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Sacred Heart P.S, Rock, Dungannon

Making our learning real and relevant: P7 visit to a local farm

3rd Jan 2016

Primary 7 linked with Holy Trinity College visited 2 local farms to learn more about the life of a farmer. In pairs we planned our visit using storyboards.  We decided what areas of the visit we were interested in learning about and what questions we needed to ask to learn more.

We visited a poultry farm and a beef farm. 

On the poultry farm Mr Scullion gave us a tour of one of his chicken houses.  The 1st thing we had to do was disinfect our shoes before entering the house to prevent germs and disease.  We learned that the lifespan of a chicken is 10 to 15 years and that a male is larger and more brightly coloured than a female.  The male is called a rooster, the female a hen and a baby is called a chick.  In the chicken houses the chickens are fed seeds and grains.  Chickens also eat insects, snails, slugs, fruit and vegetables.  There are approximately 175 breeds of chickens.  A hen does not need a rooster to lay eggs however the eggs will not hatch as they are not fertilised.  A hen lays approximately 300 eggs per year.  The hen will sit on her eggs to make them hatch into chicks.  A chicken takes 21 days to hatch. 


Agriculture students from Holy Trinity shared their knowledge of the different types of cattle on the farm and interesting facts about these animals, the different types of machinery and their uses on the farm and the medication required for the animals when we visited Mr McClean's beef farm.  We learned that most beef calves are born in spring and can be born inside or out in the field.  Beef cattle are not milked.  Some calves are born in autumn indoors with the aim of producing beef when market prices are higher.  The average weight of a new born calf is 45kgs.  We learned that each calf must be tagged in both ears before it is 20 days old.  The ear tag shows the herd number and the individual 6 digit number for the calf.   A very wide range of breeds and cross breeds are used for beef production.  The cattle are fed both silage and meal in the winter season when they are housed inside.