Running With the BullsAlex
Reading “running with the bulls” probably makes you think about the centuries-old celebration in Pamplona, Spain; however, what we did with our bulls was more rescuing than running. Welcome to part two of our Redwood Reserves animal rescue tale – and yes, we’re running with the bulls to kick off part two.
Our previous blog introduced a few of the key players at Redwood Reserves family farm’s animal rescue efforts, like OG’s Cappy and Red, plus the trio of alpacas. About a year after these initial animal rescues, cows entered the scene – two bulls – named Ben and Jerry.
We learned of a dairy farm that sold baby bulls. We discovered that these little bulls were an undesirable byproduct of the business because they drink too much of the sellable milk. So, if the baby bulls didn’t sell within a week of listing – they were slaughtered. We called immediately and learned of two bulls that arrived just that morning – so we set out to pick up and rescue Ben and Jerry.
Redwood Family Farms Adds New Family
As newborns, we had to bottle feed them both for months. After four months, it became a little trickier. You see, in nature, cows will head-butt their mom’s udders to produce more milk. So they kept trying to head-butt the bottles, which became too much as they continued to grow – and grow. But we figured it out, and they’ve thrived!
Ben and Jerry are turning four this year. Over the years, some of their funnier antics included standing outside Ana Redwood’s window and mooing when hungry since she was their bottle feeder, primary caregiver, and designated “mom.” On any given day, you can find Ben and Jerry hanging with Redwood Reserve employees, playing with a soccer ball, or curled up around their mom, Ana, for a nap.
With the arrival of Ben and Jerry, the path became very clear. We had the land and resources to help animals in need. It was just Ana and a handful of employees doing the animal tending at first. However, as the Redwood Reserve’s smokeable CBD business continued to grow, we decided to turn over care for the animals to a separate team. So Ana’s “retired” parents moved to the farm and took over caring for the growing rescue side of things, which was a dream come true for them.
We’ve rescued and purchased many others to create a thriving and safe haven for our animal family on the Redwood Reserves hemp farms. Our efforts have evolved to include quite a few feathered friends as well. First, there came the chickens, who were also Craiglist rescues. Initially, we had planned to raise them for meat, but they completely outsmarted us. They’ve become so smart and follow everyone around the farm – especially Ana, who hides mealworms for them to find and enjoy. So now they’re family.
We also briefly had adorable silkie chickens, but that didn’t last. After learning that they’re a hawk’s favorite snack, we gave up the silkies to save further heartache. Next came two peacocks – one albino and the other a brilliant blue. Rather than rescues, they were a compromise Ana made with her mom when dear mom wanted ostriches. Since letting animals run wild at 30 mph around the carefully tended farmland was out of the question, peacocks were the answer. Although they’re still skittish around people, mealworm treats seem to give them confidence – must be learning from the chickens!
The farm has also rescued and helped rehabilitate squirrels and rabbits over the years. In both cases, we initially saved them from abandonment and certain perish as babies. We ended up turning over the rabbits to specialists for wildlife re-entry training. As for the squirrels, they escaped. However, sometimes we spot a pair of squirrels staring at us more curiously than the others – leaving us to wonder, is it them?
And, of course, there are plenty of faithful dog companions. Some are rescues, and some are intentional – like Cowboy, the red healer, who tirelessly herds the animals. All of them are fearless protectors and loving friends of the farm’s animals and humans.
Our Family is Your Family
As the Redwood Reserves CBD brand continues to grow, so will our sustainable farming and animal rescue efforts. The animals have become an integral part of our hemp growing system, providing manure for fertilization, security for the land, and happiness in our hearts. We also convert hemp biomass, an excellent source of protein, into a special feed for the animals. So, everything is working together in harmony to sustain our rich farmland and way of life – just as nature intended it.