A rose by any other name, meet our new friend Captain Feathersword
Captain Feathersword, ‘Wigglepedia’ tells us is also known as “The Friendly Pirate…Despite being abandoned by his family, and repeatedly being tormented, bullied and abused in his childhood, Captain Feathersword went through many struggles and hurdles in his adolescence with a kind heart and immense courage. Though he was wronged by the world which he lives in, Captain Feathersword is viewed by his only friends, the Wiggles, as being nice and kind…Due to his bright, happy and friendly personality… Captain Feathersword is adored and idolized by many…as his struggles throughout his rough childhood and his eventual overcoming of those troubles is seen as inspirational by some”. Continue reading
Sunday March 30th saw the Eltham Veterinary Practice stage its annual “Dog’s Day Out” event at Alastair Knox Park in Eltham. While dogs came in all shapes and sizes it was a gorgeous pig named Polly who sent hearts fluttering and cameras clicking as she wowed the crowd with her own inimitable charm. “Now Polly may look a little different to everyone’s beloved pets here today, on the inside she is no different” explained Polly’s proud guardian Pam Ahern. “She knows her name, occasionally comes when she is called, has a sense of humour and loves being cuddled. Why then do we treat her kind so differently?” Continue reading
We at Edgar’s Mission are simply blown away that our heart-warming video, Normal and Natural is going viral right now with over 600,000 views worldwide! And that’s just on Facebook! We all have the power to make our world a kinder place for all and hope you will take just a moment of your day to watch 752 rescued ex battery hens spreading their wings, scratching in the dirt and feeling the sun’s rays shine down upon their back for the very first time below:
I’d like to introduce you to my new pal Ash who, as you can see in the photo below, is one gorgeous boy indeed! Recently our area was hit hard by the worst fires in Victoria since Black Saturday and while poor little Ash managed to survive the fire storm that raged all around him, he was separated from his mum. For Ash it seemed like there was nowhere for him to turn, but like many other farmed animals before him, Ash got lucky and found his somewhere right here at Edgar’s Mission. And now, Ash and I have some very exciting news for you!
Many of you will know that over the years, Edgar’s Mission has provided a special somewhere for thousands and thousands of farmed animals just like little Ash here, just like Molly Brown, the sole survivor of a horrific truck accident, just like Hope who made her escape from a piggery one Christmas, and just like Little Miss Sunshine who found a reprieve when a battery hen farmer had a change of heart. But of late, that somewhere has begun to get a little crowded.
Over the last two years we have been searching for that special somewhere for our sanctuary to grow. A place with vast open paddocks to welcome nervous cows, to give sheep a place to roam freely, safe in the knowledge there will never be a live export vessel to ship them to a far off land, a place for piggies to take their very first wallow, for goats to know that life on a tether will never be for them, a special place for ducks to be able to stretch their wings and for chickens and turkeys to dust bathe until their hearts are content. We have been searching for a place where these dear creatures will always be valued for who they are, not only for what they can produce. It has been an incredible search, with hopes raised only to then have them dashed; however throughout, we have remained strong, for we knew that somewhere, there truly was a place for us. Ash and I are now over the moon to tell you, we have finally found our special somewhere!
It is now almost six weeks since dear Melody came into our lives and tugged at our heart strings like no other. Stoically she tried to stand on legs that begged to rest, having survived the firestorm that embraced Willowmavin and surrounding districts on February 9th. The fireball that she had become as she raced in terror, fuelled by the smell of her burning fleece and the melting of her flesh, now a distant memory. Since that very first day we have worked around the clock in support of Melody’s resolve not to become another statistic. Tenderly and skilfully twice daily we have dressed her burnt skin and painful as it was Melody was possessed by a sixth sense that told her we were on her side and so she stood while the words ‘Melody you are so brave’ were whispered in her ear. The huge scab that once claimed her stomach as its own, sinks ever more each day aided by healing salve and gentle hands. Heart-warming now are the moments as the look of fear in her eyes has been replaced by a quizzical head tilt and considered lick of her lips as a thought bubble emerges ‘now where’s my wheetbix treat?’ Oh Melody we love you- once you see animals like this dear girl for the sentient beings they are, creatures who feel pain and fear, joy and happiness, you can never ‘unsee’ them again. Thank you to everyone who has been sending Melody your good wishes, we know she heard you.
