Wanderosa Farm

A farm dedicated to helping animals…..


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Pig Tales

I set myself the task to tell you the story of each of the animals but I just can’t get motivated to do it.  I started writing about Noodle and Penguin but it just isn’t flowing.  Instead let me tell you about the babies who are six months old this month.  How time flies.

The farm has been ticking along nicely and we are watching the four baby pigs grow up and become individuals. They are a joy to hang out with but sometimes they are a bit naughty.  Each weekend we walk them around the farm which gives them some good exercise (me too) and also time to socialise with Gunther. They love these walks, and I get to spend time just watching and interacting with them it such a change from what I do during the week.

Oh if you don’t remember the boys, please indulge me as I explain their uniqueness. They are mostly black however they do have distinguishing marks let us go through them:

  • Boss Hog is the biggest of the babies and always has been.  He has a large white diamond on his nose and four white socks and a white edge to his tail;
  • Spats, has four white socks and a small white spot on his nose 18789276_10211743663843026_268932754_o.jpgand white end to his tail.  Spats also has an umbilical hernia that doesn’t seem to bother him yet;
  • Ninja, is completely black from head to the toe and has a stub for a tail (the others bit it off when they were babies);
  • Babe the runt has grey socks and a small heart spot on18817794_10211743663203010_1577105300_o.jpg his nose and his tail is all black.

Each one of them has a different way to interact with us.  I will tell you about them later but now it’s back to the magic of walking the babies.

It’s really cool to hang out with them and just enjoy the beautiful weather we are having at the moment (I’m not so sure winter in Wandering will be as much fun to walk them, it can get down below zero here some mornings).  Farmer Dirk and I wander along until we find a tree to sit on and the boys run around until they find the perfect spot to root out some onion grass or they start challenging each other or pig circle work.  When they get hot we move to a muddy spot so they can refresh DSCF1370themselves.  Then it seems the game is to attempt to get us covered in as much mud possible.  If you are standing up they will also try to use you as a scratch post to get the mud right in the hard to reach spots.  If you come and visit us don’t wear good clothes, I never stay clean for long on the farm I’m usually covered in mud or something after one of these walks but I really don’t mind it makes me feel like a kid again.

It’s not all roses at Wanderosa Farm there have been some injuries on these walks and it normally involves Babe the smallest pig challenging the biggest pig.  I’m not sure what the point of these battles are but I can only guess it to become head pig, supreme ruler of all that you can survey, or something like that.

To put it into perspective Babe weighs maybe 40 kilograms at the moment, Gunther on the other hand is about 200 kilograms.  Now Babe obviously hasn’t been to a math’s class but even so,  he only comes up to the bottom of G’s shoulder but does that stop him?  Nope!  He sizes Gunther up, then makes a little sideward dance move, head down with some mouth slapping (I can only assume this is pig smack talk that goes something like this:  “Come on Fat boy I’ll take you down, you think you can win big boy”) and then the fight starts.  A thwack of their heads is the first stage of the battle sometimes you can hear the clunk (at this point Farmer Dirk and I wince) if its a good shot Babe can be seen flying through the air.

If that’s not enough for Babe he makes a second attempt with more sideward dance moves now the hackles come up on him (remember the movie Razorback)  and an added extra is mouth frothing.  With this great display of power and strength Gunther just circles around him and I’m sure he is saying “Would you look at this little punk I can’t believe him thinks he can win”.  Then it’s another bash together, really it hurts to watch!

The next stage is both get their heads up and they dance around one another with more pig smack talk happening from both of them until Gunther maneuvers himself in the right (or in our opinion wrong) spot.  With a whaDSCF1297ck of Gunther’s head poor Babe comes in contact with the big boys tusks.  One side of Gunther his tusk is smaller and doesn’t do much damage however the other side well it can do some damage.  Most times this means the fight is over and we get the chance to distract them and march them back to the shed to get medical supplies.  All the while Mum and Dad talking about how we can sort this out.

Now don’t get me wrong we don’t just let these fights starts we can been seen attempting a number of diversion tactics while these challenges for supreme pig take place (food shaking, strange noises and walking away loudly are just some that have been tried). Sometimes we win sometimes we don’t, other days they are just happy to hang out together.

To add more excitement on these lovely calm walks the horses if they are nearby like to get involved.  They mosey on over and investigate what we are all doing.  Once the pigs are spotted a mixture of curiosity and fear washes over their faces.  They edge closure until the babies see them and that is when the fun really begins.  As the babies run up to the horses who get scared and start to turn so they can kick meanwhile the babies are doing zoomies.  A couple of the boys have been kicked so they now know not to get too close.  When the boys start to back off  the horses become brave again and move closer to the pigs.  So the dance goes on until the piglets get bored and run off.

When we are ready to head back we turn towards the farm-house and the boys know what is about to happen they start to run back as they like to get ahead of us so they can spend some time cleaning out Gunther’s pen.  Who knew pigs like to house clean but they do.  Once house cleaning is finished they are ready to go through the farm gate now we want them to go quickly into their pen.  If they aren’t tired they run pass their pen and it’s off to the chook house for some Viking like mayhem.  Here it’s like heaven for them as they attempt to eat all the chook feed or poo or both, that is until Farmer Dirk comes to chuck them out.  Which is getting a little difficult now the pigs are big and controlling four them is  even more difficult as he gets one out the other three are still in their going for it.  I’m normally dawdling along so am not much help at all.  Once I make an appearance my job is to go and get more food to rattle but it has to be more exciting than what they can find else why you would bother moving?  Meanwhile the chickens are going crazy as they watch a marauding horde of hungry beast eat all of their food and wreck their house.

We have learnt from this and now have a little trick up our sleeves Farmer Dirk puts pellets in their pen so when they return from a walk they know that a little snack is waiting for them so we get a three-minute window to close the pen to stop them going into the chicken house.  As they get bigger and faster our window of opportunity will get shorter.

After a walk they spend the afternoon napping and we take the opportunity to make lunch, (if I’m lucky a nana nap) de-stress and play with the dogs.

Oh I was going to talk about their personalities now is a good time to write about those now so here goes:

  • Boss Hog we thought he would be the leader of the pack (do you call a bunch of pigs a pack, leave me a comment if you know the right term) but really he is a big DSCF1356smooch after a feed he likes to come over and get a belly rub.  He has taken to doing unspeakable things to Gunther but I won’t go into that.  Let’s just say he is a lover not a hater.
  • Spats is the middle child we really didn’t know what his personality was like for quite a while he kept to himself but now he is one of the first to drop in front of you to get his belly rubbed.   He doesn’t make waves with the pack and just seems to do his own thing and get along with everybody.
  • Ninja is the naughty one he is the first to test things out, if you put them in a new pen he is the first to work out how to get out.  He showed the others how to stand up on the garden bed to eat all that is within reach.  He has started to challenge Farmer Dirk as “head pig”, this should get more interesting as time goes by; he has challenged Gunther also but seems to understand he can’t win that battle.
  • Babe when we first got him he was quite sick and was given some extra attention to get him through it.   Being much smaller he was often pushed out-of-the-way around meal times to make sure he got his fair share we would call him over to give him an extra treat or two.  He still remembers this so when food is put into the pen he has a look around to see what has been dropped in but will then come over to see if you have something special for him.   He also is a smooch with us and is easy to get to drop for a belly rub as long as the food is all gone. As I have said before he is a little pig that wants to be a big pig.

