Promoted as getting your clothes whiter than white, the hit media campaign of the 70s (yes, that’s the 1970s—some of us folk are that old!) by whitegoods manufacturer, Whirlpool, saw the catchphrase “Guess whose mum’s got a Whirlpool?” enter the Australian lexicon. With the essence of family, caring and responsibility at its heart, we could think of no more fitting name than “Whirlpool” for a whiter-than-white little lamb who tumbled into our world one recent evening. She was found only hours earlier by kind hearts, who quickly realised that had they not intervened, Whirlpool would have tumbled from this world. With two tiny teeth threatening to erupt from her baby gums, we could safely guess this hapless lamb was but two days young.
Driving almost halfway across the country to find a safe haven for a little lamb is not something everyone would do. But that is exactly what Alex did to save the life of little Ray Ray, a sweet little lamb who was born without eyes. This condition, known as microphthalmia, afflicts lambs whose both parents carry this recessive gene. It is characterised by either very small or absent eyes; in Ray Ray’s case, her eyes are absent. But that does not stop her in her desire to experience the world and all of her magic. Showing courage where few would, Ray Ray loves nothing more than to jump with wanton abandon at any opportunity. Slowly too she is learning to gravitate to the sound of our clapping hands, and her “seeing eye buddy” is growing accustomed to wearing a bell.
Who would have thought that getting lost could save a life? Well, that is just what happened recently when two kind hearts set off for a trek that was to last several hundred kilometres to deliver a little blind lamb to Edgar’s Mission. But with a GPS with a mind of its own (and don’t we all know and love those!), our heroes were directed down a road most certainly least travelled and right into the path of a little lost lamb.
Sounding more like a recipe for a good night out, Fettucine and Martini are the names of two of the most recent lamby arrivals to Edgar’s Mission. Each year we take in dozens and dozens of tiny lambs, often newborns as in the case of dear little Fettucine (and no, he couldn’t get any cuter if he tried) or ones whose mothers have passed away (sadly this was the case for the diminutive Martini, although she had struggled for over a week on her own)—and yet more have been found wandering aimlessly beside busy highways or outback country roads.
Life was meant for good friends and great adventures.
Very recently, our brave How–Now went through a break-up with her friends, and it made her sad. How–Now did not give up, she put herself out there and met her new bestie – Onesie.
The two sweet girls sleep in the vet room at night with a heater on to keep them warm. And as besties do, they chat for hours over dinner until it’s bedtime. And when they’re not eating and chatting, they spend their days in the yard having a dust bath or two.
With their herd slaughterhouse bound, Cal and Bonnet somehow found themselves on the right side of kindness and instead were Edgar’s Mission bound. That two young lives were spared shows a glimmer of hope in what is that blackest of hours for Boer goats. Introduced into Australia in 1980s from South Africa, the Boer goats have, through their selected genetics for fast growth, become renowned as “meat goats”. However, as we constantly find, regardless of the label we humans place on an animal, nothing can diminish their will to live.
Little Ray Ray – what she lacks in sight she more than makes for in courage and her vision that the world is something to be explored for all of her magic.
Rounding out our lamb clan of 2018 to six has been a tiny ewe lamb named Zucchini. With so many lambs arriving very early this season, anyone could be forgiven for thinking it was raining lambs! And whilst orphan lambs may have been in abundance, rain of late has not. Such a dry season placed an unwanted burden on pregnant and lactating ewes, who were already struggling to cope on poor pastures. These babes are indeed lucky, for they have escaped the rigours of a brutal winter that so often claims the lives of millions of lambs each year, but they nonetheless suffer the trauma of losing their mothers. Snuggled up now in warm jackets on cold nights, with bellies full of sweet formula, our lamb clan is proving resilient. Their now cherub-like little bodies are testament to our expert care, sweet formula, the watchful eye of Vet Nurse Ruby and kindness—oh, and not to mention some pretty cute names: Beanie, Deanie, Weanie, Tweanie, Lamborghini and Zucchini!
The things we do for love
It is no secret the little hen we have called How Now has truly succeeded in capturing our hearts here at Edgar’s Mission. Not only has her plucky resolve to survive the seemingly insurmountable odds stacked against her struck a chord with many, it is in those quiet moments of reflection alone with this dear girl that her true being has shone through. Chatty in nature and never hesitant to alert us if anything we have done is not exactly to her liking, we are reminded time and again that precious beings like How Now have their own distinct personalities and that each one is a unique individual with likes (green grapes), dislikes (red grapes) and favourite things (being chauffeured around in her pram by Pam). Continue reading
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