Christopher Cunich, 3, of Lawrence, brushes the hair of a piglet being nursed by ‘farmhand’ Jessica Burtles-Crute.
Christopher Cunich, 3, of Lawrence, brushes the hair of a piglet being nursed by ‘farmhand’ Jessica Burtles-Crute.

Old Macdonald had a farm...

THE old film industry adage of ‘never work with children or animals’ is being put to the test at Grafton Shoppingworld this week.

Dozens of farmyard critters have taken centre stage in the centre to amuse and share their ‘cuteness’ to hundreds of curious youngsters and bemused parents.

‘Farmhand’ Jessica, from Queensland-based Old Macdonald’s Travelling Farms, said the animals don’t mind the attention as they are hand-reared from birth and familiar with being handled.

This was apparent as children sat around the pen clutching chickens, cuddling lambs and brushing baby goats, none of which seemed perplexed by all the adoration, except maybe the piglets which were the most vocal about being grappled.

The constant supply of food on offer from visitors also ensures you have the animals’ undivided attention.

Jessica has been working for Old Macdonald’s for about five years and said the farm travels a lot during the school holidays mainly to shopping centres but also visits schools and nursing homes during the year.

And for an animal nursery, the air is remarkably fresh considering the amount of furry and feathered friends in the enclosure. Jessica said it was a matter of ‘cleaning as you go’ or they ‘go’ in this case.

Her favourites are the baby goats. Grafton lad Cody Hinterholzl, 6, agrees, although he’s not a fan of the ducks’ beaks he announced as a cheeky lamb snuffled up the cup of food he was holding.

As for his little sister Sophie, 3, she prefers ‘the fluffy ones’.

The animals will be at Grafton Shoppingworld until Saturday.



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