For the Love

...of All Animals

A story by owner, Carly Clark A story by owner, Carly Clark

During a school agriculture class, aged 12 we were told to prepare ourselves for a huge surprise.

“Stay together as a group” we were told, as we strolled across the road to the school agriculture plot.

As we laughed, talked and walked our way through the garden beds and into a small shed, we soon learned that my teacher had recently hatched over 40 baby chickens. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was love at first sight. “They need sexing” he said.

I could not have been more excited, little yellow pom poms ran over our feet as we took turns in picking up the delicate little balls of fluff, turning them over to see if we could differentiate the boys from the girls.

There seemed to be more excitement from my teacher over the ‘girl’ chickens than the ‘boys’. He explained to us that the girls would go onto be prime layers. “But what happens to the boys?” I asked puzzled. Don’t the boys simply go out into the field to continue a life of ‘scratching around’ and sitting on fence posts ‘cock-a-doodle-doo-ing’?

It was bitter sweet moment when I first learnt that the boy chicks would be disposed of, or even worse, frozen for reptile food. Shock horror.

I took action!

I grabbed the first 3 chicks I could get my hands on and speedily pushed them into my pockets. I later put them in my lunch box and smuggled them home in my school bag. I was panging with guilt and disappointment all the way home because I couldn’t save them all.

I knew my parents would force me to take back the stolen chicks, so I set up a light box under my bed and begged the chicks to be quiet. I called them Texy, Mexy & Sexy and it was a good 3-4 weeks before mum came to tuck me in one night and heard the small chirps coming from underneath my bed.

This was where my love of animals began.

Mum and Dad let me keep the babies and we built them a much bigger cage under the cubby house. I was even allowed to bring home some lady chicks, of course once I apologized to my agriculture teacher & the school for stealing the others in the first place.

The birds would jump up and down when they’d see my school bus arrive home and sit on my lap for pats and cuddles during the many hours each day I’d sit in their enclosure. I never knew chickens could show so much love & I loved them back whole heartedly.

After many years, a cunning fox tore apart the wire on the cage one night and my heart broke the morning I discovered the mass of black feathers that lay in the bottom of the enclosure where Texy, Mexy and Sexy once were.

All farms experience loss. Some more than others however, my love affair with all animals, especially rescued animals, has never subsided. Rescued pets seem to know that you gave them a chance when their neck was, quite literally on the chopping block. I believe they bond to you more for knowing it too.

I won’t lie, my love of rescue animals does cause a little angst between my husband and I as he never really can tell which animal I’m bringing home in the back of the 4WD next.

“How are we going to afford to feed it?”......”Where will it sleep?”……. “Carly, it needs a proper paddock, it’s going to get out!”

He vents his frustration, then shakes his head, goes out to his van, grabs a drill and some old tin and finds a way for me to keep each one.

It’s love…..oh and my hubby is pretty amazing too :)

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Phone 0438 246 318

Email info@splittersfarm.com.au

Visit 205 Blairs Rd, Sharon QLD 4670

10 min drive north of Bundaberg's bustling central business district, Splitters Farm is a rural camping & day-trip experience set amongst lush tropical bushland, the 160 acre property is bordered by Splitters Creek.