The Farm in Fall: The Mysterious PFamboozle

Working on Parky’s Farm in November, you’d probably think I’d write all about turkeys! However, the month of November doesn’t mean turkey time for the staff at Parky’s Farm. Instead, it’s all about a mysterious creature called a PFamboozle.

This creature has been leaving all sorts of evidence around the farm: footprints, scat and piles of sticks, which Parky’s Farm experts believe that the PFamboozle is using to communicate. There are only a few eye-witness accounts of this creature dating as far back as October of last year. The staff at Parky’s Farm is so stumped as to what this creature is that they have requested help from third graders in Hamilton County. All month, third graders will spend the day at Parky’s Farm attending three different training sessions – honing their skills in classification, adaptations and soil composition in hopes to hunt and catch the PFamboozle during a hike in the woods.

To this day, the PFamboozle has found a way to sneak out of every trick laid to trap it Anyone can try their luck at hunting and catching this mysterious creature by attending the training sessions held on Monday, November 11, from 9:30–11:30 a.m. or 12:30–2:30 p.m. Lots of people are looking or the PFamboozle, so online pre-registration by November 7 is required to participate.

Meanwhile, keep an eye open… the PFamboozle is among us!

Sara Schneider, Teacher, Parky’s Farm

My Life as a Chew Toy

I’m pretty sure that if I understood goat speak, I would hear Clove, Mace, Basil, Nutmeg and Ginger (this year’s baby goats at Parky’s Farm) say something like this as I entered their pen: “Okay guys. Let’s try the shoe laces first. How about now we nibble some tasty keys. No, no I prefer pockets. Oh man everybody else got the pockets first, so I’ll try out the hair… You know this stuff looked delicious, but it’s really not all that great. Hey, did you notice she brought us some hay? Oh wow this stuff tastes really good.”

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Goats are known for their ability to eat just about anything, but in actuality they can only process products that come from plants. So can goats eat hay, leaves, grass and paper? Yes they can. Can they actually eat a tin can and all the clothes off the line? No. They might be able to get the clothes chewed up and swallowed, but they won’t get any nutrition out of them.

So why do they insist on chewing on everything that I and everyone else who encounters them is wearing or carrying? It’s just plain old curiosity. We like to touch things to see how they feel. Since goats don’t have fingers to feel with, they “feel” or learn about things with their mouths. My guess is they are also secretly hoping that someday my shoe laces will magically turn into tasty leaves.

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Ellen Meehan, Inreach Teacher, Parky’s Farm

Long-Crowers

My family keeps chickens at our house in the country. I built a small coop called a “chicken tractor” in 2009. Many of these coop designs have wheels so you can easily move them over fresh grass for the birds to eat, scratch and fertilize. Check out “chicken tractors” on the internet to see the many different ways people house chickens nowadays – and often within city limits, when allowed.

If you don’t have a rooster, it’s quiet farming in the city. On the other hand, as with my family, if you do have a rooster, the neighbors are well aware. Ours is a Buff Orpington breed with a good strong crow at 10 months old. Thank goodness he’s not a Long-Crower!

Long-Crowers are raised for their loud sound and length of crow. The chicken breed with the longest crow is the Kosovo Drenica. Also known as Kosovo Long-Crowers, they are selectively bred for sound and duration of crow. Long-Crowers must have a crow that lasts at least 15 seconds. Weighing only four pounds, they can consistently crow for up to a full minute. Some people attribute this feat to superior lung capacity, while others believe it’s this breed’s relentless and aggressive nature.

When was the last time you heard a rooster’s cock-a-doodle? If it’s been a while, you’re invited out to Parky’s Farm in Winton Woods to try and hear one! It may remind you of a simpler time in your life or introduce your brood to a whole new world. There are other famous feathered squawkers at the farm as well: turkeys, ducks and a myriad of songbirds to name a few.

Eric King, Parky’s Farm