Our residents were rescued from intensive livestock farms, small “organic” farms or private “owners”. They were reformed, seized after ill-treatments, or found wandering.
The 31 male Ouessant sheep were first given to the OABA, an association that protects farm animals, after a court decision. They had been left without care, amongst the bodies of their deceased fellows. The OABA gave them medical attention and nursed them back to health before entrusting us to take care of them. We gained their trust with patience and a few grains of oat… We can now approach them in case they need attention. They are learning to be happy sheep, jumping on hay bales, grazing freely in large fields, sleeping under the trees in the shade when it gets too hot, or in the warmth of the stone barn during the winter. It is a joy to see them enjoying their life.
Our 8 “laying hens” were handed over to us, after negotiation, by a “free range”, organic facility – all “laying hens” operations are required to empty their buildings (sending everybody to the slaughterhouse) every 15 to 18 months for a deep cleaning. The farmer claimed to be very attentive to “animal welfare”. In reality, the hens were kept in filthy conditions and only had access to a concrete courtyard. Their butts were raw as they had lost part of their feathers, and they did not know how to eat solid food. It is common for reformed “laying” hens to die from peritonitis as their reproductive system has been pushed to produce an unnatural and unhealthy number of eggs — between 250 to 300 a year.
The rabbit was the “company animal” of an agricultural worker who agreed to relinquish her. He probably meant well, but had no idea how to give a rabbit proper care. Pom Pom was confined to a small hutch where she lived in the dark. She now spends the days roaming in the tall grasses near her spacious shelter, and digging burrows.