“Are you kidding me?” the announcer cried as a cheeky goat entered the dog agility ring at the Stonnington Pets in the Park event on Sunday. Tagging along behind the perky little white goat was her human companion from Edgar’s Mission, Pam Ahern. But ‘Could she tackle the course set for beloved pooches?’ was the thought racing through the minds of those gathered. Delivering a resounding ‘yes’ was the adorable Miss Chief as she happily made her way through tunnels and into the hearts of many.
“You know we tend to think of farm animals differently,” explained Pam, the Founder and Director of the not for profit animal charity Edgar’s Mission, “but once you get to know them you realise the differences are limited to outwardly appearances only. And these differences most certainly do not justify the way many farm animals are treated.” Also on hand to show one and all just how much sheep love to be petted and made a fuss over was the affable Timmy, a now rather large sheep who was rescued from the side of the road as a tiny baby by a kind hearted motorist.
The day attracted thousands of visitors and for many it was their first chance at getting up close and personal with farm animals. “And we trust they will walk away with a new found love and respect for these much maligned animals as we do,” concluded Pam. Continue reading
Did you know?
It is believed that goats discovered coffee over 1000 years ago! Legend has it that a goat-herder by the name of Kaldi, discovered his goats ‘dancing’ after eating the berries of the coffee tree. After trying them too, he found himself more energetic and thus paved the way for coffee as we know it today.
Take part in our Fun Fact Friday by sharing this fact on your Facebook wall, print out the photo fact and display it prominently in your home or workplace, make this photo your profile picture or memorise each day’s fact and whisper it into the ear of a friend or loved one.
We will never know how Hilda found herself holed up in an inner suburbs pound but we are glad she made her way there when she did, for life on the run for a hen is no life at all. At the mercy of dogs, cats and foxes, with a constant stream of traffic passing her by and with nowhere safe to call home, one can imagine the relief Hilda felt when the words ‘Edgar’s Mission’ hit her ears. With a safe, straw lined house to sleep in at night, some new friends to happily scratch and dustbathe the day away with, with the finest selection of grains and greens on which to feast and with all of the love and kindness she could ever care for, it is safe to say that Hilda is one hen who has most certainly landed on her feet.
It was just over nine months ago that she rocked on into our world, however it is safe to say that in this time, life as she knows it has changed a whole lot for our Teeny Tiny Tina Turner. Breaking our hearts as one of the tiniest battery hens we have ever seen, it was during our rescue on the 8th of June 2013 that we first ever laid eyes on her. Thin, featherless and frail in appearance, it was with gentle hands that we tenderly lifted this dear soul from within the cage which had confined her for 18 long months. However what we never expected was her feisty fight for life, her beak which pecked away at the hands that cradled her and her voice that shrieked and left our ears almost ringing. But it was exactly this spunk and obvious desire to live that so endeared her to us and saw her stamp firm her place in our hearts.
If you have been in the vicinity of a television of late you may have been fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of the latest heart-warming commercial from our friends at Animals Australia, which has brought the plight of battery hens into living rooms all around Australia with the thought- provoking phrase, “That ain’t no way to treat a lady”. The ad, featuring five of our nation’s much loved male comedians, is the newest addition to the world acclaimed Make It Possible campaign that is touching hearts all over and shedding new light on the creatures affected by factory farming in our country today. And while this is most certainly a cause close to our hearts here at Edgar’s Mission, this particular commercial is dear to us for another reason also. Our very own Little Miss Sunshine has been hailed as the breakout star of this campaign, charming her co-stars during filming and winning fans from all over the country as she causes her audience to pause and reflect upon how the daily choices we make dictate the way her kind will live.
And while you may believe Little Miss Sunshine’s journey toward becoming a television star began when we first received the call asking if we had a hen suitable for a commercial (did we ever!), the path to Little Miss Sunshine’s time in the spotlight was actually first paved over nine months ago when a battery hen farmer had a change of heart and made the difficult decision to exit the industry. You see, this man, who wished to secure a brighter future for all of his hens could never have known that one of those hens would then go on to be known by thousands of people around the globe. He could never have known that his one act of kindness would allow Little Miss Sunshine to touch so many hearts and perhaps cause others to think about the way we treat her kind. This reminds us that in life, sometimes we do not always directly see the results of our kind acts or good deeds, but that doesn’t mean they are not there. This incredible journey upon which Little Miss Sunshine has embarked not only reminds us all to always be kind but to choose our actions because they are the right thing to do, not because they are the ones that serve us the most.
