So my young son who is almost six and is yet to receive his diagnoses, wants to keep our recently departed hamster so he can watch how the body decomposes and collect the bones
I said no.
He loves dinosaurs, fossils, minerals. Always bringing home sticks, stones and the occasional dead worm from school. But it isn't the first time he has asked if he can keep the body of a deceased pet. Last time was early October when our bunny died and a year before that with a different pet.
How far do you or would you go to support your child's special interest?
After watching the Chris Packham show, I am leaning towards maybe I should let him explore his interests in a similar way. What do you think?
Hi, my son went through a dinosaur/bones interest and still asks if we can dig up the pets in the garden to see how they are decomposing. I have said no to that but I do let him have a good look at any pets dead animals we see/find. We live on a farm so there is often a dead animal to see, from pet bunnies and dogs, to chickens, sheep, some cows.
I think If you have the means to indulge your sons interest then why not? It seam very educational and scientific to me!
I'd vote for yes too :) May take quite a long time at these temperatures though.
Which part of the country do you live in?
We have an allotment so we do have the space to do it, but do I want to dig up Bugsy who we had for 12yrs? No. The hamster we had for 11mths, maybe.
When I raise it with the school mum's they are horrified, but I too think it's education and therefore it could only be a good thing... Maybe we'll start off on a smaller scale to see how he gets on.
So while I was awake in the wee hours this morning and he is currently interested in reading, re-reading & re-reading a library book on owls, I have brought him some Barn Owl pellets to get him started.
Oddly he has a weak stomach and will retch over icky things, so dried owl poo with small mammal bones in might be the way forward...
One microscope, magnifying glass and a set of owl pellets for Christmas it is then ;0)
South East / Surrey.
Hehe, brilliant! May not make much of a difference in terms of yuckyness to you, but it's not poo but rather puke of sorts :) Sterilised though, so perfect for kids really.
I was just asking about the area because at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Lancaster they keep beetles for eating away the flesh of bird carcasses and what remains are clean skeletons and they are quite happy to show people. But from Surrey that's a bit far. They may do the same in other places though, it's pretty interesting if you can stomach it.
While at college a friend of mine kept a "dead box" as she called it, where she kept and owl pellets and small animal bones that she came across whilst out walking. She had all sorts in there from bird skulls to crab shells. I think its an amazing interest to have and so many different interests can come from it!
My sister and I often collected bones and skulls from the fields we walked in. She used them to draw from as art work. I couldn’t watch any thing decompose but bones cleaned by the weather etc are ok. It’s no less macabre than taxidermy really.. And as said it is a way of learning about nature. In the country side you get used to seeing dead mammals and birds and their carcasses. . I once found a mole the skin and hair is very velvety and it’s feet and snout were interesting.. we kept it on an outside windowsill for a few days. Life birth death are all very much part of country life and it is a natural way to learn about it. As already mentioned a walk on the beach especially after a storm can also have similar finds. How you approach the emotional side of it all is another matter!
Was he particularly close to the hamster?