Barnyard of Misfits
Above: Matilda, the beautiful old donkey originally rescued by Lavender Dreams Donkey Rescue when she was 18. She had been used as a brood jenny most of her life but wasn't be fed anything but straw - in a cold climate too. Her feet were a mess. Her sway back says it all. Now 20, anyone who meets Matilda can't stop talking about her eyes - her soul is so clear in her glance. We call her Mother Matilda and every May celebrate her nurturing.
While you can rest assured that each animal will be cared for, fed and vetted as necessary out of our own funds, we are happy when kind people want to slip us a little money to help defray the costs to maintain the barn animals we take on. Please note we are not a 501c.
There are two ways to donate:
1} At the Apifera Funding Site. which shows you how money is used through the year, including special needs.
2} Or, scroll down on this page to donate with Paypal
Below are some of the barn animals that now call Apifera their forever home - some arrive malnourished after being rescued by other organizations [Apifera has adopted from New Moon Goat Farm Rescue, Sanctuary One, and Lavender Dreams Donkey Rescue]. Some arrive here needing a place to have final hospice after previous months of neglect. We also take in wandering roosters, needy chickens when we can, bunnies just passing through.
Each donation, no matter how small, is greeted with the barnyard hoof stomp dance, usually led by me, or Wilbur the Acrobat Goat.
No gift is too small. $10 buys a bag of feed to help senior needs, and $35 pays for Matilda's hoof trims which are needed every 2 months. A ton of hay costs $120-$275/ton with Matilda requiring higher end hay and we go through about 10 tons a year. Then there are annual shots, wormings 4x year, vitamins, vet assisted teeth floatings when needed, miscellaneous meds and blood work. The farm also maintains a colony semi feral cats - all spayed and neutered by Katherine - that once totaled 25 and over the years has shrunk to about 12.
Above: Our first old goat arrived when he was 15 years old. His owners relinquished him to New Goat Rescue because their son had grown up and tired of him and the goat "kept coming to the porch". Like so many elders in our world, he was abandoned just when he needed them most. Very crippled from foot neglect, Old Man Guinnias lived to be 20. We were very bonded and in the end he was falling several times a day, unable to rise. I spent his final Sunday with him while I did barn chores, running to help him when needed. He was tired and I knew it was my turn to give him the gift of rest. I said everything I needed to that night, intending to call the vet in the morning. But he died in the night. He went out on his terms, and I truly believe he knew it was so hard for me to say good bye, so he slipped away so as not to bother me. I miss him every day.
Above: Professor Otis Littleberry was taken in with a herd of neglected pygmy goats. He was supposedly the goat of the neighbor, but he had no name. Lice ridden unkept a bit, he has since fattened up and is a charming fellow.
Above: Lofa, the little loaf of love! Lofa is the most bowlegged goat I know [this can often happen with malnourishment]. Lofa came with Raggedy Man and both were malnourished, bad feet, very thin - the usual. Soon after arriving, little Lofa took a turn for the worst and struggled through anemia, brought on by a recurance of parasites. We pulled him through and he is doing fine now - he is a real talker and avoids conflict, preferring to run to me for rubdowns.
Above: Raggedy Man arrived looking pretty darn raggedy! Hence the name. Raggedy is part Muppet and part lover. He is very enthralled with the Head Troll [aka, Frankie or Franklinia - she's a girl in other words]. He spends his night times with Lofa but they are quite independent during the day. Was very shy when he arrived since he'd been used as a buck and not touched much, but cookies and scritches helped.
Above: Granny arrived with Wilbur the Acrobatic Goat and was always very quiet and slight. She was never a real strong goat, and one day she took very ill. By the time I got the vet out, she was in a horrible state and we tubed her since it seemed like poison, but we never found anything it could have been. We had to euthanize her that day, as she had failed and was suffering greatly. Granny was born with bad teeth, and one stuck out. She was a sweet, gentle soul. I'm so sorry, Granny.