We just love them to bits and are so grateful that they are happy and healthy; they are going to have an appointment with the vet soon to be neutered.  I’m sure we won’t be the most favourite people in their life when that happens but it will hopefully stop the challenging behavior and calm down Boss Hogs romance with Gunther.

babes1

look how little they used to be OMG

I hope you enjoyed this post let me know what you think of it in the comments below.  If you did like the post then please like subscribe and share.  Next I think we will write about the horses.  We have three new ones and I would love to share with you how they are going and settling in at Wanderosa farm.


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Big Personalities

Having the privilege to look after the animals that have come to our farm is something that blows me away on a daily basis to know if it wasn’t for the sanctuary these animals would be dead and potentially on a plate. They are often wary of us at first and not sure what we want of them. Which is totally understandable after spending hours in a car or truck they turn up in a strange place and with strange people,  they are unloaded and left.  It takes them a while to adjust to the new surroundings, then over time they start to trust us and their personalities start to unfold.  It would be fantastic if we could really communicate with them; I mean have a conversation really find out what is on their mind or even just to reassure them that we don’t want anything from then other than them to be happy and healthy.

I thought for the next few posts I would like to tell you about each of the animals that have found their way to Wanderosa Animal Sanctuary and my observation of their personalities and what makes them unique in every way.

 Let’s start with the first two Roosters I rescued from the side of the road Rex and Wilber click here if you would like to read that post.  Rex is a beautiful looking bird speckled brown and lovely tail feathers, he possesses a fantastic singing voice that has me concerned when we start running retreats, but I digress.  In his care are three girls which he looks after in a very protective manner often not letting them out of the hen house to enjoy themselves so he can keep them safe.  

He doesn’t like me after my knee operation when I was on crutches he just had an instant dislike to me from that point onwards and didn’t go back to being pals after I ditched the crutches.  Now every time I go near the hen house he challenges me to a fight and is quite happy to attack. I have tried to tell him if it wasn’t for me he wouldn’t be here but this doesn’t seem to matter much to him so if Dirk isn’t around I go armed with food to throw at one end of their enclosure so I can do what I need to do.  I guess you can’t be friends with everyone.

 Wilber is a very big boy who stands with his chest out ready to take on the world; he is a stunning white bird  who gets very excited when you give him a tasty treat often so excited that someone else steals it as he is busy telling the world he has a treat.  He has one hen to call his own but he would like more. His style of hen management is a little more liberal, his girl is allowed out but he keeps an eye on her often at a distance while he is on an adventure. He would like to steal Rex’s three girls and when he gets out of his enclosure he is off to Rex’s place to do the dance of domination.   He makes a nuisance of himself strutting up and down showing of his best features and a little sideways three step routine.  The Rex’s girls don’t encourage him that I know of, but that doesn’t seem to deter Wilber he is forever hopeful he will make his flock bigger.  

The two boys have been known to really go at it if they get the opportunity and blood has been shed so we often find ourselves running interference so that this doesn’t happen again we use a number of tactics to stop a fight, my goto move is loud noises we also ask Flash to herd Wilber away from Rex, which he is always happy to do. 

Wilber would also like to have Noodle in his flock but she isn’t interested in him at all.  Schedules are in place so that the birds get some free range time without clashing this does take some organisation but Dirk manages this really well.

The next resident I’d like to introduce you it is of course Gunther the pig. When he first came to us from a family that could no longer take care of such a big pig apparently he is a mini that out grew that status.  Why do people believe this is beyond me if you haven’t read his rescue blog post please do.   He did not like to be touched by either of us and  was very wary of us.  It took months for him to warm up to us and even now I don’t think he really believes we don’t want anything from him.  It would be really cool if animals could tell you what their life was like before they came to us, I know he was loved and I’m sure he misses his humans.

We really weren’t sure if he would ever like us or even trust us.  Slowly this year he started to take to us; he let us scratch his back and was happy to get his belly rubbed.  He is gentler with me than Dirk so on the weekends I try to spend some quality time with him. I like to go walking with him around the farm you can often find me down the middle of the paddock with a pocket full of potatoes finding the best wallow spots for him.  What I have noticed is he really is a small fearful pig in a big body, he makes sure he is aware of what is going one around him and if he thinks he is under threat he makes a grunt sound that comes from the middle of his chest and his off.  Often this happens when I’m just out of sight and he thunders towards me and I hope with all of my heart that he stops in time.  

Some days when we let him out of his night pen he is grumpy with the world and its best to leave him to his own devices, then other times he want to hang out with us down at the day spa (dam) and get treats and belly scratches.  When you feed him his whole focus is on his dinner but once he has finished he makes this sweet little sound that is him asking if there is any more food.  

dayspaThen other days he is full of mischief and from the moment he is out of his den it’s all hands on deck because he is going to wreak havoc and the team (me and Dirk) go into get Gunther some food and move him on. Shoe boxes, hen houses, the above ground pool and (his all time favourite) pavers have all felt his wroth.  He knows we are inside the house and just wants to visit but his idea of a visit and mine are very different.   I’m not so keen to have him in my nice new house, the other thing is I’m sure we would not be able to get him out of the pantry until it was empty.  He is a lovely young man who really doesn’t know what it means to be a pig so we are giving him space to learn what it means to be a free range pig.

I realise that everyone on is on their own journey in life but I do wish that the world would be more compassionate to animals and see them as individuals that have a right to a free life just as we should have.  The realization that there is no difference between a dog or a cow being killed to be eaten and that the injustice is the same.  I wonder how long it will be for this light bulb to go off in more people.  I know our journey to this point in time has taken a while to get here but gosh I wish we worked this out so much sooner than we did.

Next install will be about a couple of plucky hens and the four piglets that have amazed us and brought so much joy into our life I hope you will come back and read the next installment.  Have a great day and be kind to yourself and the animals.


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Did someone say horses

We are currently on a savings drive to get Gunther a crush so we can have him neutered then the girl piggy that is waiting to come to Wanderosa farm can come and live with us.  However nothing ever runs to plan around here really.  I was looking at the pages I have subscribed to in Facebook and came across a post of some horses that needed a home.  The was a lot that needed a home so I thought if we got a couple they could keep each other company  the bonus would be they could eat all of the lovely grass we have in the paddocks around here.

Before speaking with Dirk, I posted that we could take a couple at Wanderosa and the lady said when could they could deliver and where are we; so I set up a group chat that included Dirk and we sorted out the details.  I said to Dirk that I was giving him some horses for his birthday; when he was a kid they lived on a farm and he had a couple of horses so he was pretty happy with the whole idea.  We each had expectations in our minds of what it would be like to have these two ex-paces come and live with us.

