NEWS - June 2016
Spring is definitely here. The grass is green, the animals are back out in the paddocks enjoying the sunshine, and we have an ever growing number of happy little lambs leaping around the paddock. There were 16 at the last count, as I write there is another expectant Mum pacing up and down outside the kitchen window.
When a small flock of ewes arrived here a few weeks ago neither we nor the owner were aware that her girls had been cavorting with a ram without permission.
The good thing is that none of these lambs will ever be taken away from Mum and will never have to face that final journey to the Slaughterhouse. Our other lambs, apart from Flossie and Kevin, arrived here courtesy of caring people who realised they'd all been left in a field to die, or be taken away by a fox. They were not worth the care they needed and it would have been too expensive to have their lives ended in a humane way. So welcome Rosie, Pippin and skinny little Ivan, who has one eye, bandy legs and the heart of a lion. They're only lambs.Flossie had been handed in to Wood Green Animal Shelter, and Kevin was found in a box outside the front door. Welcome to the rest of your lives, small sheep.
The last three lambs came to us through unusual circumstances. They were found squashed in the back of a vehicle that the Police had stopped. It happened in the middle of the night on a Motorway and it's fair to say that the occupants of the car weren't taking the lambs on a sightseeing tour. They were arrested, (the occupants, not the sheep) and we were asked if we could collect the lambs. We put them in the back of our 4x4 and set off for home. Just after we left the Motorway we were closely followed by a Police Car, a few minutes later lights flashed and sirens went off. It was Sods Law, we were about to be arrested for having three lambs in the back of a vehicle.
The very nice Policeman grinned at the lambs and advised us that he knew who we were and what we were doing, but did we know our our MOT had run out? "I know you'll see to it as soon as you get home", were his words. We did.
The story made the local and National Press and television, we began to receive calls from people who thought the lambs might be theirs. We realised that lamb and sheep rustling is alive and well, animals disappearing on a regular basis. Farmers have even found just the fresh remains of sheep, the edible parts having been removed. Much easier to kill them on site than trying to carry a live sheep away.
The three lambs were found in the "Nick" of time, no pun intended. They'll never know how close they came to losing that most precious thing, their life.
Ponies and calves
Aero, the spotted pony, (formerly known as Bubbles) came to us from an owner who had lost her grazing and who had spent weeks trying to find him a safe forever home. There was nowhere else to try, he was too young and too trusting to risk him getting into the wrong hands. We were able to find a small space to squeeze this nice little chap into which has worked out well as Ginger, our elderly, a bossy little miniature Shetland now has a little friend to play with.
The eight heifer calves have grown well and have just had their first taste of lovely fresh Spring grass. A long, stress free life now lies ahead for them.
35 recently rescued ex battery hens have joined our other small flock to enjoy their first taste of freedom and sunshine. So many of them were almost featherless, but so feisty! They peck your feet, fly up into the feed bucket, argue loudly with the resident hens and won't go to bed until it's dark. It can never be justified keeping these fiercely intelligent, active little birds incarcerated in cages inside massive sheds just to make a few pence more in profit.
The other little hens, kept in a dark, filthy shed on a rotting pile of droppings which scalded their feet are enjoying their freedom in the garden and the luxury of a large, straw bedded house. PLEASE DON'T EVER BUY EGGS FROM CAGED HENS OR SO CALLED BARN KEPT HENS. GO FREE RANGE FROM A REPUTABLE COMPANY OR A LOCAL FREE RANGE FARM.
It's a pleasure to look out of the window and see so many animals, enjoying the sunshine, getting on with their lives without fear. So much nicer than seeing a small part of them on a plate.
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.