As I’m sure most of you know, Freshfield’s Animal Rescue provides rescue and rehoming services to unwanted, abandoned and abused animals in the community that unfortunately need our help. Whether it be domestic pets or injured wildlife – we aim to give all animals that we have in our care the best quality of life we possibly can.
What you may not know is that we have an actual farm on our site to give these animals a centre to rehabilitate in the open air. It’s a great way for them to get better and have the freedom to move around and do as they please. We have a number dedicated volunteers on this farm who do their very best to get these animals back to tip-top condition!
Working in this environment is… interesting to say the least! No two days are the same, but there are certainly some common situations we get used to when it comes to working on a rescue farm – we like to think we’ve been enlightened to a few universal truths!
You learn the true meaning of balance
When you’re carrying something heavy, you are absolutely guaranteed to be headbutted at any given moment – it gets to a point where you’re convinced all the animals are conspiring against you. It is from this constant threat of getting nudged that you gain a mastery of the skill in staying on your feet. The male sheep are the biggest culprits for this… we don’t call them rams for nothing!
You quickly get over getting your hands dirty
I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase ‘happy as a pig in muck’… well, it’s never wrong. As soon as the rain hits you’ll be chasing after many excitable animals trying to herd them back into some shelter – wellies are a daily essential. Thankfully all the dirtiest jobs, like cleaning out the terrapin and duck ponds get made a little easier with the help of our submersible dirty water pumps - we don’t fancy going for a swim every time they need a clean!
You talk to the animals like humans
You’ll give all of them names and have a chat with them, that’s a given. Many people do this with their pets anyway so you might not think it’s particularly odd… but sometimes we slip into the doctor/patient role a little too easily without even noticing. “So, Wilma [the resident sow], how’s the foot today?” Nobody inhabits the Dr Doolittle role quite like you.
The cross-species-friendships Never Stop Making You Smile
We keep plenty different kinds of animals in the farm and most can mingle freely and do as they like. Is there anything more heart-warming than watching a friendship blossom between two different species? Pigs palling around with chickens is our personal favourite partnership.
You’ve Got the Trouble Makers Marked
Like an attentive school teacher, you know which of the animals are likely to act up, and you probably have some form of ‘behaviour strategy’ to combat it. We all know which roosters love to fight and are prepared to give them a telling off and a time out if they step over the boundaries!