Everyone knows that one of the biggest attractions at Taylor-Bray Farm is the animals. Kids and grown ups alike love watching them. While everyone enjoys them, not everyone realizes how much work goes into their care. Volunteers at the Farm (thank you all) spend a lot of time and effort to make sure the animals are protected, well fed and stay healthy. Here is some of what is done every day the year round to do that:
We feed all the livestock, the sheep, Sam and Nestor, Rusty and Dusty and Scotty and Fiona, twice a day, every day, 365 days a year ... NO EXCEPTIONS! The cattle, goats, donkeys and sheep graze in the pastures every day. But that is not enough so we give them grain and hay (below left) every morning and evening. We also feed them fresh vegetables and fruit donated by Peterson's Market.
The animals always need clean water. That is what those large tubs (below center) in the sheep and donkey pens are for. There are two of those tubs in the pasture for Scotty and Fiona and Sam and Nestor.
In the chicken coop, there is a bin with their feed (below right). You see the back of it along the bottom of the screen when you go into the coop. Their food and water (in the metal container in the picture) is checked every day and replenished when needed.
The donkey's feet are cleaned at least once a week with the goats and donkeys brushed often as well. We have a farrier come every 8 weeks to trim the donkeys' hooves while the sheep and goats' hooves are trimmed when needed. Scotty and Fiona have their hooves trimmed annually.
The chicken pen and coop must also be treated regularly to eliminate mites and lice which can become a problem when birds are confined in a small space.
We clean the donkey barn and pen of all manure every day and put down fresh bedding in the barn when it is needed. The sheep barn and pen are cleaned every Saturday with new straw bedding put down at that time. The chicken coop with its nesting boxes is cleaned and fresh sawdust bedding is put down at the same time. The cattle pasture is cleaned weekly as well.
In addition to the routine chores, fences and gates must be checked and secured to protect the animals from predators. Also, uneaten hay must be continually raked up and disposed of to keep it from rotting and molding on the ground.
The most important thing you can do to help us is to NOT feed the animals. We appreciate that you may want to feed them and we know that kids love to do just that. They are on a controlled diet and, really, we provide all they need. Also, in the past, animals have suffered because of something someone fed them. So we repeat:
100% of farm revenue goes for the maintenance of the farm. This is possible because all the work is done by volunteers. Most of the money is for the care and feeding of the animals. So your donations and membership in the Taylor-Bray Farm Preservation Association are essential.