Posts Tagged With: the ranch menagerie

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Animals of The Ranch: Meet the Pigs


Here at The Ranch, we currently have 4 rescued pigs. Two were left here on the property by a previous tenant, and 2 were rescued as piglets.
The 2 boys (Rascal and Roscoe) are the piglets in one of our YouTube videos.

They don’t know it, but Rascal and Roscoe were originally purchased very young and were supposed to be python food! They grew faster than expected and were, luckily, brought to The Ranch Menagerie instead.

Pigs are amazing animals, and it’s no wonder many people decide they want to try having a pig as a pet. Unfortunately, zoning regulations keep many people from living this dream. Another problem with having a pig for a pet is a lack of knowledge in general about pigs and barnyard animals. (I’ll go into more detail about learning about pigs later, in an upcoming hub article).

One things pigs really like (and in fact need) is room to forage. It’s not safe for them to wander free, especially with an orchard and pumpkin patches right next store to The Ranch!

The two female pigs are known as Pearl and Mother-of Pearl. When The Ranch took over the care and feeding of these two friendly, abandoned pigs, they’d been improperly fed and cared for. In fact, Mother was mechanically blind, due to a large layer of fat hanging over her eyes.

After consulting with our Vet, the two female pigs were put on a healthy diet consisting of pig feed, lots of fresh water and plenty of fresh vegetables. Spinach is a big favorite of all four pigs, although they each have their own individual tastes.  Pigs love fruit, and would over-eat on that if allowed, but we only offer them fruit in small quantities (for dessert, you might say).

I could write all day about Mother-of-Pearl’s weight-loss success, but I think these photos say it all:

This is Mother-of Pearl, Before her new diet.

This is Mother-of Pearl, Before her new diet.

This sad photo shows how a bad diet caused 'mechanical blindness.'

This sad photo shows how a bad diet caused ‘mechanical blindness.’

But then, after eating properly and following her doctor’s orders, just look at her success:

A happier, healthier, lighter pig!

A happier, healthier, lighter pig!

 pearl after 2

Pigs are social animals, and our pigs enjoy one another’s company (as you can see in the above photo). They never met a stranger they didn’t like, and – believe it or not – some of their best friends are cats.

For instance, in this photo (that has been featured on our web site before) where Jasper the Cat takes a piggie back ride:

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What’s New at The Ranch – eBay

The Ranch Menagerie on eBay – What Sells?

If you haven’t heard, The Ranch Menagerie is now selling donated items on eBay. So far, after a few weeks of listings we’ve been pretty surprised at what sells and what does not.

For instance, pristine stamp collections haven’t done very well (so far) while a used pair of vintage Ray Bans sold almost as fast as we hit the LIST ITEM button. We were expecting this antique horseradish jar to sell quickly, but so far no takers.

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We’d Appreciate your Help, and Advice

Even with some items not selling (or selling more slowly than expected) we’ve still made a profit. A small profit, but it’s a beginning.

Do you have something you don’t need anymore that you’d like to donate? If so please let us know! But even if you don’t have anything to give away right now, maybe you have some eBay experience or advice you can share. If you have an idea what sort of items we ought to be looking for, please comment or send us an email. We appreciate any an all helpful suggestions.

We’re feeling really optimistic about our new eBay venture, because The Ranch has always received a lot of support from our community. Remember: check our auctions often.

We’ve been receiving some really interesting items lately. Keep watching; we’ll be listing 3 to 5 things each week.

If you live in the area and have some interesting or even quirky items you’d like to donate, please email us at

CATNIP Will be Harvested Soon!

Local cat lovers look forward to The Ranch’s catnip harvest each year.

This year everyone can share in the excitement even if they don’t live in or around Yellow Springs. While plenty of our all natural, organic catnip will still be available to locals, this year we’ll also be selling bags of our excellent catnip for $5.00 on eBay and also on Watch for updates.

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Animals of The Ranch – Muscovy Ducks

This is the first in a series of blogs featuring all the animals who live here at The Ranch Menagerie.  Muscovy Ducks are first because at The Ranch they outnumber everybody.

Muscovy’s are a large breed of duck and they are much quieter than many other types of duck. They are easily distinguished from other breeds by their faces which are featherless, bright red, flashy and carnunculated (lumpy). The drakes, when alarmed, excited or angry, will erect the feathers on the top of their heads.

Although they are often raised for their meat and their eggs, Muscovy’s are very often feral. They often settle in parks or around private ponds. They’re fast breeders. When they find a place they like, they’ll stay and their population will quickly grow. Unfortunately some cities still round feral ducks up and exterminate them.

Our Muscovy’s are protected and  free-range. They really help control flies and all sorts of other insects. They’re quiet enough to be raised and kept in backyard farms, but if you’ve never kept ducks before be sure and do some research first. Ducks — all ducks — can be very messy, especially when kept in a small area. Muscovy ducks are fine if they don’t have a pond. They are fond of puddles and are very happy with a small wading pool.

Although I try to collect as many eggs as I can, Muscovy’s are very good at hiding their nests. This spring alone our Muscovy’s have hatched more than 30 ducklings.

Here's one of our Muscovy's when it was just a little hatchling.

Here’s one of our Muscovy’s when it was just a little hatchling.

They start out small and yellow, but ducklings grow up quickly.  For the first few weeks of their lives, Muscovy duckling feed on grains, corn, grass, insects, and almost anything that moves. Their mother instructs them at an early age how to feed.

Here's a young duckling who very soon will grow to be . . .

Here’s a young duckling who very soon will grow to be . . .

. . . an older duckling. And then it's not long until the duckling grows to be . . .

. . . an older duckling. And then it’s not long until the duckling grows to be . . .

. . . a fledgling. Sort of the teenager of the Muscovy world.

. . . a fledgling. Sort of the teenager of the Muscovy world.

Muscovy’s make very good parents. They’re friendly and seem to get along well with just about every species here at The Ranch.  They’re protective of their nests, but never attack people (the way many geese will).  These ducks can get a little loud when they’re mating, or fighting about mating. Otherwise, most of the time Muscovy’s are just one big happy family.

muscovy mom and brood cropmuscovys out for walk crop - Copy happy muscovy family with friend - Copy

It’s very lucky for the Muscovy’s at The Ranch Menagerie Animal Sanctuary that they live on a no-kill facility. Muscovy meat is very popular.

Still, as a birth-control method we do collect Muscovy eggs. The eggs can be used exactly like chicken eggs. They have a good flavor and a slightly firmer texture when cooked. We do sell the eggs when we can, so send an email if you’d like to try Muscovy eggs.

Muscovy ducks are a sturdy, self-sufficient breed, but we supplement their insect-filled diet with duck feed, cracked corn, and leafy vegetables.

If you’d like to help us keep our Muscovy ducks happy, healthy and well fed, please donate today.

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Muscovy ducks are happy to be friends with anybody. Especially if that friend might share his or her food.

Muscovy ducks are happy to be friends with anybody. Especially if that friend might share his or her food.

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