Lambs are indeed social animals, relishing in the company of their own kind. And so it was to our bedroom each night dear Beanie Lamb went to ensure she was not lonely. However, coming to our rescue were the newborns, Deanie and the diminutive little Weenie. With their umbilical cords still plump with blood and nutrients, we were reminded of their vulnerability and short time dancing on this earth. Cords disinfected and clipped, warm jackets donned and life-sustaining colostrum downed, they were all set to meet their new buddy, little Beanie.
Whilst a penny will never pay for the thoughts of Beanie Lamb or provide an answer to just where she had been, we do know that it was through the swift-thinking actions of kind-hearted humans that she is alive today. Arriving at Edgar’s Mission in the cutest little baby jump suit emblazoned with little cans of baked beans, wee Beanie could not have pulled at our heart strings any more if she tried. Not long thereafter we learned that a traveller from Geelong had encountered the scared and hungry little one just shy of the township; struggling to rein in Beanie’s poor attempts at directing traffic, soon even more humans stopped to assist, as little Beanie’s journey of kindness began.
Today, across Australia, we celebrate Harmony Day. The word harmony is often used to describe music, the orchestrated hum of instruments as their melodies rise and blend in pleasing arrangement. Harmonies come together, each chord welcomed and complimenting the others.
As you may well already know, Edgar’s Mission is home to over 450 farmed animals of different species. Tour along our paths and walk through our paddocks and you’ll understand why we say this is a place of magic, a place where dreams come true. There’s a peace among the animals who live here and harmony in the way they interact, aside from the occasional dispute over a delicious piece of food or territory. Continue reading
There is no doubt that Cheech and Chong, complete with their cute and cheeky goaty antics, will bring you great belly laughs. However, their beginnings most certainly will not. Found abandoned at a tip (it’s likely their homeless mother was spooked) the vulnerable little orphans, just barely days old, were lucky to have been spotted by a kind heart. But had they not, alone they would have slowly succumbed to the elements. Or perhaps even violently died between the teeth of a predator. Seeing their will to live amongst the rubbish and despair that surrounded them, their Good Samaritan sped into action.
Now you might think her name is short on letters, but that is the least of her worries. For when we learned of her plight, she was short on time and about to become, of all things, lunch! It is no doubt for this reason she still harbours a great fear of we humans. So as we work to gain her trust, she spends her days with a lamby clan of Carmichael, Rose and Tilly.
With heavy thighs atop dainty trotters, satisfyingly curly tails and love heart snouts, pigs are trotting their merry way into the affections of people the world over. Here at Edgar’s Mission, we’ll take any excuse to celebrate pigs, so we’ve decided to shine the spotlight on our resident porcine princes and princesses on (America’s) National Pig Day.
Pigs are considered one of the smartest species to roam the earth, but we’re just scratching the surface on understanding their worlds and capabilities. If you’ve never had the pleasure of spending time with one or more of these affable creatures, you won’t be privy to their remarkable intelligence, persistence and playfulness. Continue reading
Each festive season people spend their hard-earned dollars on Christmas trees, with literally hundreds and hundreds of them winding up in landfill. But this year we decided to make a small difference. Putting out a Facebook post to our local community and our supporters requesting trees for our goats, we (and they) were beyond delighted to find dozens of Christmas trees left inside our front gates.
Recycling never tasted so good! And our dear chickens even got in on the act, proving that one man’s Christmas tree is another goats (or chickens) treasure!
Today, October 18, we celebrate the birthday of Saturday Lamb. She rolled into our world almost three years ago and crash landed into our hearts. Although her congenital spasticity has robbed her of the proper functioning of her back legs it has not robbed her of her zest for life. Daily, aided by her custom-built wheel chair, Saturday wheels about the sanctuary and rolls into the hearts of all she meets. Her plucky resolve to take each day as it comes it truly inspirational for all she meets. Celebrating her third birthday in style, she did so with her best friends Steddie Eddie and her human folk who wait on her hand and hoof. Tucking into her wheetbix cake, garnished with lucerne and topped with three carrots, Saturday’s verdict was “the day was not baaaad, not baaaad at all”.
