Module Two: Animal Safety and Care

[vc_row][vc_column][us_single_image image="9015"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

"Farmyard Hullabaloo" by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz

As we are going to be looking at different farm animals in this module, animal safety and how we should look after the farm animals we brainstormed what kind of animals we would find on the farm. After doing our whole class brainstorm and recording the responses on the whiteboard the class teacher, Mrs Crosby, then read the story "Farmyard Hullabaloo" by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowyez to the children to introduce the children to different animals that are found on the farm. They really enjoyed listening to this story!



Cows and Bulls

We brainstormed as a class what cows are used for! The children came up with some great answers; steak, milk, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, butter and cream.

The children learned in this topic that one of the most dangerous animals found on a farm is the bull. We learned that they are territorial animals. We also learned why some bulls have rings in their noses and that they are put there by a vet and not by the farmer (as the farmer needs the bull to like him and if he was to hurt the bull putting in the ring the bull would in turn not like him as he caused him pain!) We learned different ways in which we can stay safe around a bull; never enter a field with a bull, never turn your back on a bull, only let a farmer handle the bull, never tease a bull and close all farm gates behind you. We agreed as a class that the best way to stay safe around a bull is to stay out of the bull’s field!

In relation to cows, in particular new mothers, we leaned that they are considered the most dangerous of farm animals as they are protecting their new born calves. We looked at the farm safety poster number two “Watch Out For Mama”. farm-safety-posters

We learned some interesting facts in this section about bulls and cows;

  1. Bulls are colour – blind! It is perfectly ok if we wear red around a bull! What angers a bull is all the movement and flapping. We used the example of the matadors in Spain when looking at this.
  2. A bull is not the most dangerous animal on the farm. Cows protecting their young calves cause more accidents!

Finally, we also learned how to recognise if a cow or bull is getting ready to attack;

  • They will stop grazing & watch you (stare you down)
  • Bellow – make a grunting / mooing sound
  • Start pawing the ground with their hoof
  • Shake their head from side to side


We learned that we can tell how a horse is feeling by looking at their ears! The children then pretended that they had horses ears and they demonstrated how the ears move for different feeling! We also looked at Farm Safety Poster number four in relation to horses and how they communicate. farm-safety-posters

  1. Happy Horse – Ears pricked forward and alert.
  2. Cross or scared – Ears flattened back is a warning sign (Be careful you do not get bitten or kicked!)
  3. Listening – Ears pivot and twist from side to side.
  4. Sleepy / relaxed / unwell – Ear out to the side

We looked at a diagram of a horse, learned about his blind spots and the safest way to approach a horse.

We also learned how to safely feed a horse and the dangers of curling your fingers up when you are feeding a horse.

We also talked about the different ways that horses show us affection; licking, nudging, resting their head and following you in the field.

A lot of children in Third and Fourth Class either go horse riding or have experience around horses and they taught us today that as a treat horses like mentos or polo mints!


Cats and Dogs

We started this topic off by having a whole class discussion around the jobs that a dog and cat would do on the farm and we recorded these on the whiteboard in the classroom.


We looked at the signs that we have to look out for to know when a dog and a cat is in a good humour or in a bad humour!

We learned that when we are playing, handling or petting cats and dogs we have to remember some rules;

  1. Not too ruff!
  2. Count to three.
  3. After dinner – never pet them when they are eating.

We also learned an important point that we should never touch a dog or a cat if we do not know its name or if we have not asked the owner first.

It is also very important to remember that we have to wash our handing after touching any animals – including cats and dogs!

Pigs and Piglets

We learned about pigs in this topic, their colouring and the names of different body parts (snout, trotters / crubeens).

We learned that a sow is pregnant for three months, three weeks and three days compared with a human who is pregnant for nine months. We also learned that most sows will have thirteen piglets is not more!

We learned how to be safe around pigs on the farm.


The children learned that poultry is the name given to birds that provide us with meat or eggs. We brainstormed the names of some of these birds that we would find on the farm.

We then looked at pictures of a chicken, a duck ,a goose and a turkey and we compared and contrasted them as a whole class!

We learned what birds do when they are feeling threatened and how we can be safe around these birds.

Mrs. Crosby told the children once of how a chicken on a farm stole my one year olds sock and ran off with it and another time of when a chicken nipped her sons finger. One of the children in the class keeps chickens at home and she told us of how her chickens like to sit on her shoulder!

Animal Handling – Smaller Animals

As a whole class we discussed by we should be careful while handling animals in order to prevent injury to the animal or frightening them.

We examined how we should pick up and hold a chick / duckling; one hand under the tummy and place a hand on top and hold them gently.

We also learned about how bird have hallow bones and that by having hollow bones this makes them lighter and helps a bird to fly. But having hallow bones means that they break easily and this is another reason for handling birds gently.

We also learned that only a farmer should hold new born livestock as their mothers are very protective of their young and these mothers trust the farmer.

