard following the farm inspector!, stray cats, pheasants, rabbits, partridges and on Monday, just as I was on the phone, a sheep wandered past the window. These days I don’t even bat an eyelid at the sight of a stray animal in the yard.

The sheep, a ewe, belonged to a neighbour and it took three of us to walk, or should I say run her into the pen, (the running was the sheep’s choice and not mine!). The sheep had jumped the fence at the back of our farm and wandered across our back field and into our yard. We don’t know why she left her field as she has a lamb and the electric fence was still on and working. Anyway the ewe was returned to the neighbour and she hasn’t reappeared yet.

When my father-in-law saw the sheep he said, “You’re not going into sheep now are you?”

Do you have any funny stories of runaway animals, if so I would love to hear them so please leave a comment about your wandering animal?!

Naming Farm Animals

Should farm animals be named?

I have had a firm policy for the last few years of not naming animals that I am raising for meat as this has made it easier for me to deal with the loss of the animals.

Some people wonder how I can spend time raising and keeping animals when I know that they will end up as meat but I enjoy looking after animals and I enjoy eating meat from an animal that I know how it has been raised, what it has been fed and how it has been treated.

This year I have raised pigs for meat and I vowed that I would not name them as it would make it easier for me to deal with, however one of our neighbours wanted one of the pigs and decided to name her. From that moment, as I began to identify the pigs and see their personalities develop, I came up with names for them linked to their distinguishing features.

Juliet, Pinky, Rocky – White Stripe, Stumpelina, Perky, Lightening & Spot were all recognisable and although naming these pigs went against my policy of naming animals I am raising for meat I have to say that I do believe that these animals became much friendlier and easier to handle as I spoke to them.

Giving the pigs a name has helped me to bond with these curious and intelligent creatures. I have found that they have responded to their names and it was always the ones with a name that came to the pig stye door first or responded to my voice and this has made the experience of keeping and raising the pigs a much more memorable and enjoyable experience.

My sows are in pig again and I will certainly be naming my piglets again.

Let me know your thoughts about naming animals.

  1. Exactly the same thing happened when we first got pigs too. We had decided not to name them but A. their individual personalities inspired names and B. it became ridiculous trying to explain things about certain pigs without naming them. For example I’d go into the kitchen after feeding them and say ‘the biggest pig with the black ears’ or ‘the pig with the large black spot of his right shoulder’ … much easier just to refer to them with names. We also would give them back scratches and tummy rubs, and spend a good deal of time just chatting to them. I think it all goes a long way towards producing happy meat thats totally free of stress hormones.

    Comment by Rebecca (living sustainably and felting in rural Ireland) – April 1, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

  2. If I raised animals for meat I think I would name them.
    My newest billy goat who I decided not to name as I am not keeping him, has already become Billy Boy.

    Comment by Diane – April 2, 2008 @ 2:48 am

  3. I have wondered how those who raise animals for meat deal with the naming issue. Though I’ve never raised animals for that purpose, I’d think it difficult not to become somewhat attached to the animals. Very interesting the notable response you’re getting from the named pigs.

    Comment by nikkipolani – April 2, 2008 @ 5:10 pm

  4. If I was being raised for meat I think that I’d prefer a name rather than a number or nothing.

    As you say, you became fonder of the pigs after they had a name. This must make a difference to the quality of life of the pig (even though that life is short).

    I admire you Sara. I couldn’t eat my nameless guinea fowl that needed a new home. It’s a subtle shift in consciousness that is needed to provide a happy life and a quick and easy death. I’d like all the meat that we eat to be treated in this way but it requires great strength on the part of the people who raise the pigs.

    Comment by Cottage Smallholder – April 2, 2008 @ 6:56 pm

  5. I grew up on a farm and we named some of the animals – for sure the orphaned lambs and I once had a bull named Rebecca (I don’t really know why, but Rebecca was the perfect name for that bull!). I don’t recall ever naming the pigs…
    If I had animals now, I’m sure they’d all have names. And I totally agree that it’s nice to know where your food is coming from – how it was grown, what it was fed, etc. I guess I might think that the animal was being raised for a purpose – and deserved my respect and care during its lifetime – and for me that would include giving it a name.

