Friends can come in all shapes and sizes, especially when you live on a farm! Over the years we have had a number of animals that were special in the way they interacted with Farmer Mike and I. I wanted to introduce our readers to a few of them.
Splish, Splash and Splosh were three very special geese that hatched out (unknown to us) under a chicken in our barn. There was some “fowl play” by a young man who was visiting the farm and that is how those eggs ended up under that hen. When the goslings hatched (on Mother’s Day), the young man informed us of what he had done. Since I didn’t think the chicken would be able to raise the goslings adequately, I brought them home and hand raised them. They lived in our bathroom in a great big bathtub for a while. I would fill the tub with water at least once a day when they got big enough to swim. They loved it. I fell in love with them and they became very special friends who were very bonded to me.
You can see additional pictures and videos of these adorable goslings at this link.
This link at Kidzone has some interesting information on Geese. If you follow the page to the bottom, you will see links to activities, crafts, and worksheets for this subject.
Another “bird” friend was a dear, little Speckled Sussex hen. We never named her but she followed us around whenever we were in the barnyard and loved for us to pick her up and pet her. She was always “talking” to us in her sweet voice. We just loved her and she brightened our lives for five years.
Here is a link where you can find interesting facts about chickens as well as additional links to songs, stories, poems, crafts and other activities on this subject for kids.
Easy Science for Kids also is a great link.
Of course, we make pets out of our cattle! But there have been a few that have been especially friendly and loving over the years. As with any large livestock, children should never approach them without an adult along, but if you get the chance to meet a friendly cow up close, it is truly a treat!
Here is an interesting info-graphic about cows shared by Hobby Farms:
Our little horses are great friends. They bring our grandchildren a lot of joy with their sweet dispositions. An interesting job that some mini horses take is that of being a guide to people who are blind (like a seeing eye dog). You can find out more and see some photos of these horses at work here.
There are a lot of interesting facts about horses at this link.
Every farmer needs a great farm dog as a friend. We have been fortunate to have some amazing dogs here on our farm. Lady, the Great Pyrenees, was a wonderful and faithful friend to all the farm animals, watching over and taking care of them.
Casey, a female Corgi, wasn’t at our farm very long, but had a heart of gold. She actually worked as a therapy dog for a while with a friend of ours who had cancer.
Spencer, a male Corgi, is my ever present companion in the barnyard. He is really good with all the animals and loves people of all ages as well. We definitely couldn’t have a farm without our wonderful farm dog friends.
Goats make great friends! They act very much like dogs when you give them a lot of attention and they easily bond to humans. This little goat went with me to the library where I gave a lesson on making cheese!
I started thinking about sharing these pictures of just a few of our animal friends with you when I came across a beautiful book by Wendell Minor called My Farm Friends. I fell in love with the artwork in this book and wanted to share it with you. Here are a few pages from the book:
Farming can be very hard work and often the farmer must work alone. The fact that some of our farm animals can be our friends sure does make our work more enjoyable! We hope you enjoyed these pictures of a few of our farm animals and maybe even learned some things as well!