Most KO students enjoy having household pets such as dogs and cats. However, some live on property large enough to keep a larger variety of animals. Examples of students who own farm animals include eighth-grader Pierce Flynn, sixth-grader Addisen Nicholson, and creative arts teacher Katherine Nicholson.
Pierce has two goats and two alpacas, along with his two cats, two dogs, and a guinea pig. He has owned the goats and alpacas for about a year. Addisen and Ms. Nicholson own two horses, some sheep, chickens, a cow, two dogs, and two cats.
The Nicholson family works hard to take care of their animals. “All the animals get fed twice a day. But, we have to care for their stalls, we have to care for the barn, we have to care for their health,” Ms. Nicholson said.
Addisen began taking care of their animals when she was five. “I started feeding the horses, and the chickens were my responsibility,” she said. “But then I gave them to my brother, because he has the cats and the horses and the chickens. Now the sheep are basically my responsibility.”
Pierce also has to take care of his animals. “[We have to] clean them, feed them, refill food, and refill water every day, and check on them every one or two hours,” he said.
Even though taking care of animals requires a lot of effort, the Nicholson family enjoys having so many. “It’s a lot of work when it’s two degrees at 5:30 in the morning and we have to go out and we have to chip ice out of water buckets,” Ms. Nicholson. said. “But, when the day is done, I love having animals, it’s a lifestyle that I love.”
Addisen shows her sheep at fairs. “There’s the show season, which is the start of fall, the summer, and the end of spring. And we show them all over the country,” Addisen said. “The farthest we’ve gone is to Ohio.”
Pierce does not show any of his animals at fairs, but still enjoys keeping his goats and alpacas. “I like having them,” he said. “They are cute and fluffy.”
Despite the extra work that raising farm animals requires, these KO community members are willing to put in the extra hours it takes to keep all them healthy.