Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Two farms

Another weekend of glorious weather, unseasonably warm (hot!).  Kids on bikes, on the trampoline, in the wagon, running and playing and laughing.  Our neighbour got his kayak and some of the kids had a go. 

Fred and I went to see the Lego City film and we both really enjoyed it.  

On Monday we went to see the lambing at Rushall Farm in Berkshire.  It took a while to get there (and longer to get home) but it was a fantastic afternoon.

We started off by a big pond while waiting for everyone to arrive.  There was some frog spawn, and a bridge to run over.

We got a ride on a tractor trailer along the track and past some woodland to the main farm site.  Then we went into the lambing shed.

They have 850 sheep, and between 40-100 lambs are arriving every day.  Newborns were dropping into the straw everywhere!  You'd turn around and notice another new arrival.

We held two lambs that were a few days old.  The first one was quite feisty and didn't want to stay still, the second was very calm and placid and all three kids loved holding her.

We saw the cows (an American hybrid breed), and fed the lively goats and donkeys.

Then we got called back to the lambing shed, as a ewe was giving birth.  We watched the shepherd adjusting the position of the lamb as her legs were not in the best place for a straightforward delivery.  Freddie was fascinated, and said it was amazing.  Here is the new mum and 30 seconds old lamb:

We visited the two pigs (one friendly, one decidedly not!).
Hens and turkeys next.  On the way our guide showed us a big mound of earth where some mining bees live.  
The turkeys were amazingly tame, and sat around while lots of children stroked them.

The kids had an opportunity to have a look a combine harvester.  It cost £180,000!  I had no idea they cost so much.  It's quite a small one, apparently the big ones are around £300,000.

We got a ride back to the car park on the tractor trailer.  It was an excellent afternoon, despite me getting lost on the way home!

A quiet day yesterday - kids playing, me catching up on laundry.

Another farm today, this time a kids farm rather than a working farm.  It cost a flipping fortune to get in (nearly £40) but I got our money's worth by staying all day!  We arrived at 10.30 and didn't leave until 5pm.

The kids loved it.  There's a great adventure playground with two big sandpits.  Fred has always loved the sit on diggers you sometimes get, and it was wonderful to see him enjoying them again today.  He spent ages digging, and then shaping a big volcano.

Betsy and Meg enjoyed the sandpits too.  

Fred loved the go carts.  He was on them for ages, with companions coming and going (Betsy, me, Alex, Ethan).  All three went on the electric tractors.

After our picnic we went to see the pigs having their lunch.  Fred and Meg fed the goats and sheep (Betsy is a little worried about getting her fingers nibbled).

The kids went into the soft play barn.  They have those amazing very very steep drop slides.  Fred *loved* them!  They played in there for ages.

Meg fed the hens and helped collect the eggs.  She went to the rabbit session and answered some questions about rabbits.  It was very sweet!

It was an excellent day.  I think we're all officially exhausted now.

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