Last secure place for over 530 animals and birds rescued from abuse, neglect, slaughter and abandonment. Please donate or sponsor to keep them safe.

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NEWS - June & July 2017

Summer's arrived

June! Another very busy month for everyone. Time to get jackets off, not just for staff and volunteers but also for the animals. The cattle, horses, ponies and Hosanna the donkey managed to shed most of their coats through natural means, rubbing against a fence, rolling etc, and a little bit of help from someone with a brush, but for the sheep and Alpacas something different was needed.

Shearing time. Sheep and alpacas have to be sheared once a year for welfare reasons. Shearing prevents fly strike, a condition caused by blowflies laying eggs on soiled or wet fleece, which hatch into maggots within 24 hours. Removing the fleece also helps to prevent an animal overheating and can reveal possible hidden skin irritations.

It isn't painful for the animals when done properly, we've always been lucky to have careful shearers, our animals have been handled carefully and with patience, and the proof of the pudding? Once stood up on their feet again, nearly all the sheep will have a good shake and bounce back out into the paddock, legs everywhere, heads down to the grass within seconds. The older ones just look resigned about the whole thing.

matthew-alpacas

The alpacas, on the other hand, are rather more dignified. Except for Matthew, who spat at everyone throughout the procedure. When finished, he continued to spit until he'd made his point before stalking back into his paddock where he stood and glared until everyone had been finished.

Chicks

chicks

We don't actively encourage any of our animals to breed, there are enough animals already out there needing a home. However, two of our little Bantam hens managed to hide themselves for long enough to lay a few eggs and begin sitting them before they'd been discovered. Too late to remove the eggs, we let them sit until three tiny, healthy chicks finally hatched out. Bantam hens are usually brilliant mothers, fiercely protective, very fussy little beings, who will now have the pleasure of raising their babies to adulthood and beyond, together for life.

A drake with attitude

drake

A very handsome drake was brought to us recently, a new home was sought for him due to a change in his owner’s circumstances. Looking rather nervous when he arrived, his expression soon changed when he spied his two new companions, two pretty little ducks.

Like all male ducks, at this time of the year their thoughts focus only on one thing. Drakes are very lusty creatures, the ducks aren't even safe from their attentions when they're in the pond so our two have devised an escape plan. When they see him coming they run beneath the duck house, which is low enough to prevent any athletic activity. He did then turn his attention to Matilda the turkey. A difference in height, and Matilda's reaction to this upstart, which was a furious flapping of wings soon cooled his ardour.

Peter the pig

pete

We were recently paid a visit from our local police. The conversation went something like this;

"Have you lost a pig?"
"No"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes"
"Could you have lost a pig and not noticed?"
"No"
"Do any of your pigs ever get out, stroll about for a bit then come back in without you noticing?"
"No. You want us to come and pick up a pig that isn't ours and bring it back here because you don't know what to do with it don't you?"
"Yes"
We fetched the little pig, who was at the time enjoying a deep sleep by the side of the road, the morning sun just beginning to warm his back.

Enquiries were made, no one came forward to claim him. Our Vet did the necessary and removed his boy bits, and from being a wandering boar with no name and no friends he's now Pete the pig, living in a hastily constructed temporary paddock with all mod cons and a view of other pigs. Well, at least he's got his own wallow and a heap of straw for a bed, for the moment. He needs a house; all donations will be gratefully received by Pete to find him his own little dwelling.

We are asked to take in pigs on a very regular basis. Most of these have been so called "micro pigs" bred and sold by unscrupulous people purely to make money with no thought about the welfare needs of these animals. In the past we've brought them in from the top floor of a High Rise flat, tenanted premises with tiny back gardens in the middle of a housing estate, and from people who thought they'd make great playthings for the children. A "micro pig" can weigh anything up to 70 kilos, and they have strong jaws and teeth that can bite through bone. Unless you have perfect, secure premises for a pig, strong fencing, good housing and preferably company of their own kind, Do Not Buy One. Oh, and by law, you must be registered with DEFRA, have a holding number and be registered with a Vet.

Kittens

Cleo and Iris arrived recently, both about twelve weeks old, courtesy of Janet and John, two of our Trustees. Janet and John run their own private cat rescue, bringing in feral and unwanted cats and rehoming them whenever possible.

cleo

Cleo had found a home and was much loved, she has a loveable personality, cheeky and playful, but unfortunately was slightly incontinent. If a home couldn't be found she was going to be put down.

In the past we've had incontinent dogs, lambs, and once had an incontinent pony in the kitchen, so one incontinent kitten? Cleo is a delight, very confident, loves everyone, even Jess the naughty young dog, and is only mildly incontinent. She discovered the bath was a good place to wee, with the shower curtain around it was private and quiet. She is now barred from the bathroom.

iris

Iris was trapped with other ferals. She was a terrified, thin, scruffy kitten, hissing and spitting from fear. We took her in as company for Cleo, the two of them get on well, they sleep together and eat together, as far as I know Iris hasn't taken to weeing in the bath but she does like to follow you into the bathroom, so maybe she's thinking about it?

The elderly ewe, (Flora), we seized a few weeks ago who was bone thin, weak, and supposedly not in lamb now looks amazing. She's put on so much weight, and her much loved (chubby) lamb (Dora) is a picture of health. Flora is very friendly, she moos like a cow when she wants to be noticed. Like almost all rescued animals, she bears no malice towards the human race where her life was thought to have no value.

It's all of that that makes this job so worthwhile.

Pay Roll Giving

duck-goose-sheep

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.

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