Friday 20th September 2019

Eclipse

On the morning of the eclipse 9 Animal Care pupils went on to the farm to see if the animal s behaviour would change during the eclipse.

The Pupils spread themselves around the farm so that all of the animals could be observed.

Pupils commented that as the eclipse started the majority of animals including chickens, goats and sheep became more vocal, as if they knew something was coming. As the temperature dropped, as the moon continued across the sun, subtle behaviour changes started to occur.

According to the pupils observations the goats and sheep became a little more agitated and energised at the start of the eclipse bouncing around and head butting. The chickens moved to beneath the trees and started scratching or trying to jump into the bottom branches to roost.

As the moment of greatest darkness approached an eerie stillness came over the animals and the farm became very quiet. The sheep all became still and were looking in the same direction. The rooster moved to its coop and the majority of the hens followed him. It even seemed that the usually vocal seagulls decided to have a minute or two of silence. As the sun began to emerge from behind the moon, the usual noises of the farm commenced with sheep bleating and the hens clucking. The Alpacas seemed to take it all in their stride, although at one point Scout the brown Alpaca jumped quite high before running into its house.

The pupils involved have said that they won t forget taking part and that they thoroughly enjoyed seeing how the animal behaved and couldn t wait to write up their reports.

We will just have to wait another 11 years to compare this data with another eclipse.