The lucky boys

A little while ago I mentioned that Daniel and Elizabeth are sponsoring two roosters at an animal sanctuary, Arborfield Sanctuary, north of Auckland. Yesterday we visited the sanctuary and gave some of the roosters a cuddle. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was a pleasure meeting Robyn and Malcolm who are clearly passionate about their sanctuary which is just fledgling, having opened less than a year ago. It was uplifting for me to meet some people making a grassroots contribution to animal welfare.

What is usually a very green, lush drive up north, was instead a drive past some very parched landscape. New Zealand is currently experiencing the worst drought in more than 7 decades.

View from car window

Arborfield Sanctuary is home to more than 40 roosters! They all live very peacefully together. Here are some of the very lucky boys:


The sanctuary is home to more than roosters. They also have alpacas, donkeys, goats, sheep, cows and alpacas.

The goats

Like most country folk with animals to feed, Arborfield Sanctuary is struggling with the drought. The animals need food. Sponsorship helps them the most, and animals can be sponsored for as little as $10 per month. Or if you know anyone with connections to people in the food industry, pass this on. They need grains and cereals, hay, bread and anything that doesn’t spoil too quickly.

16 responses to “The lucky boys”

  1. Hi Everybody, as we all know, Rachel has always loved chooks so not surprised that she is sponsoring the upkeep of her favourite domestic animal. But I am seriously shocked at how dry it is in NZ. I was there in December and it was lush and green, and rained almost every day. It seems that the weather in NZ is the reverse of SEQ. We had drought in December and January, and now it won’t stop raining.

    • It pretty much stopped raining just after you left and has been dry ever since. I am longing for rain and I’m not a farmer. Perhaps it’s my farming ancestry that makes me appreciate lush, green pasture?

  2. It’s really sad to hear about the drought and the problems Robyn and Malcolm (and indeed other farmers) are experiencing. We have a fellow about 45 minutes from Canberra who set up a chook, duck and turkey sanctuary using his own funds. He works for Amnesty and is a vegetarian. I send him support every so often. He does tremendous work on a shoestring. The sanctuary takes a huge amount of his time. He also has some abandoned sheep.
    I love the photo of you nursing the rooster. I take it that you have grown out of eating chook poo these days. By the way, the land looks drier than Canberra when it was drought-stricken.

  3. Rachel, you should join Annie and me in Kauai, Hawaii …. It’s overrun with free roaming roosters, hens and chicks! The word is they were all liberated from their (probably horrible) enclosures when a hurricane struck in 1992. They have few predators and look a very happy bunch.
    Love, Susie xxx

  4. Rach, I can’t add much as it’s all been said – love the photos and noticed the drought too. Made me think of the large, donkey sanctuary in England which you can visit later this year and the horse sanctuary at Tamborine not far from us here in Bris. Thanks for the links. Hope they get good support.
    Susie, I was imagining you and Annie in a luxury resort, free of roaming chooks?

    • Hahahaha it appears you can combine luxury AND chooks – seems to work here. Surprisingly the grounds are immaculate so I don’t know where they do their digging; they just seem wander contentedly around the grounds enjoying handouts from guests. We have heard of some guests complaining of the 4.30am wakeup calls but so far we haven’t been disturbed. xx

  5. No doubt those chooks are performing an important role- turning over and aerating the soil in the resort gardens. Very cheap, non-union labour!
    The donkey sanctuary is in Devon and would be a wonderful place to visit while you’re in the U.K.

  6. What a wonderful venture. Chooks are terrific birds. My sympathies to everyone over your way with the dreadful drought you are having. Been there done that and it’s just awful – bad enough for townspeople. Absolutely rotten for the farmers, their animals and the local birds and other wildlife. Will do a little rain dance for you all.

    • Thank you, Sou! The sky is looking positively overcast today so perhaps that rain dance worked 😉

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