We talked about fences that would need to be built to keep them out of the garden beds and also the pigs need a new enclosure for when they all live together.  With this in mind Dirk set off to Maddington to buy fencing equipment and I wondered how we would manage to pay for all of this.  I should stop looking at animal pages as I just can’t say no to help them.  It will all work out I’m sure.

Over the next couple of days we spoke over messenger to the lady that was organizing the rehoming of the horses; we talked about the sex, health and condition  and when delivery was likely.  After a couple of false starts a delivery for Friday was locked in.  When I got the call at work that they would be there in three hours, I dropped tools and raced to the farm to await the arrival. I beat the horses to the farm and Dirk met me with a bucket of carrots. We both had expectations that they would be taken from the float we would give them some carrots and a pat and bond with them.

This of course was not how it went down, the man got them off the float and as they towered over me he said how calm and stress free they are, which did look to be true.  He said that they were boys that didn’t have names but their mother was Mrs. Jeffries and they were 5 and 4 respective.  It’s pretty sad that you could get to be 5 and 4 and nobody has taken the time to name them, but I guess in an industry that only wants winners there probably is no time for things like that.

I handed the smaller of the two a carrot he looked down at me like I had just handed him a small alien that he didn’t know what to do with and definitely not be putting into his mouth.  So I stood there awkwardly waving the carrot around feeling like a complete idiot wondering what I had got us into. We were then told they had never eaten a carrot or apple before, so much for treats then to win them over.  Really how can this be?

He then took off both halters and said to me ,”Here you go you can have this one just encase you need it.”   The horses looked at us, and then walked away before we had a chance to even pat them.  They saw the pig pen just at that moment the man said they have never seen a pig before. Gunther moved they shat themselves and took off past the house, water tank and away they went.  So much for bonding I wondered how they would find their way back to the water tank we had installed for them.  Dirk said don’t worry they can smell water it will be fine.

That definitely wasn’t how we had planned it.

Saturday was hot, I mean really hot, the kind of hot that hurts when you breathe it  in. About mid morning we decided that we should try to get the horses to the water tank as we had sorted out everybody else.  Off we set in the Landrover around the fire break; we had gone about 1.5 kilometers around the farm when Dirk said, “Gunther is following us.” to which I replied, “WHAT!!!”  We stopped the truck and sure enough the 100 or so kilogram pig had gotten out of his paddock and decided he would follow us.    As he came towards us he sounded like I do if I ever do any cardio.  We needed to take him back and the only way was the way we had come getting him the truck was out of the question. So we jumped back in the truck did a U-turn and slowly made our way back hoping he would be okay.  A little while into this I decided that I would walk with him, it seemed mean to make him trot behind the car.  I asked Dirk to go get him some water as he seemed to be struggling a bit.

Dirk left to get the water as I walk with Gunther, I encouraged him like personal trainers have encouraged me in the past we wandered from shade to shade spot I wasn’t sure if he would make it back to his paddock or not.   I talked to him about his life choices and how this wasn’t a wise one.  When Dirk returned back to us he watered Gunther down using a watering can and gave him a drink using a container the size of a cat litter tray. No sooner it was on the ground Gunther tried to wallow in it.  Again bad choices were being made by this pig.

I said to Dirk we needed more water so off he went to get more water, he is a good man.  I let Gunther rest a little but when he stood up we started on a slower walk towards home, he was not happy.   Time seemed to go slow to a crawl  but I’m sure Dirk was only gone for 10 minutes or so.. We had made our way to a part of the fire break that doesn’t have any shade, Gunther was struggling and I was using all my skills as a life coach (I’m not really a life coach) to get him to continue his epic journey. A ocassional apple made this easier.  It’s very interesting what I carry in my pockets these days.   Dirk in his brilliance he had brought Gunther a towel that was wet we placed it on his back like a cape, if only now he could fly.

Right at this moment we looked at each other and I think it was me that said “I hope none of our neighbours drive by or they will think we have gone mad.”    They probably already do but that’s a completely different story.

As Gunther sucked on the end of the watering can quenching his thirst, Dirk said for me to walk him through the middle of the paddock to get back to his home paddock.Wandering Pig  Which is all well and good but the grass is as high as I’m tall. (Now that’s really not that high but still not happy!)  Never mind this intrepid adventurer was prepared with steel cap boots and jeans and a straw hat nothing could go wrong.  So with and encouraging word to Gunther I headed off into the grass, he followed along about three paces behind me which is kind of freaky as I that day I had the horror movie Razor Back running through my mind, but anyway my imagination does run away with me.  To my defence he does walk so quietly through the grass compared to my stomping around in steel caps.

In the middle of this paddock is a salt patch which is very boggy, one time a truck with two trailers filled with sand got bogged.  The driver who knows the area thought he would take a short cut well eight hours later we got him out but not all the sand.  Gunther saw this patch of lovely boggy ground and dropped and rolled like he was on fire.  I thought I would help him out and grabbed great clumps of mud and smeared them on the parts he just can’t get himself.  Not not there!  A little triangle on his back and behind his ears.   I left him there and waited for him to come in for a drink.

Oh right back to the horses we needed to get them to water. During all this time the horses had not moved from a large tree that was providing them shade they must have been thirsty.  We got a 20 litre container and an old esky and decided that we would take them some water because we didn’t think we would have much success at catching them.

Back in the truck and making sure that the marathon pig wasn’t coming we set off on mission “Get horses some water”.   We got close to the tree they moved away so we took the esky out and Dirk made a dramatic show of pouring water into to it making sure that they heard.  We backed away and the two boys came suspiciously up to the esky once they had worked out it was safe they hoovered up the water in a matter of seconds.  We had also put some Kool and Kind down and they really like those, this we could use to our advantage.  We congratulated ourselves on a small success but wondered how we would get them to come up to the tank.

I message the people we got them from asking what we should do and all she said was they can smell water they are probably sneaking up to the tank and we hadn’t noticed.  We checked,  no hoof prints I wondered if they were they were using ninja techniques to get to it.

Sunday was going to be even hotter so we discussed ways to entice them to take a look at the water tank and decided that the method we were using would just have to do so we took the esky and water a little further away from the horses but closer to the tank.  The horses watch our dramatic pour but didn’t come any closer  we left a pile of food also, so we let them too it and got on to making sure that all the other animals would survive the day.  Gunther was made a pen that encompassed the dam and I dubbed it Gunther’s Day Spa as he still has his pen in the other paddock.  Little pigs wallow and pool filled, chickens given extra water and watermelon distributed the heat of the day to help keep everyone cool.  A total fire ban was issued so we couldn’t use the truck to check on the horses until it was lifted at 5:30pm so we waited out the heat in the house hoping that everybody would be okay.

