KW Homestead

Pasture Raised Poultry from Our Family to Yours

kids wondering… What Do Plants and Animals Need to Live?

Look around you! Notice how many plants and animals you see everyday, no matter where you live!

My two dogs, napping

My two dogs, napping


A maple tree, turning yellow in autumn


Take just a moment to think of some animals that you see everyday…

Take just a moment to think of some plants that you see everyday…

All of these plants and animals that you see need certain things to live. Let’s take a look at what these things might be, and let’s think about how an animal might need different things to live than a plant might need.

Why don’t we think about a farm?


Photo courtesy of Nicholas_T

What kind of plants live on a farm? Usually plants that the farmer grows to feed herself or to sell. Here are some of these plants:


Photo courtesy of opencontent

green beans

Photo courtesy of wanko

What are some things that you think plants need to live?

All plants need water, soil, the sun, and nutrients!


Photo courtesy of Joel Bramley

It’s pretty easy for a plant to get water… They can get it from the rain or from a watering can or hose.


Photo courtesy of NRCS Soil Health

It’s pretty easy for a plant to get soil… Just plant it in the ground or in a pot filled with dirt.


Photo courtesy of gr33n3gg

It’s pretty easy for a plant to get sun… Just plant it outside or place its pot near a sunny window.

But what about nutrients? What are these and how can plants get them?

Nutrients are kind of like the plant’s food. People get nutrients from the good things we eat, like vitamins and minerals. They are what keep us healthy. Nutrients that plants need come from lots of things, especially things that are breaking down, or rotting. But perhaps the easiest way to get nutrients that the plants need is to give them… Animal poop!


Photo courtesy of Starr Environmental

On a farm, people use animal poop (called manure) to give their plants nutrients. This is one way you can see that plants need animals to survive.

Now let’s think about what animals need to live.

All animals need food, water, shelter, and love.

Let’s look at chickens on a farm to see how animals need these things…

Chickens need food, which is how they get their nutrients. We feed our chickens grains with vitamins inside and sometimes our leftover vegetables and meat. They also love to catch and eat bugs!

Chicken food!

Chicken food!

Chickens need water so that they do not get too hot from the sun or cold in winter. Water is important in an animal’s body because it helps their whole body work the right way!

Chicken's drinking water!

Chicken’s drinking water!

Chickens need shelter so they do not get too cold, hot, or wet. Our chickens live in a little house that protects them from weather and animals that might want to come and eat them! Can you think of some animals that might try to make chickens their food?

Shelter for the chickens!

Shelter for the chickens!

Also, animals all need love or companionship. Sometimes animals only need love from their mothers when they are babies but most animals need love and a group of friends to belong to their whole life. Chickens belong in their flock and they enjoy being a part of the group. Being a part of the group makes them feel happy and safe.

Chickens like to spend time with their flock, or group!

Chickens like to spend time with their flock, or group!

My dogs also love being a part of our family. Don’t you think people love being a part of a family, too?

My dogs snuggle together!

My dogs snuggle together!

Now that we’ve talked about what plants and animals need to live, let’s compare and contrast what they need.

Compare means to look at how two things are the same and contrast means to look at how two things are different.

How can you compare what plants and animals need to live?

How can you contrast what plants and animals need to live?



  1. Rest in Peace beautiful Bridey

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