Let’s Talk Chickens

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.

Goat Anniversaries

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.

Recurring Donations

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.

Amazon Smile

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.

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Giving Thanks

We live in uncertain times and it is at times like these that we are reminded of all the wonderful people who reach out to help us care for these remarkable animals. Thanks to our supporters our triannual hay drive was a success! Because of you, all the critters will have feed and bedding for the next 4 months.

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We also want to thank United Methodist Church in Pinellas Park for their donation of pumpkins left over from their Halloween Pumpkin Patch. They were a big hit with the cows & chickens.

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It’s not just donations we’re thankful for. We are also thankful to introduce the newest member of the farm, Stormy the roo. Although we don’t take in many roosters, Stormy is young and he fit right in with the flock. He is second in command to Gemini and already has a few ladies of his own.

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Remember us during the holidays

There are many ways you can help while you do your holiday shopping. We have opened an online store where you can purchase Florida Rescue Farm shirts, hoodies, bags, etc. Check it out here.

We are also members of Amazon Smile. By clicking here or on the image below you designate Florida Rescue Farm as your charity of choice and Amazon donates .5% of your purchase to help support all our farm friends.

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Thank you for all your support, we couldn’t do this without you.

 

 

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A Tale of Two Thumpers and Other Farm Friends

It’s been a busy time on the farm with lots of activity and new faces.

I’d like to start with a big congratulations to Thumper, he has lived with us for the past 5-months and he will be sorely missed, but he has found his forever home with a wonderful family.
Rabbit Adoption
 
And, he did not go alone, they also adopted our two Rhode Island Reds Henny & Penny.
Hen Adoption
We are so happy to see the three of them with such kind and caring people.
  
We seem to be destined to have a Thumper in our lives because a few days later we received… another Thumper. Her human became allergic to rabbits and sadly had to give her up. She is a beautiful mini-lop with a great disposition.
 Rabbits for Adoption
  
Thumper does have some competition for cuteness in the newly arrived Peter Rabbit. His human became disabled and was unable to continue to care for him. They were heartbroken to give up their beloved pet and we would really like to find this guy a special home. And what a darling bunny! He loves to be held and is rather small even for a mini-lop. He is also neutered and would make a wonderful house pet.
 Adoptable Rabbits
  
If you are interested in adopting either bunny please send us an email info@floridarescuefarm.org or call 941-209-9558.
 
While some people take the time to find a home for their pets when they cannot care for them, others just drive out to the country and dump them on the side of the road like so much rubbish. Unfortunately, that appears to be the case with Bonnie and Clyde. We are not a dog rescue, there are many other dedicated and wonderful organizations that do that, however, when we received the call from a local farmer that these dogs had been abandoned we went down the road and scooped them up. We are looking for the owners and no one has surfaced. We are going to get them groomed and get their shots, neutering etc. so they can find a great home.
bonnie and clyde
 
And, we’d like to introduce Sir Drake. Brought to us a by a local wildlife organization after he tangled with a predator, he is a bit scarred, but that just makes him even cooler 😉
Duck Rescue
  
We have also received a flock of six lovely hens. They are adapting well and the farmyard roos are just thrilled.
Rescue Hens
  
In other farm news, we did flood during the tropical storm but thanks to the generosity of our awesome supporters we now have a new chicken coop out of the flood zone and all our hens stayed high and dry… without coming to live on the back porch 😉
Flooded Homestead
  

I’d also like to give some updates on some of our favorite residents.

 Alfred and Ginger are doing fantastic. They enjoy their morning and afternoon foraging and even put up with our new farm puppy.
boer goats
  
Little Larry the roo is, well, not a roo at all (happy surprise!) Little Larry is now little Loretta but whatever she is, she is very loved and we are happy to have her in our flock.
Chicken Rescue
  
The other special chicken we would like to mention is Valentino, the blind Roo. He has a new coop thanks to an awesome donor and is living large.
chicken coop
  
We couldn’t do a wrap up without mentioning PeeWee. He has really come into his own and is cavorting all over the yard. He is still trying to acclimate to the other goats, but he is making great progress.
Sheep Rescue
  
As always, we couldn’t do this without your help. Thank you for helping us help them

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Introducing Pee Wee the Sheep

We have been graced with a wonderful new family member. This is Pee Wee, he’s an eight-month-old ram lamb. He had a pretty rough start in life until he was adopted by a pair of animal lovers. However, they knew he needed a home with other animals like him so they drove three hours to bring him to the farm. Over the past week, we had him neutered and have been waiting to introduce him to the herd (and get in some free-range foraging) until he was healed . Today was his day, and he did great!

ram lamb
Pee Wee’s first forage on the farm

 

 

Pee Wee and Fred
Pee Wee and Fred

 

Pee Wee meeting Jelly & Peanut
Pee Wee meeting Jelly & Peanut

 

Pee Wee with the herd :)
Pee Wee with the herd 🙂

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What an “Udderly” Fantastic Week!

Lots of great happenings lately, but this week the cows
really have it.

We’ll start with Miracle’s birthday. On July 7 she turned
one year old. You may remember this…
Jersey Cow and calf

But little Miracle has grown up, into this… (and yes, she’s sticking out her tongue, You know how kids can be 😉 )

Jersey Heifer

We also re-homed a lovely herd of 5 cows/steers. Their new owners adore them, particularly their daughter, Bailey.

Cows for adoption

And we really have to thank all of our supporters for their help in feeding these guys. We just completed a successful Hay Drive which will provide hay for our herd for the next 4 months. Without your support, we could not do what we do.

