Charlie isn’t your average size cow; he’s huge! He’s a gentle giant now but that’s not the way he was when we found him. It was a cold day on February 8th, 2011 and he was week-old calf found wandering down a country road all alone where he had escaped form a dairy farm. Had he not found a way out, he would have likely had a short life lasting no longer than a couple of months at best. He went from a small calf to a big boy weighing about 2000 lbs now! Although he towers over the other animals on the farm (as well as most people), he’s a sweet soul who loves being brushed and spending time with Chickpea, our other cow who is about half his size!
Archive for the ‘Our Animals’ Category
A short time ago we lost a Cedar Row resident with a dual personality. Tilley was affectionate in the winter when she needed you for your body heat and a little bit standoffish in summer unless she wanted food. She was a turkey of many faces and we certainly miss having her around.
People often forget that turkeys are smart animals with personalities and character and know exactly where they are and what you’re up to. They enjoy having their feathers stroked and you’ll find them dancing around when reunited with a person they recognize. Anyone who spent time with turkeys like Tilley learned quickly that turkeys are as varied in personality as dogs and cats (and people!).
With a life expectancy of roughly 10 years, most turkeys don’t live to see their first birthday on factory farms so places like Cedar Row remain important havens for rescued birds like Tilley. To spend time with birds like turkeys, chickens, ducks and geese why not come to one of our working visits and meet our feathered friends in person!
Charlotte started off as a weak, sick piglet. She was the runt of a litter and wasn’t doing well. The farmer’s daughter took Charlotte in and cared for her for the first 8 wks, and then she contacted us. Charlotte came to Cedar Row on June 15th and with continued attention and love she grew to be a beautiful and thriving piglet.
Wilbur is Charlotte’s brother. He too was a runt. The farmer’s wife and family took him in and took care of him until he became strong and healthy. Wibur grew to love his human family and loved interacting with them. Although the farmer’s wife had grown attached to him she knew the best thing for him was to be reunited with his sister Charlotte so that they could grow up together in a home that will offer them a long carefree life.
Last Sunday we took Charlotte and Wilbur to their new home where they will live a long, happy life together.
Charlie the Steer enjoying a strawberry at Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary.
Charlie was found running on an extremely cold day just over 2 years ago. He is one of the lucky few that has the pleasure of tasting treats like strawberries. This is what happens to veal calves not so lucky. Go Vegan
Where do bull calves go after they leave the farm?
Typically, bull calves leaving a dairy farm go to a livestock auction market, where a cattle dealer
purchases them, and subsequently sells them to a specialized veal producer who raises those
calves to desired market weights over a number of months. Bull calves can also go into a beef
feedlot program, depending on market conditions. Today, due to changing consumer demand
and fluctuating market prices for bull calves, those bull calves may be purchased for immediate
slaughter. Calves are being slaughtered in Ontario and Quebec as soon as 2 days after leaving
The bull calves may follow a different route along the chain, as some producers sell their
calves directly to a cattle dealer. Regardless, people need to be aware that once the calves leave
the farm, they could be destined for the human food chain much sooner than you expect.
How old are calves when they are slaughtered?
Ontario has 2 categories of veal calves:
1. Light calves (includes Bob veal): market weight less than 176 lbs dressed.
2. Veal calves: market weight at 176 to 396 lbs dressed.
Cedar Row was asked to take Trouble, another turkey who survived a gassing at an industrial hatchery in London, Ontario. Living with a wonderful family for 2 months, it was time for Trouble to move on. Unfortunately, before he moved from the house to the farm, he tried to jump up on to a counter and fell hard hurting his wing.
I took him to the vet today to have his wing looked at, and the x-ray revealed 2 broken bones in his left wing, and gangrene setting in. He is due to have part of his left wing amputated this Thursday morning.
Please keep Trouble in your thoughts this week, since this will not be an easy surgery. It’s always a risk putting an animal under anesthetics, but this is not a regular procedure. Fingers crossed, Trouble will be back with us on Friday.
Siobhan & Peter Poole
This video was featured on the Toronto Star website along with an article on November 30th.
The caption reads: Turkeys Plucky and Dark Wing will spend their first Christmas holiday at Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary near Stratford, Ont., spared from the “pluck, baste and roast” ritual that befalls millions of turkeys each year.
You can read the full article here.