The hayknife which we use to cut the stack into neat and tidy bales.

The hayknife which we use to cut the stack into neat and tidy bales.

Two summers ago, our staff and volunteers cut and gathered hay from across our big field. The hay has been kept dry in haystacks and one of our jobs has been cutting the stack into stackable bales, which are easy to store and transport. To do so, staff and volunteers have been using a hay knife to slice the stack into bales and while it is hard work, the traditional technique seems to be quite effective!

The hay will be used to feed many of our animals including sheep, cows and goats.

The hay will be used to feed many of our animals including sheep, cows and goats.

Peter cutting through the haystack.

Peter cutting through the haystack.

Courtney releasing the newly cut bale.

Courtney releasing the newly cut bale.

All cut, the bale is tied tightly so it will hold together.

All cut, the bale is tied tightly so it will hold together.

A completed bale!

A completed bale!


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For the last year, George the donkey has been one of our most popular residents. He came to us in a sorry state and thanks to help from some kind supporters, including Sandra Ireland and George Green’s School, we were able to fund the medical care that he needed. He is now in good health although he will continue to need extra attention on an old leg injury.

George is about seven years old, and he has never been neutered, which is why he cannot share a field with our two jennies, Dissy and Snowflake. As donkeys are a herd animal, this means he doesn’t have the companionship that he should have. We also don’t really have the facilities at Mudchute to neuter him, as the procedure is complicated and risky in adult donkeys.

So, after taking expert advice on what would be best for George, we have decided to rehome him to the Donkey Sanctuary in Devon. They have kindly agreed to organise the journey, take him in and give him the care and companionship of other donkeys that he needs. We will be very sad to see him leave, but feel that we must put his welfare above everything else.

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There has been lots of excitement in Pets Corner as our rabbits explore their new soil box. Here on the farm we are always encouraging our animals to express their natural behaviour, and looking for new ways to make this possible. We use hanging cabbages for our chickens, logs and wood chips across the farm, and a wide variety of toys for our ferrets to name just a few.

The new box is an excellent form of enrichment, allowing our colony to explore existing chambers as well as dig their own. Like their wild ancestors, our rabbits are natural diggers and they have jumped right in, digging (and popping up) throughout the new box. Enrichment like this helps keep our animals’ minds and bodies active and healthy and they certainly seem to be enjoying themselves too. Thanks farmer Sundae for the addition!

Have rabbits of your own? Find out more about these incredible animals and ways you can enrich their environment here.