This all began with chickens. Our first animals on the farm were a flock of four hens and one rooster. Despite our initial blunders, we persevered and now have a thriving flock of 37 hens and 11 roos. Chickens are fantastic animals, but many are abandoned around their second year when they cease to lay a lot of eggs and many are discarded when the baby chick grows up to be a rooster. It’s a shame for both the chickens and the humans as chickens are so useful around the homestead. They turn your compost, weed your fallow beds and keep the insects down. Not to mention, there’s not much cuter than a chatty old hen.
We would like to introduce you to the newest members of the flock…
Lucky – Broiler Hen to Flock Mate
Lucky was scheduled for slaughter the day after we received her. A person was selling her and her flock mates for food. We received the ‘broiler chicken’ from a person who wanted to save her. She was 7 months old. Broiler chickens are slaughtered at 7 months old because they are more tender for the consumer and with their genetically altered bodies they typically don’t live much longer. Initially, we had very little hope for Lucky. Due to her unnatural size, she had to be bathed because she could not clean herself. The other chickens sensed her weakness and would flip her over and she could not right herself. It was terrible and I wondered if we had done the right thing. But things have gradually gotten better. Although she is obviously genetically altered, and not in a good way, she has a good diet and gets plenty of exercise and this has seemed to help greatly. She now has a flock, can clean herself and spends the day pecking and scratching in the grass (and no one flips her over anymore).
The Boys – Rusty & Mr. Cluck Cluck
We really try not to take roosters, but when we can we break our rules, just to help these guys.
Rusty is a young turken roo. Two wonderful people in Miami found him living in the parking garage of their building. It took much work to catch him and then a 4-hour drive to bring him here and they did not even flinch at all the effort for one little roo.
Mr. Cluck Cluck (pictured below with Flora) was also abandoned and found his way to a caring person who helped him find his way here.
Flora – the Alpha Hen
Occasionally there is an odd thing that happens to hens that have a flock without a rooster. One of the hens takes on the characteristics of a rooster. This can include a more aggressive attitude and even feathers that tend to resemble rooster feathers. I believe this is what happened to Flora. Apparently, her original owners couldn’t handle an assertive chicken like Flora, and she ended up in the yard of some wonderful people who captured her and brought her here. She’s giving the roos a hard time, but we are delighted to have her, she is a quite a unique lady.
Rosa & Mini
These ladies were brought to us by a local wildlife rescue organization. Rosa is a sweetheart and Mini, although a bit nervous, is fitting in quite well.
Acorn – Butternut’s baby
Little chicks are adorable, but we really try not to have too many as we need the space for rescues. That being said, when we find a mother hen who has been on her eggs for some time we usually let her have them. It just seems mean to take the eggs after so much time and dedication from the mother. Our hen Butternut does take advantage of this by hiding her nest and then popping out with babies. This year she had a nest in Jelly and Peanut’s goat shed. She came out with one little chick and none of the other eggs hatched. So we welcome Acorn, one-of-a-kind.
Valentino – 1 Year Anniversary
It would be wrong to mention all these new fowl and not mention that Valentino, our blind roo, celebrated his 1 year anniversary on the farm. The person who found him went through so much to get him here and has continued to check on him and support him the entire time. We are so glad to see him enjoying his remaining years on the farm.
January and February were a big time for goats last year. We are celebrating the one year anniversary of the Tornado Goats. A year ago in January a tornado ripped through our neighborhood and killed two very kind people, Kade & Steve. We were fortunate to be able to adopt their goats and one month later we were blessed with three babies from the herd. The youngsters are a year old and are thriving in this environment.
Also, last January we adopted Alfred and Ginger, two darling Boer goats from Fort Myers. They are so sweet and have really blended in well.
Let us not forget the veterans of the sanctuary, Jelly & Peanut. Two years ago in January Jelly was our first official rescue. She and her buddy Peanut are so fantastic that we opened our home to all the other goats and have not regretted a day since.
Quarterly Hay Drive
It’s that time again when we ask our friends and supporters to help us with our quarterly hay order. For $500 we can get enough hay for the next 3 months, and by buying in bulk we receive a discount on the hay. This is feed for the goats and cows as well as bedding for the chickens, rabbits, ducks and geese. We really try not to ask often and appreciate all that you do when you can. If you’d like to donate to the Hay Drive click here.
Great news – we have been accepted by the Giving Partner to include our non-profit on their website. This is nice for anyone wanting to read more about our organization and it really helps with recurring donations. Many of you have tried to use PayPal for recurring donations and sadly PayPal is not really up to the task. This is where the Giving Partner comes in. You can go to our page at https://thegivingpartner.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1161770 and click the donation button in the upper right of the page. Here you can donate once or set up recurring donations. Recurring donations are a tremendous help to the sanctuary. It gives us something we can rely on and really helps offset the cost of grain, medicine, and vet care.
To those of you using Amazon Smile, you should know we received our first check from them! Thanks for including us on your Amazon purchases. If you are unaware of Amazon Smile it is a service by Amazon that donates .5% of eligible sales to your non-profit of choice. Go to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-2475489 when you order from Amazon to choose Florida Rescue Farm as your charity of choice.
A Huge Thank You
We want to send out a special thank you to Suzanne. She helped us to rehome three pigs is dire peril. She had 48 hours to find a home for these guys or they were going to be put down. She succeeded where all others had failed. Thank you Suzanne, you really are a rehoming ninja.
We also want to thank all our friends and supporters. The donors who keep everything running and everyone fed, the adopters who take in these wonderful animals, the folks who find animals and take the time to find them a safe haven and to those of you who send us your good thoughts and prayers which help us to continue doing what we do.