From small beginnings …..

Di Slaney went from having four hens in the garden to setting up a Charitable Trust providing a sanctuary for 170 farm animals with disabilities and special needs!

Lifelong sanctuary for livestock

The Manor Farm Charitable Trust offers a lifelong sanctuary for livestock in need.  Di spoke to us recently and explained how this all came about and what kind of CAM treatments she uses to keep her special animals healthy.  

She explained that caring for all species irrespective of age or ability is an important purpose behind the charity. Their activity raises awareness of the different species at the Trust and their specific needs.  Di said that the farm is not strictly vegan as they sell the eggs from the hens and ducks and also yarn from the sheep at Hooligan Yarns on Etsy. The money from this goes back into supporting the animals by buying feed and bedding.

If you visit their website or their Facebook page, you will see that they currently nurture sheep, goats, donkeys, ponies, pigs, hens, ducks and geese.  Di says:

“We offer food, shelter, love and companionship to all the animals in our care for the length of their life here with us.”

They don’t send animals to slaughter. Instead, they are put to sleep by a vet on site.  Neither do they breed nor re-home.  Not re-homing, however, means that they have restrictions on numbers, unless they can expand their facilities.

Everyone enjoys some TLC at Manor Farm Charitable Trust

Integrated healthcare is at the heart of things

As far as healthcare is concerned, the Trust uses a “mix and match” method of treating their animals.  Di works closely with two conventional vets to find the right approach for each individual animal. Some require conventional treatment first which will often be supported by a holistic treatment or treatments, whilst others might receive a holistic treatment first or on its own. It depends on what’s appropriate for the animal and what they need in a given situation.  Di has access to a wide variety of complementary and alternative practitioners and has also trained in farm homeopathy so that she can prescribe for her animals. 

Homeopathy, magnetic collars, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, herbs and especially nutrition all play a part in supporting the animals at Manor Farm. Di, along with her vets and CAM practitioners, matches the treatments for each animal according to their needs. It’s a constant balancing act but worth it because she sees an improvement in mobility, behaviour and coat condition despite the advancing years of most of their animals.

Laddie and Granger

Nutrition underpins everything

Nutrition underpins everything they do at Manor Farm. Interestingly they have found that this often affects behaviour as well as direct health issues. For instance, Nancy, the very elderly goat, recently went through a poor coat change and because of various alterations in her animal community, she was unable to access her food so easily and became stressed. As a result, Nancy withdrew and became very distant and moody.  Di immediately adapted Nancy’s nutrition and also fed her alone. This had the desired result and Nancy rediscovered some of her feisty attitude amongst her herd!

The problems of growing old….

Sadly, simply growing old is often the problem – it happens to us all! However, Di and her workforce are able to use their excellent livestock management skills alongside complementary healthcare to keep the oldies like Nancy ticking along happily.

Nancy had long been known for “blowing her coat” every spring, which would leave her bald and straggly, almost as though she had lice. Then she would suddenly grow a glossy coat within a week.  However, now that she is older and struggling to keep condition on, she has been left with a straggly coat this year. This is age-related where the animal holds onto the coat as long as they can as they come into the colder season, possibly so as not to waste body resources. Alongside a thorough grooming regime to improve skin and circulation, Di has also adjusted Nancy’s diet by adding in black sunflower seeds, sugar beet shreds and a special goat mix with “added umph” – a secret ingredient we’d all like at the CAM4animals office! 

Observation is crucial, especially for the elderly

Di commented that all the animals have access to a mineral lick.  The team watches carefully to see who is using it and by how much as this gives them useful information on each animal’s nutritional needs which they can adjust accordingly if necessary.  

Ronnie and Darcy, who enjoy Willow Bark for it’s anti-inflammatory properties

Self-selection of herbs

We asked if they’d tried any form of self-selection of herbs. This prompted the story of Ronnie the arthritic nine-year-old goat who, when offered White Willow Bark, devoured the lot. This tree bark is rich in salicylic acid which has anti-inflammatory properties and is the natural form of aspirin. Ronnie and his elderly partner Darcy now receive it daily.

Ronnie the giant goat

Local vet support

Manor Farm is supported by two veterinary surgeries.  One who is open to all forms of CAM but not a holistic vet herself whom they use for all the chronic care.  The other vet also has a great relationship with the Manor Farm team but takes a much more conventional approach. They tend to be involved with emergency care and euthanasia. 

There’s always one!

Sometimes both lots of vets are needed to view an animal, such as Brooke, the poorly pig who had unstoppable diarrhoea.  Both sets of vets admitted being unable to make an improvement, and none of Di’s usual armoury of homeopathy or herbs made any difference. What did eventually work was offering Brooke a smorgasbord of food options from a tray.  From this, Brooke chose goats cheese but nothing else!  Di then set about cutting out all forms of food except goats milk and simple oat porridge. It was the only thing which got Brooke back to normal.

Another tricky case which finally produced a cure was a sheep who struggled with granulomas in her feet despite conscientious foot trimming.  With the use of homeopathic Calc carb and Thuja, this problem was finally resolved.

Brooke back to a normal diet – a bowl of healthy grub

Don’t forget the cat!

Even the domestic animals enjoy holistic healthcare.  Di’s Maine Coon cat relies on homeopathic Sulphur to keep her fluff fluffy, since over-grooming left her with a balding tummy.

Sybil, the Maine Coon benefits from nutritional supplements and homeopathy

Manor Farm Charitable Trust

Di and her team work 100% for the well-being of their animals. If you’d like to support the Manor Farm Charitable Trust, pop over to their website – they accept donations and sell a variety of cards and calendars, you can also buy beautiful yarn from their sheep on Etsy at Hooligan Yarns. Hopefully, by next summer you will be able to book a visit to see them in North Nottinghamshire.  Meanwhile, you can follow them on Facebook to keep up with the stories of these amazing and very lucky animals. This is the ethos underpinning their work:

  • We’re passionate about high standards of welfare for farm animals in the human food chain.
  • We believe that every animal deserves a good start, middle and end to their life, and should be treated with compassion and respect.
  • We know that animals are as individual as people, with complex needs and strong emotional connections to other animals and humans.
  • We believe that no animal should be exploited for their productivity, but the things that they provide naturally such as eggs and fleece should not be wasted, viewed instead as valuable gifts.

Stumble, who lost a leg wrapped in fishing line, thrived at Manor Farm, especially when he had his own wheelchair

Links to treatments mentioned and other blogs of interest

Visit the Modalities section on the website for more information about the treatments outlined above and how to find a practitioner or vet.

For similar blogs see the following: 

Disclaimer – Where blogs have been created by a guest author, CAM4Animals has reproduced this in good faith but cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies of information in it or any use you make of this information

This blog may also contain an element of consumer opinionWhilst CAM4animals welcomes positive recommendations for holistic healthcare products, we don’t necessarily endorse the product or the author’s opinion. We acknowledge that each animal is an individual and may react differently to the highlighted product/s. There may also be other products available that produce similarly positive results.

The veterinary Surgeon’s Act 1966 restricts the treatment of animals (usually other than your own*) by anyone other than a qualified vet. Always consult a veterinary surgeon if you are concerned about your animal’s health. *For full details visit the RCVS website