We’re glad to be welcoming spring here at The Island Community Haven! This month has seen much warmer and sunnier days! The animals have been basking in the sunshine and everyone is happy to see the back of that freezing cold winter (although fun in the snow definitely makes up for soggy toes). The sheep are content grazing on the greener grass and the donkeys have been loving rolling around on the dusty ground – as you all know, the dust in their coats helps to keep them insulated and protects them from any little nasty critters! All of our animals have been wormed and provided with their flea treatment ready for the warmer months to come.
Last month, we shared our top-tips on how to care for your big-eyed, floppy-eared friends and hope you enjoyed our quick and easy video on how to check your floof’s heart is healthy. March has seen our focus shift over to our stunning pair of equines Charlie and Blue. I have discussed behaviour in each Well-being Wednesday post, and have explored how behaviour is a key indicator of both good and poor health. Any abnormal behaviour, like not eating/drinking enough or sleeping too much could be a sign of illness and any limping or aggression could be a sign of injury, so always monitor your pet’s behaviour to ensure that they are happy and healthy. We all do this subconsciously as we engage with our pets throughout their lifespan, but it is always good to be aware of any changes in behaviour, and be aware of what these could mean too!
Behaviour is often explored, in humans and in animals, through psychology – the study of the mind and behaviour. And this month, we are going to do exactly that, we are going to explore the ways in which we think about learning and how this influences behaviour. So, although we can observe behaviour and use it to indicate general health and well-being, behaviour too has a much broader function. Behaviour can be described as the way we interact with our environment and is influenced by our internal thoughts and feelings too. Learning can have a huge effect on how we behave, as behaviour is fluid and can be subject to change as we interact with the world around us. This is the same for animals too! With that in mind, this blog post will attempt to share with you (our lovely audience), how, through training, good behaviour can be learned and how this learning is embedded in how our donkeys behave on a daily basis!
In addition to donkey antics, we have some exciting news to share with you all, as we have been presented with an opportunity to open our doors to the public post-COVID. Plus, we’ve been teaching Mr. Piggie how to behave out of his pen and past the courtyard, in the big-wide world (uhm, I mean field). Sadly, we have had to say goodbye to our matron goat Skip this month after a short injury. We are heartbroken and she will be missed by many, but she had a long and happy life here at the Island Community Haven.
Thank you once again for being here and checking in with us all at The Island Community Haven!