Update on the Goat the Sheep Rebuilding Initiative
As you know from our newsletter, or from the recent media attention, we have suffered a great loss to our animal population and to the programs they supported. We intend to fill that void with new life and a directed focus on our responsibility to our new animal residents, to those who care for them, and those who learn from them.
We have received an outpouring of support from our community that has heartened us and given us strength during this difficult time. We have received over $10,000 in contributions to help us rebuild. This will greatly help toward covering the cost of a completely new fenced enclosure and will start us down the road to replacing our animals.
With over 40 volunteers helping, we have constructed a temporary secure fenced area for our remaining goats and sheep, and were able to bring them home last weekend.
Construction of a new, secure fence and gates will begin shortly.
We will replace our goats and sheep with particular types of high quality animals that can help us fulfill our mission in the most effective way. Our goat herd will consist of two specialized types of goats—Boer Goats and Nigerian Dwarf Goats. Each type of goat brings special qualities to the Farm. They will be used in our Field Trips, Storybook Farm, Fiber Arts, Animal Husbandry, and 4-H Programs. (Look for Goat Yoga in the future!)
Prices vary, but here are some parameters on what it costs to replace our herd:
• Nigerian Dwarf Goat: $300-$600 each, our goal is 5 goats.
• Boer Goat: $400-$900 each, our goal is 4 goats.
• Shetland Sheep: $600-$1000 each, our goal is 3 sheep.
With a donation of $1000 or more you get to name one of the new animals!
Looking Forward. In addition, our goal is to build a birthing barn to allow our animals to give birth in a safe, quiet, heated shelter. This will also allow our program participants and visitors a new and unique visitor experience at TUF. We estimate the cost of such a facility to be in the $30,000 range. We will keep you advised on our plans for the birthing barn.
We are also considering the addition of Livestock Guardian Dogs who have been used for centuries to protect flocks of sheep and herds of goats, calves, poultry and other livestock. Livestock Guardian Dogs stay with the group of animals they protect as a full-time member of the herd. They blend in with the flock and/or herd, watching for intruders. The mere presence of a guardian dog is usually enough to ward off predators. Livestock Guardian Dogs could also be integrated into our educational programs to teach how dogs can have a career as working animals.
HOW YOU CAN DONATE. We have made it simple! Click at the DONATE button. You will be able to specify if you wish to donate to the goat and sheep initiative or you can make a general contribution to our operations. With a donation of $1000 or more you get to name one of the new animals!
Other fun options: take a page out of Swigert International School’s fifth grade classes and organize a group donation—Bake sale? Car wash? Pledges? Whatever works for you!
Thank you so much from all of us, from the kids and families we work with, and from the animals. We are glad to have you aboard!