Farms aren't only places when you can learn about growing crops and plants. Often, they are also home to a wide variety of animals. But before you visit a farm to meet the beasts, or consider getting some for your own small holding, its best to know a little about them. See our guide below for more information.
Pigs tend to get a bit of a bad rep. There are know as dirty, smelly creatures, all because they like the odd roll in the mud. But in fact, pigs are nothing like their lowly reputation would have us believe. They are intelligent creatures, capable of many things. Including remembering things that happen, being excellent mothers, and play.
Unlike their name fowl are not, in fact, foul, but can be very pleasant creatures. The category fowl covers many different breeds of birds from wild birds like grouse and pheasant to more domesticated breeds kept for their eggs like chickens and ducks.
The most important thing to know about any fowl products is how the bird has been kept during its life. For example, free-range birds are allowed to roam where they please, and wild birds are just that—living in the wild.
But be careful of egg labeled from barn- or cage-reared birds. This usually means that the bird has had to live in poor conditions that are bad for their well-being.
Another popular farmyard animal that you are likely to see on a visit to the country is the horse. Horses have been used in agriculture throughout history. They were working animals and pulled the plows and the carts before the motor engine was invented.
Of course, nowadays, folks are much more likely to keep horses for recreational riding, or as an aid to herding cattle, especially on the ranches of western USA.
There are so many different breeds and types of horses. Some like the Arab horse are delicate and graceful. Others like the Shire Horses from England are tall, muscular and sturdy. Due to their being bred to pull heavy carts and caravans.
Some, are also highlighted for their intelligence. According to TodaysEquine.net, the American Paint Horse is known to be both clever and graceful—making it a perfect horse for a riding school or private owner.
Cows are fascinating creatures. Do you know that they don't digest their food all in one go but regurgitate it over, and over again to break it down into the nutrients they need?
Cows have cloven hooves, four legs, and are kept primarily in farm situations for milk, meat, or as rescue animals. They are pretty docile, but because to their size do sometimes need to be approached with caution. Especially if they are not expecting you to be there.
Of course, cows or cattle are the female of the breed with bulls being the males. Bulls are known to be more aggressive than cows so it is definitely wise to be careful while being around them—or avoid them altogether if you can.