The animals are the biggest attraction at Taylor-Bray Farm. Kids and grown ups alike love watching them. While everyone enjoys them, not everybody realizes how much work goes into their care. Volunteers at the farm (there are no paid employees) spend a lot of time and effort to make sure the animals are protected and well fed and stay healthy. Here is some of what we do the whole year round:
We feed all the livestock: the sheep, Chloe, Sam and Nestor, George, Henry and Dusty every day, 365 days a year … NO EXCEPTIONS! The cattle, goats, donkeys and sheep graze in the pastures but that is not enough so we give them grain and hay every morning and evening. We also feed them fresh vegetables and fruit donated by Peterson’s Market. In the chicken coop, there is a bin with their feed. You see the back of it along the screen when you go into the coop.
The animals always need clean water. That is what those large tubs in the sheep and donkey pens are for. There are two of those tubs in the pasture for Chloe and for Sam and Nestor. The metal cylinder to the left of the feed bin in the chicken coop photo has water for the chickens.
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. Chloe has her hooves trimmed annually.
We worm the donkeys, sheep and cattle about four times each year. Our veterinarian vaccinates the livestock against rabies and several other diseases every year.
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.
Taylor-Bray Farm depends on interested individuals for financial support and to perform needed work at the farm, primarily animal care and general maintenance. Would you like to help? Good, Saturday is cleanup day at the farm, put your work clothes and boots on and come to the Farm any Saturday morning at 8:30. We appreciate all the help we can get. You can find out more by emailing the farm or calling the farm at 774-425-1869.
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 …