Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trip to the Pumpkin Farm

This year, we went to the pumpkin farm. It's an actual working farm! It's not like those big commercialized pumpkin patches with petting zoos, corn mazes, and hay rides. They only do tours if you like them on their Facebook page and request a date.

We went last Saturday, knowing it might be busy because it was the last weekend before Halloween. Of course, the first thing Little Man found was the sandbox with dump trucks!

Surprisingly, there were some parents who told their kids NOT to get in the sandbox because they would get dirty! Um, hello! Working farm here! I didn't care if Little Man climbed in the sandbox and played. Princess got to go too, but when it came time for the tour, she had to stay with Pops because there was a lot of kids there.

The first thing we saw were the egg laying chickens. The chickens are penned in around an "egg-mobile." (A wagon where they can go lay their eggs.) The chickens actually clean up the cow paddies! So they are moved like every 2-3 days to a new section of the cow pasture to clean. All the animals are grass fed, so the only grain the chickens get are when the tours happen. Little Man also got to pick an egg out from "under" a chicken! I wasn't able to get a picture of it, but he was a little apprehensive. But the chickens were great with the kids reaching in and getting eggs.

Then we met Farmer Book and one of the milk cows, Cinnamon. Cinnamon had actually come from the local university, so she was pretty tame around kids. Farmer Book told us about milk and how he has to milk the cows for 300 days straight, so that can sometimes turn into an every day all year long job if the calves are born at slightly different times. He also said, that unlike a commercial dairy, the grass-fed cows will produce more milk for longer. So then the kids got to pet Cinnamon and we walked over to the meat chickens.

Whereas the black chickens were egg laying chickens, the white chickens were meat chickens. We explained to Little Man what was going to happen to the chickens. In fact, the chickens in the picture are already meat, or as we told Little Man, "chicken nuggets." Their "bad day" was the Monday after we visited. That day comes for those chickens at 8 weeks old.

Then we hiked over to the pigs. They had a couple of piglets. These pigs would be turned into bacon and sausage at 7-8 months old. At 7 months old they are 300 pounds!

Then the kids got to go feed the ducks and geese.

Finally, we got to ride a "bulldozer tractor" pulling a trailer out to the pumpkin patch. I didn't manage to get any pictures of Little Man looking for a pumpkin, but I did manage to get this "selfie" on the ride back!

And of course I had to get a picture of Princess with the smallest pumpkin we got before we got in the car.

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