Above: Honey Boy was one special guy. He was a rambler. His whole life was basically spent with one owner who used him as a pack goat. And he really worked hard and was her lead goat. Her circumstances changed and after 10 years with him, she relinquished him to New Moon Goat Rescue. Sometimes I don't hear the whole story, but Honey Boy [he came with the name Lightening but I changed it as it scared the barnyard when I called out, "Lightening!"] arrived very malnourished, and unkept. He was magnificent. But I always felt he had a broken heat. He wanted to be with me, which made sense since he'd lived as a leader to one woman. He was very arthritic when he arrived. His attention to me was very sweet, but it made him pushy with the other goats, and he was very tall coming up to my waist, so this could be problematic with the old pygmies. But, he failed one day, just went down fast and I held him and stayed with him and got him to calm for his night time slumber. But in the morning, he was gone.The vet thinks it was just his time, as he'd worked hard his whole life packing.
Above: Wilbur, or Wilbur the Acrobatic Goat as I call him. Wilbur came to us from New Moon as a young three year old. At the time, I felt it would be nice to have a youngster around the elders. He is a sweet fellow, and is the only goat that can leap and romp, which is fun. He now spars with Raggedy Man over the Head Troll and Raggedy usually wins even though he's much shorter.He remains the youngest of all the goats.
Above: Priscilla is 19 now, or more. Her owner had a small farm but her husband died of cancer and she had to move to a smaller place. She asked her vet, who was one of my vets too, to find a home for the old goose and her charge of 6 ducks. Priscilla is the most elegant and beautiful creature I know. She falls some now, but she is the mother and herder of the ducks who are collectively known as The Bottomtums [if you know ducks, you will understand this name selection]. We built them their own mini pond complete with waterside cabin. They also love the rain and it is so fun to watch them in puddles.
Above: Rosie, my sweet and grumpy little pig! Rosie lived with an old woman, and the woman died. The Humane Society stepped in, and Rosie ended up being taken in by Sanctuary One. Rosie had a hard time making friends - she is pretty grumpy - but one of the rescued goats there took a liking to her. He just got up one night and began sleeping near Rosie. His name is Stevie and he is crippled. They are an odd couple, but what a pair. To this day they sleep near each other. Rosie has special needs for her skin and has her own annual Sunscreen Drive.
Above: And here is Stevie. This goat has the soul of an old Redwood. He is kind, strong but gentle, and gives little pecks or kisses on your face. He was a real hit at Pie Day giving out kisses. Stevie was part of a herd of 30 goats that were confiscated by the Humane Society due to horrible neglect. Some didn't survive, and Stevie had been crawling on his knees for so long he couldn't straighten his legs. An operation was performed so he could at least get off his knees and walk.
Above: This was a retired 500# sow from a local pig farm. She was their first breeding sow and rather than butcher her after she couldn't breed anymore, they wondered if I would take her. These were good pig farmers and they take great care of their animals. After about a year, I agreed to try knowing they'd take her back if it didn't work. After one month here, I had to return her to them. It was a hard decision, but the right one for the farm. She was very hard to contain and believe me, we tried - just go read the blog about her. I really liked Lucy and she and I had an agreement. She holds no grudge nor do I. But my misfits were in danger, I felt.
Above: I was minding my own business one day, driving to an appointment on a rural highway. It was raining and suddenly a wet fluff ball darted from the culvert across the road. A little kitten! Barely missed the oncoming semi. I pulled over and got out, thinking she was probably hiding at this point. But she sat very still on the side of the road and cried. She waited for me and I picked her up. She was 1# and very thin and wet. We felt she was 6 weeks old. Back home she slept a lot, and the Old One Eyed Pug was her nursemaid. She would sit with him and try to suckle him, it was so funny. To this day, she will snuggle with him. She is full grow at 5# and is one of only 3 cats who has indoor access - and sleeps on the bed.
Above: I named her Aunt Bea when she got here. She was one of a herd of pygmies, including Professor, who were confiscated for neglect. Bea was the worst, and the oldest at about 12 years old. She was a bone. But man, what a spirit she had. This was one of the saddest cases I've had. She became weaker very quickly after I got her from New Moon and the vet was here three times in one week. I was doing daily injections and all sots of things to try to get her red blood cell count up. Eventually she had no strength to even stand so i made her a sling to help keep her up to help her rumen. Eventually, her blood levels just got worse over the two week period. She had so many people pulling for her. This was a huge loss - she tried so hard.
