Invisible Voices

a voice for the voiceless

Farm Tour at PSAS, 2011

As expected, it was hot and muggy at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary for the Farm Tour. Not as hot as predicted, but hot enough to keep the crowds down. Still, there were plenty of people who did come, and many of them were first time visitors. Lots of families, as expected, since the kids need to be entertained regardless of the weather.

The kids are usually great – open-minded, compassionate, curious – though generally disappointed that they can’t have more interaction with the animals. I always tell them to ask their parent(s) to bring them back for a tour on another weekend, and that they’ll have a lot more chances to interact if it’s not an event day. Of course their parents are standing right there listening! But the kids get excited, and the parents get ideas. Almost always they ask if the sanctuary gives tours to kids groups, or if kids can come volunteer.

We didn’t have as much chicken-holding as at other events – it was just too hot for them – and the chickens and turkeys spent most of the time inside the barn, where it was shaded, the fans were blowing, and they had foot baths to cool off in. Everyone was very understanding, and of course we’d bribe some of the chickens out into the shaded part of the yard with bread as often as they were willing to be bribed.

One group of chickens kept escaping to the nearby woods, and to the small stream that runs through it. We generally herd them back up to the barn area, for their safety, but I admit I love to see them scratching and pecking in the woods.

As usual, the cows, horses and mules headed off to the shade of the woods and the cool of the creek pretty early in the event. But unlike most times, they hung out for the entire day in the woods right near the fence of the chicken yard, so everyone had a chance to see them anyway!

At one point I noticed Darcy wandering in circles in the pasture, calling for his herd-mates. I knew he’d gotten separated from them, and would keep wandering until he found them. Not ideal, especially on such a hot day! I walked out to lead him to where Tally was, and was surprised at how much hotter it felt in the pasture. It felt like a 15 degree difference! Darcy didn’t want to go far into the woods, and who can blame him? He does amazingly well for a blind old horse, really. He happily munched on the grass at the edge of the woods in the shade. Tally came up from the creek to be near where he was, and I know he was comforted by being able to hear her bell.

The night before the event, a lamb arrived. Her mother abandoned her in the field, and the farmer wasn’t willing or able to care for her. She’s blind, or at least mostly blind. They think she might have some low-level vision, and they’re going to take her to the vet to get checked out. Isn’t she cute? And just in time for the new barn in the goat/sheep area that went up last week!

This event is just barely over, but I admit I’m already looking forward to the Open House on September 25. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau will be the speaker, which will be great. Not that I have yet to get a chance to hear the speakers, since I spend the event in the chicken yard!


7 responses to “Farm Tour at PSAS, 2011

  1. NotHoney July 27, 2011 at 6:22 am

    Great post! Maybe you could add a photo of Patty and Paige? They had a LOT of visitors, so many, in fact, that they were exhausted and napping by 2 p.m.

    I never hear the speakers, either, and I’m not far away. It’s impossible to hear them with people eating and talking all around. But I do want to hear Colleen so perhaps I’ll take a break from my liquor dispensing duties.

  2. Harry July 27, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Hi Deb

    Thanks for again posting on this. You talk about the children and I think these events are so important because of them. So that they can learn the true nature of fellow birds and animals. Stay connected. They are the key to fewer sanctuaries being required.

    And your photos – always a huge part of your posts and inspiring – need to carry that camera around with me more!


    • Deb July 27, 2011 at 7:39 am

      Thanks Harry! I do see a lot of hope when it comes to the young people -they see things very clearly – so it is always good to help them connect with the animals.

      And yes, you should always have your camera with you! 🙂

  3. Bea V Elliott July 28, 2011 at 11:37 am

    What a joyous haven for these very special beings! Yes! Your new lamb is quite the cutie!

    I have to smile with the photo of the birds enjoying the watermelon – Around my place the hens are never happier than when they see that big green “bowling ball” arrive! Fun for everyone!

    Thank you for sharing that at least in Poplar Springs as is as it should be!

    • Deb July 28, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      Do yours prefer eating the watermelon off the rind? We noticed that on Saturday…not, of course, that it prevented them from devouring all the cut up watermelon!

      • Bea V Elliott July 29, 2011 at 6:31 am

        The way they seem to like melon served best is cut up in large chunks and placed back in the cavity… The water settles to the bottom – add a few eggs and some rice to the mix & it’s a double treat. Life is good! 🙂

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