May 2015

May 2015

The busy month of May

May has been the busiest month since the sanctuary opened. We have animals moving fields, more maintenance, our first volunteer group, another rescue and lots of thankyous!

Archie, Burrito and Taco.

Last month we gave a home for life to three little donkeys below / attached is a brief history of their background before they were thankfully taken in by Sylvia and Bill at Many Tears Animal Rescue. (written by Katy Kear).

Archie is around 8 and came from the horse sales. When Sylvia went to the sales she noticed him immediately as he wouldn’t stop screaming. She said that throughout the whole of the sales he didn’t stop making this awful noise, which is why she couldn’t bare to leave him behind.  We don’t know his true background however this lonely donkey at the sales was given a home. He is the oldest out of the gang and along with that is probably the most sensible and quiet.  He loves to play, but if the youngsters are being annoying, he will stand back and watch or wander away for a snooze.
Taco is 18 months – 2 years old, he also came to us from the horse sales. We keep it quiet, but actually he was turned away from the sales because he was in such poor condition. When he came to us he was very underweight and his personality was totally hidden. We carried him from the horse box to the bath and spent about 2 hours trying to clean up his poor matted coat. Gradually he grew in strength and confidence and now he is a happy, wonderful, loving Donkey.

Burrito came from Ireland and is 18 months old. Sylvia noticed him with his mum, knee deep in muck. She asked the breeder if she could take them both and he said no. The following year when she returned the breeder let Sylvia take Burrito, but not the mum. We didn’t know how close to death Burrito actually was. When he came to the centre his soul was hidden so deeply, he could barely look at the other donkeys, let alone interact with them. He became very ill, very quickly and was diagnosed and treated for terrible lung worm. At his worst he collapsed and we wrapped him in a rug and carried him into a stable. He was dying. I held his head in my arms, telling him over and over again to be strong. Somehow, I still have no idea how, he started to come back to life and gradually, with a lot of time and care, his strength improved. He is now a boisterous, happy beast!! He loves to play!

These three little mischievous and playful donkeys are alive due to the wonderful work that Sylvia, Bill, Katy and the team at Many Tears are committed to.


Earlier this month we had our first group of volunteers to the sanctuary and what a great job they did.

Giving up their time on a Sunday, some of them travelling over an hour, we were very grateful for their support weeding, clearing boundaries and weatherproofing stables.

A very big thank you to Imogen and her wonderful group who do great work promoting veganism throughout Gloucestershire. You are all welcome back anytime! You can read all about their day on the Gloucestershire Vegans blog.

Hen Rescue

This month we rescued some more ex battery hens. Unfortunately  at 18months these hens do not yield the maximum egg production  for the farmer, so their life in the cage is over and their next destination is the slaughterhouse. Here they will be made into  meals such as pies and soups. Before they start their life in a cage at six months they undergo the painful process of debeaking which you can see in this picture (the ends of their beaks are clipped off to reduce the damage they can do to each other when in the confinement of the cages), this is a very painful process.
Hens can live until 10 or 12years of age so they are still youngsters when they come out of the cages. Our girls have all settled in well and are enjoying life at the sanctuary.

If you want to rescue hens please contact British Hen Welfare Trust for more information.

All move!

All the maintenance and fencing has now been completed in the back field and last week we moved the ponies and donkeys, what a wonderful surprise it was for them. It will also allow the front field to have a well-deserved rest.

Clive and her boys came back from the back field to the middle field in preparation for shearing and worming, they are reunited with Tall Paul  and Mini Mac. Oh and also they mey the new hens, Percy decided to check out their nursery pen.

Paul and Mac finally moved to their summer spot, in the old orchard where there will be plenty of shade for them.

Thank you!

There are some big thank yous this month:
Dale whose work is usually a mixture of maintenance and animal support has been relentlessly clearing the boundaries, chipping, helping chainsaw, fencing and other labour intensive work. Thank you Dale for your muscle power and commitment to the animals.
Michelle’s mum for the wonderful hay nets she makes especially the one for the radio! Also the hay block treats she recently bought for the ponies, they loved them.

Martin Boon from Front and Back fencing in Ledbury for giving up his bank holiday to help with some very tricky fencing. We have to ensure the fencing is of the highest and safest standard which Martin and his team understand… great job thank you.