September 2016 Barn Blog

Celebrating the Seasons Here at Heartland

By Shelby Deering / September 2016

September generally tends to be a time when things start to wind down for people. Kids go back to school, weekends away are traded in for quiet weekends at home, and the falling leaves serve as signals that we need to slow down, too.

Well, except if you’re at Heartland Farm Sanctuary. Things never seem to slow down around here, and we like it that way. Turkeys continue to walk back and forth in the barn aisle, Baine the Nigerian Dwarf goat wheels himself from person to person, looking for a few rubs behind the ears, and we are busy behind-the-scenes as we get into the swing of Fall Camp 2016, launch our Pot Bellied Pig Campaign, plan our 2nd Annual Stable Supporter Appreciation Party and Stable Supporter campaign, hold our Animal Hearts program, and throw ourThanksgiving for the Turkeys in November.

Summer does hold its own brand of hustle and bustle around here at Heartland, especially with our annual summer camp—we had 190 campers total for all 11 weeks of camp.

Although our summer camp is full of fun activities and plenty of giggles, we dsc_0912have found that there has been a fair share of enlightening moments, too. For example, during the last week of camp, Liz Walch, a camp counselor, witnessed something pretty inspiring. She was sitting with a few campers in the goat and sheep pasture and noticed that one of the campers kept referring toFrances the sheep as a “thing.” Liz explained to the camper that Frances is actually a being—things include toasters and trees, but beings are animals or people who think and feel. We are human beings, and Frances is a “sheep being.” The camper seemed to get it, but a few minutes later, he started calling Frances a thing again. Then he stopped, realized his mistake, and said, “Oh wait, sorry. I mean being.” This particular camper once asked what kind of animal Lily the pig is, so this was progress!

All of the animals enjoyed the company of the campers over the summer, but we’re thinking that Baineprobably enjoyed the spotlight the most. He got plenty of extra love and attention during camp. The campers adored learning how to bathe and groom Baine, and how to change his bandages, too. There’s a chance that Baine may have gotten a little too much love—he gained five pounds over the summer! Clearly, the kids enjoyed showering Baine with treats. Baine’s little cart needs a tune-up from time to time, and after a few adjustments and redesigns, the cart is up and running again, just in time for him to work off those extra calories.

kavita-and-winnieWinnie, otherwise known as “the miracle pig” because she survived a tumble out of a livestock transport truck, continues to be the polite, sweet, and “dainty” 800- pound gal that everyone loves. She enjoys spending her days with besties Maxine and Beatrice, eating grass together and splashing in their mud pit. After a jam-packed, fun-filled day, Winnie comes in for supper, and then falls asleep in her cozy bed of straw and blankets. Winnie is above all a lady, so she has regular spa days here at the farm, given by a couple of longtime volunteers. Her favorite service? A coconut oil massage.

dsc_0287Beau and Daisy, once adorable little calves, are still adorable, but they’re not so little anymore! They came to us as sickly babies, but now they’ve grown into strong, healthy, and even sassy 1,000-pound cows. They ate up the time they spent with our summer campers, and are enjoying extra pasture space, which was expanded in June. These two now have plenty of room for grazing, napping, and horseplay—er, we mean, cowplay.

Sherman by ToddSummer 2016 also saw the arrival of some new friends here at Heartland. We can’t get enough of Sherman, a Hampshire lamb who arrived on July 11 and was rescued from a backyard butcher in a neighboring city. Sherman’s former owner was illegally keeping two lambs on his property, and unfortunately by the time authorities arrived, it was too late for the other lamb. Sherman was strong and made it out alive, and although he had a rough start, fate smiled on him and gave him a forever home at Heartland. The campers bestowed Sherman with his cute name.

tankTank arrived here on August 3, and he certainly lives up to his name. This stalwart pot bellied pig was discovered through Esther’s Army, and it was clear he needed a new home. Tank wasn’t getting along with his owner’s husband, or with the dogs in the household. He started to become aggressive toward people and other animals. And to make matters worse, the city where Tank’s family lived threatened to start fining them $200 a day, since pigs are not allowed within city limits. But Heartland welcomed him with open arms, and now Tank is living the good life here on the farm—rooting around in the dirt, sleeping in straw for the first time, and learning what mud is. He has bonded with our other male potbellied pig, Percy, and we’re so glad Tank has made a home here. Our pot bellied pigs inspired us to start our Pot Bellied Pig Campaign, and we’d love for you to visit the webpage and learn more about our mission.

by-todd-2Fern and Jewel, two of the prettiest Cayuga ducks around, arrived to Heartland on August 14. These girls were found abandoned in Milwaukee—sadly, domesticated ducks being released into the wild is not uncommon, and most of these ducks don’t survive. Two of our longtime volunteers,Todd and Sarah Wilson, happened upon these ladies and cared for them in their home, and then brought them to Heartland, where the two ducks will continue to be the best of friends.

Yes, we’ve had an amazing (and busy!) summer here at Heartland. Now with the fall days becoming shorter and cooler, our minds naturally turn to preparing for winter—it’s a full-time job keeping our animals warm! Each winter, we need more and more people to help us out, so feel free to visit our Volunteering at Heartland page. We are so grateful for the donations of extra blankets and feed for the winter months, and we’ll be putting out a call for those needs soon.

But in the meantime, we’re going to enjoy these crisp fall days, filled with frolicking goats, baaa-ing sheep, and waddling geese—otherwise known as business as usual here at Heartland. No matter the season, life at Heartland is something that’s pretty special.