    Comment by kris – April 3, 2008 @ 1:49 am

  6. We only allow ‘food’ names for lambs that are definately bound for the pot/freezer – so far we have had “Roastie”, “Chop Chop” and “Hotpot”. The kids are going to name them whatever we do – so we make sure they know what the endgame is right at the start.
    However, with 13 lambs this year I struggle to recognise / remember any names – the only one I know for sure is the orphan ram lamb with a black leg (Chop Chop).

    Comment by notaproperfarmer – April 3, 2008 @ 9:36 am

  7. Yeesh, this is a toughie. I think I would name them, too, but then I wouldn’t be able to eat them. I think it is great that they get so much care and attention from you and I am sure that makes them happier and healthier…and I can only hope that the farmer that is raising my next dinner is doing the same thing.

    Comment by Jean Ann – April 3, 2008 @ 11:59 am

  8. Hi Sara. To make the choice of naming your animals is going to be purely personal. If you feel happy doing so then I am all for it. Saying this, I couldn’t even eat an animal I had raised, let alone name it! x

    Comment by Louise – April 3, 2008 @ 12:46 pm

  9. I’ve hardly been in that position. We cared for our landlord’s free-range herd of cows for years, and couldn’t cope with remembering their tag-numbers. We named them all – even the bull-calves. When I had my own cow, we knew her first calf (male) would be slaughtered, but we named him anyway. They all have their different personalities.

    Comment by Dragonstar – April 3, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

  10. Hello Sara
    I expect you are busy this time of the year.
    Regarding naming of animals. we always named horses (sentimental) and Dogs (sentimental) but the cows were only named for practical reasons, such as passing information about a certain animal from one person to another, and as for hens, we would have been laughed at if we had named fowls. Pigs were slightly different because we dealt with pedigree large whites, and they were referred to by their Herd book name, which could be rather complicated
    Kind regards
    John

    Comment by John – April 5, 2008 @ 9:05 am

  11. Really difficult one that. I think I would have steered clear of naming them (if they were for meat) but I also understand your view of them being more enjoyable to keep and rear when they DO have a name. I guess if you can name them but not become attached to them (and give them human emotions!) then you will be ok. Good luck… not something I’d find easy. Jane

    Comment by Jane – April 11, 2008 @ 5:33 am

  12. I couldnt eat an animal that I have met 🙂

    Comment by junior – September 29, 2008 @ 4:08 pm

Pig Penpal

Farming Friends Pig Penpal is a penpal scheme that enables the penpal recipient to learn about pigs in an interesting way.

Saddleback Gilts

Saddleback Gilts

 

At a cost of only £12 the Farming Friends Pig Penpal will receive;

  • An introductory letter from the pig penpal.
  • A photograph of the pig penpal.
  • A birthday card from the pig penpal.
  • A Christmas card from the pig penpal

Buy the Farming Friends Pig Penpal for yourself or as a gift for a friend, family member, a child, a group or class of children. This is an ideal gift for a child or group of children as it not only enables the children to learn about pigs and life on a farm but it can also help the children to develop their reading and letter writing skills if they want to write back to their pig penpal. The pig penpal will of course find time to send a reply.

Sleeping Sows With Piglets

Sleeping Sows With Piglets

This gift will provide the recipient penpal with;

  • Facts about pigs – what type of animal they are, what breed they are, what they eat and what they produce.
  • An insight into farming life.
  • A link between food and farming.
  • Personal information about the pig.

Buy now for only £12.

When purchasing this gift please fill out the contact form below with the following information:

  • Name of penpal recipient.
  • Address of penpal recipient.
  • Date of birthday of penpal recipient.
  • Age of recipient if a child.
  • Date when you would like the introductory letter if different from birthday.
  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. (required)
 

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Farm Animal Facts

I have been tagged for eight random facts, by 2GreenThumbsUp, who said,” Because I enjoy reading these blogs and I haven’t seen any evidence of previous meme participation, I’m tagging…… Sara at Farming Friends – I’m just getting to know the animals on her farm.” Since 2GreenThumbsUp is just getting to know my animals I thought that I would write 8 random facts about the animals on the farm.

The Rules

When tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you, then post the rules before your list, and list eight random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to eight other people.

