Can You Identify the Farm Equipment From a Brief Description?



By: Zoe

7 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Oh, life on the farm! You've always loved the smell of freshly baled straw, a pasture of grazing cattle and even the sound of a tractor coming to life amidst a quiet morning. But how much do you really know about farm life and the machinery that makes it possible for you to get your fresh milk and eggs in the morning, that sandwich at lunch or a steak for dinner? Farm life is hard, but the benefits are worthwhile. This quiz is all about the machinery that makes life easy for the rest of us. 

From small equipment that cuts down trees and chops up small pieces of wood, to a special type of harvester that is valued upwards of half a million dollars and gets every penny of use out of it. Do you know the name of the most common machinery that can be found on nearly any farm of any size? Can you name the equipment that dairy farmers just can't live without? Do you know the equipment used to dig a ditch, furrow a lane or keep them clear? 

Farm work is some of the most difficult work there is and this equipment is what helps make a hard life a little easier. Take this quiz to see if you can make it on the farm!

This is used for cutting down smaller trees or chopping up wood.

Yep, it's an axe. Simple, but essential.


This machine is among the most common on a farm; everyone has at least one. It can be attached to almost anything to get a range of jobs done.

The tractor transformed farming for the farmers' benefit. It can pull harrows, plows, trailers and more. The only place a tractor struggles is on very wet ground where its high weight affects how much - you guessed it - traction it gets.


This is the place that dairy cows love to go twice a day.

The milking parlor is the room inside the dairy where cows are milked. Cows love to be milked as they get uncomfortable if they are not milked - plus they are fed during the process and they love to eat! Also, they generally know and trust the dairymen who handle them; a good dairyman who the cows like​ will have an enormous impact on milk yield. The best milker usually goes in first in the morning and last in the evening, meaning she is milked as close as possible to 12-hour intervals.


If you don't want to till the soil but do want to break up the surface a little, this is what you need.

A harrower is a spiky wheel that breaks up soil near the surface. This makes it easier to till later, or if you don't plan to till it, it's good for soil quality.


This is the most amazing machine on a farm; it costs up to half a million dollars, and is worth every penny come harvest time.

The combine harvester is typically the most fearsome machine on the farm. Older machines could cut and gather a crop, but there was a separate thresher to remove the chaff. The Combine does it all! It includes blades, wheels, sieves, and elevators among its thousands of moving parts to cut, gather, thresh, and store the crop. A wheat field with a combine on it is among the nicest-smelling places on earth.


This handy tool keeps the bad element out and friends in!

Barbed wire is a cattle farmer's best friend. Before it was introduced, there was no kind of wire fencing that could keep cows in, which meant you had to build post-and-rail fencing for miles, which is very expensive and labor intensive to maintain. Barbed wire, also known as bobbed wire, is also great for keeping out wild animals.


If you can't be opening gates all the time, then you need one of these to keep the cows in.

A cattle guard or cattle grid goes in a gateway where it would be a pain in the neck to be constantly opening and closing the gate. The grid is a metal grille that cows cannot walk across, or rather, that cows BELIEVE they cannot walk across as they do not like the look of the bars and the space below them. Cycling over a cattle grid is rather fun as long as you go fast; if you go slow, you will fall in and it will hurt.


This is how you get past a fence where there is no gate and it's too hard to climb.

A stile is a set of stone or wooden steps that go over a fence but are arranged such that livestock cannot use them.


After you cut your grass, and it's turning into hay, you have to wuffle that hay! This machine is how you do it.

Grass drying on the meadow might dry unevenly. A hay tedder is a device you drag over the drying grass as it turns to hay, to keep it mixed up and evenly dry; this is called "wuffling" the hay. It also helps neaten up the hay so the baler can easily pick it up later.


Got some goods, livestock, or equipment to carry? Put it in here.

Trailers are essential on farms for carrying heavy loads. Some modern trailers have clever aspects to them like the "dropside" trailer, whereby the entire side comes down, the floor tilts up, and the contents come out in one fell swoop.


If you need to hide your ditch but can't fill it, this is what you need.

