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Country Lifestyles

Our Favorite Farm Animals

By Julie Murphree with some of the humor sprinkled in by Brent Murphree
Julie with Gin Dusky Brooks:
1. The horse. Nothing but good memories here and why the horse is listed first. They are the most majestic and exciting of all the farm animals. I talked about my horse, Lattada, in my book, Fresh Air. Plus, we can share lots of stories about the Casa Grande Valley-based Quadrille de Mujeres, a women’s equestrian drill team. Watch for more stories about them later.
2. The cow. That simple.
3. Chickens. Just keep them penned or you’ll have googy chicken poop oozing between your toes when you walk about barefoot. Brings true meaning to the word free range. Plus, my own chicken story is really told here.
4. Sheep. There is nothing like a baby lamb to generate the “ooos” and “awes” from kids.
5. Turkeys. I love Thanksgiving. Domestic turkey – Dumb bird good food. Enough said.
6. Dogs. If anyone raised and hosted more breeds on their farm growing up than the Murphrees, speak now or forever remain hold your peace. And we didn’t specifically raise any specific dog breed. We just loved dogs of all sorts and sizes. Our most famous was Oscar who always took up more space on brother Curt’s bed than Curt.
7. Goats. Just don’t leave anything in their path you don’t want eaten. Story from a city slicker here confirms this.
8. Ducks and Geese. Double ditto for the gross-out barefoot factor. Keep them in the pond not in the backyard. (By the way, free-range advocates wouldn’t like us much.)
9. Pigs. Babe and Charlotte’s Web are the best promoters of the pig. They make great 4-H projects and even better BBQ.
10. Elk. My brother, Patrick, talks about what grasses he would grow to attract elk if he had a place in Northern Arizona.
11. Llamas. A couple of the kids listed the llama and, yes, these cute animals crop up on all sorts of farms. And, brother Curt, has a special love for their cousin the Alpaca.
12. Donkeys and Mules. There is nothing that cheers you up more than a donkey bray. And, there’s nothing that kills that high than if he keeps it up for more than 15 seconds.
Did you notice how many fowl were represented in this list? And we thought horses and cows dominated the idyllic farm landscape…Hey! What about the rodeo bull??? Okay…maybe that’s not considered a farm animal to some, but a favorite nonetheless!

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