While contemplating my navel in the heat of the day I thought we should hook up the trailer to the truck and put the esky in the back with me holding it like some hero and we would drive up to the water tank with the horses following behind and saving the day.  Dirk only half listen to my brilliant plan and agreed that we should put the trailer on the truck and see if they would follow.  More water was collected and we drove to the spot we had drop the esky in the morning and nothing was touch those poor things hadn’t had a drop to drink all day.  We placed the esky and food in the trailer and hoped back in to go over to them.

They were certainly interested in us when we stop near them.  They immediately came up and investigated the truck and trailer saw the water and made a bee line for it.  In a couple of seconds 20 litres was gone.  They had a bit of a nibble on the food.  Dirk poured in the container of water and before we had hoped back into the truck most of it was gone.  But not to be deterred we drove of slowly they followed us for a while but lost interested.  This was going to take bloody forever to get these horses to water.  I thought this was supposed to be the easy bit.

As we discussed our next more Dirk thought that if he parked the truck and trailer near the tank the horses would be able to see it from a distance and might be inquisitive enough to come and check it out and maybe work out that the tank next to the truck had in fact water in it.  Not just some beige art installation in the paddock.drinking

Monday morning I leave at 6am to drive into the city to go to work for the week, not my most favourite time of the week but you have to do it to pay the bills so it is what it is.   I normally call Dirk using my hands free just as I get into the city to say that I arrived okay and no animals attempted to kill themselves by diving under my car, he told me that the horses had in fact worked out that the beige tank held water and they could come up and drink it at any time.  Hallelujah!

It’s funny how a small thing can make you so happy.  Now we could start to get to know the horses and them us.


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Rhythm of the farm

feeding timeThe rhythm of farm life is so good for the soul I think; the routine revolves around three feeds a day.  Veggies are chopped, hay is delivered, water is checked and pens are cleaned.  It’s nice to see that animals are happy to see you, I know they see the food first and not us, however watching them eat is almost mediation until you remember there are more mouths to feed so you move on.

Once feeding is completed then you can “play” or spend time with someone, be it the contented pigs who before were out of their minds with a food frenzy.  But once the belly is full they are content to hang out with the humans, maybe play the push game or are happy to get a belly rub.  Giving belly rubs to a piglet is the best, their little smile and the closed eyes is a great feeling when you manage to get it to happen. Or watching the “Girls” (hens) scratch away at the soil looking for tasty morsels and you can sometimes get a pat in. The dogs, Flash and Shorty follow along eating trail snacks as you move around the farm, although they aren’t too keen on some of the arrivals and not sure they want to share their packs time with these other inhabitants.

Then something happens that you weren’t expecting like it’s a dark and stormy night with thunder and lightning.  You hope nothing will happen to your animals as you go to sleep, then at 2:30am something is knocked over at the front door. We both wake from a dead sleep to hear the grunts of Gunther the pig outside our bedroom window; we both say at the same time “He’s out!”  We jump out of bed and instantly we are in “get Gunther back in his pen mode”, like a crack rescue team.  Dirk gets dressed to go outside while I go into the pantry and find a bucket of yummy snacks that will lure our frightened pig back to his pen.  It’s raining outside, I hand Dirk the bucket as he heads out.

In the dark no pig can be seen, he has moved off, probably looking to get in the back door.  What do we do now?  Only one thing to be done, I go out onto the front landing, peer into theGunther the Pig darkness and like a fish wife I yell his name making sure I use my entire diaphragm.  After a couple of melodious attempts we see in dim lights of the house a pig trotting towards us.  Dirk sets off at a cracking pace to the pig pen with Gunther trotting behind him trying to see what is in the bucket.  I stay in the house because it’s raining and I’m not dressed for it, well that is my excuse!  Ten minutes later Dirk is back, the pig is safe and tucked up in bed, the fence is back up and we too can go back to bed. We only need to be up in three hours so we will need to sleep faster. Ah the rhythm of the farm!

Days go by the routine slips back into its normal rhyme, Dirk is on the farm I’m at work and all is calm, then I arrive back at the farm on a Friday.  We take a look at how big the babies have grown ooooing and arrrhhing about them, when we hear a commotion at the Hen House.  The two Roosters are going for it, neck feathers are flared, heads are down and foot stomping is taking place, it’s all on for the honour of the girls.  Rex must win to keep his girls and Wilbur just wants to have top billing in the Hen House.

The next thing like to Kung Foo fighterskungfoofighers they are in full combat mode legs and spurs flash and they are attempting to kill each other.  To think these two guys were best buddies and that only a few months ago we saved them from certain death on the side of the road.  As the battle rages we leg it to the Hen House and try yelling at them to stop, this did nothing.   The Girls have retreated to the safety of the nest box, the Dogs are keen for the fight, and I just want it stopped.  Dirk takes a piece of PVC pipe that we use to keep the gate closed and gently pokes Rex in the bum but this does nothing. The battle becomes more intense, then Dirk remembers he has the watering can next to the house and quickly “waters” the boys.   This stopped them in their tracks thankfully, but they both have blood stained combs and are a little worse for wear.  Dirk catches Wilbur and moves him to the other cage which we shall call the Cage of SHAME.  Rex is left with the girls so they could look after him.  Some peace has returned to the farm for a moment.

Next morning I was woken before the crack of dawn to the song of a lonesome Rooster (Wilbur) calling his mate (Rex) who returned his buddies call. It went something like this Wilbur saying “Hey mate you awake?” Rex returns with, “Morning mate I hope you’re okay.  Are you bit lonely in the Cage of SHAME?” to which Wilbur replies “Yeah  mate sorry about the tiff last night didn’t know what came over me,  those girls well you know!  I want to come home”.  As I lay there awake waiting for dawn to creep across the farm I counted the seconds between these two “TALKING” to each other it was 20 seconds to 30 seconds between volleys.  I got up and closed the window so it wasn’t in surround sound and went back to bed but I could still hear them and now it was annoying me. REALLY come on! You wanted to kill each other last night and I want to get lay in on Saturday!  May as well get up and start the morning feed. Ah the rhythm of the farm.


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Holy Cow Time Flies when you start something new

The last couple of months have flown by at Wanderosa Farm, a brief update would be to say I have had a medical procedure, we have had more chickens and pigs come and stay with us. Let me unravel the tale for you.

I needed to have my knee replaced as it was technically buggered so I set aside some sick and holiday leave to get it done. I won’t go into gory detail but to say it was a success the only down side was a little bit of the wound that wouldn’t heal but after some antibiotics and great dressings from my medical centre nurses, it’s all back on track.

After 4 fabulous nights in hospital Dirk picked me up we came to Wanderosa so I could recover, it is a magical place to be and makes you feel great just being here. Each night going down to see Gunther to say hello and give him a scratch was really good for me. Rex the Rooster on the other hand took one look at my new legs (crutches) and decided that I was now a four-legged threat that must be eliminated.   So I made the decision to stay out of his way.

At the end of the first week of recovery we had to go into the city to see the Surgeon for an update. Dirk had been talking with a lady via email about some chickens that required a new home. This is how we came to know Penguin and Noodle “the naked chicken”. Penguin is a beautiful looking lady and Noodle is her daughter who personality makes up for the lack of coverage.

