Although the mornings at the Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary are still chilly, it is officially spring, and we've welcomed some new beaks, noses, and hooves to the sanctuary.
Enormous thanks to everyone who has supported our winter feed fundraiser. Even though spring is arriving, the cool temperatures mean that it will be months before the grass growth improves, and we urgently need extra stores of hay and pellets to tide us over. Our Give-a-little fundraiser closes on 16 September, and we're over three quarters of the way to our goal.
We're so close to making it! If you're able to share the link or make a small donation, we'd be so grateful! A kind supporter has offered to match any donations in the final week, so any donation does twice as much work as usual. Check out our Give-a-little page at Winter hay for sweet Iris and her friends.
Our early morning chorus of rooster joy has turned up the volume, with seven new roosters moving in. In the photographs below you can see Bertie, a charming and gregarious newcomer. A loving family had rescued him as a tiny chick, but their circumstances changed and they were no longer able to care for him. After arriving at the sanctuary Bertie quickly made friends with another young rooster, Russell Crow, and the handsome pair have already developed a strong bond, spending the whole day foraging side by side.
Shortly after we adopted Bertie, six more friendly roosters arrived. They had been abandoned on a local property, and a caring family had been feeding them, but they could not stay as the existing pet rooster was very distressed by the new arrivals. These new birds are still settling into the orchard with the rest of our flock.
If you breed or purchase chicks, please bear in mind that on average fifty percent of them will be male. Local council regulations mean that you are unlikely to be allowed to keep roosters as pets if you live in a residential area. Consequently there are thousands of unwanted roosters in Aotearoa New Zealand, who are often slaughtered or abandoned. Please consider adopting needy roosters and hens rather than hatching your own.
The initial introductions have been very successful, and Archie and Spot are already starting to form new friendships, especially with our youngest goat Merge. The trio romp and play till they are completely exhausted - this is another reason to give Archie and Spot some quiet time away from the other goats as they gradually integrate into the herd!
We're glad to report that Gherkin's health seems to be stabilising with the help of medication. Although he has suffered two more small seizures, he is in good spirits, and enjoys playing with his friends Toa and Doris. He continues to put on weight as he approaches adulthood.