And so, with a road trip that took her from a quiet country town, to the glitz and glamour of Sydney and everywhere in between, Little Miss Sunshine is one hen who has surely seen more than most. We are delighted to share with you today, her incredible journey to help ‘Make It Possible’. And while she may have begun her life as a battery hen, we are sure you’ll agree, there can be no doubt that our Little Miss Sunshine was born to be a star!
“Always cheerful and bright, Little Miss Sunshine tries to cheer up everyone around her and is everyone’s best friend.” These are the words penned by Roger Hargreaves to describe the ever- bubbly and jovial character, Little Miss Sunshine in his book of the same name from the popular children’s Mr Men and Little Miss series. However, these words could well have been written about our very own Little Miss Sunshine, for so true they have turned out to be. Little Miss Sunshine, our affable and inquisitive ambassador hen, has become such an integral part of the daily work of Edgar’s Mission in such an incredibly short amount of time that it is difficult to remember what life was like before she pitter-pattered her way into our world and straight into our hearts. But when we search back in our memories, it is one person’s single act of kindness only 9 months ago that left us forever changed and which turned out to be the defining moment in the life of a dear and gentle hen, who has already gone on to touch the lives of so many around the globe.
On the 8th of June 2013, a battery hen farmer had a change of heart. Seeing the creatures he kept confined within cages as living, feeling creatures rather than as ‘production units’ for the very first time, he realised he could go on drawing a profit from their suffering no longer as he made the difficult decision to exit the industry and find a better and far kinder way to feed his family. Exactly what it was that changed this man’s mind we will never know but perhaps, just perhaps it was Little Miss Sunshine herself, who peered into his eyes from within the confines of her cage and touched the very depths of his soul. And so, after receiving the farmer’s pleading call, the Edgar’s Mission Rescue Team swung into action in order to gently lift each and every one of his 1081 hens to safety, to provide them with their very first taste of freedom and to introduce them all to a life worth living.
Companion animals share the hearts and homes of many around the globe, and with around 63% of Australian households counting a pet or two into their fold we have one of the highest rates of doing so. Veterinary hospitals, clinics and teaching facilities span the length and breadth of our country, and they do so because Australians do care deeply about their beloved furred, feathered and finned friends and how animals are treated. On Sunday March 16th the University of Melbourne Veterinary Science and Hospital held its annual Open Day at its Werribee centre. Proud to be a part of this memorable day were the team from Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary, reminding one and all that while we may not traditionally consider ‘farm’ animals on the same plane as those we have labelled ‘pets’ no matter what shape an animal comes in they all are equally deserving of our compassion and kindness.
It has been said that “life is a journey and love is what makes that journey worthwhile” and we here at Edgar’s Mission know this is only too true. Happy we are to have been a part of the journey of so many rescued farmed animals, showering each new arrival with all the love and tender kindness they so richly deserve. On this day one year ago a tiny little heifer black calf came into our world. At that point in time we did not know we would be able to save her, but save we did. Her name is Buffy and today she frolics with her many buddies here at Edgar’s Mission. Buffy is a friendly and happy girl who loves scratches from her human friends. Happy Anniversary Buffy we love you very much.
A car races up the drive, an ashen faced occupant steps out, “Come quick,” they beckon and the craggy voice continues, “please save my sheep.” It was almost a week since the outbreak of bushfires in our area, the worst fires to hit Victoria since Black Saturday. Whilst the human toll thankfully from this fiery beast would be zero, livestock losses would be enormous. Over 12,000 sheep alone would perish with many more having to be euthanased on compassionate grounds; their injuries too horrific and painful for any creature to endure as their prospects of recovery were virtually zero. Forever we will be haunted by the images of burnt and blackened sheep, aimlessly teetering zombie- like about fenceless barren moonscapes of gloom, of faces so horrifically swollen, of eyes reduced to mere slits that refused to open and of farmers who had all but given up as bullets became the kindest option for their sheep.
The Big Bang Theory puts forth the idea that the universe is ever expanding. It sets out to explain that around 15 billion years ago a tiny super-hot and dense mass exploded and began expanding rapidly only to begin to cool, thus creating the stars and galaxies with which we are today familiar. So what does this have to do with our new friends Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Rajesh? Well this goaty quartet, whose ancestry traces back to Capra aegargus, the wild version of today’s goat, have their very own theory that comes with a bit of a bang -a theory of ever- expanding kindness. A theory that once you let animals like the endearing Leonard, the quirky Sheldon, the somewhat shy Howard and the handsome Rajesh into your heart, an all-consuming burst of kindness and justice takes hold. All four boys are oh so friendly, curious and endearing we are sure that once you too meet them you too will fall victim to their charms and become a devotee of their theory!