Above, Rudy is 11 years old at this writing and very arthritic, but such a wonderful gentleman! He came here with his lifetime mate, Tasha T. Tudor. They had a wonderful home with their longtime owner who had them since they were kids, but her husband passed away and over time her circumstances changed. She was heartbroken, but made the right decision to let New Moon Goat Rescue find them a home, and I swept in.They were fed well and are on pain meds, and are fitting in wonderfully.
Above, Tasha, aged 12 when she arrived, came with the unusual name of "Teats" which the original breeder tagged her since she had incorrect number of teats so was unbreedable. The new owner just sort of got used to it and the name stuck. So I slightly adjusted it to Tasha Teats Tudor. Tasha is no push over even though she is small, and also arthritic. But so sweet! UPDATE: Sadly, due to her age and condition. Tasha Teats didn't make it. She struggled with her walking and balance, often casting herself, a dangerous thing especially for weak, older goats. She was not putting on weight well despite all our efforts. We had a real cold spell for a week or more and I think it just pushed her over the edge. She died with Rudy nearby and is buried with a lock of his hair.
Above, The Bottomtums, 6 ducks who were bonded with the Old Goose Priscilla. I had named each one, and Doris is the mother to the other three females and is quite old too, I'm told. But the others are hard to tell apart when they waddle around so I call them The Bottomtums - and if you've seen ducks move, you'll get the name. The ducks and goose lived with a nice couple, but he was dying of cancer and they had to leave the farm, and my vet intervened to re-home her beloved goose and ducks.
Above, Mama Kitty was here when we arrived, very feral. I never thought Mama would live this long after her life of having litter after litter. When we got here, there was a brand new litter in the hay barn. Three of those 5 cats are still with us. Then before I could trap here, she had an immediate litter again, and 3 of those are still with us. I was able to trap and spay all the litters and other strays in about a year, but it took two years to trap Mama. To this day, she won't let anyone too close, and I've only touched her nose. She is very bonded with Bog Tony, who was father to many of the original Apifera cats, and we don't know if they are lovers or siblings. She resides on the front deck at night with two of her offspring, Plum and Little Orange.
Above, Some of the semi ferals that reside at Apifera, which at one time numbered 25+ cats. All were trapped/spayed and neutered and the cost was defrayed by generous blog followers. It took almost two years to get the job done, and of course, there are always more strays that wander up to the barn - a place they've heard about from the wind for comfort and safety.
Above: These two very old and crippled lady goats, Gertie and Georgie, came to Apifera at the end of the their lives. Both were really crippled from foot neglect and didn't do much walking. They were only here 6 months or so when Georgie took ill and while she revived for a little bit, I could tell she was tired. She died during the night. Two weeks later, her lifetime friend died in my arms. They are buried together in the pumpkin patch.
Above: He had been used and abused as a roping donkey in Texas well into his senior years. Who knows what his living conditions were there. He was rescued by the Texas arm of Peaceful Valley and when he came to Apifera when he was 19. No blood panel had been done on him and if it had, it would have shown us how sick he was. He arrived with a swollen sheath which the rescue had had looked at a week earlier. No conclusions were drawn except it could have been an allergic reaction to a sting. When he arrived, I had my vet out to examine it. We took some precautions, but in the next couple days I had the vet again asking him to do blood work. I went to feed him that next morning and I knew he was failing, and suffering. He came and lay down by me, with his head in my lap. I called the vet immediately, and he had just received the blood work which showed us how sick he was - with kidney and liver levels, among other things, way out of function. Both my vets concurred it was from many years of nutrition and water neglect. He is buried in the donkey paddock and Martyn made a humble sitting spot there for me. I visit him all the time. While this old donkey might have had relationships with others in the past, he and I had a special time together, though short. He understands that I was there for him at the end.
Above: I was minding my own business at the feed store when I well dressed man came in and sat a box down on the counter. I was about to leave after paying when the girls at the front desk - who all know me- asked the man what was in the box. It was a chicken, his little daughter's chicken, and the chicken had to go, but he didn't want to butcher it. it kept getting out and into the neighbor's garden or something. He seemed embarrassed. I ask to see the chicken, and she was a beautiful Astrolorp. "I'll take her," and with that, I came home with my feed supplies, and a new chicken. I named her Henrietta and she is the friendliest hen ad follows me around.
