Sex Education on the Farm


How do we teach our children about sex? It’s one of the toughest issues we face as parents. And it’s one of the toughest things we have to come to grips with as children. I mean, do you remember how grossed out you were when you realized that your mom and dad did that to get you? Yuck! They had to be kidding! Right?

Once when I was a homeschooling mom, I went to a program at a church about teaching girls about modesty (at least I think that was what it was about) …and I remember them telling us to talk with our girls about how flowers are pollinated by bees as a way of first opening the door to talking with your daughters about sex. The point was that you can offer metaphors first before you throw at them books with anatomically correct terms and insert tab A in slot B.

I’m a psychologist and I know lots of ways to teach kids about sex. Then I’ve been exposed to the “shelter them from it all” theory. But now they go to public school, or the “expose them to it all” theory. And, heck, with the internet now, I’m not sure how we are going to shelter kids today…I know my children well, we communicate openly and I follow each child’s lead based on their personality and needs for information.

When my kids do ask questions about sex, and I’m lucky they do ask me, a lot of times, it starts in the barnyard.

Yesterday one of my little ones asked me why Magnum needs to be at the big barn, why we needed him to make babies. We were in the uh, restroom, at the time so I told her we’d talk about it in a minute.

Later he was doing a breeding (top pic). And she was so worried about that female alpaca. I had to console her and tell her that alpaca girls really want to do that. I showed her how the girl gave Magnum the “look of love”, talked with her about his orgling. I said, “You know what alpaca girls REALLY like?”

“What?” she said sullenly, not sure of this whole breeding thing.

“Look down at the other side of this barn. What do you see directly at the other side of this barn?” I asked.

“NieNie?” she asked.

“Yes, I said. Nie Nie. Her momma loves her baby doesn’t she? Alpaca girls love their babies more than anything else. And this is how they get them.” I told her.

“You mean that NieNie’s mom did THIS to get NieNie?!!!?” she asked incredulously.

“Yes, she did. Last year. with Magnum.” I said.

My son, a couple years older had been quiet for most of this conversation. He piped up and said, “Piggyback ride.” (This is how he describes the alpaca breeding process)

So, my daughter was grossed out thinking of how her beloved NieNie was conceived. Understandable.

So the flower is pollinated by the bee.

Or at our house the dam was fertilized by  Magnum

We went on to have a conversation about eggs and fertilizing. And where human moms and dads keep their eggs and “fertilizers”. They were grossed out but glad to have some questions answered.

It’s nice to have the alpacas to help open the door for these questions.

How have you dealt with these issues with your kids? Have you used your animals to help you deal with tricky topics at your house?


  1. I had a book that talked about sperm from male and egg from female – so i asked my mom “so how does one get to the other?”

    and have proceeded to throw up forever thinking of her and my dad in the sack together.
    .-= Dawn´s last blog ..Dreading little changes =-.

  2. We have chickens! But only hens, so we have had numerous conversations with our 7 and 9 year old children about why we get only eggs, but no babies, since we don’t have a rooster. I think this “as it happens” learning is really an excellent start to knowledge. Unfortunately the kids have also learned about death and the cycle of life as we have lost chickens to fox and raccoon. We also have pets that we love dearly. These pets require commitment and sacrifice (of time and money). Overall, having pets is great for teaching life lessons and beginning discussions about important topics.

  3. Lol, Dawn.

  4. I’ll just send them here and your Alpaca’s can explain!!
    .-= Weekend Cowgirl´s last blog ..Recycle Anyone =-.

  5. The Alpacas have been a blessing for me. Not only have the kids seen the breeding and the behavior testing but they saw their first birth this summer.

    Sister Bear is going to be 10 and we bought her the American Girl book about bodies.

    She is fascinated by breasts right now and keeps going to that page and even asked me to come into her room and talk to her about the book. Yikes! I’d like to think it’s because I’m an awesome mother that she felt comfortable asking the questions but deep down I know that a barn full of Alpacas helped too.
    .-= Wonder Why Gal´s last blog ..The Bear Says- Knit Me an Owlplease =-.

  6. Dawn – I totally know what you mean! And when I realized some of the grossness that happens with the actual birth I could barely forgive my mom for having me!

    Weekend Cowgirl – just bring em all for the sex ed tour. Lol!

    WonderWhyGal – It IS cuz you are an awesome mom, and you spend so much time with her!…so it’s boobs over there. My son was like, “so the fertilizer is in a guy’s balls??” I laughed and nodded. Oh boy…

  7. No alpacas at my house, but we did have a dog we’d recently adopted go into heat and then have her spay surgery about a month later, so I’m sure I brought up why she needed to be spayed. I just brought it up, when the older one was about 10. I bought a book called, “Growing Up: It’s a Girl Thing,” and that opened up some discussion, too.

    Also, we may not necessarily have a barn full of alpacas at our disposal, but we’ve seen some hanky-panky at the zoo. Also, a few years ago, we saw the sparrows mating on the roof of the birdhouse, in our backyard. LOL!
    .-= DawnK´s last blog ..Windy with a capital W =-.

  8. There are no secrets about sex on a farm, just full exposure… :)

  9. Very funny story! I have a funny story to share as well.

    My mom and I used to raise show dogs. Once we were at a fellow breeder’s house, and she had a son roughly the age of 8 (maybe a tad bit older). Her son commented to his mom that he’d like to have a younger brother or sister, which started a conversation of “how do you make a baby?” This is how it went:

    Mom: “How do me and your dad give you a younger brother or sister?”
    Son: “YOU know!”
    Mom: “No really, tell me how to do it.”
    Son (blushing): “Just do what the DOGS do!”

    I’ll never forget that.
    .-= Rochelle´s last blog ..First Encounter with Snow =-.

  10. Breeding for alpacas is a family affair on our farm. When John and Eve went at it for 45 minutes the other day they had an audience from Kate and Flatback the whole time. The noises John made were extremely comical. My kids are 19, 26, 31, 39, and 42 so they don’t need any lessons anymore but they sure do enjoy the laughs. I took a really funny picture of it but can’t attach it to this comment. Thanks for sharing… EVERYTHING!
    .-= ellen´s last blog ..Dont Miss the Shower =-.

  11. My mom is a biologist. I learned pretty much the same way. Unfortunately she scared the poop out of me with the whole birthing process. That right there freaked me out enough to remain a “good girl.”
    .-= Dutch Hollow Acres´s last blog ..Big Bale Buddy Review – Year 2 =-.

  12. Jason Rupert says:

    Thank you for sharing that story!!!!! That is such a beautiful way of explaining the concept to a child! When I was young I asked my dad Cliff these questions and he didn’t answer them and made me watch old episodes of Charles in Charge. I was very confused for years and still get upset whenever I see Scott Baio.

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