Today was my last day volunteering at the farm. I have had an amazing time and made friends human and animal along the way. Spending time at the farm has taught me not only how to care for a variety of different animals but also built up my skills on how to work well in a team.
I would definitely recommend doing volunteering work as it not only gives you a chance to see what’s it like to work in a certain industry and the day to day jobs you would be doing and of course you can put your volunteer experience on your CV.
Through doing volunteering work at the farm I have learnt a lot more than I thought I would and I have been able to push myself in a supportive environment achieving things I thought I would never be able to do. For example I can now carry out health checks independently on a range of different animals for example chickens, rats, hamsters and guinea pigs.
I have learnt a lot about introducing new animals into the different groups at the farm and all about the different responses the animals may have. Some may get on straight away others may take a while longer. I have learnt about how to break down the introducing steps to make shy or worried animals feel safe before putting them in with others straight away. For example you may separate the new animal with the others in the group but have it in the field next to them so that the animals get used to each other but from a little distance.
As well as this I have also learnt about if an animal has something like a problem with their fur or skin you may only use one brush just for them only for grooming as you don’t want to pass on any germs to the other animals in their group.
I have learnt a lot about all different the animals diets and what they can and cannot eat as well as what they love. Erik the goat loves eating oranges! Pigs cannot eat onion or anything in the onion family and if you mix alpaca feed and goat feed together it becomes toxic to the animals.
On the farm I have learnt about how to care for injuries the small animals such as hamsters or guinea pigs may get from animals such as wild rats that manage to get into their cages.
A big thing at the farm I have learnt about is how to care for a variety of different reptiles such as geckos, snakes, water dragons , bearded dragons, spiders and skinks.
I have loved my time at the farm and would highly recommend volunteering with animals to gain experience for anyone who loves animals!