Wednesday 16 April 2014

Emmaus Sheffield gets its goats

aaSheffield pygmy goat Renn breeders 140417

Emmaus Sheffield will start an animal corner in its community garden, thanks to a £2400 grant from Sheffield University students’ rag week collections.

It is hoped that the new venture will encourage more families to come down to the community, giving children something to do while their parents are shopping. Pygmy goats, rabbits and possibly even chickens will join the community fish, guinea pigs, and cheeky cat Kipper, who enjoys hiding behind furniture, jumping out on unsuspecting customers and hanging out on the fish tank.

Sheffield Kipper on the fish tank 140416

Shop manager, Charley Holman, said: “The animal corner will not only be a lovely place for children to see small animals up close, but should also give our companions new skills in animal care. If we get chickens, we may even have the added bonus of fresh eggs.”

Manager Charley and companion Kris Becker attended a course with breeders Renn Pygmy Goats to learn how to care for the new arrivals. Kris said: “Apparently the goats can be quite naughty little creatures so we learned how to keep them well-exercised by taking them out on a lead for walks. We were also taught how to clip their hooves, what to feed them and generally how to keep them fit and well.”

Community guinea pigs Betty and Amy have already been moved outside to the new petting area. During the colder winter weather, the pair lived indoors and even took a starring role in Santa’s grotto in a cage decorated with fairy lights.

Sheffield Guinea pig hutch 140414

Many customers have commented on the pets’ beautiful cage, which was built by two companions, Gary and Tony. Kris added: “The guys have carved an amazing windmill on top of the hutch which even has sails that turn in the breeze. With the two little guinea pigs skittering about, the whole thing provides a lovely focal point for our visitors. I can’t wait until we bring in the rest of the animals.”

It’s donations like these from Sheffield University’s RAG students that help Emmaus communities to grow, teach companions new skills and help us work towards the aim of making every community self-sufficient. If you think you could help a community to grow, just get in touch.

To read more about Emmaus Sheffield, visit the community’s web page.