June 2015

June 2015

June news plus Wilma and the Fox

Haircuts and Pedicures

Hair cuts all round for our sheep. Alice’s father did a wonderful job of shearing Clive and her boys and they now feel so much cooler in the warm summer days. Clipping their toenails wasn’t quite so easy, with their coats gone they were hard to caatch and hold, however Janette and Dale did a fabulous job, they are now clipped and sprayed for the summer.

Rosie and Sooty

Rosie has now been with us 16 months. In that time she has received plentiful food, water, shelter, veterinary attention and lots of TLC. You can see in these pictures how this has benefited her and what a happy life she is living. When we managed to convince her previous owners to give her up we were told it was just her age and her emaciation was so called ‘normal’ and to be expected with a pony of 24 years. You can see that this is not “normal”, and we are delighted she is now enjoying a life of contentment at the sanctuary. Rosie does suffer from chronic COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and it is a relief that she is at a place where she will receive veterinary attention whenever she needs it.

She is especially fond on Sooty, who is one of our older residents. Pictured here at the bottom, he too looks amazing and a fine figure of a male at the age of 27.

Food Thieves

If you look through our photos, you will see more food thieves caught in the act this month. Shetlands, hens and donkeys have all broken into the food store!

Wilma and the Fox

Wilma is one of our ex battery hens who was rescued just 5 weeks ago. Something that happened last week reminded me again just how precious life is. It showed that Wilma is desperate to survive. Her life is precious to her. She is one ex battery hen who so obviously feels pain, fear, stress and wants to live.There are 36 million hens kept in cages every year in the UK for egg production alone.

Every one has feelings and has an individual life like Wilma. Please support us in our Run for Freedom Campaign to help end cages and promote compassionate living.This story is shared for any hen owners to be extra vigilant at this time of year there are lots of foxes about with babies mouths to feed and so they will take more of a risk than other times of the year.

In the 10 years I have rescued and given a home to ex battery hens, I have never lost one to a fox.

I have been vigilant about their housing at the same time giving them plenty of room to roam free but this is only when a member of staff or I are in the field with them.

Last week a number of us were in the paddock checking the water troughs when we heard the hens screaming, I turned around to see a fox carry off one of the girls in his mouth. I ran towards him shouting as he made his way over the fence with her. A few seconds later she re appeared through the fence and came running towards the hen house. I ran to her, picked her up and held her. I sat down on the grass with her; it was Wilma, a very gentle hen, who after being rescued only 5 weeks ago still had many of her feathers missing. I couldn’t see any broken skin or bones but she was having trouble breathing . I held her gently on the grass. She couldn’t stand and her head just flopped to the ground, she was desperate for breath. I thought she may have had a heart attack or even broken her neck.I held her for about ten minutes in which time she went from her eyes being wide open and her body going rigid to her eyes closing and her head once again slumping. It was terrible to see her like that, I felt helpless. I decided to put her in the hen house bedroom, away from the others and leave her to rest in the peace and quiet for an hour.

When I returned she was standing up in the corner, her breathing was better and stable; she seemed settled so I left her for the evening. In the morning I was apprehensive as I approached the hen house. What a lovely surprise it was to see her in the house, walking around and drinking water with the other girls. However, it appeared she had a broken wing. I called our vet, Sam, who gave Wilma a thorough examination and was amazed she had escaped the fox. He said for a fox to attack in daytime at such close proximity to humans was very rare and they must be hungry. He held Wilma so gently as he checked her over, totally respectful of her life, understanding the pain she must be in. He said she would have been extremely stressed and amazed she has survived. Her wing wasn’t broken but she has extensive bruising and some bite marks on her undercarriage. He gave her some pain relief and antibiotics. Wilma was very lucky. She is now resting in the nursery pen with Wile E, her friend, and will be reunited with the others when she regains her strength.

Please keep your hens safe.