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NEWS - September 2018

OPEN DAY

open-day

Our most successful Open Day yet. We lost count of the number of cars arriving, the parking fields were full, the entire village was cluttered with visitors cars, latecomers couldn't get in as early birds were trying to get out.

Fortunately the staff and volunteers were able to use their special skills to prevent fights breaking out, and many people gave up trying to move so spent more time and money with us.

Some of the younger sheep and lambs in the barn enjoyed a biscuit blowout.Someone had thoughtfully placed a bathtub full of cream crackers and Rich tea biscuits in front of their pens, which in theory should have lasted at least a week. By three o clock all that was left was a bathtub full of biscuit wrappers. It was a windy night in the barn that night.

A big attraction this year was our new Vegan caterers, Purple Cauliflower, a new company set up by Marshall and Carla who have recently come to live in a nearby village. Such is their reputation they attracted a large number of followers to our event, hence the traffic gridlock. Again, we were supported by the presence of local animal welfare charities and stall holders, who all contributed to making this such a successful day.

paul-roxie

Shortly after the open day we welcomed Roxy, a pretty little goose whose partner had been killed by a fox. Roxy had also been injured, the right care and treatment saved her life, the only sign of her ordeal was a slightly damaged leg, which has left her with a slight limp. Geese can be difficult birds when it comes to trying to find them new partners, they're unpredictable, so when we were asked if we could take Roxy we were slightly hesitant.

Paul, one of our older resident ganders lost a partner over a year ago, he became quite a grumpy fellow, hissing fiercely at any hens who strayed across his path, he also did the same to most humans. We took the chance, Roxy arrived one morning, not looking at all stressed after the journey, they were then introduced with a fence in between them so that we could gauge their reaction.

It really was love at first sight. Paul strutted his stuff, puffed out his plumage and talked a lot of goose. We have no idea what he was saying but whatever it was he charmed little Roxy, there was no hesitation in letting her in to his domain. He walked her round the boundaries, showed her where to find the best mud, their own little pond, shared only by a few ducks, and finally his house, his bachelor pad, which all met with her approval. He's a contented chap now, the envy of our other bachelor ganders.

flicker-goliath

Sadly we lost Flicker, one of our recently acquired Alpacas. Flicker, a white alpaca, was fourteen, not a great age in the alpaca world. After a very short illness and treatment from our Vet it was obvious that Flicker wasn't responding, he stopped eating and was reluctant to stand. The decision was made to let him go peacefully. His friend Goliath was taken out of the stable while our Vet quietly sent Flicker on his journey, Goliath was then brought back in.

His first reaction was to pick up a mouthful of hay, then he looked at Flicker, who appeared to be asleep. He stood over him and lowered his head then began to make a sound we'd never heard before, I think Irish people and other nationalities throughout the world recognise it as "keening". We left him there to grieve in private for his friend. Later that afternoon he put his head over the stable door, he knew it was getting near teatime. He ate a little, he occasionally vocalised but this time it was a different sound.

We left them together for the night, next morning Goliath walked back down to his paddock, back with his friends, the goats and the sheep. The only difference with him now is that he spends time looking up at the house, not because he wants to join the dogs and everyone else in the kitchen, but he's discovered that being hand fed twice a day is a good way of getting over your sorrow. Animals can be so much better than the human species at dealing with loss.

zac

And finally, at long last, Zac Stewart decided to make his appearance on the morning of 11th of September, keeping Mum Louise, Dad Dave and sister Ruby waiting for 8 days. We were all hoping that he would arrive on the due day so that Louise could get back to work and do her share in helping on the day.Welcome baby Zac, we're all hoping that you grow up to like animals, when Mum retires there'll be a job going!

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