Most children love to see the different collection of animals and machines that can be found on a working farm. While some may be easily fascinated with videos of animals, television shows about tractors and machinery, sometimes it is good to take them to experience the real deal. They can see the animals in the flesh and even feed them, whilst getting a real new experience, exploring what lies inside the farm sheds (see smartshelters.co.nz to find out more about farm sheds).
Farms pose a lot of inherent dangers. Some of these may be obvious, but others will require some thought and prior planning.
Safety on a day out at the farm
Generally, the buildings located on a farm all have a purpose. Whether they hold working dogs, livestock, machinery, or a silo for crops, there is a reason they are there. Before entering any shelter, barn, or structure, it is important that you have the permission of the landowner. There can be a valid reason why you are instructed not to enter. Likewise, it is imperative that you close any gates or doors in any structures you do enter, to prevent animals from wandering loose and getting hurt or lost.
Part of the fun of visiting a working farm can be getting to pet the animals. Some farms you can visit in New Zealand may even have a designated petting zoo that younger children will love. From sheep, pigs, and goats, right down to bunnies or guinea pigs, there are sometimes a lot of animals that can be gently stroked. Be prepared for your child to ask for a pet when they leave the farm!
Following this, it is essential that you and your children maintain good personal hygiene. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water can help to remove dirt and kill off bacteria. This is particularly important to follow prior to eating or drinking anything, or putting your hands near your face.
When on working farmland in New Zealand, it can be tempting to run around and explore. Due to the variety of both farm workers and machinery that can be in use during your visit, it is best to walk, and keep children close to a responsible adult at all times.
Some farms have a designated indoor or outdoor play area for families visiting with children. It is in these locations that your children can have a bit more freedom to run and play.
When spending time with animals on a farm, it is important that you only give them food which has been provided to you by members of staff. Any lunch that you have brought with you, or bought on-site, as well as grass or plants you pick, is not suitable for animal consumption and may make them sick.
If you are concerned about safety, or have a query, it is always best to defer to any safety signs or warnings on display at the farm. Otherwise, it is essential that you follow rules or ask for advice from staff members at the farm, rather than partaking in potentially risky or dangerous behaviour.