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    • CommentTimeApr 3rd, 2015 10:49pm (Apr 3rd 2015) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Yes, we went to another farm for a visit!! This is the last one in the nearby area :smile:

    It was...okay. Had some awesome points and some not so good points.

    The good:
    - It was free!
    - and they had chickens!!!!!!!!!!! :bigsmile:

    The bad:
    - It was very small
    - There were two pens that you could climb in and pet the animals. One was a pen of very young chicks...I thought this was great, but whilst there witnessed people squeezing the chicks and dropping them. Supervision of that area was needed.
    - There were very young calves that were just...utterly miserable :sad: They were separated from their mum at 2 days old (the farm bragged about this!) and spent all day the farm was open kept in a 4x4 foot pen...bleh

    I'm used to seeing calves in the fields with their mums. They're constantly on the go, jumping and playing with each other. They also tend to be very curious, and most will come look at me and some even give my hand a lick. These calves didn't have room to move, and didn't look happy at all...

    But yes...THERE WERE CHICKS!! :heartsabove:

    I spent an hour with them :tooth: They were so sweet! I called them over with their chick crumbs, and eight of them surrounded me. Some of them stood on my hand to scrat the food - VERY cute! I took these on a camera phone, so the pics aren't the greatest, although I love the close up!

    There were also some adult hens in a field, and some were perched on a fence. I got to hold three!! :bigsmile: I haven't held a chicken in years so it awesome. They weren't too nervy either. It was so nice :smile:
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2015 4:39pm (Apr 4th 2015)
    :heart: Post me a few, Red...but not roosters! You should write the definitive petting farm guide, you know.:face-smile:
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2015 7:41pm (Apr 4th 2015)
    Does it need checking out by someone? Surely there must be some sort of regulatory body? Or the RSPCA? Doesn't seem right that the calves are treated like that.
    • CommentTimeApr 4th, 2015 10:46pm (Apr 4th 2015) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh CC you would have loved them! I smuggled one under my fleece and told Lyle I was taking it home but he made me put it back :rolling:

    I can't imagine there are any laws against it Kate, but I'll have a look. It's common for calves to be taken away from their mothers days after birth unfortunately...

    From what I can find about the amount of space calves must have (I even looked up laws for veal calves in the UK, as surely that would be the minimum space allowed) all I could find was a post from the RSPCA saying that the calves must have enough room to turn around. Which I guess they do. I found a link to a page about the minimum accommodation requirements of calves on the site, but the page was broken...good job guys!

    I also found this site, which states that "calf pens should be large enough to allow calves to groom themselves, lie down and stretch their limbs and rise without any difficulty", which, again, they can.

    Cows are farm animals, raised for dairy and meat. Not many people care how they are kept. I watched a lot of people at the farm go look at the calves; not one commented on how small the pens were or how young the calves were to be separated from their mums.

    Plus, I doubt the RSPCA would even care. I have very, very little faith in the RSPCA. They were contacted about Eva, and we were told they wouldn't drive out for a chicken. We contacted them about four rabbits kept in a two foot hutch, and they asked us to keep an eye on it. We reported a pet shop (where male & female mice were kept together and bred continuously; where adult rats stole newborn pups off other rats and ate them; and where Syrian hamsters killed and ate one another) and the RSPCA reported back it was up to their standards. Wowzers...

    I'm going to contact the farm though and point out a few things I didn't well as the already mentioned negatives, there were three elderly mice they had, too. They had a wonderfully big tank, but they were kept on wood shavings, had fluffy bedding that is dangerous, had the smallest barred wheel I've ever seen (waaay too small even for a mouse!) and the substrate was wet with urine in places.

    The piglets were also in a small concrete pen (standard at farms) with nothing to mentally stimulate them. I thought that was especially sad as the piglets were lovely! They ran over for a fuss, and it's horrible to think of them spending all their lives in a concrete pen when they are more intelligent than dogs!
    • CommentTimeApr 6th, 2015 6:27pm (Apr 6th 2015)
    Yes, when Short Leg Tom was ill and I had to call them they'd euthanised him within an hour - he was just a dirty, stray tom cat to them. He probably wouldn't have survived but I think even if it had been something simple and treatable they'd have put him to sleep.

    I think writing to them is a good idea - it may not make any difference but at least you'll know you tried. Farm animals are treated so badly, but it is slightly better than it used to be and maybe in the future it'll improve further. Can but hope!!
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 7th, 2015 5:11pm (Apr 7th 2015)
    Yet today they said the RSPCA are campaigning against travelling petting zoos. So it might be a good time to contact them.