Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Green Meadows Farm Visit, and Our Finished Farming Unit

We finished up our unit on farming today by reading the rest of Charlotte's Web (again!), and then watching the movie (picked up at the library today after super hero training).  We also went on a field trip to a place called Green Meadow's Farm.  Its a petting farm that has all sorts of animals, a hay ride, pony rides and a train ride.  They do continuous tours, so you just jump in when you show up and keep going until you've done everything!   It was a nice way to check out all of the animals we've studied and more.   The only drawback is that you had a limited time at each stop, I wish we would have been able to spend more time at some.

The first animals we saw were Zebu's which are a type of cattle. 

 Next were the Llama's.  Levi thought it was interesting that they are often used as "guard dogs" on farms.  They also have the 'under bite' because in the wild, they use those teeth to strip bark off of trees. 

Next was a hay ride.  Levi took the opportunity to take some more notes, the whole day he wrote notes in a little book I made for him, listing animals, drawing pictures, and writing down new information that he learned.  

The tractor that pulled the hay 'wagon' had giant tires.  

Next were the turkeys.  Levi learned that they are territorial, and that only the males gobble.  They were 'showing off' for us.   The big brown one is the dominant male.  I though it was interesting that the bigger their 'beard' is, the older they are - it grows as they age. 

Next was the pony rides, this is Butterscotch.  I got to lead him around for Levi's ride.

 And then there was a train ride

 Next we walked over to a building that held a collecting of antique items - some cool farmhouse stuff, and some smaller animals.

Outside was a big tortoise. 

Guinea pigs


Old school desks - all different sizes

Then we saw the baby cow and his mama.  The mama's name is Sweet Lips!  Cows give 6-8 gallons of milk a day, so they drink 10 gallons of water a day. 

 MOOOO!   (both the cow, and the random guy in the background!)

Elmer the water buffalo likes being sprayed with the hose.  He is around 1800lbs, and water buffaloes were often used for plowing.  This is also the type of buffalo that makes mozzarella cheese (well, not this particular buffalo, he is a boy!)

Tigger is a "Zorse" - half zebra, and half horse.  Tigger's dad was a zebra, which makes the first part of "zorse.   Hybrid animals like this one are sterile.  They have beautiful stripy markings!

Next was sheep petting, they were nice and soft. 

The bison, Peanut is smaller than ones in the wild at around 900lbs.  Males usually get up to 2200lbs!  He is loosing his winter coat, which is why he looks a bit shaggy.

Next up was the babies!  Baby chicks, who were about 6 days old, and baby ducks.  They put them in a basket and passed them out for us to hold.  The little chick fell asleep while Levi was holding it.  

 And Levi took a picture of me with the little bitty duck!


 The the kids got to feed lettuce to the baby pot-belly pigs.  These guys can be house trained and are as smart as dogs.  Apparently, they make good pets!

The goats!  There were a lot of babies, including twins  that were only 4 days old

The 4 day old baby! 

 There were also many wild peacocks around.  Levi kept calling them 'pecans'.  They warned the kids that if they chase the peacocks, the peacocks will chase them back! 

 Then we got to spend some time with the adult chickens.  Levi managed to catch and hold a few of them (very gently of course).  There were several different kinds, including some funny looking ones with no feathers on their necks called 'naked necks' 

This one had eggs it was sitting on. 

While learning about chickens earlier in the week, we put an egg in vinegar:

This is the result after 3 days.  It turned to "rubber" because the vinegar disolved the calcium in the egg shell, leaving the membrane intact. 

An ostrich egg is the same as 10 chicken eggs and takes over 2 hours to hard boil.  And if you get too close, they will steal your shiny things! 

 They had several tractors, and other farm equipment that the kids were allowed to climb on. 

 I like this quote they had near the entrance.

It was a fun trip!  

 And then we finished up Levi's lapbook.

We did some different painting techniques to make some decoration of the backgrounds.  For the bird pages, he used a feather as a paint brush. 

And here is the finished lapbook.  It turned out HUGE with 2 file folders, and several page extensions.  I also used brads to attach a couple page protectors, to add pockets for pictures and other little things.

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