A culvert forms when a ditch or stream is enclosed entirely and earth is put over the top. This might be a good idea when you have a ditch that passes in front of a gateway where cattle or heavy machines come through often, since it may require less maintenance than a bridge capable of holding that sort of weight.


It's one of the oldest pieces of equipment on a farm, and it used to be capable of handling an acre per day.

A plow is a key part of tilling a field, that is, digging up the soil just enough to plant in it. An acre was originally defined as the area one man with a team of oxen could plow in a day. These days you can do better with a tractor pulling a plow!


You wouldn't think we still need these to keep birds off the fields, but we do.

Scarecrows have come a long way; they are no longer a stuffed mannequin that the birds learn won't get them. Modern scarecrows might use anything as simple as shiny discs on strings, to something as complicated sonic pulses.


This is how you identify the cows.

An ear tag is a humane way of keeping track of your cows. It doesn't just tell you their number, it can also tell you information about the cow: any medication they're on, when they might be fertile, if they need a particular feed, what order they go in for milking (it's not random), etc. The dairyman typically recognizes the cows eventually - as they come to know him - but obviously learning all their names is hard work, and the tag takes out the guesswork.​


This is the worst place on the farm, where the manure goes, and mending it is the worst job.

A slurry pit is where all the manure goes - and there may be thousands of tons a year on a large dairy. Once in the pit, it turns into fertilizer and then is ready to come out and go onto the fields. However, when the slurry pit breaks, the person who mends it, while wearing a wetsuit and breathing apparatus, is rightly hailed as a hero.


If you're driving around your farm a lot, you might need this to protect your vehicle.

A bull bar is a useful thing to protect cows from cars and vice versa; the cows don't want to shatter your headlights onto the fields and then tread on the pieces!


This is how you get the critters out of a sheep's fleece.

Sheep dip is the name for both the insecticide put on sheep and also the name for the trough-like device in which the sheep go to be dipped. Parasites can not only destroy the value of the wool but also bring tremendous distress and discomfort to sheep, so regular dipping is important to keep them healthy and happy!


This is how to get water to animals in a meadow that has no natural stream.

A trough is very important if your field doesn't have a natural watering hole or river. Modern troughs usually have a pipe connected to them. That means they automatically refill so the cows, sheep, pigs, etc, always have access to water. In warmer climates, it's essential that animals can drink whenever they are thirsty.


This is where you put the grain after it is dried but before it is transported.

A grain silo is a good way to store grain that has been dried and needs to be kept at the right level of moisture (not too damp or dry) ahead of sending it to market.


This device helps soil that has become too compact to be ready for planting.

An aerator is like a big spiked roller that goes behind a tractor. It helps put air into the soil and break up heavy clods of earth. This helps the natural nitrates in the soil and improves fertility. It's great for grassland and plowed fields alike. What's also handy is that you can aerate your garden simply by walking all over it in spiked heels!


This device gets the fertilizer you produced in-house onto the field.

A muck spreader is a device you attach to a tractor which then pulls it around the field carefully, putting the manure onto the soil. That way your waste becomes an asset!


This is the device that handles the grain after the combine harvester has finished with it.

The older varieties of grain dryers involved a conveyor and hot air. Nowadays you can simply put your grain into a barn with an aerated floor that slowly dries it very nicely: not too much, not too little.


This collecting device is usually operated by four men or women and works with at least two other machines.

A potato harvester is a marvel of modern engineering. It digs up the potatoes and feeds them onto a conveyor where several people quickly sort out bad or rotten potatoes and also any stones or clods of earth, which amazingly, do not jam the machine. These go onto another conveyor that sends them back to the ground, while the good potatoes transfer into a trailer traveling alongside the harvester. Once this trailer is full, it goes back to the farmyard to put the potatoes into storage.


This is a very useful device for digging a ditch.

A backhoe is an attachment for the rear of a tractor, though it can also come as part of a digger. It is a digging bucket that scoops out ditches speedily. This way, the farmer only has to maintain some of the ditches by hand where trees or rocky ground prevent the backhoe getting close enough.


