Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary, 17 Barker Road, Lebanon, CT, 06249

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Majestic Diary

April 10, 2008

It's my birthday today--whoo hoo!  Look at the beautiful birthday card Isabel made for me. I'm going to save it forever!

Do you see it? Did you catch it?  She drew a little Alien in there (next to his home planet too)!!! Isn't that amazing? She drew it entirely from memory. That really does look like an alien! Look at it beside an image I pulled online:

                 

And in rescue news… knock on wood, we are quiet on the front, which is usually the case this time of year. Abandonment time comes soon though… sadly…

I hear it is supposed to rain all weekend, which really stinks because I need to start turning over ground in the pens and planting grass. It appears I will be dressed in yellow this weekend… out in the rain… digging dirt… Imagine my happiness…

Ha ha!  I actually don't mind. I truly LOVE being out in those pens, with my flock. I really like earthy work, no matter how difficult it is and find true joy in it. It is so rewarding when the grass comes in, which is not easily done. It requires turning soil, planting seed, pen rotations and keeping hens out of seeded pens until the grass is fully in.  Hens will forage and destroy newly planted grass--drakes will ignore it. It takes about a month to get green in all the pens and I hope to start this weekend, so everything is pretty by mid-May and super fantastic by Memorial Day weekend.

Since recently updating our Volunteer page we have suddenly stopped getting so many useless volunteer applications. I was being inundated with applications from people who said they wanted to help and weren't afraid of hard work, but they either never showed up, or showed up once and never came back. Even though I emailed them and told them how hard it is to volunteer at our sanctuary, they all said they loved hard work. Extremely frustrating. It ended up wasting too much of my time, communicating with these people and answering all their questions for nothing--and when we have so many other things that need our attention. The ducks and geese (and my family) cannot afford me spending my time of folks full of false promises. 

So… I looked around at other sanctuary sites for ideas on resolving the issue, and found some good volunteer policies out there. We instituted some changes, including: all volunteers must work a minimum of 4 hours on any given volunteer day and they have to volunteer on a consistent basis--either once a week or once a month. PERFECT! Great idea! This should weed out the ones with wishy-washy intentions.

My sister volunteers at a Rottie (large dog) rescue. She cleans pens for these huge dogs and she tells everyone that although you wouldn't expect it, volunteering at a dog rescue is 10 times easier than volunteering at a duck rescue. She cleans up dog poop, cleans pens and water/food dishes at their place. At our place, she's mixing cement, re-facing ponds, cleaning drain pipes, pitching hay, nailing beams, cleaning dishes, raking pens, turning over ground, etc. It is real physical work and there is much more of it than at a dog shelter.

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