The Roosters where very excited when they worked out that we has some girls on the property and Rex sung like his life depended on it. They spent the night in separate houses however the next day we place them together, lets just say that boys loved this idea but the girls not so much. Although Penguin seemed to be able to hold her own, Noodle didn’t like the all the attention and spent the day running from the evil boys.

We decided to move Noodle into her own house so she could take some time to work on feather growth and also be protected from Penguin who I think was pecking at her and the boys (horny little toads). So with some Healing Balm and some quiet time Noodle has made progress in the feather department but has a long way to go. She is however a dag of a chicken she eats like a horse.

Each night we sit with her while she free ranges around the house, the dogs can’t quite make out what to do with her as to them she looks like a walking snack. So far I have only had to tell Flash to back off a couple of times but with lots of lip licking he is not going to be left alone with the Noodle at all. The dogs are also fascinated with the chickens when they dust bath, Flash has to interrupt this process to have a sniff on the spot, who knows what is going through that little mind of the “White fox that hunts by day as long as it’s not raining” as he is known.

The third week of my recovery something really lovely, scary and exciting happen. Some bush piglets had been given to a lady to see if she could find someone who would look after them. Their mother had been killed we think by hunters and they had left the piglets defenceless. A few of the other Sanctuaries where called but they had there hands full with their current 3 so we were asked if we would like to take them. Of course I said yes then I asked Google how we would look after them. Thank goodness for organisation and people posting some much information don’t know how we would do this otherwise.

Some friends stayed with us on that weekend and they are happy to help out here at Wanderosa. (Thanks Carmen and Andrew) Which meant Dirk had someone more useful than me to help create an enclosure in the shed for the babies using an upside down trampoline frame and some sheep mesh and a gate. I think it looks great and is really functional and I’m sure we will us it time and time again. Also means that the Council collection that Dirk likes to shop at might actually be more useful than I think. Well it seems sometimes the stuff he picks up really does come in handy. But please don’t tell him that!

With great anticipation we waited for piglets to arrive, the formula was purchased making sure it was they same one they had been feed before which I learnt is very important. Thank you Google!

They arrived in a travel animal crate thanks to Caroline from Greener Pastures Sanctuary for dropping them off. At first we placed them in the fancy trampoline corral it seemed like a good idea, however they needed 2 hourly feeds and it was still cold at night at Wanderosa so the decision was made to move them into our bathroom in the house. You know the one we have only had 7 months the new one….. Anyway I got over this small fact quite quickly as they where so cute and vulnerable and who wants to do a dash a cross to the shed when it’s 4 degrees.

I don’t have any children so have never experienced the 2 hourly feeds, however when they woke, I woke and feed them through the night while Dirk slept.

fashion-is-my-middlename

Fashion is my middle name!

I’m also not known for my fantastic fashion sense or care for that matter however I didn’t like the look or smell of what the piglets did to the front of my shirts, so I invented (hey I’ll take the credit) a the feeding poncho with and towel accessory. Okay it was a branded rain poncho but with the right marketing I’m sure it will sell!

The runt wasn’t doing so well on the second day we separated it from the pack and I spent about 3 hours with it in my arms with a heat pack and water bottle attempting to get his temperature up and get a good feed into him.

babe

Extra love required!

We called a local vet to come and check on them and we just hoped we could keep him alive unfortunately they couldn’t make it that day so we just had to do our best. He rallied in the afternoon we gave him a feed and put him back with his family we also made sure we had lots of hot water bottles in their bed to keep them all warm. However he really is a bad feeder and took us ages to get him to feed well and he is still half the size of the other piglets

Although the vet couldn’t make it that day due to many animals and not enough time Dirk was able to make a quick dash to a rendezvous spot and get some antibiotics from them. I had spoken to them during the day and explained what the situation was (runny poo) and what was happening and thankfully we were able to get some medicine and supplies. This meant the antibiotics would  have to injected into all of them now this posed a problem neither of us had done anything like this before.   Dirk held one of the piglets and I was my job to inject, well I learnt something about myself. I just couldn’t do it even thought I knew it would help the piglets I just couldn’t put the needle into their skin. So I made Dirk do it, I’m sure he felt the same way but luckily he was able to get the job done.

Before I went back to work I had to have one last appointment with the Surgeon, but I couldn’t drive myself. So we packed up the dogs, and piglets into the Landy and headed into the city. While I was at my appointment Dirk went to a park to feed the piglets he was an instant celebrity with people wanting to see the piglets and ask why and how we came to have them. We stayed the night in the city house, which is a tiny little town house that really shouldn’t have piglets in it. Shhhhhh don’t tell.

We put them in the shower in the bathroom and hoped that they would be quiet. Man they can make a lot of noise when they want a feed. Just a couple of minutes late and all hell breaks loose. To save our skins we made an early get away in the morning before our neighbours could see us as we have one that doesn’t like us and would make our life a nightmare.   Why is there always one, but I digress.

Oh names, you might be curious, we have Boss Hog (The biggest), Spats (white little socks), Ninja (completely black and a climber) and Babe (the runt)  these do seem to have stuck and I they should start to know them soon.  I hope they don’t mind they names they have been given.

At the end of my holiday the piglets were on 4 hourly feeds. The piglets had moved back into the shed and the bathrooms were sanitised. Dirk wasn’t sure he would wake up for the night feeds so I put alarms in his phone for every 4 hours. I’m not sure how he felt about this but I didn’t want the babies to go without a feed. I went back to work and Dirk was now back to looking after the farm all by himself, without me to annoy him. Poor man, had to look after all the animals and himself, he needs a part-time wife, second thoughts that’s a bad idea. When I got back on Friday night he was pretty knackered but the piglets look really well and had grown.

We will continue to watch them grow and soon we will introduce them to Gunther and hopefully he will take them under his wing so to speak. Oh I almost forgot we were asked to take 4 laying hens that had passed there used by date and not laying 4 a day, I picked these lovely ladies from Gosnell’s and they have settled into the Chicken Mansion.

We did need a chicken shuffle to fit them in but once that was complete they now have a great spot in the citrus orchard (or 4 trees). These ladies are so lovely they want to hang out with me and help weed and will sit down when you go to pick them up. One nearly got a hammer to the head when I was fixing their fence as she was curious as to what I was doing luckily I didn’t get her but she gave me a fright.

Winter has been good to use this year and there is a lot of feed (grass) on our property at the moment but we don’t have any grass-eating animals. Some of the grass is really close to the house and Dirk doesn’t want to use the slasher to cut it or flying rocks may break the windows. So we found a place that sells Scythes in Australia I bought one and waited for it to be delivered to work. Dirk was pretty happy with the new purchase and was quickly out in the paddock giving it a whirl. Him wandering around the paddock with it slung over his shoulder is weird picture I think I need to make him a black cloak that will really freak the neighbours out as they drive past the property. Think grim reaper if you don’t have a picture in your head yet!

