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Having a drink and a Giggle with Caroline and Chris

It might be a busy week out in the world but as ever, our focus at the farm continues to be our animals and it's certainly a busy time of year when it comes to their care. It's getting colder and wetter around the farm and that means more of our animals are heading into the barn with more feed needed, more water to fill up and of course, more pooh to clean out and add to pooh mountain. There's especially lots more pooh to clean out now that our cows have let themselves in from the fields.

Normally we'd have students through the week to help with the rounds and the cleaning, but due to the lockdown that came into place in England on Thursday, we had the last of our students and placements in on Tuesday. As sad as we are to see them leave again, as busy as this makes Chris and the team and as much as we need their help we've taken the decision to close for everyone's safety. With the weather against us it's more difficult to keep distancing rules in place, especially when it comes to essential break times.

Without our students it also means that we are again losing funding from the placements and are putting some of our projects on hold. That said, we'll be working hard to keep the project very much alive with plenty of work for everyone to come back to as and when it's safe for them to do so, including the development of our rescue animal area. Until then, thankfully we can still have volunteers in to help as long as they arrange times with us first, and we'll be keeping everyone in touch with the farm through more live sessions.

Yes, you heard it, more live from the farm. All this week Chris has been trialling going live at 3pm (GMT) on Facebook with Twitter alongside, followed by TikTok. It's been a really fun start to the afternoon lives and Casey and I are learning so much more about the animals with Chris keeping the educational side going. All of our live sessions are subject to weather conditions, but we'll be running them as long as the demands on Chris allow and the weather lets him, so hopefully we'll see you there. Thank you so much to everyone who's joined us so far, and to Sarah, Issy, Judy and more of our supporters for being there to answer questions. Don't forget to look out for the extended rush hour on YouTube as well as the Friday evening live chat with Chris and Caroline too.

Casey treating the lambs to milk

Unfortunately for now, live is the only way to allow you all to visit the farm as we're also closed to visitors as well as students and placements, but we at least had some visitors to start the week while we could. Thank you so much Dave and Michelle for being such special VIP visitors, the animals loved all of the treats from you and it was good to see you getting stuck into helping with some of the duties. We'll let you all know as and when we can welcome visitors again. Thank you also to my little cousin (and Chris's nephew) Ben for coming along and sharing your ideas for our social media, it was really nice to see him back at the farm chatting with Chris and sharing his experience.

While we can't have visitors we're really starting to focus on Christmas. Hopefully you've already seen Caroline's merchandise, as well as the photo calendar and Christmas cards, don't forget to place your order early to get them in time for the big day. Though now we're bringing in Chris' expertise to the mix to help make your Christmas gifts that extra bit special by offering Christmas shout outs.

Through the Christmas shoutouts you, or a loved one, could receive a personalised message on Christmas day itself from the animal of your choice. We'll email the link across to you for you to watch as much as you like between your Christmas dinner and mince pies and you can share the link with your family if you'd like as well. We'll be making the messages as special as we can, but make sure you add this to your Christmas list now as we might need to limit numbers to avoid disappointment. To request yours just head to our shoutout form and select the Christmas option from the dropdown list.

Don't worry, between all of this activity I'm not forgetting the animals and I need to start with an update on Cuthbert. Unfortunately he's currently unwell, after picking up so well from the fight with our other geese he's had a setback with a stroke or seizure. I know a lot of you are worried about him and asking for an update, but please understand that this is such a difficult time for Chris. We've had a vet in and are taking things day by day and we'll update you as and when there's more to know.

While Cuthbert is having a difficult time, thankfully the rest of our animals are happy and settling onto their winter homes. The donkeys have moved and will hopefully be staying safe in the warm after mastering undoing the chains in their previous pen. They didn't venture far, but we can't risk them eating all of our carrot supplies in one go, so they have a new area to enjoy while the cows have made their way back inside. For now our sheep will be staying outside though, it's much better for them, and we'll only bring them in if the weather turns. The sheep are getting extra feeds to get them through the winter though and we've let Henri out to meet all of our ladies too, so as long as he impresses there will no doubt be some lambs to look forward to in the new year.

It's been quite an update this week and I'm still not sure I've covered everything, but I'll finish with a very quick thank you. This week I'd like to say thank you to Shellee. She not only sent the most amazing tractor to Farmer Casey which he plays with each and every day, but supports us all at the farm too. Thank you so much for your kindness Shellee and I hope you had a great Birthday this week.

Until next time, keep safe,

Kara, Casey and Teddy 


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