Did you know that there is growing evidence that being in the countryside makes us feel good? The fresh air, the beautiful scenery and the relaxing sounds of nature have all been proven to lift our spirits and leave us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. From patchwork hills to dramatic dales, ancient woodlands to glittering lakes, there’s nothing quite like the English countryside for rural escapes. And best of all, kids love it!
Here’s another interesting fact: there are 20 million hectares of farmland in the UK - the equivalent of 30 million football pitches! So where better to base your family getaway than on a working farm? It’s the perfect excuse to get outdoors, children will love meeting the resident farm animals and you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside.
Here at Farm Holidays, we’re full of interesting farm facts for kids and we’ve put together a list of our favourites, some of which we think might surprise you!
Fun farm facts
Believe it or not, chickens have prehistoric roots and are the closest living relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex – you can sometimes see the strange resemblance when they run at full speed! They also get dirty to get clean, rolling around and fluffing up their feathers in dust baths and when they’re about to lay an egg, they sing a song with the whole flock joining in the chorus.
There are 10 million cows in Britain and each day they produce 60 million pints of milk. That’s enough to fill over 15 Olympic swimming pools. Cows are also much cleverer than you might think – each one can recognise its own name (though they may not come when called!). And don’t assume just because one is lying down, they’re tired - it often means a storm is coming, so grab your umbrella!
Pigs are far from ‘boaring’, in fact they are considered the fourth most intelligent animal (after chimpanzees, dolphins, and elephants). They are also sprinters, reaching speeds of 11mph and their squeal can be as loud as 115 decibels, 3 decibels higher than the sound of a supersonic airliner! Despite being stereotyped as dirty, pigs are rather clean – they love to bathe in water and relieve themselves as far away from their sleeping area as possible.
There are over 35 million sheep and lambs in the UK – we produce more sheep than any other country in Europe. But did you know that sheep can recognise up to 20 different human faces, and they prefer a smiling face to an unhappy one!
Don’t be surprised if you see a goat climbing a tree and traversing ledges as deftly as a circus high-wire performer, these nimble creatures have incredible agility and balance – they can even swim! Their eyes also have rectangular pupils, so they have up to 340-degree sight without having to move as well as excellent night vision.
Did you know that alpacas are increasingly popular in British farms? Not only is their hypoallergenic wool great for knitting, but sheep farmers will also keep an alpaca with their flock of sheep to protect their lambs from foxes. These fluffy, good-natured farm animals also make a wonderful humming noise to communicate with each other and when they want to show friendly behaviour, they cluck!
We hope you’ve had fun reading these fascinating UK farming facts for all the family – why not come and meet some of these friendly animals on one of our working farm holidays?