We have a variety of birds, most of which are native to Australia. We have Budgies, Cockatiels, Zebra Finches, Bengalese Finches, Java Sparrows and Quail. The Quail do a fabulous job of tidying the aviary floor behind the other birds! All the birds are free to forage for seeds, berries and insects from the plants in the aviary as they would do in the wild. They have great flight space, plenty of nesting opportunities and many enjoy a good bath in the water fountain. The indoor space is heated to a comfortable temperature keeping them cozy during the winter months.
Many of these birds have come in due to owners ill health and predators damaging outdoor aviaries. Some of the birds came from breeding cages where they had never experienced flight. The team had to spend some time doing bird physio to build up their flight muscles!
We have quite a variety of poultry on site who are usually all free range. We have many different breeds of chicken, and ducks including Muscovy who, unlike all other ducks, are not descended from the mallard. We also have Geese who are enclosed in a large pond area (for everyones peace of mind!), they can be notoriously territorial. If you come for lunch in our restaurant you may experience sharing your food with the occasional chicken who has learned that the cafe seating area is a great source of food!
Sadly, due to DEFRA regulations around Avian Influenza the poultry are more frequently having to be housed during the Winter months. We ask that visitors do walk on the disinfectant mats that are around the site and keep to the path. This reduces the risk of visitors bringing possible disease into our flocks which would be devastating.
When they are out and about the chickens are fascinating to watch foraging, dust bathing and socialising in the plantation area. Quite often our little group of Bantams will hang out with the pigs, especially around fruit and veg time! They are so intelligent!
Can you help our resident animals?
At Ferne we have over three-hundred resident animals which need life-long care.
Your sponsorship means we can feed, look after and provide further enrichment for our much-loved residents.