NEWS - August 2012
Our Smallest Residents
Our first tiny quail were rescued from market some time ago, sadly the two females died earlier this year and the male cried and cried for days. We could even hear him down in the bottom paddocks. It was pitiful. So after another visit to the market he now has two new ladies who, were very shy of us I might add but not him initially, are now well settled. The three of them live very happily with Boris and Bryan the rabbits. No more tears.
Our Muddiest Rescue
When a local man became very ill we were asked to permanently take in his ducks and hens. Well, there were 50 of them kept in a small yard with no water, no grass and the yard was almost ankle deep in mud and slurry. The birds were absolutely filthy and some had great balls of mud stuck to their stomachs and legs, some of them could hardly move. Amazingly they were all cheerful and underneath all the filth they were not in bad condition. So, over a few days they were all re-located to their new home at the Sanctuary and cleaned up. It took a while! The ducks were introduced to water for the first time in their lives and one, a female Muscovy, refused to come out. Who could blame her? Happily they have all retained their social groups so can stay here with their friends.
Following our successful visit last year to this event we returned a couple of weeks back. Held in Bedfordshire this festival encompasses everything to do with wool, spinning, weaving, knitting and a demonstration of shearing with the beautiful Barbara – that is Barbara the sheep not the shearer. Although selling a few less fleeces than last year we still came home with £700 in exchange for 60 fleeces. Thank you to Liz for organising this and for her continued efforts to sell the Sanctuary fleeces on the internet which generates an awful lot more than the Wool Marketing Board.
Olivia and Jumble.
We are surprised but happy to announce the birth of a ram lamb to Olivia and Jumbo.
Olivia came to us three years ago with seven other lambs, one of the worst cases of neglect we’d seen. Six were unable to sit or stand up, one could get up and walk with help and Olivia was able to walk in a fashion with her weak and twisted back legs. They were all starved, thin and dirty.
Olivia was bight and trusting and as she grew stronger persisted in walking about as much as she could. Over the years she grew and put on weight. A big framed ewe, we kept promising ourselves to put her on a diet. We never did. Jumbo came to us 10 years ago from a farm in Devon. The RSPCA claimed that over 250 sheep, owned by an elderly lady and kept as pets, were neglected.
They went in one day with a Ministry Vet and shot 175 sheep. The remainder were to be shot the following day. We were contacted and made hasty arrangements to collect the survivors.
Jumbo was one of them. A big, powerful, friendly boy he settled into a small paddock and has never shown the slightest bit of interest in any of the ewes in adjacent paddocks, however flirty they became.
He’s an old man now, probably around 17. He’s creaky in his joints, all he wants to do is eat, sleep and watch the world go by. We’d all of us, forgotten that one day in February part of a fence fell down and Olivia and her friends strayed into his paddock for a short time. As Jumbo was slow and creaky walking on four legs none of us believed it was possible for him to stand on two, for however long it took.
As Olivia grew in girth we put it down to a surprising abundance of grass, until I walked out into her paddock early one morning and found the reason for her obesity sitting up in the shelter looking at me.
We’ve named him Jumble. He’s Jumbos’ doppelganger.
Well done Jumbo, well done Olivia. And Jumble, you will never know a harsh word, will never have to face a lorry journey to the place of no return, you will live your life as it was meant to be, with contentment and without fear.