Whilst every day little Elmo tickles our chins, seeking the delicious taste and scents of his formula, it wasn’t always so. In fact, upon his arrival, this very young kid goat, who was found abandoned in a forest, refused point blank to feed. We have never in all of our collective lives met a tiny orphan so determined not to feed. We knew the little guy was hungry, as he would cry out, even nibbling on our trouser legs, fingers and chins, but there was absolutely no way on this earth he was going to suckle from that bottle. Absolutely NO WAY! We tried different teats, different methods and different prayers and incantations, but nothing would work. So tube feeding it was, until the day little Elmo said, “Okay, I’ll have my bottle please,” and he has never looked back!!
Dwarfed by the horses who surrounded him, things were not looking good for the day-old tiny lamb. Adding to the wee chap’s woes were severely contracted tendons in his front legs, which caused him to buckle over and fall. By what circumstance this little lamb arrived in such a dire situation, we will never know, but what we do know is that it is to the good heart of a wildlife carer that he owes his life. Alerted to the plight of the orphan amidst the equines, she swung into gear—a phone call later and the aptly named Tiny Lamb was hoofing his way to Edgar’s Mission.
Miles arrived at Edgar’s Mission on this day in back in 2013. At such a young age he had already seen more hardship than one should endure; orphaned, weak and in desperate need of warm and helping hands.
Today Miles is a handsome and gentle fellow, who loves nothing more than the affection of his human carers. Among all the love and care sent his way, Miles is also being treated for Epilepsy – we believe he is the only sheep treated for the condition in Australia.
Miles is part of our Best Friends monthly donor program, if you’re able and would like to sponsor him, you can find him in the Sheep Shack here!
We all know that volunteers make the world go round, right? Without their endless and selfless hours of support, countless not-for-profit organisations, just like ours, would not exist. That is why we here at Edgar’s Mission salute you! And in honour of you all, we have named who could well be the sweetest and most gentle goat we have ever met – Vollie.
Our Facebook followers have already fallen in love with Pearl, a fluffy-faced little lamb of around six weeks of age, and we are sure you will, too.
Pearl’s arrival at our sanctuary was heralded by the pungent smell of fly-strike just moments before her severely emaciate body came into view. If you have never smelled fly-strike in a living animal, consider it a blessing. But where was this deadly menace? Once gently laid on our examination table, we could see no obvious wounds. However, as soon as we lifted her tiny right hind leg those flesh-eating maggots could hide no more – although they tried their darnedest to make a hasty retreat inside the hole they had burrowed into poor Pearl’s leg. Such a terrible oozing wound gave answer to the bloody smear little Pearl had on her nose, no doubt the result of her feeble attempts to rid herself of the wriggling menace that was eating her alive. Yes indeed, a sickening sight and smell.
Nothing could have prepared us for the cheeky little monkey of a lamb who is Rose. We first learned of her plight when a short video was sent to us by text: it revealed that Rose had been dealt a bad hand or, more appropriately, two dodgy front legs. Dear little Rose was struggling to get about, it was clear to see that without any intervention she was never going to thrive, let alone survive.
Whilst exploiting the natural reproductive cycle of animals is big business to some, it is also a lucrative side-line to others. Regardless of the intent, the consequences to animals are enormous and at the heart of all of this, is a life. In this case it is that of dear little Geraldine, an animal who comes with a lifetime of care and needs unique to her species.
Sadly too, this is a story we learn of all too often as an animal is treated as property and sold without full disclosure to unsuspecting people. Sellers neglecting basic checks to ensure the welfare of the animal, and typically with pigs whether they can even legally be housed by the “purchaser”. They fail to provide information as to the need for desexing, basic animal husbandry requirements and the important “ingredients” of a life truly worth living for the animal.
It’s a story we hear all too often here at Edgar’s Mission—a kind-hearted neighbour witnessing the tragedy of ewe in trouble on a neighbouring property. A closer inspection reveals she has recently given birth. Contacting the landholder concerned, who unfortunately in this instance (as in many others) is an absentee farmer, the kind heart is informed, “I’ll deal with it in a couple of days, you can have the lamb, otherwise I will hit it on the head when I get there”. Sadly, the ewe passed away shortly thereafter, but the lamb did not. Taken in and offered warmth, sweet formula and kindness, the little one had just been thrown the lifeline she needed to thrive. But how many are not so fortunate? The Australian newspaper reported in 2012 this figure was 15 million lambs dying within the first 48 hours of life, with most newborns succumbing to exposure to the cold weather.
