Getting upclose and personal
It takes so many people to run a sanctuary - from the dedicated staff to the army of volunteers, not to mention all of the experts we rely on for professional help like our team of veterinarians, horticultural specialists for our garden and orchard and expert tradespeople like carpenters, electricians and plumbers. It take a village and we are all working towards the same goal - to provide the safest, most comfortable home for our residents.
In past editions of our HEEFS newsletter, we've introduced you to the animals who live here in our feature called, "Get to know...". Starting with this issue, we'd like to give you an upclose look at what it takes to care for each of our residents in our new section, "A day in the life of...." We're going to start with one of our more recent rescues - Dolly. You can still find bios on all of our residents at www.happilyeveresther.ca.
A day in the life of...Dolly!
Morning comes early for our Dolly! She's up and about around 6:30 am and looking for breakfast - the first of her two daily meals. Being a "meat bird", Dolly has been bred to eat all the time in order to gain weight rapidly. The same is true for our pigs and for Nancy, one of our chickens. For this reason, Dolly, Nancy and the pigs are the only animals at HEEFS that are not free-fed but, instead, are on a special diet to maintain their weight. If left to free-feed, these residents would continually eat and gain a lot of weight affecting their health and their quality of life.
Breakfast is served!
Dolly's two daily meals consist of 1/3 cup of moistened chicken pellets with some greens (lettuce/kale) mixed in. Throughout the day, Dolly will get snacks of her favourite treats including watermelon, cucumber and assorted greens.On this diet, which supplies her full daily energy and nutritional needs, Dolly has managed to lose over 10 pounds since arriving at HEEFS. This has greatly improved her ability to walk, and to play with her best friend, Nancy.
Out for a stroll...and a little barnyard gossip
Dolly's best friend is Nancy. They bonded almost immediately after Dolly arrived at HEEFS and the two are rarely found very far apart.
At the moment, Dolly is healing from a bumblefoot surgery, so her feet have to stay dry and bandaged. But on a typical day, after enjoying her breakfast, Dolly likes to walk around for a few hours and explore with Nancy. They often end up on long walks around Bunnytown, but because of her recent surgery, Dolly now has to come back every few hours to have her bandages changed. Of course, until her foot is completely healed, if it it's raining or the ground is very wet, Dolly will stay in her stall with Nancy to keep her company. During heat waves we also keep Dolly in a stall with a fan to keep her cool - and, of course, her best friend, Nancy, is always by her side.
After dinner has been served, Dolly is given her daily dose of anti-inflammatory medications and then it's time to settle in the for the night in the comfy stall she shares with Nancy.
Our first ever PRIDE Parade float!
What a day! We had over 80 people come out to the 2018 PRIDE Toronto Parade to march alongside our first ever float! It was an amazing day and a great way to showcase to the world our message of kindness and compassion for all!
Unlike a lot of volunteers who are introduced to HEEFS through social media, Nigel came to us through a very special connection - his wife, Krista, who is currently the President of the Board of Directors for Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary. But the introductions took place long before HEEFS was even a dream. Back when Steve and Derek still lived in Georgetown, Nigel and Krista visited them and a solid friendship soon developed.
In the early days of HEEFS, Nigel was the farm handyman - tearing down old, unwanted structures on the property, building decks, repairing whatever was falling apart and even making barn doors and enhancing the chicken coop. Whatever needed to be done, Nigel was there to do it.
As HEEFS became a reality, a new, updated and more professional website was needed. Being a graphic designer by training, Nigel was the perfect person to create happilyeveresther.ca and our on-line store and he still maintains and updates the site, as needed. When a special fundraiser, such as The Esther Scanner, needs a website, it's always Nigel that we call!
We asked Nigel what he gets out of volunteering his time and talents to HEEFS, and he offered this: "Despite having been a vegan for the past 12 years, I had little direct experience with farmed animals," Nigel told us. "No matter how much I thought I knew, interacting with the residents of HEEFS gives me additional insight into their remarkable uniqueness and personalities."
Being so closely involved with HEEFS since the beginning, and even before that, inspired Nigel to start his own organization, www.egg-truth.com. The goals of this organization is to educate the pubic about the plight of farmed animals - and in particular, egg-laying hens. "It's a great feeling to know that I am contributing to something more important than myself." We are so fortunate to have Nigel as part of the HEEFS team of volunteers!
Want to volunteer at HEEFS?
If you're not sure about committing to a regular volunteer schedule, you can always come out for one of our volunteer workdays and give it a try! Check out our volunteer workday schedule.
Hey it forward...in style!
Hay it forward bracelet!
Our Hay it Forward bracelets are each one-of-a-kind and made with love by some of our amazing volunteers using the twine from the bales of hay in our barn.
You can purchase the bracelet on it's own and, included in your purchase, will be the donation of one bale of hay for our barn...Or we'll send you a Hay it Forward bracelet for free when you donate 12 bales of hay to HEEFS!Also...you can get the Hay it Forward bracelet with the donation 12 bales of straw!
Try this today!
CHOCOLATE CHIP GRANOLA BITES
Makes 12 bite size balls
3/4 cup (180 ml) rolled oats
2/3 cup (160 ml) shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup (125 ml) cooked quinoa*
1/2 cup (125 ml) mini dairy free chocolate chips
1/4 cup (60 ml) almond or peanut butter
1/4 cup (60 ml) ground flax seeds or chia seeds
1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) sea salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with your hands until it becomes very sticky. Form small balls and store in the fridge.
*If you don’t have any cooked quinoa handy its fast and easy to make. Rinse 1/2 cup (125ml) dry quinoa and add it to 1 cup (250ml) water in a medium sized pot, covering the pot with a lid. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to low heat to simmer for approx. 15-18 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. This will make more than you need for this recipe so carefully measure out 1/2 cup (125ml) after allowing the quinoa to cool.
Find more delicious recipes at Esther's Kitchen
Gone but forever in our heart
Please visit our In Memoriam page on the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary website. On this page we will forever remember and honour the amazing residents whose time at HEEFS has passed.