I Have a Theory

Charles Darwin, the survivor of a debilitating farm accident, walks with a severe neck twist that causes him to look partially skyward. His left leg skis across the grass with each awkward step and his back legs do not follow the tracks of his front. His plucky resolve to beat odds that would have claimed the life of a less determined soul immediately touched the hearts of his farming family.  Recognising that Charles would need special ongoing care and a suitable paddock, the call was made to Edgar’s Mission. Continue reading

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Un, Deux and Trios

Meet our newest feathered friends, Un, Deux and Trios, three magnificent adult ducks. Sadly their elderly carer in her advancing years could no longer manage her vibrant aquatic friends and new waddlings needed to be found. Thankfully, a kindly neighbour was on hand to ease their life long guardian’s angst and the call was made to Edgar’s Mission.  Such a story comes with a timely reminder for all of us with animals in our care to have a contingency plan in the event that we are no longer able to care for them. The truth is, finding our animal friends a good, safe and happy outcome is not always as easy as one, two, three.

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Julius Caesar

While history records Julius Caesar as a General, a lawgiver, a statesman and a historian who never lost a war, our Julius Caesar only had one battle to overcome. That was being born a rooster.  And today he proudly crows that he won the battle, but only with a little help from kind hearted humans.  Dumped unceremoniously over the fence at a community garden by some not so kind hearted humans, the handsome Julius quickly endeared himself to one and all.  But alas, his crowing did not. We believe this unmistakeable call of nature was no doubt the reason for his abandonment.  With so few happy and safe homes offered for roosters, Julius looked set to lose more than just his empire.

However, fortunate Julius was that we indeed had room at our Inn of Kindness for the diminutive and affable fellow, who has quickly found a companion in Sizzle, our tiny Frizzle hen.  The two make merry in the secret garden behind the office, Julius delighting us with his magnificent orations. And so, once again, Julius Caesar reigns supreme.

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Saving Private Bobby – When the War is Over

That Bobby was weak was something we knew from the outset. Born six days overdue, the odds were never going to be in his favour. And being born a male calf within the dairy industry sealed Bobby to a grisly fate.  But Bobby got lucky and he came to Edgar’s Mission.  Flopping in the back of the horse float just after his reprieve, his big bug eyes looked around at the world in childlike wonder. ‘Hey, where’s my mummy?’ was his innocent plea.   ‘I’m so sorry matey, we cannot bring her back to you but we will be the best mummy we can,’ was our heartfelt promise.

It was quickly apparent that Bobby has suffered some sort of brain damage, most likely the result of a difficult birth.  Struggling to make north from south, standing was a problem for Bobby. So naturally, we helped as best we could.  Propping his ragdoll like body into the position nature said it should be, Bobby then kicked in and mustered all the strength he could and he learned to walk.  He was as brave as he was cheeky and he loved having his face stroked. Like all children he responded enthusiastically to our encouraging words. ‘Good walking Bobby, good walking.’ Continue reading

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Where are they now?

Have you ever wondered what happens to baby animals from children’s farms?

Here’s the story of one lucky little lamb, Bonsai – the newest arrival to Edgar’s Mission.  While she may just be about the cutest little lamb you will ever meet, it seems Bonsai no longer lived up to the cuteness criteria of the children’s farm at which she was born, raised and had since resided. And so, with her time up, she was sold.  With what appears to be little consideration given as to whether her purchaser could provide for the young lamb’s needs, Bonsai was sold and soon found herself living in a suburban backyard.  With these new digs proving hardly suitable (or legal) for any flock animal, it was soon realised that neither suburban life nor the backyard were any good for the growing lamb and so a ‘free to good home’ advertisement was placed on an online classifieds website.

With hungry ‘wolves’ circling the keyboard for a cheap feed, little Bonsai is fortunate indeed that her trust in humans was not misplaced and that a Good Samaritan saw the advertisement and came to her rescue.  A desperate phone call was made to Edgar’s Mission to ensure a safe outcome could be secured.  Whilst Bonsai’s tumultuous journey has ended happily ever after for her, sadly many ex petting zoo and children’s farm babies are not so fortunate. And herein lies a very important lesson: what are we teaching the young when we only value creatures while they are cute and adorable???

To see more pictures of Bonsai please click here.

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Meet Private Bobby

When I was a young teenager I used to ride around the corner to the local dairy.  I loved the ride along the wide country road; the curious cows grazing in the paddocks, who would occasionally lift their heads in recognition.  The people at the dairy were very hard working and were always pleasant and happy to see me and my pony, Jimmy.   Mum would have stocked me up with two large plastic bottles and I would dexterously return home with them both full to the brim with milk. But on occasion, the young boys working in the dairy would fail to tell me that they had not screwed the tops on the bottles properly and this would make for a bumpy ride home indeed.

Years and many glasses of milk later, I was to learn there was a lot more that the folks at the dairy never told me.  Most importantly of which was the fate of the many tiny calves, whose mothers’ milk I had been drinking all those years –it seems that they too also had a pretty bumpy ride.  As a child I loved animals and I loved my milk. For me, baby animals had an extra special appeal and I would never knowingly have caused them harm.  So how come I never knew that by being a ‘good girl’ and drinking up my milk, I was participating in the separation, suffering and death of tiny calves? Continue reading

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Ducks Ahoy!