Here are my 8 farm animal facts:

  1. The family farm has been breeding Charolais cattle for 48 years.
  2. The cattle breeds on the farm today include Charolais, Limousin, Blond D’Acquitaine and Saler breeds.
  3. Between 2004 and 2007 I have raised approximately 60 guinea fowl from eggs in the incubator.
  4. The farm has five resident cats that live outside and although they are supposed to be ferral cats are becoming more like pet cats as each day goes by!
  5. The farm used to breed pigs when my husband’s Grandad was alive and this year we have started to successfully breed British Saddleback pigs, we currently have 2 sows and fifteen piglets.
  6. Guinea fowl, partridge and quail are all game birds that I have raised on the farm in the last few years.
  7. Hatty the hen, is the resident White Leghorn hen who lays white eggs through the Spring, has befriended the guinea fowl flock, rules the roost and has yet to get broody in the 3 years she has lived on the farm.
  8. The cattle do not like the guinea fowl, although the guinea fowl are not afraid of the cattle but the farm cats are afraid of the guinea fowl.

If you would like to write eight facts about yourself then consider yourself tagged. I hope you have enjoyed my eight facts about the farm.

Farm Animals

Favourite Farm Animal Poll

Which is your favourite farm animal?

This was the poll that farmingfriends has been running for the past two months.

The categories included cattle, chickens, sheep, guinea fowl, pigs, ducks, goats, horses, geese and turkeys.

In a 2 month period 145 people voted – thanks to everyone who voted.

The results were as follows;

Cattle = 25 votes.

Chickens = 16 votes.

Sheep = 12 votes.

Guinea Fowl = 7 votes.

Pigs = 22 votes.

Ducks = 12 votes.

Goats = 11 votes.

Horses = 32 votes.

Geese = 3 votes.

Turkeys = 5 votes.

The most popular farm animal was the horse and the least popular farm animal was the goose. I could have predicted geese being the least favourite but I would not have predicted the horse as the favourite.

Let me know your opinion about the results of this poll and whether you agree with the voting.

Farm Animal Penpal Schemes

Farm Animal Penpals

The Farming Friends farm animal penpal scheme enables the penpal recipient to learn about farm animals in an interesting way.

At a cost of only £12 the Farming Friends Farm Animal Penpal will receive;

An introductory letter from the farm animal penpal.
A photograph of the farm animal penpal.
A birthday card from the farm animal penpal.
A Christmas card from the farm animal penpal.

Buy the Farming Friends Farm Animal Penpal for yourself or as a gift for a friend, family member, a child, a group or class of children. This is an ideal gift for a child or group of children as it not only enables the children to learn about farm animals and life on a farm but it can also help the children to develop their reading and letter writing skills if they want to write back to their farm animal penpal. The farm animal penpal will of course find time to send a reply.

This gift will provide the recipient penpal with;

Facts about the farm animal – what type of animal they are, what breed they are, what they eat and what they produce.
An insight into farming life.
A link between food and farming.
Personal information about the farm animal.

Choose from the following farm animals:

Chicken Penpal

Chicken

Farming Friends Chicken Penpal is a penpal scheme that enables the penpal recipient to learn about chickens in an interesting way.

Buy chicken penpal now for only £12.

Cow Penpal

Cow And Calf

Farming Friends Cow Penpal is a penpal scheme that enables the penpal recipient to learn about cows in an interesting way.

Buy cow penpal now for only £12.

Guinea Fowl Penpal

Guinea Fowl

Farming Friends Guinea Fowl Penpal is a penpal scheme that enables the penpal recipient to learn about guinea fowl in an interesting way.

Buy guinea fowl penpal now for only £12.

Pig Penpal

Farming Friends Pig Penpal is a penpal scheme that enables the penpal recipient to learn about pigs in an interesting way.

The Saddleback Gilts

Buy pig penpal now for only £12.

When purchasing this gift please fill out the contact form below with the following information:

  • Name of penpal recipient.
  • Address of penpal recipient.
  • Date of birthday of penpal recipient.
  • Date when you would like the introductory letter sending if different from birthday.

Chicken Penpal

Chicken Penpal

Chicken Penpal

Farming Friends Chicken Penpal is a penpal scheme that enables the penpal recipient to learn about chickens in an interesting way.

