Bleakholt is not just a Sanctuary for animals that can be re-homed. We also provide a loving and safe environment for the retirement of a large number of Equine and Farm animals. These two groups are a very important part of what we do here and the animals will spend the rest of their lives in our care. As with all our animals, some of them are rescued from an unsuitable environment or living conditions and some come to us as their owners are no longer able to look after them, but whatever their circumstances their welfare is our primary concern.
Some of our farm animals have medical conditions, some of them may need ongoing medication and care for life, but we happily take them on to transform their quality of life and to give them the chance they need for a happy and fulfilling life at Bleakholt. In return of course, we get plenty of loving back and they never cease to amuse us in the process!
Bleakholt has been home to a variety of farm and small animals since the very early days of the Sanctuary. Our small animals are available for rehoming, the main small animals we help are rabbits but we also help Guinea Pigs, Hamsters, Gerbils, Rats, Degu’s, Chinchillas and any other small animal that needs our help.
Our larger residents include:
There are currently nine resident goats, they have all come to Bleakholt for different reasons but several have come in as they were abandoned. Yorick is the most recent to join the group. We rescued Yorick when someone reported to us that he was wandering about on the moors with no food and no shelter. He was not in a good way and he was also very dirty and very smelly and in desperate need of a bath and a good grooming. After a really good feed, a lovely bath and some serious beauty treatments, he was feeling much better. The rest of the herd are Jacob, Edward, Wallace, Gary, Grumples, Tulip, Gilbert and Ringo.
There are five resident pigs that live in two groups. First we have Harold and Madge who have been at the Sanctuary since 2012. They are a very much like a married couple, but Madge is definitely the boss. In our second pig enclosure we have Jamie, Tilly and Boris. Jamie was part of the craze for micro pigs and would have only been the size of a cat back then. He was abandoned here back in 2014 and although quite small for a pig, he still weighs in at over 75 kg! Like most pigs, he is very strong for his size too. Boris came to us back in 2015 and not much is known about his background. According to what we do know, Boris was unwanted and was going to be put to sleep until a good Samaritan stepped in and brought him to us. Tilly arrived at the Sanctuary in 2016 when her previous owner’s health meant that they could no longer keep her. Like many pet pigs Tilly needed to lose some weight, but she didn’t take kindly to her new diet and she was very grumpy for a while earning her the new nickname Tillymonster! She would regularly terrify staff by charging at them for food.
We have two chicken enclosures where are residents live. The first enclosure houses Lincoln the cockerel, he’s a very handsome boy but does have a grumpy side and when he puffs up his feathers it’s time to move! In our second enclosure we have Bubblegum and Charlie. Charlie is a three-year-old Bantam and Bubblegum a two-year-old Bantam. They are a very sweet duo who get so excited at feeding time. Although we do not rehome chickens, we work with The British Hen Welfare Trust and provide a collection point for them where they rehome up to 500 ex battery hens. The British Hen Welfare Trust save over 60,000 hens each year and we are very pleased to be working with them.
In May 2018 we took in two, 2 day old rare breed Soay lambs. As they were separated from their Mum at only 2 days old, we knew that raising them successfully would be a challenging task. We had to bottle feed them every 2 hours at first and then the feeds eventually got further apart. They were name Pan and Freya and are now two years old. They were joined in 2019 by Modge a hand reared Texal cross Lleyn.