We have a small herd of cattle here on the Sanctuary who have come from a variety of backgrounds. They will live out their natural lives here which could be over 20 years!
Willow and Bamboo are Mother and Daughter. They came to us when their owner hadn’t quite realised how much space they would need. Willow is a lovely kind cow and does enjoy a good scratch, Bamboo is quite shy and not very keen on human interaction but loves a good play with young George.
Sebastian came to us after his owner passed away and Seb was too poor to send to market with the rest of the herd (one of the few times it has been fortunate to be in poor condition), Seb has been partially hand reared so can have issues with personal space boundaries! He is a cheeky little guy and is very playful and just loves a good scratch!
We have around 30 resident Sheep on site who are excellent at tidying up the grazing after the larger animals have been on it. Having the space to rotate livestock around the grazing areas is great for controlling parasite burdens which are common in grazing animals. They often come to us when they have been kept as pets or on a smallholding and then the owners retire from keeping animals. Sometimes they have been hand reared or orphaned. We also work with other welfare organisations when there are welfare cases in need of safe places to go.
We have around 30 goats on site varying in size from very large Alpines to tiny Pygmys. These are often taken on as pets for lawn mowing however, goats don’t really tend to graze grass, preferring to browse on pretty much everything else! They are amazing escape artists and can be quite boisterous. Goats are highly entertaining animals but can be quite labour intensive! They require regular hoof trimming, worming, mite treatments and generally keeping occupied. Many of our goats have been welfare cases who have needed treatment and care to bring them back from poor condition.
We currently have 7 resident pigs at the Sanctuary – Ruffles and Moon are our senior Kune Kune pigs, Pinky and Perky are Kune Kune crosses who came to us at 8 weeks of age in 2018. The Kune Kune is a popular small breed of domestic pig. On the other end of the scale, we have Billie who is a Saddleback cross. Billie weighs in at around 350kgs! On a nice day you will often find Billie keeping cool in the mud wallow. The pigs are fed their fruit and veg at around 12 o’clock each day, if you’re visiting it’s worth popping round to the pig field to see them foraging for their favourite snacks!
We have some other pigs who have been the subject of a welfare case and are being brought back to full health and will be introduced in the Spring.
Just like the Cows, the Pigs do get some clicker training to get them to step on the weighing scales or go into the restraining crush voluntarily for routine healthchecks or in case they need any medical care. We like to keep everything as stress free as possible for all our animals, this method of training for handling keeps everything relaxed and much safer.
We have a lovely barn and paddock especially for the older sheep and goats when they need a little more TLC than they would receive living out with the main groups where the younger animals can be a little more boisterous and generally a bit annoying when you are trying to just chill out in your retirement years!
These guys usually require a bit of medication for their arthritis, extra feed and nice cosy beds – with access to heat lamps in the colder months. They are located right in the centre of the Sanctuary so the team can keep a closer eye on them.
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.