Every time I turn around something new is happening on the farm. We can be replacing the carpet, building a new office, getting another dog, new lambs are born; it never stops changing. Most of the time that something new is an animal. Most of the time it’s because one of our existing animals has given birth. Last month we welcomed a new Alpaca Cria named Ben. Late winter, early Spring we are expecting some new lambs, in November we’re hoping for another calf.
This time, however, we have actually brought three new animals to the farm; three new charity cases (as Mark calls them). They will be in good company. We already have quite a few charity cases who have made Diamond Forest Farm Stay their forever home. Some animals are much loved pets of previous owners who, through an unfortunate change in circumstances, have to move and can’t take their animals with them. When you’re on a five or ten acre block having pets other than cats and dogs can be quite an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately it is very difficult to keep a pig, a sheep, a horse or an alpaca in a suburban backyard or even a unit so many people are left trying to rehome their beloved animals when they have to move. Others are unwanted for a variety of reasons.
So far we have Mulberry the Damara and Boss the Merino (sheep), Max and Jenny the turkeys and Vivien the Australian Mini Pig. Other rehomed animals are Sally the white pony (unwanted because she is almost uncatchable), Pepper and Nutmeg our rabbits (They were two of an unexpected batch of baby rabbits), Sam the Labrador (who really needed a bigger back yard), Steve the cat (whose owner sadly passed away) and Flyby the ex-racehorse (who wasn’t winning) plus we have two rescue Kangaroos.
And just recently we have added three new animals that needed rehoming as their owner had to move. We now have Fudge and Pablo the miniature ponies, and Mouse the Guinea Pig. Fudge and Pablo are absolutely gorgeous and so tiny in comparison to our big horse Flyby. Fudge and Pablo are even smaller than Katie and at 8 hands high she’s pretty small. Fudge is very friendly and loves lots of pats while Pablo will tag along behind and watch. He’s not too keen yet on being patted but I’m sure he will come around. They are definitely food motivated and have already figured out that the wheelbarrow means feed time.
We have just introduced them to Katie and Sally, our other ponies, and Violet and J.R our donkeys and they seem to have bonded really well. In fact, although Pablo and Fudge have all of the dam paddock to run around in they chose to stay close to Katie and Sally, their new friends. They are settling in really well.
Mouse our new guinea pig is well named. He is such a timid little fellow and hides out in his house all day if he can. And he’s so fast. I try to catch him so our young guests can see him and pat him and I have to be really quick. Once he’s safely snuggled in my arms he doesn’t mind a pat so we are hoping that in time he will relax into his new home next to his neighbours Pepper and Nutmeg.
Our new animals will have plenty of days ahead where they can enjoy their new home and get lots of pats from all of our guests. As much as some of them may miss their previous owners, we think they’ll be pretty happy here at Diamond Forest Farm Stay.