Donate Hay

We have other new farm friends as well

Introducing Truffles. He a is a delightful, neutered, male mini-lop. He is really loving his time with our other three does 😉 but would certainly welcome a forever home. (Truffles is the big guy, canoodling with Chubbs.)

Adopt a rabbit

We have also welcomed into our flock Henny & Penny, a pair of super-nice Rhode Island Red chickens

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as well as Ginger a tough little Orpington with a darling disposition

Orpington

And the babies…

Papita was first with her brood of 6. Yes, Papita again.  She is five years old and I think has raised at least 6 broods in her lifetime. She shouldn’t even be laying eggs, yet she sneaks off into the brush and emerges 20 days later with some of the toughest chicks I have ever seen. She is a beast of a mama hen.

Asian Game Hen and chicks

Of course, the goats have to introduce themselves…

Goats and Chickens

And, not to be outdone Blondie & Butternut co-mothered a batch of seven little puffballs.

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Thank you so much for supporting our sanctuary
and helping us to help them.

 

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Happy Birthday Moobee!

Our darling steer Moobee has turned three-years-old today. He came to us when he was just two-days-old. His mother had passed away due to labor complications and we gladly accepted the role of caregiver. His time here has taught us much about the awesomeness of cattle, in fact, we refer to him as a cow ambassador, as he has won over so many hearts.

May 2013
orphaned calf

May 2016
brangus steer

Other Farm News

Adoptions and Rehomings

We have been fortunate to receive some great animals in the past month. Some are permanent residents, others are looking for a forever home, but they are all welcome here and we are glad they found us.

thumper2 Introducing Thumper. Thumper is a Lionhead rabbit. He is litter trained, has a great personality and is available for adoption.
rabbit This is Caramel. She’s a beautiful mini-lop, raised with children and she is available for adoption.
min pig Meet Hemi (formerly Little George). When he found us he was a bit of a mess, he had mange and needed a place to stretch his legs, but despite his rough start he had a great disposition. He has been successfully rehomed to a wonderful family and is enjoying his new life.
pekin ducks Last but not least are two Pekins that are probably abandoned Easter ducks. They came from separate locations, but have fit into the flock nicely and will be permanent residents. We have named one Rosie but are looking for a name for the newest one, any suggestions are appreciated.

Congratulations Butternut!

We started this post with a birthday and we’ll end with a birth. Our hen Butternut had a nest hidden in the goat enclosure. She has hatched nine healthy chicks and has been moved to the brooding coop. Way to go Butternut!

Turken hen and chicks

Springtime on the Farm

Spring has hit the farm, with the last gasp of good weather the goats are frolicking, and baby birds have arrived.

A pair of wild ducks graced the pond with 27 ducklings,

ducklings

and we welcomed into our sanctuary a young, very lovable rooster from Miami. His name is Larry and we are glad he made the journey.

pullet

Farm Updates

Valentino continues to improve. His eye swelling is gone and he is able to find food and water without assistance. He even has a flock of young hens who like to visit.

pullets and rooster

The boers, Alfred and Ginger seem very pleased to have a herd and now spend their mornings foraging.

goats foraging

The black bellied whistling ducks are starting to return in great numbers.

black bellied whistling ducks

That’s all for now. As always, thanks for your love and support we couldn’t do this without you.

 

A Busy Time on the Farm

We have had quite a lot going on these days, with new arrivals, baby goat cuteness and, of course, some cage building, our days have been very full. Let’s start with Valentino, our new family member,  a blind rooster from Miami.

Valentino the Roo

Blind Rooster rescue

Valentino was fortunate to be found by a kind soul in Miami. She could not keep him due to neighborhood regulations nor could she find anyone locally to take him. Luckily she found us and she found a wonderful animal transport group who was willing to bring him to us. He is doing fantastic! He is on meds and is able to find the food and water on his own. We’re working on designing a coop that will work for his special needs.

A New Home for Old Goats

Alfred & Ginger enjoying their new digs
Alfred & Ginger enjoying their new digs

We are just loving the recently added Alfred & Ginger. They have delightful personalities and are enjoying farm life, however, they don’t really like staying with the other small, younger goats. So Alfie & Ginger have a new enclosure where they can be near the other goats, but they have their own space. The amazing thing is, this enclosure was built entirely from donations! Thank you to everyone who has helped, we couldn’t do it without you.

 

Handsome Alfie
Handsome Alfie
Cutest underbites ever!
Cutest under bites ever!

Baby goat Cuteness

And of course, the kids. Not much cuter than baby goats. We have taken down the fences, neutered the father and the whole tornado goat family is living together in the goat equivalent of domestic harmony 🙂

 

Does and Kids
The does and the kids

 

Does and kids
Wilma, Kade Mae, Domino and Jo Jo

 

It’s not easy being a goat mother…

 

Again, thank you

None of this would be possible without all the caring people who help us help these animals. God bless.

 

Goats on the Ground

Our trio of tornado survivors welcomed their babies into the world this weekend. It started with Butter, who had one lovely baby girl that looks exactly like her. Not to be outdone, Wilma gave us twins, two little black goats, that look much like their father. Congratulations girls, Kade and Steve would be very proud of you.

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Welcoming Ginger and Alfred to the Family

We are pleased to announce the arrival of Ginger and her son Alfred, two Boer goats from Fort Myers. They are greatly loved by their previous owners and, when they could no longer care for them due to health issues, they choose us as the new caretakers. It is great to see people putting the health of their animals before their own gratification. So many times we receive animals that have been abused through neglect or dumped off in inhospitable locations, all because their owners would not look for a better alternative. This is an example of true love and caring, although it hurt them to let go, by re-homing these goats their former owners gave them a chance at continuing to have a wonderful life.

Welcome home Ginger and Alfred.

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