We here at Edgar’s Mission will too get a huge bang if we are able to find a special home for these adorable guys, as our present haven is currently stretched to the limit. If you think you have what it takes to offer life- long sanctuary for Leonard (he is one of the white goats with a little scar on his right cheek), Sheldon (the other white goat who is a bit of a thinker), Howard (the brownish fellow who likes to stand back and watch what is going on) and Rajesh (the dashing black goat), please complete our prospective adoption form, which you can find here. Continue reading
Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) is an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization. Not only are these guys legends of the sea but today they lent a hand to farm animals here at Edgar’s Mission. Thanks guys, you are LEGENDS!
Whilst the oft heard expression ‘needle in a haystack’ refers to something that is extremely hard to find, our Operation Needle in a Haystack saw ‘needles’ not of the metal variety but rather very sharp and determined grass seeds that had burrowed into the flesh of four abandoned sheep who were fortunate to find sanctuary at Edgar’s Mission. And while not that difficult to locate, these ‘needles’ were extremely stubborn and problematic to remove. It came to pass that our recently arrived woolly (read really really woolly) friends, Cher, Marcia, Marlow and Marvin carried an at first unseen tormentor, which only became apparent after their shearing. The long fleece and prickly scotch thistles that had burdened our ovine quartet for some time were to prove the least of their woes, not to mention they were much more easily dealt with. You see, two distinct types of grass seeds had inflicted a heavy blow; burrowing deep beneath their skin. It was either the seeds of the insidious Chilean needle grass/cork-screw grass or a much shorter unidentified grass seed that caused both pus and pain to the hapless sheep.
Campaign action of the month-please help the hidden animals in our world.
Our campaign action this month comes to you on behalf of our rooster friends.
Hyaluronan also known hyaluronic acid, hyuluronate or HA is a complex sugar molecule and is a major component of skin and tissue. The average 70kg person has about 15 grams of Hyaluronan in their body with around 1/3 being renewed every day. Hyaluronan has been found to; protect eyes during surgery, reduce inflammation and increase mobility in arthritic joints, prevent post-surgery scar tissue, assist in wound healing, aid in the reduction of skin wrinkles in humans by way of dermal fill, mark tumour progression and is increasingly being used in skin care products. Hyaluronan is sourced from bacteria, umbilical cords and rooster combs.
February saw an unprecedented number of roosters find sanctuary at Edgar’s Mission as eight of these handsome boys, all from different locations found their way to our farm gates. While their locations may have differed, their reasons for abandonment or surrender were the same – their gender. Whilst many times it is through tears of sadness that once cute, fluffy school hatching project chicks are offered up, other times it is not. Hapless roosters found wandering the streets soon find their way to shelters and pounds already full to the brim with unwanted cats and dogs. More often than not, sadly these boys face an early end as the prospects of rehoming them are known to be practically zero. How sad it is that gender seals one’s fate and that hearts become hardened simply because, ‘That’s the way it is’. But does it have to be this way? Continue reading
The sun shone brightly on Edgar’s Mission on Sunday February 9th, 2014 as our regular volunteer day swung into top gear. Our dedicated crew toiled away under hot and dusty conditions as paddocks were cleaned of manure, chicken houses were made spick and span and the incessant and oft times boring task of raking and removing every last skerrick of debris about the farm was undertaken. Little did we know my penchant for the latter was soon to be vindicated. As the afternoon continued on, our first whiff of trouble came when reports filtered through of a fast moving grassfire that had broken out less than forty kilometres to our south at Mickleham and was heading our way. We were to later learn the fire was the result of tree branches falling on power lines. With a well-earned rest beckoning volunteers to down tools and farewell their new found piggy friends, mixed reports were coming in that the Hume Freeway to Melbourne may be blocked. At this point in time we could barely see the distant smoke that was to soon threaten our lives.
Special guests at the Box Hill chapter of the Salvation Army earlier this month were Edgar’s Mission Founder and Director, Pam Ahern and animal ambassador extraordinaire Timmy Sheep, and the theme for the day was none the less than friendship. We thank one and all for this very special invitation and trust you had a much fun as we did!!
Its Competition Time again!! For your chance to win an Edgar’s Mission 2014 Calendar leave a comment with a funny caption below. Ash is being very cheeky Winner announced in February Trottings! Goodluck!