So that brings you up to date with what is going on at Wanderosa I hope you enjoyed the post.

Things you can do for us: Take a look at our wish list page and if you have any of the items and you don’t need them any more please contact us and we will come pick them up. Like our page on Facebook we post more pictures and videos there. Give this post a like if you found it interesting. We are working out how to become a charitable organisation to help with the funding to allow us to help more animals. If you have the time and expertise to help us out then please contact us leave a comment below we would be happy to chat about our vision of Wanderosa Animal Sanctuary.

 


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Wanderosa gets a PIG!

The farm had settled into a routine with the roosters and we were pretty proud of ourselves how fast we had got organised. The boys where growing and their singing was epic in the mornings even Wilbur had found his voice. They had a couple of hours each day of free range roaming under supervision so they didn’t ruin all our garden beds. We wondered what would be next for Wanderosa.

Dirk had been following a conversation on the Vegans in Perth a Facebook group about a pig that a family wanted to get rid of as they no longer had the time to take care of him. They really wanted it to go somewhere he wouldn’t be eaten but if they didn’t find that, then they would sell him to someone who might. So we discussed maybe this pig would be our next member to the farm. Dirk left a message saying we where just starting a sanctuary and we could possibly help.

He got the owners number and gave them a call and they said if we could get him by the weekend that was fine but if we couldn’t then he would go to someone who would probably eat him. What to do: We didn’t have a pen or anything that could be used as one here on the farm, so with a little googling I found a place in Maddington that sells fencing and irrigation supplies. Dirk was dispatched to get the needed goods.

I made a quick go fund me page as this month we needed a little help as the rates , the new chicken coop, and other things had put a dent in the piggy bank. Three lovely people came to our aid with kind donations which we are forever grateful for. This helped with the purchase of the material to build the pen.

Thursday and Friday Dirk set about making the pen for our new arrival. I texted the lady to say that we were still interested in taking him. This is where time sped up. She mentioned that we needed to get the pig today else he would be sold to someone else. I quickly rang Dirk and said find a trailer that we could use to move the pig. He dashed around the neighbourhood but came up with nothing. So the back of the defender it would be. He finished off the pen and made his way to the farm out past Brookton to his first rescue mission.

The pig named Grunter had found his way into their the sheep shed and was a little hungry. Dirk backed up his car to the a door of the shed drop his tailgate and the lady flung a heap of bread into the tray of the Land-rover, Grunter was so hungry he trotted into the tray without incident. Dirk zipped up the canopy and they were ready for the trip. Along the way Dirk could see out of the mirrors that Grunter was attempting to escape by testing the strength of the canvas that covered the canopy. This wasn’t going to hold, so plan B was put into action, which was a long rope wound around the canvas then back on the road to Wanderosa.

I had made my way to farm and made it just in time to get a

Full moon the night Gunter came to stay

Full moon the night Gunther came to stay

phone call from Dirk asking me to get some food together to lure him out, the night before I had filled the car with fruit and vegetables from the Spud Shed. I made my way around the Veggie section getting anything that was a monster in the veggie kingdom; a pumpkin the size of a small planet, a large bag of carrots that were free, a watermelon that had it’s own gravitational force. Almost killed myself lifting a 20 kilo bag of potatoes in and out of the trolley but I digress. I filled my pockets with potatoes and apples and made my way down to the pen.

I know you thinking it, “How the hell are they going to get the pig out of the Land Rover?” Well the Farmer (Dirk) had thought of that before he left, he had rigged up the carry all from the tractor with a log that made a make shift ramp. He backed the Ute into position and Grunter was using his nose forcibly to get out and see what the hell was going on.

Our first peak at the new family member

Our first peak at the new family member

The rope was removed, the back door of the canvas undone and we let down the tail gate. Grunter stared at us and we stared back hoping that this was going to go well. I pulled an apple out of my pocket and gave it to him, after he had munched through that I pulled another out but kept it just out of his reach. He tentatively put his front legs on the tailgate and slowly slid down the ramp I gave him his apple just as he made it into his pen. That went well! LUCKY. We gave him a big feed, put some straw in his den and watched him take in his new surroundings.

As we watched him make a den, I decided Grunter just wasn’t majestic enough for him so he became

Gunther the Grunter and with that we made our way up to the house and hoped he would be okay for the night.

The first morning at Wanderosa

The first morning at Wanderosa

The adventures of Gunther the Grunter begin……


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First Rescue for Wanderosa

After spending the weekend at the farm I was driving back to the city on the Sunday afternoon to go to work the next morning. The trip had been uneventful, just paddocks of canola and winter green the best time to drive in the country.  As I was nearing Karagullen I passed a parking stop and out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a white chicken.

As I continued down the road I thought to myself I really must go back if it was a chicken.  It won’t last the night and something would surely come and eat it. I found a safe spot to do a U-turn and went back to the parking spot and sure enough two chickens where wandering around the parking spot bin.  Why and who would do such a thing, I guess I shouldn’t of been surprised.  I just don’t get people.

As I got out of the car, I wished I had Dirk with me as it would be easier to catch them with two people, but that wasn’t the case. The only thing I had in the back of the car was a dog bed and beach towel. The beach towel became the chosen item of use in the great chicken caper. It was about 5:30pm when the chicken rescue began.

If you have never been to a Australian parking spot, let me take a second to paint the picture. It is used not only as a stop to have some morning tea; maybe check your load if you’re towing a trailer; even just to get out and stretch you leg.  NO it has a more horrible use and that is to  wee and poo.  They don’t even bury it!  YUCK!  So I knew I had to be careful during the rescue  so I wouldn’t  get any unwelcome things on my shoes.

With this in mind I lurched into the bush with my beach towel in one hand, determination on my brow and eyes on the ground. The two chickens really didn’t see me as their great saviour, they split up and kept just out of my reach. I would get close to them but not close enough to catch them. I spoke with them and suggested it was in their best interest to get into my car and I wouldn’t harm them but at that stage they didn’t buy my story. It started to drizzle so I decided to sit in my car for a little break and regroup to come up with my next strategy. (Checked my shoes all good so far)

Sitting in my car pondering my sanity, the two chickens came out of the bush and walked around the car and looking at me. This gave me and idea to just open the passenger door and see if they would just hop in. They came to have a look at the car like a couple that might be interested in buying, but they didn’t want to take a test drive. So I open the hatch closed the passenger door and tried to coax them into the back of the car. They didn’t think that was a good idea and took off back into the bush.

Another car pulled into the parking bay but quite far away from me, they got out and did a number one and got back in a drove away so I didn’t even have the chance to ask for some assistance. One of the chickens tried to roost on my bonnet, this didn’t go well and slid down my paint work, oh well.

By this stage it was getting really dark and I told the chickens they had 10 more minutes to hop in the car or I would leave them to their own devices in the wild and they would probably be eaten by a fox.They paid me no attention and wandered into the bush to find a place to sleep for the night.