Such a daunting statistic casts a question mark on the oft-touted remark that sheep are “supremely designed for the Australian environment”—clearly this is not true of our harsh climate. Continue reading
Now we all know that good things come in small packages, right? But did you know that lifesaving things come in small packages covered with fur? Proof positive is a petite little Guinea Pig named Ms Truffles. Ms Truffles came into our care recently after the passing of one of our guinea pigs, Montezuma, whose passing left her partner broken-hearted and lonely. Seeing the forlorn look on little Hernando Cortez’s face each day and hearing his high-pitched little “wees” saw us seeking to find a guinea pig in need of a home. Answering our prayers were the good folk at Coldstream Animal Aid, who had recently taken in a very pretty little Abyssinian guinea pig they had named Ms Truffles. In navigating her way through our guinea pig enclosure, Ms Truffles also managed to navigate her way into Hernando Cortez’s heart.
While guinea pigs are truly special little guys and gals, please do your research before taking them into your world, as sadly all too often, the novelty of their cuteness wears off long before the responsibility of their care and welfare does. Continue reading
Spied by the side of the road by a kind-hearted motorist, the quizzically moving creature was at first thought to be a tiny tri-coloured kitten. But they were wrong. The hapless lost critter was a pint-sized piggy soon to be christened Gerald. With species no barrier to the motorist’s kindness, and fearing the worst for Gerald (after all, the side of a busy road late at night is no place for a tiny baby), he was quickly bundled up and taken to an emergency veterinary clinic where a chain of lost/abandoned animal procedures and red tape saw him ultimately surrendered to Edgar’s Mission. If only animals could talk, we are sure Gerald would have one tale to tell—if only he stopped nuzzling the ground long enough.
While pigs, do get dirty sometimes, they’re not dirty animals.
Pigs keep their living quarters neat and tidy, choosing to do their ‘dirty business’ away from their sleeping and eating areas. So, what’s with the mud? Pigs don’t sweat, so they lay in mud wallows to cool down, and the mud acts as a natural insect repellent. It’s undeniable, pigs are cool!
In a world that is not always kind to lambs, it was kindness that saved Lambie Baa Baa. Born on a frosty morn and sadly orphaned not long thereafter, this little lamb seemed destined soon to become another statistic. But he did not. Securing not only his release but a chance at a life truly worth living, Lambie Baa Baa was soon Edgar’s Mission bound. With colostrum thawed and warmed in preparation of his arrival, Lambie Baa Baa was soon to claim his second and third hearts (having already stolen that of the Good Samaritan who saved him). Bearing testament to his few hours on this earth were his still moist and blood-engorged umbilical cord, along with the eponychium* on his little hooves.
‘tis a fact, the aged ewe, Martha, loves her tiny baby, Mandii—in fact, she is besotted with her. All the while either nickering to her or gently nuzzling her side, this is truly love in its purest of forms. Despite the now-happy outcome for both Martha and Mandii, it has been a tragic road for them to get there.
We place Martha’s age around ten to twelve years, judging by the wear and tear on the worn-down little stumps that were once her pearly white incisor teeth. Squeezing the last dollar from Martha, she had been impregnated yet again, more than likely to produce even more prime lambs (those destined for human consumption). However, this time circumstances arose that saw Martha become lost, unclaimed and apparently helpless, although the latter is not entirely correct, for dear Martha’s steely resolve ensured she would never give up, despite her pitifully thin but heavily pregnant body. Continue reading
Whilst our David Copperfield is no magician, he certainly did manage to wrangle himself out of a life and death situation. And in doing so, he does have a story to tell. A story of one dear little lamb and the goodness of the human heart—four, actually.
Little David was born on a sheep-farming property in the far north of our state. Unknown to the humans charged with her care, sadly, his mother, who had recently given birth to a male lamb, had passed away. With predators hovering and harsh weather prevailing, the chances of David Copperfield writing another chapter in his life seemed bleak. And had his mournful cries not pierced the ears and heart of a kindly family who serendipitously happened to be staying on the property, he surely would be no more. So, heading back to Melbourne with an extra one in tow, the two young children of the family formed a determined bond with the wee lamb. Children have such a natural instinct to care for the vulnerable; sadly, such an exemplary trait is all too often extinguished with the passage of time. But thankfully not in this family. Continue reading
Trotwood Copperfield, although small in size, is great in courage. Perhaps a reflection of his saviour, who could have simply driven past on that fateful day when they spied the wee chap desperately trying to suckle from his sick mum, who was unable to rise. Pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and almost without a hope of kindness to save him, this could have been Trotwood’s worst day. But it wasn’t—although he didn’t know it yet. With help at hand proving to be almost as elusive as a phone signal, our kind heart could have been forgiven for giving up.
