NEWS - February / March 2017
February flew by, a weird mixture of weather which ended with Storm Doris storming through the fields and taking away one of our new field shelters. We were a devastated, it was only put up a few months ago and we don't have the funds to replace it. Fortunately there were no animals in there at the time, the field shelter is beyond repair, so we just have to be thankful that nothing was killed or injured.
Lambing is now in full swing, timed to take place during the worst few months of the year to satisfy the need for "Spring lamb".
Ewes who survive unsupervised out in the hills and the mountains have a daily struggle to find shelter and enough food to keep her and her lambs alive. If she fails and her lambs die her punishment would be a journey to the market or a slaughterhouse. Just one very lucky lamb is our Perry. He was just a few days old when an irate farmer was seen to throw him over a wall then walk away. The lamb lay in the rain unable to move until a passer by saw him.
She knew the farmer and knew he would leave the lamb there to die. She took the lamb before the fox spotted him. She named him Perry, took him to the Vet, who didn't hold out much hope for him, then began round the clock nursing. Perry survived, he began drinking from a bottle, eventually managing to walk a few steps on his knees. His saviour, who worked full time, needed a safe place where he would be with his own kind, which is how he came to us. Perry has grown, all trace of his injuries have gone , he's a happy, friendly chap who's best friend is Kevin, another orphaned lamb. How many of these lambs like Perry are left to die for whatever reason will never be known?
Bird Flu affected all poultry kept In the UK from just before Christmas until the end of February. All domestic poultry had to be kept indoors during this period, casing an enormous amount of stress to most birds who were used to having their freedom. We were fortunate in being able to utilise a second hand large poultry shed which arrived in segments last Spring, and put up over the summer months by our vegan friends , organised by Elizabeth from Vegorium. I don't know how we would have managed without it. Our birds had enough space, shelter, straw bales to sit on and pick at, and a daily supply of cabbages, lettuce and fruit treats. After two months they looked on in surprise when we finally lowered the drawbridge to let them back out onto the grass. It took a while for them to realise they were free once more, but when the sun came out they were soon clucking and scratching around in the grass, happy hens again.
Lottie the little black rescue dog arrived here at the beginning of February from a dog rescue Charity in Cyprus, Jodie's Cyprus Dog Rescue. She had been abandoned in a filthy alleyway in a town in Cyprus. In all probability she would have been left there to die if she hadn't been found by someone from Jodie's Cyprus Dog Rescue team. A shy, nervous little dog, within an hour or two of arriving she was persuaded to play the "let's see how fast we can race around the house without knocking anything over" game by Jess, the rescue puppy we took in a few months ago, who came from the same charity. (Answer, 6 seconds).
Lottie's party trick is to sit on the window ledge, eat budgie seed and disappear beneath the unfinished kitchen cabinets
Our own dog rescue centres are always full to capacity but at least if they aren't re-homed they have a comfortable place for life. In other countries these dogs are bludgeoned to death, starved, shot or left to die out on the streets from injuries or infections. Lottie is a timid, shy little dog. She has the kindest expression and the saddest eyes, she wants to be friends but has to get to know you before she'll come to you.
She has a bolt hole underneath the unfinished kitchen cabinets which she retires to when she's not certain. Jessie joins her, it's their disappearing trick. You leave the kitchen which has two dogs in it , come back two minutes later and no dogs?
The latest feral cats who were brought to us have decided that being feral isn't much fun. They prefer a warm bed, regular food and generally lazing about.When they arrived they were as wild as bobcats. They were kept in a pen for several weeks from where they could watch the goings on in the yard and get to recognise people.
It's always a worrying time when feral cats are let out for the first time, we always wonder if they'll take off never to be seen again, but so far all our cats have remained with us. They're not good mousers, they don't seem that interested in stalking birds, more interested in watching the clock to see if it's getting close to feeding time.
Pay Roll Giving
We are constantly in need of donations to help with our running costs. Pay Roll Giving is a good way to set up a monthly donation. If you would please consider this take a look at www.payrollgiving.co.uk. Thank you.