Monday, January 30, 2012

Winslow Farm

Well hello everybody!  How are your January's going?  Mine is chugging along quite nicely. I've been meaning to write this post for about two weeks now, but coming back to uni has been a little time consuming.  And now it's January 30!  What in the world happened?!  Where did the time go?  I couldn't say. 

Well the basis of this post is my time at Winslow Farm Animal Sanctuary in Norton, MA.  I interned there for a month while on Winter Break.  It wasn't the most thrilling of work, and the location wasn't overly exotic, but it was still important.  I arrived in the mornings and helped feed the animals and clean the pens.  The barn, the llama pen, and 'safe side' needed to be cleaned every day.  There were other pens that were cleaned on a varying basis, such as the pheasant and rabbit houses. 

While I was there there weren't all that many visitors, but that was probably due to the cold winter weather than anything else.  The best thing about working at Winslow was, of course, the animals.  Each one has a personality all his or her own.  There was more than one I would have loved to bring home myself, if only I didn't have to go back to school.  But, alas, back I went, leaving all the animals behind. 

Winslow is the home to over 200 animals, from alpacas to horses to peacocks.  The largest population on the farm would have to be that of the cats, which you can find roaming all over the place, as well as in the cat house.  Needless to say I was in kitty heaven.  But of course I was there for the other animals as well, of which there were many.  Let me tell you about some of them...

Fist we'll start off with the sheep, there are six of them.  Athena, Clover, Daisy, Enya, Lilly, and Sturbridge.  I will say that Lilly was my favorite simply because she would beg for attention the most, and her little tail would wag in happiness when she got it.  Daisy, once you pet her, would follow you around waiting for more.  Athena was actually rescued from the middle of the interstate and you can read her story here if you are so inclined.


There are a couple of goats who live over with the sheep as well, Zena and Mervin.  Zena is a bit of an interesting animal, often picking on the other goats and thus being picked on in return.  However, Mervin is her friend and occasional savior, and my favorite goat. 


There are a lot of other goats at the farm as well, over 20 others.  The others have their own room in the main barn where they spend their nights. 

Also living in the main barn are the horses and the two emus.  There are five miniature horses, four regular horses, and one mule.  The minis are little pigs, I must say.  They will try their hardest to access any scrap of hay that may be present, even knocking over wheel barrows to get to their prize.  Of course, the goats do the same thing.  It's a skill that one must develop in order to out-maneuver them.  My favorite mini would have to be Shep (Shepard's Moon).  She's a little shy, unlike the rest of the minis, but once you gain her favor she is a little sweetheart. 

Golddust & Forest (Forest Moon)

There are also three llamas, Paco, Halo, and Gabriel, and three alpacas, Karolina, Pisca & Noelle, on the farm.  All six of them are a little shy of people, and you aren't very likely to touch them, especially the alpacas.

And who could forget the pigs?  Napoleon and Opie are the two pigs on the main portion of the farm, and Waterford has his own little house behind the back barn.  Napoleon is a bit of a pushy pig, even getting to the point of hostile, if you are holding out on food.  Opie, much smaller than Napoleon, know her place in the pecking order, however, and will attack Napoleon whenever she sees fit.  It actually really amusing to see. 

There are also two donkeys at the farm, and they have their own house up in the back of the farm.  They can often be found roaming the woods between the main paddock and the lake.  Behind the donkey pen is also a small dog kennel where there are currently two great danes.  There are also four other dogs, though they live in the house with the owner of the operation, Debra White. 

And last but not least are the birds.  There is a bird house next to the sheep house which is called the Peacock Pen.  Inside reside a variety of birds ranging from peacocks to ducks to pheasants.  My favorites here would have to be two ducks who simply do not leave you alone until you feed them.  They can be quite pushy, even going so far as to peck at my boots when I walk in in the mornings.    There are also a number of birds that roam the farm, including my two favorite Canadian geese, Ashes and Smokey.  There are also plenty of chickens and roosters, pheasants, farm geese, and as I mentioned before, two emus, Aussie and Sydney.  The emus are very friendly, often following people around the main paddock.  The first time this happened to me I was more than a little startled, simply because I didn't know what their intentions were.  But I quickly worked out that they simply wanted some attention, I even got to pet one of them!

All in all I had a wonderful time helping out at Winslow this winter and I strongly suggest everyone stop by at some time or another and greet all the loveable animals that reside there.  You can find all of the animals' stories here.

Note: All pictures used in this post belong to Winslow Farm and can be found on their website

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