Saturday, October 2, 2010

Rodents Aplenty

This week we were in animal overload. My mother-in-law was out of town so we were taking care of her cats (four I think...only one of them ever comes out to visit). Thursday we visited our local dairy farm for the $5 tour. We learned a lot. Specifically that the farm has more than 1000 dairy cows and that our local area has nearly 20,000. They even have their own store in town that sells dairy treats. The tour included a sample of their ice cream. The butter pecan (or old-people ice cream as my oldest daughter would say) is excellent. Kylie tried the cookies'n'cream, but was too in love with one of the farm's rabbits to care about the ice cream.

Kylie handled this chicken like she had been doing it all her life.
She provided Coco the retired horse with
some tasty carrots and much brushing.
The hay ride was very interesting. Did you know that they
put maple syrup on the hay to make it taste better for the cows?
Of ourse the rabbit stole the show.
Kylie didn't want to leave.
I got her away from the rabbit long enough to help feed
the babies.
We missed seeing a calf being born by one hay ride. They said that their record for baby bovines (because they aren't cows until they are pregnant) in one day is 15. We will definitely go back for the full tour. Maybe we'll get lucky and get to watch one being born.

Today we went to our favorite library for a special animal visit. The price seemed high at $30, but that price includes four Friday "classes", each with animals from different parts of the world. Today was the first Friday with animals from South America and a special surprise from Africa. Of course we didn't know this prior to the visit. When we first arrived I was worried because the lady setup a small pen and started putting Guinea Pigs in it. I was like, "Thirty dollars for this?" It must have been one of those under-promise-over-deliver techniques, because I was floored when she brought out the African Porcupine. The looks on the faces of all of the mothers were priceless as they scrambled to pull their children back from the pen. I couldn't stop smiling. It was really cool to see one up close and touch it.

The list of animals included: a Patagonian Cavy, a Paca (only 3 days old), the African Porcupine, multiple Guinea Pigs and a dove that had been rescued. The guinea pigs were actually genius because it gave the kids something to cuddle while they looked at the less cuddly animals. We were very impressed with the program. The lady running it actually keeps all of the animals at her home. I forget what she called it, but she's actually in the process of some kind of special project with endangered species. The Paca is one of them (but not officially).

I asked Kylie to ham it up for me. I just couldn't get over
the baby porcupine.
Ahh, yes. The rarely seen passionate kiss shared between
an African Porcupine and a Paca.
What a great week! The unschool year is off to an amazing start!


  1. Have you sent baby African Porcupine + Paca to That is full of WIN!

  2. I have now. Thanks for the suggestion!