Kids and farm animals - what you need to know

As we know, living on a farm offers a unique opportunity to raise children in a way that connects them with their natural surroundings. Unfortunately, large animals, machinery, and equipment make farms especially dangerous places for young kids to play.

Interacting with farm animals is a key part of farm life, and should be a safe and enjoyable experience.Here are some tips for you to help keep your kids safe around the animals on the farm:

  • Teach them the appropriate way to approach an animal:
    • approach with a slow, steady pace
    • speak quietly with the hand outstretched
    • stop close enough that the animal may sniff or reach out.
  • Do not permit your kids to be around mothers who are still feeding their babies, adult males, or ill animals. These animals can be protective, aggressive, and less predictable, making them more dangerous to children.
  • Teach your children how to safely handle animals and how to recognize warning signs, including the behaviours unique to each animal.
  • Do not let your kids handle animals until you feel confident in their abilities.

Children and animals on farms can coexist very peacefully and happily, if children are properly taught about the risks involved, as well as shown how to respect and handle animals.