The following post is an archive of our GoFundMe campaign which began in 2020.
While it is still summer, seasons are changing quickly now and when school is starting back up, the farm will switch to fall hours. We are all hoping for a golden season with warm days and relaxing fun times to share with our animals and visitors.
Summer was a great and busy time and like always when you have a good time it just blew by so fast. We had lots of visitors coming to meet the animals, and we all enjoyed sharing our passion of working and living alongside these wonderful creatures. We witnessed the pure joy on kids faces when meeting our four-legged kids, we observed our adult goat ladies demanding their own special cuddle times (some pushy, others shy and polite, but all unique), we met visitors who would sit for hours with the goats and just connect with them and their gentle, honest and kind nature, we watched our teenage goaties constantly trying to figure out their place and role in the herd (the typical teenage challenge: Are we kids? Are we adults? Who are we?) and we totally enjoyed the laughter and excitement when our four-legged crew jumps on people’s backs and races around their pen – their energy and love of life is just contagious. We truly value the many conversations with our visitors and the chance to answer questions about our animals and share our knowledge as best we can. For me this clearly shows what an important role the farm plays when we can help – in a small way – to educate people about animal care and their lives and habits. With the farm having deep roots in the community, this is what it’s all about: providing a loving, caring and safe home for the animals and being able to share this with many different people. This is what makes the farm so special!
In the last update I told you that we were still waiting for Rova and Macey to potentially have babies. Macey’s time simply passed without anything happening and while she had a little bit of a belly, it became obvious that she wasn’t carrying babies but just had a very good appetite. Unfortunately, Rova’s story is not that easily told and leaves me with a heavy heart. We were already starting to doubt if she was really pregnant, but then she began showing definite signs: Her udder filled up, she became restless and exhibited clearly that she was in the early stages of labour. I don’t like to go back to that day in my memory, it was a long and difficult labour, the baby presented in a very difficult and not typical position, which prevented Rova from delivering the baby by herself. Despite all our knowledge, assistance and vet care, Rova had a stillborn baby boy. It was simply heartbreaking, Rova was really weak and hurt, she was mourning and we didn’t know the extent of her potential internal injuries. The vet put her chances at 50:50, she was prescribed pain meds and antibiotics and only time would show if she would pull through. For 10 days we provided every possible care, treats, love and just company and constantly hoped and wished for her recovery. We were so relieved when she finally started to look a little happier and simply behaved more like herself again. Slowly she then showed more interest in food and life, her physical injuries healed and she clearly started moving around more easily. While we are all heartbroken that Rova was not able to welcome and raise her beautiful baby boy, we feel truly grateful to still have her with us. This was a very close call. With Rova being already eight years old this was her last pregnancy, but she still has many more happy years ahead of her as a retired lady and companion. She is such a sweet and loving goat who simply soaks up all the attention and cuddles she can get. Thank you Rova for still being with us and sharing your gentle, generous and kind nature with us all!
Our miniature donkey Taffy has successfully mastered a long-term medical treatment and (hopefully forever) overcame a very serious health condition called laminitis. Laminitis is an inflammation that leads to severe swelling between the hoof wall and underlying bone and it is most often caused by a diet with high sugar content. It is a very painful condition that requires long term treatment (as first the inflammation, heat and swelling have to subside and then the hoof wall has to regrow healthy and strong) and consistent good management of feed and environment. If not treated immediately and properly and afterwards monitored and maintained in healthy living conditions, laminitis can become a chronic and through that life-threatening syndrome. In early spring Taffy showed clear signs of laminitis and of pain on her front hooves. After a first diagnosis through our vets including X-rays of the hooves to conclude the severity of the damage, medical treatment and changes to their environment were put into place at once. Any little bit of grass was removed from their diet (to ensure this we were advised to cover up their entire enclosure with pea gravel which also helped to keep their hooves clean and dry) and they are only fed low-sugar hay mixed with straw and a mineral mix. Boring but healthy! Since early March Taffy has been on pain meds, their diet has been extremely restricted and her right front hoof needed daily treating by the staff to keep the hoof clean, dry and healthy. Kudos to the entire staff team at this point: It is not an easy task to daily treat a 225 lbs donkey lady who has a hurting foot and no patience for medical treatment. Well done everyone! And even while I write this, I must honestly admit that Taffy herself was a very good patient, too. Despite her obvious discomfort and “annoying” ongoing treatment, with her size and strength she could have made the entire procedure much more difficult for us. But she is a sweet girl who knows and trusts the staff and together we found a way to make it work. Our farrier came regularly to check on our progress, trim her hooves and give new instruction for treatment. After almost 6 months we finally received the unbelievable good news that what in most cases takes about a year was already achieved now: The acute swelling and heat had been gone for a while, but now her hoof wall has also grown back enough and is strong and healthy, that we are allowed to stop treating and wrapping her foot up each night. This felt like such a victory! We still need to (and always will) continue to clean their feet twice a day, currently apply a product to prevent hoof rot and their diet will remain restricted and carefully monitored. But Taffy’s feet are doing pretty good, she is pain free and both our donkey ladies are in really good shape. That just put a very big smile on our faces: Healthy donkeys – happy team!
On Tuesday September 6th our fall season starts and the farm will be open from 10am to 4pm daily – goat friendly weather permitting. Typically, the fall is a more quiet time at the farm, especially during weekdays there is a lot more time for longer chats in the goat area and the goats enjoy lots of one-on-one time with the visitors. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a quiet visit and catch up with some old friends – four-legged and two-legged – before the winter break. And of course we are also there on the weekends, for anyone who is busy with work or school and simply needs to escape their daily routine: The animals always seem to have a way to lift our spirits and put our mind at rest.
Have a good and safe start into this golden fall season.