A call from our friends at the RSPCA in Castlemaine to assist with an orphan lamb saw us presented with one of the saddest babies we have ever met. Even her pretty pink jacket, warm bottle and a cute as a button new friend in Little Boy Blue could not stop this wee lamb crying. Desperate were her pleas for the one thing we could never give her: her mother. Hearing the frantic bleats, and seeing her desperate pacing left no doubt in our minds that lambs form the strongest bonds with their mothers, something circumstance cannot break. One of our most heart-breaking of days was the first day with Little Girl Pink, as she cried and cried and then cried some more for the mother she would never see again. No amount of sweet milk formula nor cuddles was going to cut it for her. As the days slowly rolled on, Little Girl Pink came to terms with her situation, a stoic resolve guiding her through.
A tiny lamb suddenly appearing in the headlights of a late-night traveller was something this kind-hearted driver least expected. But sadly, this was no tiny baby who had simply lost their way, as a serious head wound told of a lucky escape from a predator, who dropped the hapless animal some distance from where he ought to be. But this is where Little Boy Blue’s luck turned from bad to bright, as he was taken home and a call hastily made to Edgar’s Mission. With the wound still fresh, several stiches were needed to close the gaping hole in the little guy’s head. Now all he needed to make his life complete was a warm bottle and snazzy jacket (resigning ourselves to the fact that, sadly, Little Boy Blue would never see his dear mum again). But with determination in our stride, compassion in our hearts and teddy bears at the ready, we have promised our new friend that we will be the best mum for him we can ever be.
Dear little Anne of Green Gables, and her ever-present smile on her sweet face, reminds us daily of the vulnerability of her kind. And also, the goodness of the human heart. From the vantage point of her country home, the feeble cries of an abandoned and newborn lamb saw our hero swing into action as night time was quickly descending and wily foxes were no doubt surveying their quarry—awaiting their time to pounce. This was most definitely a case of finding the right place at just the right time for little Anne of Green Gables.
A couple of weeks back, on a cold and bitter day, an abandoned ewe, who had been inhabiting the grassy verge of a train line, gave birth to not one but two tiny lambs on the train tracks. The terrified and confused mother, quickly fleeing, urging her babies to do so also. Yet young and weak, they could not. On seeing this happen, our brave heart knew that with the busy morning express train shortly to hurtle down that very line as it did at the same time every day, the wee lambs would surely be killed. Thinking swiftly with his feet and his heart, his single act of kindness spared the two baby lambs. With their condition critical and no colostrum in their system, time was of the essence if there was to be any chance of saving the lambs. Not long thereafter, the baby lambs were in our care as we set about a plan to return the next day and, aided by daylight and a deft team of kind crusaders, attempt to catch the terrified ewe. Although, to be honest, we doubted our chances, as we pondered whatever had happened to her to cause such fear in her heart.
On this Mother’s Day we celebrate mothers, in all their glorious shapes and species, and thank them for making the world a kinder and safer place for those they love.
We’d like to dedicate Meghan’s uplifting rescue story to mothers everywhere, may your babies stay safe and sound.
If red makes cars go faster, can it make tails go faster too? Little Boy Blue would have you believe this fable is fact, but it’s not the red coat that fuels that waggling tail, it’s something deeper.
Little Boy Blue lost his mother and almost his life, but he’s still here and his love for life is plain for all to see. You can see it in the way he melts into cuddles, in the way he lays in the sun with his buddy Little Girl Pink and in the way he blissfully shakes his tail while drinking in that sweet, warm milk.
After his terrible head injury, we knew it was only right to provide Little Boy Blue with the best veterinary treatment available. So, we booked him in for a CAT scan. The results came back immediately: Little Boy Blue and Makamae are unequivocally adorable.
It seems nothing can faze Little Boy Blue, cool as a cucumber even as a curious cat cuddles. And the future has never looked brighter for this affable chap. Continue reading