This device attaches to the tractor, and you use it to keep the lanes and ditches clear.

A hedger is basically a strimmer that goes along in the air and trims back the hedges. While hedges are helpful for maintaining security, biodiversity, and soil, they do tend to just keep growing and then start causing problems.


This is where the cows go to get their shots and beauty treatments.

A cow clamp is how you hold a cow still so you can give it necessary shots and also trim its feet if necessary. Since cows may not run around voluntarily as much as they would in the wild, their hooves can need a little manicure, just like yours! Cattle superstar Temple Grandin, who is the queen of the cattle business, noticed that many cows get extremely calm in the clamp and built a human-sized one for herself, which she used to treat her panic due to her autism. Grandin invented a great many ways to make the cattle business more humane, and happy cows are much cheaper and more profitable. The cow clamp is one of those devices that might look scary if you don't know cows, but people like Temple Grandin know the cows really like it.


This is how grass, barley, alfalfa and other crops destined for cow food can achieve a higher density.

Silage is essentially anaerobically digested material made from grass, alfalfa, barley, peas, or other high protein plants fed to cattle. A silage clamp is a storage unit for the crop to squash it down so that air does not get in and rot the silage instead of it fermenting. You use tarpaulins and heavy old tires on the top, and walls of concrete or old railway sleepers. Sheeting a silage clamp is one of the most essential but dull tasks.


This is how your eggs get into appropriate boxes!

An egg sorter is an incredibly obvious idea once you think of it. The eggs go along on a sort of little wave machine with various size channels. They only slide out of the wave section when they reach the channel that is the right size. This way, they are sorted before they leave the farm and can be packaged appropriately. An egg sorter is absolutely marvelous to watch so do check it out!


This is a scenic way to cross small streams and ditches.

A sleeper bridge is common on the edges of fields where you want to go to the next field but don't want to put in a full sized gate, as that's expensive. It helps you just hop quickly over the ditch or stream without risking falling in. It also makes your farm more accessible to less hale and hearty visitors, meaning it can remain accessible to people using canes or pushchairs.


This keeps the little guys in, and deters foxes.

Chicken wire is another fabulous and actually rather obvious (once you've thought of it ) invention on the modern farm. It's entirely humane and keeps chickens safe. It is usually embedded into the soil to stop foxes or badgers digging under it.


This is the best way to keep sheep where you want them.

Electric fencing is used for a variety of animals, including cows. However, the strength of the pulse is variable. Since sheep have big fleeces that protect them from shocks, they need a high pulse to remind them to stay put in their field. Touching the fence around a sheep's field might not hurt at all if you miss the pulse, but if you touch at the wrong time, it really hurts.


If you don't know how ready your grain is, this will help you.

A grain moisture tester is essential to know whether your grain is too wet - making it vulnerable to mold and sprouting - or too dry. If it is too dry it can be vulnerable to turning into flour prematurely, or (and this is really true) getting so hot that it spontaneously bursts into flames!


This essential little tool means you get to keep the fruits of your labors instead of sharing them with the locals.

A rat trap is essential on a farm, otherwise, inevitably, you will be overrun with rats and they will devour everything you harvest before you sell or eat it. Sometimes this means traps and poison. Of course, sometimes it comes in the form of a cat or three. A smart farm will use both.


No one needs to be carrying loose hay on a pitchfork these days, thanks to this machine

A hay baler picks up the hay from the meadow after it has been cut, wuffled (see question 9!) and put into windrows. Balers are amazing to watch these days, as they are very complex; they suck up the hay into a compactor, squash it down, then pop out a perfectly formed bale and drop it on the field for collection. If the bales are destined to be wrapped, another machine will pick them up and wrap them, which means putting them on a little platform where they go round and round as they are wrapped, which is also very entertaining to watch.


This helps humans show bulls which way to go.

A nose ring doesn't bother a bull at all, but it means a person can lead a fussy bull around more easily. Putting in a nose ring is very humane, and once it is in, the bull will barely notice it is there. Since an angry bull can kill you just as easily as a freaked out bull can, it's very important that they are treated kindly and with respect.


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