I’m a city girl.
I may have been born in a small town, but I was raised a city girl. Sure I spent time on the farm during some of my summers growing up, but that certainly does not qualify me as a farm girl.
Large animals make me somewhat nervous and I don’t care that horse poop is grass and water… it’s still poop.
One of the education programs my students participated in at Fort Steele Heritage Town, last week, was an Animal Husbandry program. They had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the many farm animals at the Fort. They cleaned stalls, fed and watered the animals, brushed the big Clydesdales, herded sheep and learned the difference between a donkey and a mule. The educators were knowledgeable and were ever so patient with us city mice.
The program started at the stables where students got to meet the black Clydesdales. We were allowed to brush and feed these gentle horses. Each evening they are run from the stables to the pasture. It was both intimidating and breathtaking to see AND hear these giants thunder past you.
We were all thrilled to meet the new foal. She was a funny little thing and would put her backside up to the fence so you could scratch her hindquarters. Fort Steele is currently having a contest to name her. You can find the details on their Facebook page.
I loved these mini horses. They were small, cute and a little sassy. My students were thrilled to be able to brush them and feed them a little bit of sweet grass.
While there I got to do something I had never done before and that was touch a pig’s nose. I know it sounds silly, but it didn’t feel at all like I thought it would. This mama sow let me give her a little pet and then she settled in to have a bit of a nap while her piglets suckled. As they fed, she made this sweet little snorting noise. The other mama sow had so many babies she couldn’t keep track of where they all were. In her excitement to have her own feed and water she ended up stepping on one and then much to the disgust of my students, she peed on a piglet as well!
We got to meet the big ram and this sweet little goat who thought eating pants was a tasty treat!
Fowl are not my favourite of animals, but my daughter insisted that I take some photos of the chickens. I will admit that the comb on the top of their head has always intrigued me, but not enough that I felt the need to reach into the pen to try and touch it. On the topic of poultry I can happily admit I will not feel bad about eating turkey at Christmas ever again! They are ugly mean birds, but the beating noise they make with their wings when they puff up was quite fascinating. While visiting the turkeys we also learned that a turkey’s egg will bounce if you drop it!
The hummingbirds may not have been a domestic animal, but there certainly were a large number of them at the Fort! They flitted, twittered and fought with each other. One even pooped on my camera!
My personal visit with the animals of Fort Steele was eye opening and informative as I learned a little more about what it takes to care for farm animals. The educators at Fort Steele were passionate about their work and I tip my hat to them for all of their hard work!