Back in bush I went, the chickens had found a somewhat vulnerable place to roost. They huddled close to one another and I was able to get close enough to spring the towel on them, the white one took of like lightning but the brown chicken I was able to scoop up and walk back to the car. I placed it in the back of my car and it quietly sat down and seemed happy enough. Woo hoo success.

In the mean time the white chicken had found a small bush to jump up on top of but it’s structure wasn’t strong enough and he toppled to the ground like a flash I had the towel over it. It wasn’t to happy but soon settled down when I placed him next to the other chicken.

Now I don’t know a lot about chickens, so I had no idea if I had hens or roosters, but it really didn’t matter these two had been left there with no water, food or protection and that simply isn’t good enough. They would be safe at Wanderosa, however there was one problem I wasn’t heading for Wanderosa I was heading for the city to go to work the next day.

I got into the car and started heading for the city home. Once into mobile range I rang Dirk and asked him the simple question of, “What to chickens eat?”. He didn’t know what I was on about so I asked it one more time and he asked, “Why did I want to know what chickens eat?” At this point I let him know that I had two in the back of the car. We talked about that I could give them in the morning for breakfast and how the hell we would keep them as we didn’t have a shelter prepared for them. Minor issue.

Luckily on the way home I passed and IGA and they had laying pellets and a big square tub that could be used as a water container. When I got back to the car the lights in the car park had caught the chickens interest and so they stood up to look around. I’m not sure if anybody saw them, but I bet if they did it would be  amusing  for them to think that  some weirdo was driving around with chickens in the back of the car.

Once home I had to think how to get the chickens into the backyard without anybody seeing me.  The back storage shed seemed like the perfect temporary home for the birds. Found some boxes and hope that this would be okay for them.  I went into the garage put the roller door down so that I didn’t loose the chickens here and have to run around the suburb catching them.  As the hatch opened I expected mayhem, however the chickens didn’t flinch as I picked them up and placed them in a box.  They didn’t make a peep as I placed a towel over them and snuck them into the house.

Mission over except in the morning the chickens turned into ONE Rooster possible two OMG.  The brown on that I will later name as Rex was happily letting the neighbourhood that we had a Rooster in the house.  I frantically tried to make him stop and with much arm waving and shhing he settled down and stopped, phew.  Off to work I went and hoped that cats in the area wouldn’t come and visit my new team.

When returned from work it was nice to sit outside and what them run around and eat the bugs and the scraps I had for them.  I thought to myself, “This could work until I could get them to the farm on the weekend.”

Now the next morning I figured that if I left them in the shed for longer then he wouldn’t crow.  Oh how wrong I was, from the second floor I could hear him attempting to get me out of bed.  Bad Rex, out of bed, down the stairs to open up the shed I went.  They strutted out like they owned the place Rex lifted his head and let rip.  I became a frantic woman flapping my arms so much I almost had lift off. He gave it his all. The white one who is now called Wilbur didn’t join thank goodness.

I panicked when I heard windows being opened, slammed shut then people coming out of their houses.  One guy was not happy he counted out the number of housed around and couldn’t believe some idiot would buy chickens to keep in such a small area.   The dude then started to crow hoping to find out where they were. Holy shit I did everything in my power to stop Rex going for it.

I had visions of a lynch mob coming to the gate and ………………….

As people left for work I realised this wouldn’t work and I had to get them to the farm,  I rang the boss and said I need to take a days leave as I had to wrangle some chickens.  Thankfully he knows me and wasn’t surprised with my reason for leave.  I rang Dirk and said I was coming down and he had better get something prepared to house them.

A quick shower, meanwhile Rex was downstairs doing is best rendition of an alarm clock with a snooze button set to every 3 minutes.  I fully expected the Ranger to knock on my door and say, “Madam are you harbouring chickens in your back yard”.  Luckily this didn’t happen, I was able to capture the chickens easily enough and place them in my laundry basket with a sheet over it and place them in the car without too much trouble.

Now the mad dash to the farm began, the birds didn’t move around too much which was good I really didn’t want a couple of chickens running around the back of my car for the next two hours.

On arriving at the farm Dirk hadn’t got very far as we only had chicken wire and apparently foxes can chew through that.  So we needed an alternative, after some discussions on what we should do, we choose to go to Narrogin to get a coop from there.  The ladies at Ballard’s were very helpful and we purchased a rabbit hutch that would do for the moment as a chook house we also got a water and food dispenser.  Back to the farm to build the house and move in the chickens who had been placed on the verandah of the shed while we went into Narrogin.

We built the rabbit hutch and realise that it was quite small and the boys, yes both rooster wouldn’t have enough room in it to stay in all day. Hmmm what to do.  It just so happens that Dirk loves a good council clean up and had a couple of trampoline frames just lying around.  We quickly erected a trampoline corral that the boys could use during the day.

img_0645

Shorty supervising the chickens

We where pretty proud of ourselves that was until Wilbur flew over the top of the corral to wander around the garden.  Damn it.  This would have to do for now and Dirk would just have to watch them in and around the garden.

 

We also thought Flash would want to eat the chickens, he was very interested in these two new things to the farm.  There was a moment or too where he chased the chickens around the corral, they were inside and he was on the outside, however this was and is unacceptable behaviour so we correct that.  I sat on a chair, got him to sit next to me and when he moved I told him off he got the picture pretty quick and contained himself.

It was lovely to watch them scratch around and work out their new home, I can’t imagine what they thought of it all, but they didn’t seem to fazed by the whole ordeal.  At night fall they made their way into the rabbit hutch I closed the door and hoped that the foxes wouldn’t come by and upset them.

We have since purchased a bigger house for them that Dirk put together and they are doing well.  Dirk isn’t that happy what they have down to the garden.  However our slater problem will be less so that’s a good thing right!

Chicken house

Almost complete we need some wire for the bottom to stop the foxes

So that is our first rescue, we weren’t ready for it nor expecting it but on the whole I think we did okay and Rex and Wilbur will now be safe and cared for, a win!


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Wanderosa gets a house

Gosh there have been some exciting developments at Wandarosa Farm over the last 5 months. We have had a house delivered yep a HOUSE DELIVERED.

We have debated for many years what we would put on the farm, first iteration was a rammed earth home, then a tiny house, maybe a cob house, straw house then we stopped thinking about it and got on with normal life.

This story really starts with Dirk connecting with a lady that was putting together goods to give to her homeless sister. Who had found a house to move into but needed appliances and household stuff her sister had put an ad on gumtree asking if anybody could help out. Dirk saw this and knew that we could help by donating a few appliances and things we had double or triplicate off. Why do we have so much, when household merge you get duplicates and we can’t throw good and working things away?

We were on our way to deliver our goods to the lady’s home when we chanced upon displays of modular homes. I said if they are open on the way back we should take a look as it might be an option for the farm. They just happen to still be open so we took a look and I fell in love with a pantry – sad I know. The house was a little expensive so it was a no from the Wanderosa team.

The salesman told us to put our name on the mailing list as sometimes they sell off display houses. We said yes and really didn’t think anything more of it. You guessed it we got an email that I just couldn’t say no to.

