The monkeys witness their first live birth at Miller’s Ark!


I have one of those muddled life patterns whereby the hubster is often working weekends and when that happens its sometimes difficult to know what to do with the monkeys. Whilst we have a couple of hours here or there together where everyone is happy and common or garden playing at home is good enough to keep everyone on an even keel, I find that those moments of equilibrium can be fleeting, particularly with two of them when they often have conflicting needs. I feel frustrated by the fact that I generally can’t call on any of my mummy friends at the weekend because everyone knows that weekend time is generally sacred ‘family’ time – and that’s as it should be, the daddies all need a look in too and we often get that at other times in the week so its only fair. Still, when my friend Vicky texted to say her other half was working this Saturday and would we be free to get together with the kids (her girls are the same age bar the odd month or two as my boys) I was very happy to take her up on the suggestion. She also had the genius to come up with an idea for a relatively local outing somewhere we’d never been before – Miller’s Ark – a child-friendly farm situated on the Earl of Malmesbury’s Estate at Hook in Hampshire. It specialises in bringing various farm animals to children both farm-based and out on the road.

It was an absolutely beautiful sunny afternoon and the day was one of the farm’s special ‘Lambing open days’ – the girls have been popping them out recently by all accounts and we were actually able to witness a live birth – albeit a goat not a sheep! And in actual fact we didn’t actually see it happen because of the huge crowd blocking our view but we certainly heard it let me tell you and I for one empathised with that poor mumma!

The problem with taking my two to a farm of course is that they are  somewhat reticent about getting up close and personal with animals of any description let alone something which towers over them, hence the reason for the lack of close up child/animal pics – JJ stuffed himself in between me and the pushchair just walking past the big turkey (which was roaming free) as if he had found himself running across no-man’s land under heavy fire! I guess this is one of the drawbacks of being from a pet-free world! I managed to get quite a few lovely pictures of my friend’s girls with the animals but I won’t post them here as I don’t want to intrude on anyone else’s privacy.

The highlight for the boys was the land train ride and the ice lolly in the tea room afterwards!


The only thing that marred the experience was that my poor friend managed to lose her keys while we were there – one of my worst scenarios as a mum!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

16 thoughts on “The monkeys witness their first live birth at Miller’s Ark!

  1. The sheep and goats on our farm pop them out like shelling peas and you don’t hear a thing. That may be because we have Jacobs sheep which are cute, pretty and small, easier for Mum than those bred for meat which come out so much bigger and more painful for Mum. Your boys sound quite normal being fascinated by the land train the most. All the young boys on the farm here love driving the tractor and going on the Coombe Mill railway. Boys will be boys! A lovely post and great that the farms have these open days. Thank you for sharing with me over on Country Kids.

  2. Oh how wonderful, must have been amazing (and a little traumatic perhaps!) to hear the goat being born. Farms are ace, we have one near us in Surrey that’s just brilliant. This one sounds excellent too and everyone had a good time which is the main thing (aside from the keys!). Always such a great experience for kids. Thanks for sharing with #whatsthestory

    • Which farm do you refer to Charly? We’ve been to Bocketts in the past and would really like to go to Hobbledown soon too. Also Fishers Farm in Sussex and Finkley Down in Hampshire. We really had great fun at The Big Sheep in Devon last year too – I think the boys appreciate the farms with other attractions too!

  3. My son has been exactly the same as your two-flatly refusing to go near any animal whatsoever and we have a cat. So I wouldn’t berate yourself over having a pet free home. And I do hope your friend found her keys or got it sorted somehow (my nightmare scenario too, that and leaving them in the front door which I’ve done!)

    • That is really reassuring Iona! Apparently my friend still hasn’t got her keys back but someone kindly gave her and the kids a lift home (we were headed off in the opposite direction to my Mum’s for the night unfortunately!) and they had spare keys at home. What a lot of schlepping around though! Be warned – never put your keys in your back pocket!!

  4. sounds like a great resource. My wee man is the same when it comes to certain animals…he does not like if they make too much noise and I recently found out he was not a fan of chickens or roosters 🙂 #CountryKids

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