Continuing our series: Thurman Farms in Their “Down” Time

Posted On: December 9th, 2018

Nettle Meadow Farm in Winter

Cheese-making continues, of course, and for Maple Days Nettle Meadow is coming up with a special maple cheese treat for you to sample and buy in the shop. But now is the time of  year when the challenge of keeping the herd and sanctuary animals warm and in top condition to withstand winter’s worst comes to the foreground. The babies will start arriving during the deepest, darkest days of winter, often in the middle of the night, and sometimes outdoors. There isn’t a lot of sleeping time for the humans in winter. Barns with pregnant ewes and nannies are outfitted with baby monitors to help alert staff of new arrivals.

This season highlights the needs of  Kemp Sanctuary at Nettle Meadow.  Over 150 animals receive care at Kemp Sanctuary at this time, and the number grows annually. Nettle Meadow  is a no kill, no cull operation, and infirm and retired animals live out their lives in the sanctuary. They are joined by animals brought to the farm with physical and behavioral problems and Sheila and Lorraine supply food, bedding, clean quarters and affection. The sanctuary animals include cats, ducks, a pot-bellied pig, a rogue llama, donkeys, a horse  numerous goats (like Grandy, above), sheep and more. You’ll fall in love, espcially when you hear their life stories and the quirky behavior of each.

It’s expensive.

The sanctuary animals require $500/week in hay and $200/week in grain.   $170/week is spent on bedding and it takes over 90 person hours every week to take good care of them.  This does not include the medicines, herbal additives and veterinary care that each animal requires.  The need for donations, be they monetary contributed on the Kemp website’s Paypal page or items you might have around your house and would like to give.  Can you sponsor one of the sanctuary animals for as little as $10 or $15 per month? Visit the website to see some of the endearing faces and learn of enduring need.

Consider a cash donation or  or gift of an item (used is find) below. All would be appreciated.

  • Lend a horse trailer to get one of the older horses back and forth to the vet
  • Adirondack chairs for the goats to sit in or jump on
  • Old towels for cleaning off babies and keeping them warm and dry
  • Wood or siding that you don’t need and want to get rid of
  • Outdoor extension cords
  • Security cameras for monitoring the barns
  • Baby monitors

Check in next week to learn about another of our farms and the things occupy them between now and March 16th when they will open their doors to welcome guests for the first of three weekends of Thurman Maple Days. Maybe you’ll be able to meet the new babies!