Meet Huey, Louie and Dewey and their new buddy Joy!  One morning, just when we thought we had reached cute duckling overload with the arrival of Huey, Louie and Dewey, along waddled Joy that very same evening.  While Huey, Louie, Dewey and Joy all came from diverse and dire situations, one thing united their rescues- the power of human kindness.  Tugging at heart strings and propelling action, the vulnerable downy wonders were fortunate indeed that a Good Samaritan was amongst those who witnessed their plight.  But ducklings do not simply fall from the sky and so we are left to wonder just how they came to have been abandoned in the first instance.  Being domestic ducks someone must have, at some point been responsible for their mother.  But thankfully for Huey, Louie, Dewey and Joy, as their black chapter closes there are new lettuce leafs to turn over along with new hearts to be touched and the firm reminder that when we fail animals in need we also fail ourselves.

To see more pics please click here.

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Salt and Pepper

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the and the blind can see” – Mark Twain

And so, it is kindness aplenty that is lavished upon Salt and Pepper, two recent vision impaired arrivals to Edgar’s Mission. Having known nothing but life within a tiny wire cage, these two ‘battery’ hens were given a last minute reprieve as they and 750 of their chicken sisters were saved during Phase Two of the Edgar’s Mission ‘Chicken Run 2012’, after yet another caged egg farmer opted out of the business.

But in a cruel twist, freedom was not the only thing this duo desperately required. A lifetime spent within a poorly ventilated shed with 18 months’ worth of excrement leaching harsh ammonia into the air had seen Salt and Pepper living with debilitating and painful infections, which resulted in swollen, pus-filled eye sockets and sinus tracts. Upon arrival at Edgar’s Mission, it was soon decided that the hapless duo required immediate medical attention and so they were whisked off to our dedicated and experienced veterinary team for assessment and treatment. Continue Reading…

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Winner Winner Chicken(‘s) Dinner!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who has supported our latest chicken rescue here at Edgar’s Mission. Bearing witness to ex battery hens slowly making the transformation from the frightened, bedraggled creatures we first rescued to the confident, endearing and beautiful ladies they are becoming is a feeling too wonderful for us to even begin to describe. Providing these hens with a life worth living is truly what drives us to do the work that we do at Edgar’s Mission and it is your kind support which makes it all possible.

An important part of our dedication to providing our rescued 752 hens with a life worth living includes feeding them only the best possible diet available. We have transitioned our ladies off of the less than ideal layer pellets they once existed upon and they now embrace a diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Crowd favourites amongst our rescuees include watermelons, grapes, our special Vegetarian Layer mash and Complete Poultry Grain mix with special extra nutritional supplementation. With so many mouths to feed, mealtimes at ‘Chicken Run’ see us emptying anywhere from 8-10 bags of feed a day! At around $20 a bag, this is proving to be rather expensive! Whilst we would never allow costs to deny our hens the very best there is, it is something we need to consider before undertaking each and every rescue and our expenditure at the conclusion of a rescue in some part dictates if and when we may be able to undertake another. Continue reading

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The Chicken in me- Navigating the Good Life.

Our recent rescue of 752 battery hens is now one month on and when watching these girls at dusk, I cannot help but be taken back to my nautical days of navigating the ‘treacherous’ waters of the children’s beach at Long Jetty in NSW.  For a penny, one could hire a pedal boat, a Fred Flintstone type craft, where its courageous and fearless seamen would madly propel the vessel with foot pedals, holding tight to the seat with both hands and pedalling like there was no tomorrow. The force of this action rocked you from side to side – and in true Fred Flintstone fashion, despite our fervent efforts, we seemed to go up and down in the one spot.  But it didn’t matter! It was grand and it was way too much fun for any nine year old to give up easily. So we wouldn’t!  When one’s allotted ten minutes had morphed into zero, the craft’s number would be called, beckoning the vessel back to shore.  But this would prove fruitless and arms would be waved as the effort to reign in the intrepid navigators escalated.  Never wanting the happiness to end, one would do what any red blooded creature would when attempting to preserve their new found freedom at all costs –feigning deafness, you obliviously looked the other way at an object that had suddenly become the most interesting thing in the world. Continue reading

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Campaign Action of the Month

Be Kind to Calves

With Australia recently ‘celebrating’ International Dairy week, the largest international dairy cattle sale and show in the southern hemisphere, many could be forgiven for thinking the dairy industry a benign and modest trade, simply responsible for passing on the ‘product’ from its ever-obliging and happy cows. Nothing could be further from the truth.  And so we launch our campaign action of the month, highlighting the terrible injustice facing Australia’s young and vulnerable ‘bobby’ calves.  ‘Bobby’ calves are the by-product of the dairy industry- an inconvenient truth behind just what it means to supply the 1,190,000 tonne of dairy products Australian consumers demand yearly*(Based on 2010-2011 figures -Source Agricultural commodity statistics 2011 (ABARES) Continue reading

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