Mar 25, 2019

A Typical Day at the Sanctuary

AM Part 3

In quick succession, Molly (our little mule) and Lucy (our pony) are served their breakfast in their stall. Then William and Parker (our potbelly pigs), who will not soil where they sleep, are let out for a few minutes (with much complaining that dinner wasn’t served faster!). Once they are back in their private spaces and eating, Elsa and Francesca (our two new, very active lambs) are separated from Rose and Grainy (our older ewes, who don’t eat quick enough to avoid having their meals stolen by the youngsters), and fed elsewhere.

By now there is a chorus of demands coming from Liam and Lily (ever heard geese sounding off, it’s high volume!), and they get their meal, followed by meals for the turkeys, Michelle and Belle who live with Parker. And meals for Picot, the rooster who lives in the barn and usually roosts above Parker’s area, and Heidi, our hen with the long legs that do not function quite properly (her name used to be High Heels because of the way she places her feet down with each step).

We have to admit that Henry the llama gets a little extra serving of berries, along with a generous mixture of three different feeds (he has taught us over time what he prefers in a meal, and after some negotiations to ensure good nutritional content, all is good). Everyone loves to feed Henry, but don’t be slow or he may muster up a gob of spit to encourage you to get the bowl to him at speed. He also enjoys having someone hold it for him, if possible. What a guy, but we want to make certain that his senior years are lived out as healthy and enjoyably as possible. He gets spoiled a little, no doubt about that!

After Henry eats, usually outside, we begin to let everyone out (except for handsome James, our intact ram, who can’t resist head butting his neighbours if given a chance). Out come the lambs, Elsa and Francesca. Next we let out William and Parker (though Parker who is afraid of open spaces remains in a sheltered part of the barn where he also has access to outside, should he ever feel brave enough to step out there. He was dropped as a baby near Bank St and Heron Road in Ottawa, suddenly subjected to noise and confusion after most likely having experienced only life inside someone’s house, so who can blame him for being nervous yet!).

Then with prior warning, Molly our mule, and her friend Lucy, our pony, head out into the outside enclosure in front of the barn. Lucy has a lot of trust issues so usually a path is cleared so that she can move through without any problems (she isn’t shy sometimes about throwing up her hooves, though that behaviour is disappearing slowly as she becomes assured that here in the Sanctuary, she is safe and free from any threats of abuse).

Then Grainy and Rose (senior ewes), Lily and Liam (geese) and all the rest of the ducks, hen, rooster, and turkeys. Winston, the tom turkey who arrived almost at the same time as Charlie our calf can be a little bit aggressive if people don’t respect his personal space, but he is slowly realizing that he isn’t head honcho in the barn. He is beautifully regal when he decides to try and impress the female turkeys, with his colour displays of blue and red, and his tail spread out in a fan. Unfortunately for him, the female turkeys so far have been less than impressed!

It’s now about 9 AM…

to be continued…