What are the best things about farm holidays in North Devon?
We’ve been asking our guests and looking through our Tripadvisor and Facebook reviews. So far, feeding the farm animals every day and tractor & trailer rides seem to be the number one attraction.
The May half term holidays have been really busy, Farmer Tony has been out on the farm every day with an enthusiastic band of happy children and equally enthusiastic adults.
The highlight this week has been Blossom the calf and her determination to stay in the barn at the centre of the farm rather than with her Dexter friends out in the fields. Twice she’s been introduced to the herd only to turn up back in the barn – we’ve been astonished at her Ninja tactics and escapology! Cattle are herd animals and she really should be out with her family and friends but dear Blossom doesn’t seem to realise she’s a cow and would rather spend her time with people.
As well as the animal feeding, time and time again parents tell us that a farm holiday in North Devon gives their children so much more freedom. They can make their own way to the games room, the play area, the farm shop and explore the farm trail. There’s also the chance to make new friends with all the other children staying and that means Mum and Dad get even more of an opportunity to relax. It’s great to see them riding their bikes around and enjoying the wildflower meadow too and of course the weather has been (mostly) perfect for barbeques and ice cream as well.
Of course there is a lovely rhythm to the farming year that you will only experience when taking a farm holiday in North Devon. New born lambs in spring bring great opportunities for hands on woolly cuddles and for bottle feeding the lambs – often as many as 3 times a day when they’re very young so lots of chances for little helpers to have a go and Farmer Tony always makes sure that everyone gets a turn. There are usually piglets at this time of year too. When they first arrive on the farm they live in our big barn in a cosy bed of straw. This gives the piglets time to get used to our animal feeding routine and they become very tame as they quickly learn that people mean food! Once out in their paddock they will always come dashing over to say hello in the hope that you’ve brought them some titbits. Calves are born on the farm throughout the year. Our lovely Dexter bull Bisley lives with his herd of ladies all year round; the Dexters are easy calvers and great mums, spending the whole time out in the fields even when calves are born. Sometimes it takes a while to spot a new calf as mum’s natural instinct is to hide them in undergrowth and hedge bottoms to keep them safe.
The chickens lay eggs throughout the year but as the days lengthen they definitely lay more eggs for our guests to collect. We have several different breeds of chicken on the farm and they all lay different coloured eggs. Brown, white, green or blue – it’s always exciting to see what will be in the nesting box each morning, hopefully there will be enough for each eager helper to take one home for their breakfast. Of course the great thing about being a mini farmer on a farm holiday in North Devon is just like a big farmer, you should have two breakfasts!! One before animal feeding and one after…
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