Meetings with banks and the company and some hard discussions between ourselves we eventually came to the conclusion the house had to be ours. We signed the paper work and the deal was done. We just had to wait for approvals and things but eventually those fell into place and it was delivery day.

No house yetWe had to do some ground work as the farm doesn’t have any flat surfaces; a local contractor came out to move dirt around and level of the pad and compact it. This wasn’t very exciting but it was the first real proof that the house was coming.

We spent a couple of weekends making sure that the trees on the road to the farm didn’t over hang the road to much to allow the trucks and house to get in without getting caught. The tractor and the chainsaw got a good workout and my sister and her husband also gave us a hand with the task one weekend.

On the date of arrival Dirk and I wait not so patiently for the trucks to arrive with the house at 2pm. It had travelled on 3 Semi trailer trucks and from the shed it looked so tiny. setting out the houseTwo guys came up to the pad and set out where the house would go. They went back down to the trucks to tell them to bring up the house. I was pretty exciting to see the three trucks around the shed. The part with with the master bedroom, pantry and kitchen went in first; it was backed onto the pad then lowered onto some concrete first one inbiscuits to keep it off the ground but level. The next one was driven on forward I was amazed at the accuracy and precision of the driver he had a gap of maybe 10cm. The middle section was
lowered again but just before they took out all the equipment they used some steel discs to move the section over so
secondoneinthat it was touching the first section. AMAZING! The third section was then driven into place and the same lowering and sideways moving completed and we had a house on the farm in just 4 hours.

3section

 

How cool is that!

As night fell in Wandersoa the trucks

leaving the farm

left the farm and it was quiet and for the first time we could take a look inside our new home. You could see gaps between the sections but the company was out to sort those out a few days later.

We still had lots of things to get done before we could move it but wandering around the rooms before we lost light was so exciting to think we had a house on the farm. The vision of Wanderosa Farm Animal Sanctuary was starting to take place.

The next day our plumber turned up with his machines and proceed to dig up great ditches around the house,

pipesseptic

 

I was a little bewildered at first but it all started to make sense when the pipes were laid. It’s quite the complex business to get water and waste to move around.Our fancy septic tank was put in place the next day that will take waste and turn it into clean water that can be used on fruit trees and grass but not drinking!. It needed an electrical connection and we didn’t have a Sparky on hand so the plumber called in a local electrician to come and do the job. We also had a chat to see if he was interested in helping us out with connecting the house and solar system and the house. Lucky for us he was happy to come back to do it. First we had to get the solar system commissioned!

A couple of days later the carpenters for the house company arrived on site to fix up the gaps in the sections, make sure doors hung correctly and that inside it looked like a complete house. Some others turned up to put up the patio and car port, poor Dirk was running around in all directions. A concrete truck arrived on site for the footings and it had too much concrete onboard. They asked Dirk if he wanted the extra concrete. Not one to say no to free stuff (well sort of free) he had to suddenly work out what to do with it, but came up with a brilliant plan; he made footings for paths and also made a little concrete landing under the flag pole. Good thinking!

Not long after this the plumber came back to put in the rain water down pipes in so we could collect water in the tank we had installed months earlier. He couldn’t finish this job as we didn’t yet have power.

Oh we also had a couple of cousins of mine build what I like to call the Great Wall of Wandering – or retaining wall so that the house wouldn’t side down the side of the hill in the future. Also really makes a difference to the look of the house, finishes it off I think. The puppies really love the wall they like to patrol along the top of it or simply lay on it and survey their land.

flash on the wall13585085_10209980106281083_758930082507633774_o

 

 

After much searching we found a Solar installer that could commission the system we had purchased. This meant we could call back the electrician to connect the solar system to the house OMG it was getting so close. A little bit exciting for the first time in 10 years we could turn on a light without a generator making an unholy noise.

The electrician also wired up the water pressure pump and Dirk filled in the trenches and that night he called me to say that the house now had running water with good pressure. Some of you might not understand but having good water pressure is amazing. The shed only has gravity feed pressure from two tank behind the shed and it takes quite a while to fill a kettle which does give you time to daydream but not great if your in a hurry.

We started to move in things like paintings and some furniture that we have been storing in the shed for many years, once again my sister and brother in-law came out and gave us a hand. They seem to arrive at the right time not planned but the right time. We will need to repay the favour or just make sure that there is always a bed available in the future for stay overs.

Finally the bank did a revaluation of the farm and we paid the building company their money and we were able to say that the house was finally really really ours. We still have lots of work to do but it cool that a fully finished house was delivered to the farm, it did make this process so much shorter than at normal build where all the trades would need to come out on site which would of taken a least a year, we had it liveable in three months.

My vision of the experience and the truth didn’t match up I thought that they would plonk the house on the farm, the plumber would just plug-in a pipe to the septic and one to the water tank and a sparky would run a cable to the house and voilà we would be in. Clearly my expectations and reality weren’t the same but in saying that we have learnt so much, so that’s a good thing. All in all it was a little stressful but not that bad in hindsight.

At the end of this process we took a holiday and regrouped for the next stage of the Wanderosa Farm and Animal Sanctuary. I would like to run a Mediation Retreat in September but I’m not sure we will get everything ready by then, but if you don’t set a goal you never reach for it.


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The idea

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We bought this land in 2007 it was 100 acres of farming land.  No buildings, just a boundary fence but we fell in love with the place and knew it had potential.

We struggled with what we would do with the land.  It needed help it had erosion problems, salt patches and no top soil to speak of.  Over the years we have planted trees, put in weirs and left the pastures alone so grass could grow, dry, seed and lay down for the next years grasses.  The soil holds water better now, the salt patches are smaller but we still have a way to go.

Now what to do with the farm there are many options:

  • Crop
  • Animals
  • Trees
  • Vegetables
  • Flowers

All of these things have been tossed around for many years but it just didn’t sit well with our cloudy vision of the farm.

We have started to mediate at our local buddhist temple and have found this a great way to stay sane in an otherwise frantic world.  Another big change to our lifestyle has been becoming vegans.  These lifestyle choices has also clarified what we want to do with the farm.

There is no way we want to take part in conventional animal farming, but love animals so why don’t want to see them suffering or take part in that process. But we have decided to rescue animals and let them enjoy a stress free life on Wanderosa.

Why not share our little piece of tranquility and set up a meditation retreat.  These ideas just slotted into place and we looked at each other and said let’s do it.

There are many things that need to happen before this becomes a reality, writing about it is the first step and we will detail our journey, I hope you come a long for ride.

The farm has a shed with some rain water tanks on it and we are currently in the process of putting a house on the property.  This weekend we installed solar panels on the roof so that when the house arrives it will have power.  Unfortunately we couldn’t complete the installation because the regulator and inverter were too heavy to hang on the wall of the shed so we have to find a big piece of wood that can be bolted onto the shed.  Then these two beast can be attached then hooked up to the batteries.

It doesn’t sound very exciting but it is a step forward in the process of starting our new venture.