Volunteering – Little Owl Farm

Animals, Work experience/volunteering

Where:

Little Owl Farm, Oldham. Lancashire.

https://m.facebook.com/LittleOwlFarm/#_%23_

When?

February 2017 – Present.

I began volunteering at Little Owl Farm in February, 2017. After an email and 3 bus rides lead me to finding myself at the farm for the first time.

Roles:

My roles at the farm include basic animal care and husbandry (Cleaning out, feeding, grooming), whilst working with a collection of wonderful animal species. Including: Small and large mammals (Goats, Sheep, Donkeys and Rabbits) And birds. I’ve made friends, grown in confidence and expanded on both my knowledge and experience within the animal care industry.

I also enjoy spending quality time with the animals and encouraging them to remain both mentally and physically stimulated through different forms of enrichment. Alongside ensuring they are content and healthy.

Additionally, I enjoy expanding on my knowledge and experience with animal and nature photography. Snapping my farmyard friends brings me joy, and I love picturing animals in that given moment and sharing my images with others.

Farm fun with my farmyard friends

Little Owl Farm

A little insight into a day of Volunteering at Little Owl Farm. Though, no two days are ever the same which makes it all the more enjoyable!

Today, the sun was shining and my day was filled with Goat cuddles and wheelbarrow pushing as I enjoyed another day at the farm – my happy place. Soon, Cindy and John will have to build me my own pen because I love it there that much. Or I could just live with the Goats…

I certainly feel like I’m coming out of my shell more (hey, look! I’m a tortoise now) in terms of a boost in confidence and the ability to speak to people and my animal friends aid me in doing so. I’ll say this a thousand times and more: finding Little Owl Farm was the BEST thing to ever happen to me. Whenever I go, I feel on top of the world and whenever I leave, my heart is filled with so much love.

Today started off as a freezing day (typical British weather) so I wrapped up accordingly. But then to my surprise it warmed up in the upcoming hours. Again, typical British weather – unpredictable. I tied up my shoes and went on along to the bus stop, ready for my journey to the farm.

Buses. Unpredictable. A theme’s going on here, right? Arriving later than expected, impacting my entire bus route and valuable goat time – not cool.

Fast forward a couple of hours, 3 bus drives later (I’m not crazy, I swear) and YAY! I hopped off the bus, which is always filled with older people, equaling a peaceful ride with stunning views and most importantly, no screaming kids. Heaven! I soon found myself walking down the path, ready to be greeted with John and Cindy hugs (the best kind). Another highlight in my day, having such wonderful, caring people in my life who always seem delighted to see me. I love that!

Being at the farm in the company of such wonderful, jolly people and the most beautiful animals warms my heart massively and fills me with joy and contentment. Spending time outdoors and with my friends makes the journey worth it every time. It’s there that I feel free and uplifted as I gain an escape from everything bad in the world, and in my own mind.

Cuddles with Poppy and Mary-Jane are always my favourite part of the day. (just look at how adorable they are!) It’s difficult not to be absorbed into their cheeky, loving personalities and kind, gentle souls. It’s seemingly impossible to be sad when in the presence of animals who create a shield between myself and negativity.

I also gave them a brush too. Well, to begin with Poppy kept standing on me whilst attempting to brush Mary-Jane, so it turned into a cuddle session which I can’t complain about. But I was soon successful.

Most of the farmyard friends enjoyed some banana today. I must remember to take more supplies next time! I was thrilled seeing them nibbling away happily so I had to record it, of course. The Rabbits were so graceful compared to the Goats who would’ve ate my hand if I let them. (Ha ha!)

The cleaning of the Duck houses, something I weirdly enjoy due to the fulfillment of seeing a spotless space afterwards. If only it stayed that way! I always feel accomplished afterwards. It kept me very busy and made the Ducks content too. Who knew removing substrate and replacing it for new could be so fun?

Ella the Lamb arrived! Coming from a local area and a lady named Hannah. Ella had been hand-reared and therefore developed a strong attachment to Humans, not so much a part of the herd. She follows people around everywhere because she’s the most comfortable with them, she’s gotten used to their behaviours. A requirement for extra love and attention meant she definitely suited a new home at Little Owl Farm with her new Sheep friends where she’ll continue to be spoiled rotten. She had a wander around her new home, eagerly, and was then placed with the others, I’m sure they’ll soon take her under their wing as Ella thrives and grows comfortable being with the others in the next chapter of her life.

With the addition of chatting to visitors, playing with the goat kids and filling up the water bowls/buckets, that was my day complete. It’s crazy how quickly time goes when I’m at the farm. Though the saying goes “time goes by when you’re having fun” and every day at the farm is certainly that.

And off I went on my journey, heading home after another beautiful, memorable day! Saying my good bye’s to my animal friends, Cindy and John is always the hardest part which leaves me counting down until I’m back again. But, all the hugs makes it that much easier.

I’m very thankful to be able to volunteer at Little Owl Farm, and for always being welcomed back with a warm embrace and big smile!

National Volunteering Week – Little Owl Farm

Little Owl Farm

E9C7FE19-BCD1-4DEE-9AB9-5FE6EFAE4851.jpegIt’s the beginning of National Volunteering Week, something I truthfully didn’t know about until yesterday (oops!) but all the same I’m very appreciative and thankful for all the wonderful opportunities I’ve had whilst volunteering – something I encourage others to take part in too. Volunteering continues to work wonders for my confidence with both animals and other people as I venture along my career pathway to working with animals. I want to thank Little Owl Farm (and everybody there) for bringing so much joy into my life and for always welcoming be back, despite my plans to steal Poppy and Mary-Jane. You didn’t hear that from me…

Volunteering isn’t just for enhancing the CV, it’s also wonderful at warming the soul and broadening the smile. Providing skills, knowledge and experience which will come in handy later on in life. It’s impossible not to smile when surrounded with my animal friends! Working with animals requires lots of practical work experience, which I can proudly say I enjoy doing more than anything else. 

Learning extends beyond textbooks and lecture theatres, it also comes in the form of staying outdoors all day and receiving strange looks whilst sitting on a bus smelling of Goats after mucking out with a Giraffe painted on your face.

I want to give a little insight into my favourite place to spend my time:

Little Owl Farm

LITTLE OWL FARM

Little Owl Farm is my favourite place with my favourite people (and animals) located in Oldham.

They say ‘home is where the heart is’, something that became apparent to me during my continuous volunteering at Little Owl Farm, a place I’ll treasure in my heart forever, as I enter the warm embrace of my animal friends, alongside my people friends: Cindy, John and Izaak who I like to think of as my little family. All of who bring me infinite happiness and show me nothing but kindness. I began volunteering there in 2017, with my only regret being that I didn’t find it sooner. Spending two hours on three buses travelling there is always worth it to be in a place I feel so welcome and at home. Some may think that’s crazy; I’ll travel any distance for Goat and Cindy hugs. Plus, it seems like nothing at all whilst I sit eagerly waiting to see what the day will have in store for me.

 Volunteering is magnificent because each day is different, especially with animals as they remain very unpredictable (but always cheeky!) which is always a definite pleasure to witness. They never fail to amaze me with their uniqueness and their quirks, their ability to express their needs. Ie: constant baa’ing for attention when it’s dinner time or when they want their hay net filling. And, of course, their ability to express emotions just like we do: happiness, sadness, contentment etc.

In conclusion, I’d like to praise Cindy, John and Izaak for all their hard work to make their farm as wonderful and enjoyable as it is today. They deserve nothing but success and happiness for never failing to make me proud and my heart happy.

For information and updates from Little Owl Farm:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LittleOwlFarm/

Instagram: littleowlfarm