The days are becoming longer and lighter, enabling us to fit in sanctuary projects alongside routine animal care tasks such as parasite control and hoof trimming. Regular hoof care is essential to prevent our cattle, horses, sheep and goats from developing painful conditions such as hoof rot and lameness. Wild goats tend to roam in hilly and stony areas, wearing their nails down naturally. However, as most domestic goats live on softer ground, we need to snip off the extra growth before it causes pain and inflammation. Mary Ann, one of our gentlest goats, is especially patient while we tend to her feet.
Removing the excess wool exposes ticklish winter bodies and most of our sheep appreciate a back rub to relieve the itchiness. As their delicate skin is susceptible to sunburn, we ensure all of our animals can rest in the shade. The photograph below features Bartholomew, one of our senior sheep, modelling his new summer haircut!
We’re delighted to introduce Marshmallow, a tiny orphaned goat who arrived a couple of weeks ago. A kind person discovered her nestling up to the cold stiff body of her dead mother and notified the local vet who contacted us and we picked her up. The wee kid quickly learned to drink from her bottle of formula and suckles vigorously. On sunny days we let her play outside under supervision and she bobs around happily in the long summer grass, her head dancing like the marshmallow flowers she was named after.
You may recall that Mushroom, a large and mellow grey rooster, accidentally broke his wing in September. After surgery, he spent weeks in a cage while his broken coracoid bone slowly healed. Eventually we were able to unlatch the cage door and release him back into the rooster orchard – a very special moment. He’s thoroughly enjoying time with his companions and is now carrying his wing normally, so we feel optimistic that he has fully recovered.
A flash of fluffy grey fur in the long grass – that’s our rescue bunny Dill bounding through the paddock to play as the moon rises. Rabbits are crepuscular animals who are active at dusk and dawn, napping in their burrows during the day and night. Our rescued rabbits Dill and Basil are constant companions who snuggle softly together on cooler days. They live with their brothers Sage and Clover in our secure predator-free paddock.
A pig’s best friend is a rooster
Many animals enjoy the company of other species as well as their own. Instead of perching with the other roosters in our chookhouses or in the orchard, Hakuna and Matata choose to sleep near their pig friend Trotter. He is a very placid and happy pig and they seem to feel relaxed in his company. Even when it’s raining, we are likely to find the two brothers roosting contentedly on Trotter’s fence.