Dasher – motionless after dancing and prancing all weekend with his buddies. No vixens were they as speeding like comets charged with cupid’s arrows, donnarding those around them as they blitzened about the farm.
NB -(Donnard – Scottish word for astound)
International Women’s Day is recognised annually around the globe on March the 8th and today, two incredibly inspiring and influential Edgar’s Mission women made an enormous impact as guests of honour at the inaugural Melbourne Chicken Save rally held in the heart of the city in Bourke Street Mall. One of those women was Edgar’s Mission Founder and Director and tireless campaigner for a kinder world for all, Pam Ahern. Pam, as always, adeptly and passionately addressed Melbourne’s many commuters and Saturday shoppers as she appealed to the kindness of their hearts and encouraged one and all to pause and consider the treatment our society affords the creatures we label ‘food’ and how our own everyday choices allow this to occur. The other intelligent, confident and inspirational woman to take centre stage at the rally today was none other than Edgar’s Mission ambassador extraordinaire, rescued battery hen, Little Miss Sunshine. As Little Miss Sunshine wowed a crowd (some loyal fans and others somewhat caught by surprise to find themselves impressed by a chicken) with her repertoire of tricks, one couldn’t help but be moved by the way this gentle, fun loving creature whose life nobody was ever meant to know about, appeared to relish her time in the spotlight, as well as the many chin scratches and loving words she received as she gave a voice to the many millions of her kind who may never know sunshine or the kind touch of a human hand.
It is perhaps fitting that the official United Nations theme for International Women’s Day this year was ‘Inspiring Change’ for that is exactly what Pam and Little Miss Sunshine most certainly achieved today. And so, as International Women’s Day draws to a close we thank these two strong females for standing tall, for making us proud and for allowing us to believe that perhaps, just perhaps, we are well on our way to a kinder future after all.
Samson lost his strength when it was cut, Lady Godiva would have been in trouble without it and a Musical became famous because of it!
And today our sheepy friends, Mavis and Mildred said good riddance to it! Hair, that is. Whilst today’s sheep do not actually have hair, rather a luxurious fibre covers their body known as wool. But prior to their domestication thousands of years ago, sheep were covered in much less wool with many hair-like strands instead providing them protection from the elements. This they would naturally shed when the weather began to warm. However, through selective breeding over several generations, we humans have produced animals with more and more wool. So far removed are today’s sheep from their wild cousins that they are unable to survive for very long without humans to care for them. Whilst wool will not continue to grow at the same rate, slowing down as time wears on, it continues to grow nonetheless; unshorn sheep meet many challenges as a result of the burdensome fleece that greatly reduces their mobility whilst increasing their risk of flystrike and heat stress. But in an ironic twist., it was no doubt the heavy fleece Mavis and Mildred bore that provided them with a fire retardant protection from the recent bushfires they survived.
Every day we wake to a world of new beginnings. From the moment we throw back the bed sheets and plant our feet firmly on the floor we have an opportunity to change the world; for us, for animals and for the planet. Only days ago it was through our determined actions we changed the world for nine head of cattle, but these were no ordinary cattle for they had determined to change their world. Looking into the fiery death ball that was set to engulf them they did not see the end; they saw a new beginning and fled for their life. Finding sanctuary only a stone’s throw from Edgar’s Mission we were only too happy to help them create their new beginnings. Please enjoy these happy images as Phoenix, Ferdinand, Fifi, Fiona and Philomena meet the rest of our bovine clan.
And if you are touched by their stoic resolve to create a new beginning against all odds please ensure their legacy is this; make the most of each new day, ensure that it comes with kindness and mercy for all beings, that each and every decision you make is shrouded with compassion and justice and that every action you take is powered by courage and wisdom.
Wallan Circle of Friendship meets on Mondays at the Uniting Church, and today special guests were Edgar’s Mission Founder and Director, Pam Ahern and Animal Ambassador Extraordinaire, Timmy Sheep.
“I don’t know much about cattle, but I don’t think this little one should be out here all alone” said the kindly wildlife rescuer down the phone late Thursday night. And neither did we. Having spent several days traipsing across the fire grounds of Darraweit Guim, one of the worst affected areas in the recent bushfires that razed much of our community, a kindly wildlife rescuer and her fellow volunteer came across a lone black calf. Given the late hour and unlikely chance of finding his mother, if she even remained, we requested the rescuer check back in with us the next day when she returned to the area. Praying all the while the cheeky little one had simply wandered off and would have hooked back up with his anxious mother by then. But sadly that would not be the case.