Cultivating Compassion Youth Tour
Meet the Animals
The Cultivating Compassion Youth Tour allows students to interact with rescued cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, and other animals while at Farm Sanctuary’s Animal Acres. Here is a sneak peak at just a few of the incredible animals your students may meet while visiting our Southern California Shelter.
Meet Demeter — A Divine Hen!
How did she get her name? This little hen was named Demeter after the Greek goddess of agriculture because she was found in a setting befitting a divine creature: near the Greek antiquities and Roman gardens of Malibu’s Getty Villa.
Demi’s rescue story: Demi was found roaming Malibu without anyone around to explain her appearance. Her partially amputated upper beak, however, attested to her life’s beginnings. The mutilation was a result of a “de-beaking” procedure, which is standard practice at industrial hatcheries, where workers cut off the beak of day-old chicks to discourage fighting in the stressful, crowded cages and warehouses for which they are bound. It is uncommon, however, to find loose factory hens in Malibu. We have no idea how Demi got there, but we’re glad she did!
Personality: Demi is a very outgoing and social girl — she loves people and even prefers their company to that of her fellow chickens!
Her favorite part of the day: There are really two favorites for Demi. She loves it when guests come to spend time with her, but she also really enjoys feeding time! Although de-beaking can sometimes make eating difficult for chickens, it hasn’t hampered Demi — she loves to eat!
Meet Erika the playful Goat!
Erika’s surprise rescue story: In February 2013, Animal Control officers rescued more than a dozen sheep, one goat, and a calf who were struggling to stay alive on bread scraps from a backyard butcher in the Los Angeles area. The bodies of victims who had already perished lay nearby. Once we heard of this case, we welcomed the group and took them into our care. Most of the animals were transported to our Northern California Shelter, leaving only Claire (the rescue’s sole goat) and Felicity (her dear sheep friend) to reside at our Los Angeles sanctuary. On March 12, during their evening rounds, Southern California Shelter caregivers discovered that Claire had just given birth to a daughter, who we have named Erika. The arrival was a surprise, but a very happy one. Erika was tiny and bursting with life!
Personality: Erika is still young, so she is very curious and playful. And at times, she is quite demanding! Having been born into a sanctuary setting, Erika will never know cruelty. She has been treated as a princess since the day she was born and never hesitates to ask for what she wants — sometimes very loudly.
Erika has two moms: Erika has the luxury of being raised by not only one, but two mother-figures — her mother, Claire, and her Aunt Felicity, who is a sheep. The two watch over Erika carefully. Erika spends every afternoon playing on the hillside or snoozing in the sun — with her “Moms” close by.
Her favorite part of the day: This little goat is happy anytime food is near! Erika knows her feeding times and will announce them at the top of her lungs!
Say “Hello” to Bruno!
Who is Bruno? Bruno is a black Jersey steer.
Rescue story: When Bruno was just a little calf, he and another calf fell off of a transport truck on Highway 14 outside of Los Angeles, not far from our sanctuary. Sadly, the other calf was hit by a car, but Bruno survived the accident. Because of Bruno’s breed, it is likely he was born on a dairy farm. Male calves are considered useless to the dairy industry because they will not be able to produce milk. Such calves are transported to stockyards, where producers hope they’ll gain a few dollars by selling these “byproducts” for veal or cheap beef — this is likely where Bruno was headed that day. Lucky for Bruno, he was a survivor, and, lucky for us, he made his way to our sanctuary — he has been charming staff and visitors ever since!
Personality: Bruno is extremely outgoing, affectionate, and curious. He is the first to check out new visitors in his pasture, especially if they have interesting objects like umbrellas or backpacks. Bruno likes to get real close to say “hello”, and he is a licker — he’ll lick you from head to toe!
Bruno’s best friends: Bruno loves greeting visitors with his best friends, Paolo and Pinto, two other steers who live at our Southern California Shelter.
His favorite part of the day: Bruno has two favorite times of the day. First, he loves starting the day off right with a healthy breakfast, which for cows, is hay! He also loves when our interns come out to groom him at the end of the day. Bruno loves people, so Sunday, when visitors come for tours, is his favorite day of the week!
Meet our most popular turkey, Minerva!
How did she get her name? Sometimes, when choosing a name for new residents, our staff members and interns suggest names which are then voted on. The name “Minerva” was suggested by an intern and was voted best name almost instantly. It was the perfect name, because Minerva was the goddess of wisdom. Fitting for a wise and happy turkey.
Does she know her name? She sure does! Minerva knows her name very well and comes running to caregivers when they call her!
Minerva’s rescue story: Minerva is a bronze turkey, and she was rescued from a live market in Los Angeles. Live markets are places where people can go to pick out an animal that will be slaughtered on site for them. They are increasing in popularity around large cities, which is unfortunate, because animals kept at live markets live in overcrowded, filthy conditions where diseases are common. Lucky for Minerva, she made her way safely out of the live market and found refuge at our sanctuary.
Personality: Minerva is very social and loves people. She frequently follows staff and visitors around when they are in the courtyard with her. She is a star every Sunday when our Southern California Shelter is open to the public, and she has quite a few admirers who visit her regularly.
Her best friend: Minerva’s best friend is Turkey Lurkey, another bronze hen who lives with her — you’ll often see the two lounging or exploring together.
Her favorite part of the day: When caregivers or guests give her a massage under her wings.