Thursday, 16 July 2015

Ethan on Work Experience at Church Farm

Hi,my name is Ethan and I went to Church Farm for Work experience and it was really
educational as it was good to see how other farms work as it was very different. Church Farm wasn't easy work but wasn't hard as the things we did was cleaning the animals and planting/weeding and feeding which was really enjoyable to do.

 At Church Farm I got to work with lots of different animals for example pigs, meerkats, rabbits, chickens, cows, sheep, donkeys and alpacas which was really fun!! My favourite animals there was the meerkats as they just had a funny personality which I really liked and I really enjoyed working with them. The first day we just got to know everybody who worked there and they were all very nice to us especially The Boss (he even gave me a tractor ride) which was really cool. We also cleaned out a few animals on the first day and it was nice to have the opportunity to work with some animals that we don't have on our farm like alpacas and cows.

On the second day we came in and fed all the animals in the morning and then headed straight up to the vegetables section and we had to take all the potatoes out that had fallen in and get all the weeds out (it only took 4 hours), we than had to put this long white sheet over them so none of the flies could get at them and damage the crops. We also cleaned out the geese which was fun because they have a big attitude problem! Now I know why Mr Fearon won't get them for our farm.

After cleaning the geese out it was time for the afternoon feed for the animals so we fed some of the animals as there was a party at the night time that was going to feed some after that was all done we went home. It was good to spend this time getting to know all of the jobs that needed to be done on a farm that is open to the public five days a week. I want to have my own farm one day, but I also really enjoy showing people around our farm back at school.

On the last day we we came in the morning again and we fed all the animals we then cleaned out the chickens, ponies and also the donkeys which was usually an easy job but it was very hot. We were then asked to do a job that we hadn't done before to clean the cows water which was really difficult as we had to give it a really good scrub to get all the dirty stuff out of it but once we did it it was nice and clean.

Mr Fearon came to visit us on the last day, and we showed him Henry. Henry was a lamb that we raised on our farm at school and we sold to Church Farm last year - Ash put him to six of their ewes earlier this year and he gave twins to each one! This is such a cool link that we now have with Church Farm!


Henry's lambs

Throughout this time there were a lot of family/school visits which we were asked to help in. It finally came to the end of the day were we fed the rest of the animals and said our goodbyes and I got a excellent report to say go again which I was really pleased with I had a fantastic time and will go again to see my meerkat friends.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Ethan on Lambing: How to attach a navel clamp.

Yr 10 Animal Care student Ethan Kinney demonstrates how to apply a navel clamp to one of our Zwartbles lambs shortly after birth.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Jess on Lambing: The Triplet Problem

In this short video, Yr 11 Animal Care student Jess Fleet explains how students dealt with one of our ewes that lambed triplets this spring:

Monday, 6 July 2015

My Cheshire Show - Sasha Warburton

Hi, I'm Sasha and I am in Mr Fearon's Yr 11 Animal Care class, but in September I will start on the Level 3 Animal Management course.

I was really excited when I was chosen to go to the Cheshire Show however I was more excited for Mr Fearon's and Mrs Arrowsmith's ghost stories - everyone who went last year said they were amazing!

Mr Fearon asked me to be the first student from our school to show in a new category - 'Dam and Offspring'. Dam is the goaty name for mother. So I was going to be showing Phoebe who gave birth to Sooty & Sweep last December. Sooty & Sweep are very special goats for us, they were the first pygmy goats to be born on the farm and they now live at Grove St Primary School in New Ferry. Our class helped the students set up the farm at Grove St and the school has done a very good job helping Sooty & Sweep settle in.

We were all very excited when we left for the show, we were like kids at Christmas! It doesn't take us long to get to the show, but Mr Fearon got lost so we had something to make fun of him with.

We moved all our animals into their new temporary accommodation and because I was part of the goat team, we got their pens ready and made sure that the goats had hay, water and food. We also put special signs up so that visitors to the show would know that the goats come from a school farm.

At the end of the first full day, Mrs Arrowsmith took the goat team over to the goat tent and we started to practice how we show the animals. The people from the Pygmy Goat Club were really helpful and gave us loads of useful advice that definitely helped us when we were showing.

When the showing started, I was a little nervous. The competition was national so there were lots of entries in all of the categories, so we knew it would be difficult to win. It was very hot and this made the goats a little more stubborn because some of them were refusing to walk. We watched Josie and Jordan in the Young Handler which was first. They both did very very well and I think that they were unlucky not to come 1st and 3rd, but Clio was a little bit silly when she was walking. Later on, Holly and Hollie (2nd & 3rd in Young Handler last year) competed again, but it was a tough class.

Then it was my turn......I was putting my flat cap and white coat on and the judges hurried us out into the show ring, Phoebe trotting along behind me. It felt like all eyes were on me! Oliver and Fleur from Grove St were with me because they had Sooty and Sweep and we chatted to the judge about the goats, she was very friendly.There were lots of entries in our class and we placed fifth which I am happy with!

Thursday, 2 July 2015

My Cheshire Show - Ethan Kinney

I'm Ethan and I study in Mr Fearon's Yr 10 Animal Care class. I was picked to go to the Cheshire Show with our animals for the second year running and in the weeks before we all got very excited. I really enjoy showing the animals and talking to people about our farm.

We have a special trailer for the farm that our sheep can go in safely and a gate to separate the goats, this is important to keep them safe on the motorway. It isn't a very long journey to the show, unless Mr Fearon goes the wrong way - he said it wasn't his fault!

Phoebe is ready to go!

When we arrive at the show, the first thing to take care of is the animals, so we get them settled into their pens, with straw, hay and plenty of water because it was quite warm. After all the animals were settled, we put our tents up and got the camp ready for the next two nights.

We love camping! 

This year I was working with the sheep again. We have a small flock of pedigree Zwarbles and I was hoping that my sheep, Bebington Bluebell, was going to place well. Last year Bluebell came second to Blossom in the lamb category. This year they were in the Shearling Ewe category (this means that they are a one year old female).

On the first evening, me and the rest of the sheep team (Ellie, James, Jake and Jess) went to practice showing our sheep with Mr Fearon pretending to be the judge. We had to make sure that we knew everything about our sheep in case the judge asked us questions and we also had to make sure that the sheep stood well.

The next day, the competition began and I was a little bit nervous, but I was confident that Bluebell would do well. There were five ewes in our category and four of them were Zwartbles, this made the competition stronger and Mr Fearon said he hopes that there will be a class especially for our breed next year because at the moment, our category is 'Any Other Continental Breed'. Bluebell did really well and came second for the second year running so I was really pleased with her. After Bluebell had come off, I stayed around to help support our other students in their classes with the lambs from this year.

Showing Bluebell & Blossom

When we got home on the Wednesday I went straight to bed because I was really tired, but I came in early again on Thursday to feed the animals before school!