ps entry sign

It is a place of peace for me, and it is also a true sanctuary for animals. All animals – rescued farm animals as well as wild animals. Their situations vary from newly hatched chicks found in a plastic bag in a grocery store parking lot to adult goats found wandering the streets of DC, baby cows and piglets and hens found injured on the side of the road having fallen out of the trucks on the way to slaughter, various abuse situations, plus wild animals like ducks and geese and swans and squirrels that end up at the sanctuary due to injuries or being orphaned. There are about 200 rescued farm animals living at the sanctuary; I’m not sure how many ducks and geese and squirrels. There is just one swan.

This is Carlyle in the foreground:

carlyle

He’s a two year old male cow. Though I guess that would make him a steer. He’s a dairy breed, which means if he hadn’t been given to the sanctuary, his life would have ended at 16 weeks. In the background you can see Norman, a fully grown adult male, also a dairy breed. I think Norman is at least 8 years old. He’s drinking from one of two automatic waterers that are stationed right outside the pig barn. That door there leads into the pig barn, and Norman is blocking the view of the pig yard. Out in the distance you can see some specs – those are either cows or horses or mules, or probably some of each. The property goes beyond the tree line you see in the distance.

This picture is the same basic direction, but from further away. You can see the hay elevator going to the pig pig barn on the left and then further in the distance is the horse barn. This was taken last winter – it gets cold but doesn’t snow all that much. It can snow fair amounts, but that rarely happens, for which I am grateful!

hickory

Hickory the sheep is the one being loved on right there. He is about a year and a half old now, and he came to the sanctuary as a very small lamb, abandoned by his mother and left to die of neglect in the field. The sanctuary was alerted and Hickory was able to be saved and is now one of the friendliest sheep at the sanctuary, probably because he was raised by humans. Sheep tend to be shy, but Hickory defies that!

I am realizing it might be impossible to give anyone an idea of how all these pieces of the sanctuary fit together! It is about 400 acres, but the buildings are relatively close together – they have to be, or it would be impossible to keep track of what was going on. As it is, the people who run the sanctuary carry walkie talkies so they can communicate with each other and coordinate what they are doing.

Out in the area the previous picture could see, where the horses, mules, and cows spend most of their time, one of the mules, Hal, can be seen here enjoying a good roll in the dust. They love dust baths! It is a good way to scratch their backs as well. Hal is about 30 years old, and you might be able to see that he’s wearing something over his head – this is because this picture was taken in early September, right after some big rains that had the grass coming up very green and with tons of moisture. Mules and horses originated on dry plains and they end up with numerous health problems if they eat a lot of grasses that have moisture in them. This is what contributes to horses getting what is known as Founder disease. I think mules can get it too. Hal also puts on weight incredibly easily, and that’s hard on them too. He’s about twice as big around as his mate, Gloria. So the thing that Hal is wearing still lets him graze, but it limits the amount he can get, which keeps him healthy.

hal dust bathing

To orient you, the pig barn is out of sight, but would be sort of behind me to the right, and the horse barn would be pretty much directly behind me. In front is the carriage house where the cows gather in bad weather. Only if there is a lot of snow do the cows need to be fully enclosed in a barn. They have full run of the entire 400 acres otherwise, and in the summer they spend most of their time in the woods near the creek. Which I have no pictures of! In the far distance you can see a red roof, and that’s the roof to the main chicken barn, which is the next picture.

chicken barn

 

Actually a lot more than just chickens live in this barn! The turkeys all live in this barn as well, plus the bunnies, and the guinea hens and peacock spend the night in this barn as well. Directly to my right is the house that Terry and Dave live in. It is from the 1800’s, I think, though I could be wrong about that!

ps house

Purdy, isn’t it? There’s not usually all that stuff on their porch – this was the day before one of their big events, and some of the silent auction stuff was on the porch.

These are a couple of the goats (whose names I can’t remember!) and in the background is the goat barn, and the water pump that I took a picture of yesterday for the photohunt.

goat barn at ps

This is the pond that the ducks, geese, and the swan spend a lot of their time on. It is close to the pig barn. It would be directly to the left in the picture with Hickory the sheep.

pond at ps

The drought has hit this area really hard. That pond is about a tenth of that size right now, it is so lacking water. This is really dangerous for the wild birds that make this their home, because their defense against predators is to spend the night on the water. If the water is too low, the foxes can just run right up and grab them. This is one of the many things you have to worry about when you run a sanctuary. Many of the birds can’t fly, having come to the sanctuary due to broken wings.

This is one of the wee mice that live with the chickens and bunnies. You can see how small he or she is compared to the water bowl he’s next to, and why he needs a mouse ladder to save himself if he fell in!

mouse at ps

I’m not sure why people thought mice were freaky.

Okay, that probably bored most everyone! That’s the best I could to do give a picture tour, and probably it would look completely different to you if you were actually there!

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