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Hi all, I need some help here! :eek: My husband and I are about to have to bring home and care for soon-to-be-homelesss animals- 2 pigs, 2 cows, 1 goat, 1 sheep, and 2 horses. But we have NEVER owned any of these species of animals before and we're clueless as to how to care for them.

The reason for this is that a neighbor of our's, who has rescued all of these animals, just had big financial problems and is being forced to move out of their home in about 2 weeks- to an apartment where obviously these animals can't live. They know we are animal lovers, that we have enough money to care for animals (my husband and I make pretty good money), and that we have a large, fenced in yard as well as a barn with several different stalls (the barn was there when we moved in- like I said, we've never owned farm-type animals).

Please point us to some resources if you know of them on caring for these animals- we would appreciate any and all tips and knowledge. We are clueless as to how to care for these types of animals, and we want for them to have a good quality of life. I know that we can look online for sources of information, but I don't know which information would be valid, and truly good for the animal's welfare, and which would be invalid and lead to unhappy animals. So, again, any advice or good links would be so appreciated!

We have enough money to be able to pay for food, vet care, and essentials like that. And we also have a barn on our pr

Thank you for pitching in any information you know. Like I said, we're committed to caring for these animals well, but we're complete novices in this area.
 

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How far away are your neighbors moving? They are your prime source of information.
You're going to need a lot more than a pep talk, you need the time to care for all these animals. 2 pigs, 2 cows, 1 goat, 1 sheep, and 2 horses. That's a lot of feeding, cleaning, watering, grooming. How did your neighbors do it? How much time was spent? My first suggestion is look into whether you could pay them to be caretakers, maybe even offer a place to stay in exchange until they get a grip on what to do.

What really troubles me is how much time lapsed between knowing they would need to abandon them and the now two weeks till losing their home. That often is years, you both could have worked this out together. Was this your first interaction?

I urge you to be more sure that you can do this--legally, and realistically, and get in touch with other farm rescues for advice
 

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Cissalie, Silva has great suggestions- especially about contacting a farm animal rescue outfit or sanctuary, like Farm Sanctuary. Odds are they won't have room for your neighbor's animals, even if one of them is near you (although it wouldn't hurt to ask), but they have lots of experience with what you want to do. And they also have a philosophy similar to yours- they understand why you don't want to just butcher them.

If it turns out you can't take them all in (I find horses and cows a bit intimidating because they're so big, even though I'm fond of them), don't be too hard on yourself. Two weeks is not really enough time to prepare for this, considering that you haven't taken care of these species before.

If you're willing and able to spend the money (I don't know how much it would cost), you could possibly hire someone who is familiar with farm animal care to help you out while you learn the ropes.

At one time, I sort of fantasized about adopting a male dairy-breed calf or two, and raise them to be oxen on a small farm. That's just not gonna happen- but I came across a website, "Rural Heritage", whose members care for and train horses and oxen (and mules/donkeys too, I think, but your neighbor doesn't have any of those). Their philosophy toward animals might not be the same as that of VB's members, but they do have a more mutualistic relationship with their animals than someone who is just going to eat them and you might find some useful info there.
 
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