Agriculture Day (Ag Day) for 2023 is Friday 22nd September.
It is that time of year again to decide which animal you would like to rear this year for Ag Day. Below is some information on care required for animals in case you would like to try a change and for all those new parents out there.
Calf Club began in the early 1900’s, when nearly every rural school and community in New Zealand drew together, once a year, to celebrate the special bond which develops between children and young animals.
Today, it’s called Agriculture Day to reflect the fact that fewer children have ready access to farm animals and are unable to raise a larger animal long term due to space restrictions, and hectic life schedules. The objective for the day however remains. Aside from owning and caring for an animal, Agriculture Day is about fostering human values like motivation, commitment, responsibility and compassion, to stand children in good stead for the rest of their lives.
Agriculture day is a very special day on the Clevedon School calendar. Not only is it counted as a school day, it is also a chance for all of the community, past pupils, family and friends to celebrate the efforts of our local children.
Choosing your animal for Agriculture Day
One of the many joys of living in a rural community can be giving our children the opportunity of learning to love and care for animals.
Children can only enter one animal i.e. a calf, a lamb, a kid, chicken or a pet.
Raising an animal can be great fun and very rewarding but it is a lot of work and a large commitment, and should only be undertaken by those who have sufficient time, appropriate space and genuine care and concern for their animal.
Calves initially require two bottle feeds of milk or milk substitute per day. At about 2 weeks you could choose to train your calf to drink from a bucket – this requires skill and patience. You may expect to use approximately 40kg-60kgs of milk powder per calf. Pellets can be introduced at about 6 weeks and fresh grass and water should always be available. Calves should also have covers.
All calves must have a TB and Nait ear tag or papers on the day.
Kids and lambs Initially require four or five small feeds a day, then a morning, lunch and evening feed until four to six weeks old, after this, two to three feeds are sufficient supplemented with fresh grass and meal. Lambs and kids are usually fed on milk substitutes e.g. Bay Blenders and will need at least 15-20kg of milk powder.
You will require bottles and teats for feeding and collars and lead ropes. Covers can be either home made out of a burlap sack or covers are available at your local farm shop.
· All calves, lambs, chickens and kids must be born between 1 June to 31 July 2023
Newborn calves, lambs and kids need a warm dry shelter with clean bedding (hay/straw/ shavings). The surest way to a sick newly acquired animal is drafty, damp, cold surroundings. Access to natural sunlight is also necessary as the week’s progress.
Within a short period they also require access to grass & room to exercise.
Chickens need to be kept warm. To assist with this it is recommended that two or three chicks are raised together. It is suggested that they are kept under a heat lamp or beside an oil column heater constantly for the first few weeks until strong and feathers have formed. Chicks eat Chicken Starter Mix and need a continuous supply of fresh water.
There are a number of businesses that sell milk powder, calf meal, chicken starter mix etc. Feed supplies can be brought from Pet and Paddock Clevedon, Profarm in Papakura, Wrightson Animals Stuffs in Takanini, RD 1 in Pukekohe or your local vet.
For those who cannot raise a newborn there are two alternatives:
Bring along your pet; (no dogs & cats ), rabbit, fish, guinea pig, bird, frog or lizard. They don’t have to be young animals raised. Your rabbit for example, can be a mature animal but not younger than 8 weeks.
· Every year we have a plant competition.This year the plant category is ‘a living wreath. Please click on the link to access the marking rubric.
We encourage as many students as possible to participate in our amazing Ag day and there are various categories to encourage those that do not have farm animals to take part. However, we know that this poses a challenge for some families and therefore registration is not compulsory. Students not formally registering will be looked after by their teacher on the day and will have the opportunity to come down to the field and take part in Ag day as a spectator.