Friday, April 27, 2012

FFA petting zoo

Rooster, the rooster.
Last night was the early childhood center's family fun night.  For those of you not familiar with this, we are extremely fortunate in Podunk, that our school is growing, and has a thriving industrial park providing it's tax base.  This enabled the school, 10 or so years ago to add an early childhood center, which is a daycare, pre-school and kindergarten all in one very nice building.  Each month, they have family fun night for all those students and their parents and siblings, for FREE.  Each month has a theme, and this month, the theme was "Farm Life" and our high school FFA (future farmers of America) members provided the petting zoo, and a few other activities.  DD#2 and DD#3 are officers and spent the evening along with lots of other members, talking to, teaching and coaching (ie, pet them gently) a couple hundred little kids and their families.

Banjo the horse.
Banjo the horse along with the other horse, that I neither got a picture of, or learned it's name had a constant bunch of kids wanting to pet them and feed them (and probably ride them!).  They were a petting zoo only, last night.

Sam, the goat and Foxy the mini horse
Sam and Foxy drew plenty of attention too.  Many, many kids fed both of them, and they never seemed to get tired of the attention.  Foxy is probably the prettiest mini horse I have ever seen, and quite well mannered too.  Hope she has a beautiful foal for the young lady that owns and loves her! 

Feeding Sam
I am not generally a big fan of goats, but this one may have changed my mind.  She didn't smell (I suspect the young lady that owns her gave her a bath for this occasion) and had impeccable manners.  She even led on a leash better than our dog.  The perfect petting zoo goat.

Foxy, the pregnant mini horse
We also had ducks and young chickens, which were a source of fascination and many parents used the opportunity to have their little ones count them!  The chicks were a little tough to count because they all look alike and they were always moving!  

Whitey, Blanca and Bleach, the ducks
Another big hit was the group including the lamb, the pig and the bottle calf.  The pig was not quite as thrilled as most of the other animals to go to the petting zoo.  She was extremely vocal about not wanting to go!

Chica the calf and Bacon the pig.

Bacon, the pig, just chillin'

Rooster is watching the action

Even the adults liked the animals.  The pig decided she liked being there after a really nice lady shared three of her chocolate chip cookies.  The pig was sad when that lady walked off for sure.  I'm thinking I may have to bake the pig some oatmeal cookies sometime today, I'm not really sure if pigs should have chocolate.

There were tractors, big and small, for the kids to climb on, and those were a huge hit!  Not too many kids there had seen a "big" tractor.  The other surprise hit, was the set of animal pens that had been set up, but not used (the goat could escape under them!).  It was constantly full of little kids who climbed under, over and through it all night.  The FFA kids laughed and said that next year, they should just bring pens!  I thought it should have been labeled "unicorn".

Other FFA activities included a hay rack ride.  OK, so it's not technically a hay rack, but the little kids thought it was fun anyway!  I don't know who's dad was driving, but I heard he gave "awesome" rides! And had an area for the kids to color farm pictures, and plant cucumber seeds to take home, and were promoting the upcoming FFA greenhouse auction.

The early childhood center volunteers had lots of games, like cattle roping with a cow made out of a box, and of course food, and door prizes.  

The big hit of the night was the Rooster.  A last minute addition by DD#3.  He's an outcast in our chicken yard, and he follows DD#3 around the yard like a dog.  He does chores with her, he lets her pick him up, and he likes to be petted. 

He just wandered around all night, on his leash, letting every little kid pet him and never squawked or pecked or even acted like he cared.  He fell asleep once when DD#3 was holding him, and was a complete gentleman when a little, little boy wanted to open his beak!  He watched over the calf and the pig, and of course the baby chickens.  By the end of the night, when we got home, and I carried him out to the chicken house, I think he was asleep before I got the coop door shut!  That Rooster earned himself a long, long stay here in Podunk and probably a cookie or two as well!

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