Animal Handling – Larger Animals

Horses: We learned that horses are led by a head collar and a lead rope. We also examined how to safely put a horse into a field while ensuring we do not get injured by a kick in the process.

We also looked at how to handle cattle and having an escape route worked out in advance should the cattle get agitated.

The key thing that we have to remember when we are on a farm is to always be calm and quiet around farm animals.


We recapped on what “zoonoses” is – we covered this in module one!

“Zoonotic diseases are infections passed on from animals to people”.

We examined the names of some of these diseases and what animals cause them:

  1. Ringworm – Cattle and Horses
  2. Orf – Sheep and Goats
  3. Lyme Disease – Ticks
  4. Cryptosporidium – Newborn Animals
  5. Brucellosis – Cattle
  6. Toxoplasmosis – Cats
  7. Weils Disease – Rodents

We also learned that to prevent Zoonoses, it is very important to ALWAYS wash your hands after handling or petting an animals or visiting a farm!

Module Two - Worksheets

We used the worksheets attached to this module as part of our Oral Language lessons. As a whole class we had whole class discussions around the following activities:

  1. Unscrambled the words.
  2. Matched the new born to it's mother.
  3. Join the words to make a sentence.
  4. True or False activity.
  5. How a farmer can keep us and a bull safe on a farm or in a field.
  6. Warning signs of when bulls, cats and dogs are agitated.


Beware of the Bull Poster

The children in Third and Fourth Class coloured and designed the poster in the Farm Safe Schools "Beware of the Bull".


Animal Wellbeing - Housing

We talked about how happy we feel when we have a nice comfortable house to live it and acknowledged that it is the same for animals. We learned that an animals house should be comfortable, warm with access to good bedding and ventilation.  We also learned that their houses should not cause them any stress or harm.

Animal Wellbeing - Nutrition

Like humans we know how important it is to eat right! So we need to make sure that animals have good quality food too. We also learned that if animals do not have access to good food it can cause the animal to suffer illness, disease, dehydration and hunger.

Animal Wellbeing - Health

We learned in this section how important it is for each farm to have access to a good vet. Vets are key partners to farmers in looking after the wellbeing and health of animals on the farm. We learned about the different situations that a vet would need to help a farmer; testing cattle for diseases, dealing with colic or an animal who is having difficulty giving birth. Like it is important for our parents to know when to call a doctor for us, it is important for a farmer to know when to call a vet for his / her animals.

Videos by Horse Racing Ireland

We watched the two videos recommended by Farm Safe Schools and we had a discussion around each video and what we learned in each video.

  1. Stud Farm Safety:
  2. Training Yard and Horse Senses:

Here are some photographs of the children in Third and Fourth Class looking at these videos.



Spot the Dangers

As a whole class we looked at the "Spot the Dangers" poster for this module. The children all looked at the poster  and we discussed all the dangers that we could see in this picture. module-two-spot-the-dangers

If Third and Fourth Class were to give the farmer the list of all the dangerous things that we seen in this poster he would have a lot of work added to his already busy workload to fix in this animal shed!


Webinar – Wednesday, 16th March 2022

On Wednesday, 16th March 2022 we completed the Module Two – Animal Safety and Care Webinar at 11:15am. After Third and Fourth Class attend this webinar the children completed the webinar pop quiz to assess how much they have learned during this module!webinar-pop-quiz


Mrs Crosby's visit to Newgrange Farm - Saturday, 19th March 2022

Mrs Crosby visited a farm at the weekend on Saturday, 19th March 2022. She showed us some of the photographs she took on the day. She told us about all the things that were happening on the farm. There were a lot of sheep and cows getting ready to have lambs and lots of sheep who had already had their lambs. She told us all about seeing a sheep on the day giving birth to her two lambs and how the mother sheep and the two lambs were then put into a separate pen so that they could bond. She showed us a video of a sheep stamping her foot at Mrs Crosby as she was protecting her new lambs reinforcing what we learnt "Beware of Mama". ( She also showed us photos of the horse on the farm, the chickens, the new chicks and puppies that had been born and finally the "Beware of Bull Sign" that the farm had displayed. Mrs Crosby really enjoyed her visit to the farm - this discussion gave us the opportunity, as a whole class, to revise how to stay safe on a farm when we visit as well as looking at some of the animals that are found on the farm. Spring time is such an exciting time to visit a farm!

[vc_row][vc_column][us_gallery ids="9386,9387,9388,9389,9390,9391,9392,9393,9394,9395,9396,9397,9398,9399,9400,9401,9402,9403,9404" columns="6" indents="1"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Reports on our Favourite Farm Animals - Monday, 21st March to Friday, 25th March 2022

The children in Third and Fourth Class will spend this week as part of their homework researching and writing reports on their favourite farm animals. Mrs Crosby cannot wait to read them and I know I will learn a lot about all the different farm animals. The children will then use these reports to teach the rest of the children in their group about the animal that they chose for their report. We will post pictures of our reports when they have been completed.



Horse Shoes

Eabha brought us in her horseshoe that fell off her own horse to show the class. Thank you Eabha!