It’s been wonderful to have your tautoko (support) during 2021! Thank you for helping the Black Sheep survive while our fundraising shops were closed during the August lockdown. Although we’re still financially shaky, our residents are happy and flourishing. We hope you are staying well during these difficult times and that you enjoy the extra photographs in this update.
Shearing is an essential part of caring for sheep, helping them regulate their body temperature and preventing harmful conditions like flystrike. We need to time it just right - trimming wool too early in the spring allows it to grow overly long by the end of summer, with the risk of overheating. However, delaying shearing may increase the risk of developing flystrike. For some sheep, their wool may become so heavy and waterlogged that it is difficult to walk.
The goats get rid of their thick winter coats more easily, by simply shedding their excess hair. They too become rather ticklish, so we groom them to remove loose fur and soothe their irritated skin. Roscoe in particular enjoys a good brushing.
Routine animal health checks continue to keep us busy. Two of our miniature horses have recently visited our equine dental vet for a check-up. Chester and Lily receive dental inspections every six months as part of their regular care. Miniature ponies have small jaws but the same size and number of teeth as larger horses, which means that their tiny jaws are crammed with huge teeth, often leading to dental trouble.
Humans and horses are all relieved that no major work was needed this time! From dental and hoof care to managing chronic health conditions such as laminitis and Cushing's disease, our ponies require a lot of attention. It is a delight to see them so happy and healthy.
We monitor our residents constantly to ensure they are thriving. Twice a day at feeding time we examine all our animals for unusual behaviour or signs of sickness. We are pleased to report that Ginkgo is now fully recovered and back to his normal cheerful self.
We have three male flightless Pekin ducks who are looking for a new home. They are two to four years of age and are likely to live until around the age of twelve. All three are very independent and love their free range environment. They are easy to care for - they only require supplementary grain and plenty of fresh water to drink and bathe in. They would fit well into a home without female flightless ducks as they tend to dominate females.
If you can offer these ducks a loving home, please contact email@example.com
We will arrange a property inspection to ensure you have everything at hand to give them a safe happy life and we can also answer any questions you may have.
We still have a few designer fundraising calendars for sale. Each month features a gorgeous photo and an animal story, profiling much loved residents such as our wee goat Nooch, mischievous and adorable pig Gherkin, and many more. The months and days of the week appear in te reo Māori and English. They can be purchased from our Opportunity for Animals op shops or ordered through our website: