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Script 63.9

Notes to broadcasters

This animal story explores ways to keep animals healthy and productive. Livestock exposed to stressful conditions such as crowded spaces, extreme temperatures, poor ventilation, inadequate shelter and unhealthy food and water, are more susceptible to illness and parasites. Instead of depending on veterinarians when animals get sick, farmers can prevent diseases and behavioural problems by making their livestock’s environment as safe, comfortable and healthy as possible. Animals also need kindness, affection and the freedom to express natural social behaviours. You may wish to invite a livestock specialist to talk about the social behaviour of specific animals, and their physical and psychological needs.

This script requires creative use of animal sound effects. Also, the actors playing the parts need to be as creative as possible in making their characters sound like farm animals.

Script

Characters

Narrator

Farmer Jalal:
Farmer
Farmer Gladys:
Farmer Jalal’s neighbour
Clarisse the Cow

Peter the Pig

Chicken Dearie

Rashid the Rooster

George the Goat

INTRODUCE THEME MUSIC

Scene I

Narrator:
How healthy is your livestock? Do your animals ever seem aggressive or overly excited? Do they produce plenty of milk or eggs? Animals need to feel safe and comfortable to be productive and healthy. Livestock react poorly to crowded spaces without access to clean water, air and light. And they need protection from weather, and predators. Today we’re going to visit Farmer Jalal’s farm and hear from the animals themselves what it takes to keep them healthy and productive.

SOUND EFFECTS: SEVERAL ANIMALS MAKING NOISE AT THE SAME TIME – COWS, CHICKENS, PIGS AND GOATS (SQUAWKING, MOOING, OINKING)

Peter the Pig
: (snorting)Excuse me, pardon me, coming through!

George the Goat
:(agitated)I’m right behind you, Peter. Push!!

Peter the Pig
: Excuse me, Clarisse, but I need to get to my food.

Clarisse the Cow
: (mooing and then speaking in an irritated tone) Well, honest to goodness, I can’t move anywhere without stepping on someone! Moo..moo… moove, boys and girls. Some of us are starving.

Rashid the Rooster:
(squawking) I’ve got to do some strutting.

Chicken Dearie
:(clucking)Oh, Rashid. Wait until later, will you? I’m just about to lay some eggs and I need peace and quiet!

Rashid the Rooster:
I’ve already waited too long. I must have some yard space. Now!! (sound of his wings flapping)

SOUND EFFECTS: VOICES OF OTHER ANIMALS COMPLAINING

Chicken Dearie:
There is not a clean spot in this whole place. Yuck!

Peter the Pig
: I don’t mind a little dirt, but I hate bad food.

Clarisse the Cow:
Whew! Could it be any hotter today? I would appreciate some shade, I’m feeling faint. Someone please get me some water.

Rashid the Rooster
:(irritated tone) The only water is dirty and warm, and we can’t even get to it. I know Farmer Jalal is busy, but something must be done about this pen!

Clarisse the Cow
: I don’t think I’ll be any good for milk today. Ohhhh…no…I think I might… I might faint…

SOUND EFFECTS: THUMP AS CLARISSE FALLS, FOLLOWED BY ALARMED ANIMAL NOISES

Peter the Pig:
George, Rashid, help me with Clarisse. Let’s use water to cool her off.

George the Goat
: No wonder she fainted, it’s like a dump over here – that smell!

FADE OUT SCENE

MUSICAL BREAK

Scene II

SOUND EFFECTS: SOUNDS OF COUNTRYSIDE; BIRDS SINGING, ROOSTER CROWING

Narrator:
As we enter this next scene, Farmer Gladys, who is Farmer Jalal’s neighbour, meets him in the field where he is harvesting beans.

Farmer Gladys:
Hello, Jalal. I was just passing by and noticed you here in the field.

Farmer Jalal:
Hello, Gladys. How are you?

Farmer Gladys
: I’m fine, Jalal, but I want to talk to you about something. I don’t mean to pry, but I just walked past your animal pen and those animals do not seem happy.

Farmer Jalal:
Yes, I know. I’ve been having trouble with them. The cows and goats are sick a lot. They do not give much milk.

Farmer Gladys
: Can I make a suggestion?

Farmer Jalal:
If I know you, you will make a few.

Farmer Gladys:
(laughing) I think that your animals are too crowded. They need space to move, lie down and stretch their limbs. Those poor creatures are on top of each other. We used to have our animals in very tight quarters, but when we increased the size of the pens, they were much happier. And more productive too.

Farmer Jalal:
I suppose I could move the fence on one side. But I can’t let them roam free.

Farmer Gladys:
No, I’m not suggesting that. But you know, one of the best ways to prevent disease in livestock is to ensure that they have clean water, especially cool water in hot weather like today. And they need clean pens. We built a chicken pen that is easy to keep clean and free of manure. Maybe you could build one like ours.

Farmer Jalal
: When do I have time, Gladys?

Farmer Gladys
: I know you’re busy. Maybe I can help you. Also – I can share some ideas about feed rations that give animals the nutrients they need.

Farmer Jalal:
That would be useful. I need healthy animals. I depend on them for my living.

Farmer Gladys:
And don’t forget to give them a kind word or touch every once in a while, too. A little kindness goes a long way.

Farmer Jalal:
I do what I can, Gladys. I’m not their mother.

Farmer Gladys
: I’m just trying to be helpful.

MUSICAL BREAK

Scene III

SOUND OF PIGS FEEDING

Peter the Pig
: (snorting)Mmmm, good breakfast! Farmer Jalal has put something new in this food.

George the Goat:
Hey, when you’re done, why don’t you join me on the grass for a bit of rest and relaxation?

Clarisse the Cow:
It is so much nicer here, since Farmer Jalal made this pen larger. And there’s cool water for me to drink so I don’t get overheated. I feel so much better.

Rashid the Rooster
:(squawks)Ah, the perfect strut. Have any of you ever seen such great form?

Chicken Dearie
:(giggles) Oh, Rashid, stop your crowing. Ooh – time for me to lay an egg. I like this new pen, so much cleaner.

APPROVING NOISES FROM ALL THE ANIMALS

Narrator
: Animals living in dirty, crowded conditions will get sick and produce less meat, milk and eggs. But if you keep animals comfortable, clean and dry they will stay healthy and productive.

BRING UP THEME MUSIC

Acknowledgements

Contributed by Belinda Bruce, Vancouver, Canada.

Reviewed by Vigneswaran Theivendaram, Agricultural Consultant, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Information Sources

“Animal Welfare” (Section 1.3 ), Organic Livestock Handbook, 2000. Canadian Organic Growers, PO Box 6408, Station J, Ottawa, ON K2A 3Y6, Canada. E-mail: info@cog.ca