Above: Lyndon Baines, a wonderful rooster who I met one day as I was out riding Boone. Lyndon came rushing out of the bramble in a remote area. I knew someone had dumped him, so I returned later with car and feed to entice him. He was still there, but i couldn't catch him. SO I said, "Look, Apifera is a mile or so that a way you are welcome to come and stay with us." And I drove back home thinking that poor rooster was coyote food, but that is life sometimes. Two weeks later or so, I was doing chores and who comes strutting out of the old barn, but that darn rooster. I named him Lyndon Baines and he made no trouble, but I had him sleep away from Papa Roo and the hens since it can cause trouble when an adult comes on board versus a chick rooster. I regret this. Lyndon was with us about 6 months and he had many hiding places, but one day I didn't see him and days turned to weeks. I eventually found his bones sucked dry and his beautiful wing span still intact. Raccoon.
Above: I brought Paco home, with Frankie, the Head Troll, from an overcrowded situation where he was running with many Jack donkeys and other animals, competing for food and everything else. When I got him home, he had very bad attitude about everything and was defiant and very headstrong. The farrier couldn't work with him. I worked with Paco for a long time to try to settle him and teach him basics and there were many days I was ready to give up and admit defeat. I am so glad I didn't. Paco was just unconfident and needed care and patience, and consistent work, to become the little poet he is today. He still wants to make sure he gets petted if everyone else does, but the farrier can now work with him alone, i can clean his feet and do regular tasks. And he loves pie Day and even lies down for the guests, if he feels like it.
Above: She has many names. Arriving here with Paco the donkey, she had the name Tazmanian Dirt Devil - very fitting. But I changed her name to Franklinia knowing she had to go by Frankie, she was a tomboy at heart. Frankie's real calling became evident with each new arrival. She became not so much a leader, as a boss, a guard with the keys to the safe. She wasn't mean, but she was to be first in line, first out, first at everything. Rather than fight this, I named her The Head Troll and to this day she is in charge of the barnyard. She is entering her senior years, but doesn't show it.
Above: Elberta Peach. I was at the vet one day buying meds, and a very grumpy woman walked in and announced she had a cat in the car, in a trap, and she wasn't going home with it. But the clinic was full to the brim of animals, they said. She repeated several times she was not taking the cat home because she was sick of it pooping on her front porch. She hadn't tried asking the neighbors about her because they didn't talk to her [no wonder]. We all kind of knew what her next plan was. So I said I'd take her, thinking I could introduce her to the barn colony. The vet took the cat and it was panting, and had obviously been in the trap for some time, without food or water - and in a very hot period of the summer. So they were good enough to hold her for a week to make sure she made it, and then I brought her home. She obviously had been a pet, and no one came forth to claim her. But she now has indoor/outdoor privileges at the house.
Above: Mama Sugee. Sugee is thought to be around forty! She is horribly thin and we have her on senior food twice a day plus Cushing meds. The rest of her story is graphic- a dog chewed her ears off, and when the vet arrived the best thing to do was to take the entire ears off. She is pretty much blind so needs assistance in new areas. She will need a teeth float as she drops her hay. She manages to keep the grain down. Sugee is the mother to the elder Wilma and you'd never know it. Very different personalities, and Sugee was obviously losing her feed to chubby Wilma! Sugee stills trust, even is okay when the dogs are in the front yard. She likes to be held and is very easy to work with. We don't know how long Sugee will be with us, but I hope to give her the best in her last months or years of life.
Above: Wilma. Wilma is the daughter of Mama Sugee and is thought to be in her thirties. When the vet took charge of her, her toes were very long and we are still trying to get them into shape. Her foot neglect has caused her to be arthritic and wobbly as a walker. She is very overweight, and was getting plenty of hay.
Wilma needs some tendering. She knows the command 'whoa' but needs to learn that being held, touched and groom is pleasant. We have her on daily pain meds which probably will be life long.
As new Misfits arrive, I will add them here.
Thank you for any amount you might share with us.
Either way, the animals are cared for and loved.