At a cost of only £12 the Farming Friends Chicken Penpal will receive;

  • An introductory letter from the chicken penpal.
  • A photograph of the chicken penpal.
  • A birthday card from the chicken penpal.
  • A Christmas card from the chicken penpal.
Hatty Hen Greetings Card

Hatty Hen Greetings Card

 

Buy the Farming Friends Chicken Penpal for yourself or as a gift for a friend, family member, a child, a group or class of children. This is an ideal gift for a child or group of children as it not only enables the children to learn about chickens and life on a farm but it can also help the children to develop their reading and letter writing skills if they want to write back to their chicken penpal. The chicken penpal will of course find time to send a reply.

This gift will provide the recipient penpal with;

  • Facts about chickens – what type of animal they are, what breed they are, what they eat and what they produce.
  • An insight into farming life.
  • A link between food and farming.
  • Personal information about the chicken.

Buy now for only £12.

When purchasing this gift please fill out the contact form below with the following information.

  • Name of penpal recipient.
  • Address of penpal recipient.
  • Age of penpal recipient if appropriate.
  • Date of birthday of penpal recipient.
  • Date when you would like the introductory letter if different from birthday.
(required)
(required)
 

Cow Penpal

Farming Friends Cow Penpal is a penpal scheme that enables the penpal recipient to learn about cows in an interesting way.
At a cost of only £12 the Farming Friends Cow Penpal will receive;

  • An introductory letter from the cow penpal.
  • A photograph of the cow penpal.
  • A birthday card from the cow penpal.
  • A Christmas card from the cow penpal.

 

Buy the Farming Friends Cow Penpal for yourself or as a gift for a friend, family member, group or class of children or a child. This is an ideal gift for a child or group of children as it not only enables the children to learn about cows and life on a farm but it can also help the children to develop their reading and letter writing skills if they want to write back to their cow penpal. The cow penpal will of course find time to send a reply.

This gift will provide the recipient penpal with;

  • Facts about cows – what breed they are, what they eat and what they produce.
  • An insight into farming life.
  • A link between food and farming.
  • Personal information about the cow.

Buy now for only £12.

When purchasing this gift please fill out the contact form with the following information.

  • Name of penpal recipient.
  • Address of penpal recipient.
  • Age of penpal recipient if appropriate.
  • Date of birthday of penpal recipient.
  • Date when you would like the introductory letter sending if different from birthday.
(required)
(required)
 

Guinea Fowl Penpal

Guinea Fowl Penpal

Guinea Fowl Penpal

 

Farming Friends Guinea Fowl Penpal is a penpal scheme that enables the penpal recipient to learn about guinea fowl in an interesting way.

At a cost of only £12 the Farming Friends Guinea Fowl Penpal will receive;

  • An introductory letter from the guinea fowl penpal.
  • A photograph of the guinea fowl penpal.
  • A birthday card from the guinea fowl penpal.
  • A Christmas card from the guinea fowl penpal.
  •  

Buy the Farming Friends Guinea Fowl Penpal for yourself or as a gift for a friend, family member, group or class of children or a child. This is an ideal gift for a child or group of children as it not only enables the children to learn about guinea fowl and life on a farm but it can also help the children to develop their reading and letter writing skills if they want to write back to their guinea fowl penpal. The guinea fowl penpal will of course find time to send a reply.

Two Guinea Fowl Keets

Two Guinea Fowl Keets

This gift will provide the recipient penpal with;

  • Facts about guinea fowl – what type of animal they are, where they originate from, what they eat and what they produce.
  • An insight into farming life.
  • A link between food and farming.
  • Personal information about the guinea fowl.

Buy now for only £12.

When purchasing this gift please fill out the contact form below with the name, address, age if a child and relevant dates for the penpal recipient to receive their letter and cards.

  • Name of penpal recipient.
  • Address of penpal recipient.
  • Date of birthday of penpal recipient.
  • Date when you would like the introductory letter sending if different from birthday.
  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. (required)
 

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A Farm Animals Wordsearch

A Farm Animals Wordsearch

A Farm Animals Wordsearch

Can you find the names of different farm animals and all their family names in the wordsearch? Have a go today and have some fun along the way!

 

Click on the links below for the wordsearch and the solution.

A Farm Animals Wordsearch

A Farm Animals Wordsearch Solution