I Took the Kids To

Animal Feeding at Basil’s Farm and Winery

(Swan Bay, on the Bellarine)

“You guys are the best group I’ve ever had!” The man who is leading us through the feeding of the animals declares excitedly.

I don’t believe him. “Really?” I ask. Well, I guess we have been pretty good. Only one kid has breached the rope line. Multiple times. Every time he does, I whisper “Ooh, rebel.” There are certainly more adults than children but with most of the kids under three, I guess it is pretty amazing that no one has run under the feet of the llama yet.

56917776_433359000747612_994613236324106240_n$20 at Basil’s farm and winery gets your child an animal feeding session, and lunch with a drink.

Starting at 10am means that basically there is no one else around except for the people there to feed the animals. When we arrive, we are taken to a ‘Safety briefing’, where we learn a little about the different animals we will encounter, and the importance of the rope line.

The kids all stand on the edge of the rope and learn to cup their hands to hold the feed. The man in charge comes along the line and with his hand, imitates a chicken’s beak pecking in each child’s hands so they know what they are in for. It’s quite aggressive (like a real chicken) and I begin laughing uncontrollably. “This is what the chickens will be like!” I explain to my daughter.

We finally move down to the animals, and parents with prams are asked to park them at least 10 metres away from the feeding. I consider what my actions would be should a llama or sheep charge at the pram. I don’t really come to a sound conclusion but the prams are fine, the animals are not the charging type, and I needn’t have worried.

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The sheep aren’t that excited about the feeding process – they seem a little weary of the whole thing – but we do get a couple down for a nibble, and the llama too. The parents and grandparents break our backs trying to keep our kids’ hands cupped with feed whilst kneeling down behind them. I immediately try to take a selfie and am subtly admonished by the guy in charge. “At this stage, if parents could just make sure you are holding your kiddies’ hands out in a cup for the feed…”

After the sheep and the llama, we move on to the chickens. One chicken makes a beeline for me and tries to snuggle into my chest. “What are you doing? Hey!” I thrust the feed out to the chicken’s face but it’s not interested and continues to try to snuggle with me. I decide it’s someone I must have known in its past life. “Who… are you?” I ask. The chicken spies the silver beet my daughter is flinging around her head, and runs for it.

With the animals content and fed, it’s time for the kids to receive their promised lunch. My daughter has chosen the pancakes and juice. I have a coffee and carrot cake. She pretends to ride the toy tractor in the sand pit, “I’m DRIVING! I’M DRIVING!!”

The sun is shining, the grass is green, the coffee is good, and the kids are happy.

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Check out the Basil’s Farm website

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