Meet the Animals
This barred owl fell from his nest and ended up on the ground in New Paltz, NY where he was rescued and cared for but it was quickly apparent that he was severely disfigured. He had a twisted, crooked beak, his wing feathers weren’t fully developed and one eye was shut while the other did not look as it should. This was not a bird that could be released back into the wild. Green Chimneys wildlife specialists worked with a local veterinary hospital to improve the bird’s health and determined that the owl was totally blind in one eye and 80-90% blind in the other. It is a wonder that nature had allowed him to survive but he is now living quite well at Green Chimneys where the children enjoy supervised visits and help clean his cage, feed him, and wash his food and water bowls. It feels good to care for a creature that needs you.
Brook Lyn the Sheep
Copper the Tamworth Pig
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Britt the Pony Mule
The Llama Crew
Lily, Java, Summer Wind, Beata, AlexaThere’s a whole lotta llamas at the farm! Green Chimneys has been a long-time home to llamas Lily and Java, who arrived in 2006 as trained therapy animals. Llamas are environmentally sensitive, intelligent creatures that get along well with children and are noted for being well-socialized, extremely curious and highly approachable, making the pair excellent “facilitators” for the therapeutic programs at Green Chimneys. In the fall of 2011, Lily and Java were joined by a group of llamas, creating a complete community of camelids. Traveling from a sprawling 200-acre farm in Schoharie, NY, Summer Wind, Beata, and Alexa (Beata’s mom) settled into a new life, and not without some challenges. Each possessed its own unique personality and had never been around any animal other than a llama so it was quite an adjustment. The most valuable lesson imparted to the children of Green Chimneys: It’s never easy to be the new kid. EVERYONE needs time to get used to a new place.
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Nutmeg the Goat
Ari & Dinky
The Green Chimneys farm truly does feel like home when you have your own family member by your side. Brothers Ari & Dinky live happily together in the horse barn but their relationship is also peppered with typical brotherly behavior such as playful squabbles and hints of competition. These miniature horses are very curious, quite personable, and greet visitors without hesitation. Green Chimneys students learn many things from the animals and their histories and relationships can be valuable teaching points, sometimes helping students to relate and better understand their own family situations.
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The children of Green Chimneys extended a warm welcome to Bella, a miniature Jersey heifer that arrived from Pennsylvania in the fall of 2013. Bella was born on July 4, 2012 and at 4 feet high, will grow just a little bit bigger. Getting used to a new place is never easy but Bella found a loyal friend in her first few months. One student who had a particularly emotional connection to an animal that had passed on happened to meet Bella during her very first week. He immediately gravitated to her but was cautious in his interactions as he still missed his “favorite”. Over time, he became very comfortable around Bella, who was especially responsive to him until one day he declared her to be his new favorite animal. The friendship was cemented!
This turkey vulture made a surprising entrance into the world after a local resident’s dog presented her with an usually large egg. The woman planned to bring it to Green Chimneys as soon as she was able but nature had other plans, and the egg hatched! She kept the hatchling on a heating blanket and brought it to the Wildlife Center the very next day. Staff cared for the new bird by keeping it warm and closely monitoring its food intake and weight, until the vulture showed signs of healthy growth. Although our goal is to restore health and support each animal’s successful return to the wild, human contact from such a young age sometimes removes that possibility. So this young vulture will live his life at Green Chimneys where students will participate in his care.
Bo Peep arrived at just 3 months old from a local lamb and mutton farm that felt her slower growth would prevent her from keeping up with the rest of the flock. She was also in need of veterinary care for infections in both eyes and an upper respiratory infection. Bo received the care and love she needed and is now strong and healthy but remains a bit smaller than her peers. She loves following around her human friends and while she is housed with two goat kids she still prefers people, knocking staff with her front hoof if their attention veers even a minute.
Meet the Bantam chicken family: a hen that arrived at Green Chimneys with seven new baby chicks in tow. A local resident who keeps chickens discovered the eggs in the hen’s nest and realized that many chicks would need a bigger home. Once they hatched, she wanted to keep the family together and brought Mama and her chicks to the Green Chimneys Farm where they took up residence in the bunny hutch, living together happily with their rabbit roommates. The two roosters and five hens have grown up looking just like their black and white-speckled mom so there’s no mistaking this family resemblance!
Gracie & Reba
Donkeys Gracie and Reba have been residents of the farm since 1996 and are particularly valuable partners for the children because they offer immediate feedback on behavior. They are patient, shy and headstrong but because donkeys only acknowledge humans who appear calm, this pair helps children learn the skills necessary to approach them gently and quietly. Gracie and Reba also have an extraordinary bond and have difficulty being apart so students must keep this in mind, even for basic tasks such as walking them. If the donkeys lose sight of each other they will start calling to one another so students work together to make sure the pair can see each other for their entire journey outside. It’s a genuine lesson in the importance of paying attention to how someone other than yourself is feeling.
Dixie the Pony
Beetle the Appaloosa
Beetle, an Appaloosa horse, joined the Green Chimneys equine program from a private farm in Connecticut. He has a diverse background in multiple riding disciplines; his previous owner kept him in excellent condition through long-distance trail riding. Beetle also had basic training in the sport of Dressage, as well as jumping and other competitive events. Appaloosas are known for their beautiful spotted coats and typically have a small build. Beetle has a touch of Thoroughbred in his lineage which may explain his height: 16.3 hands tall! Students are often in awe of Beetle’s bold appearance, but then they are pleased to discover his sensitive, inquisitive nature.
Brook Lyn the Sheep
Found abandoned in a box with her brother in Brooklyn, NY, this sheep was rescued as a newborn. After she was stabilized by a wildlife rehabilitator, she was driven up to Green Chimneys Farm where the children hand fed her with bottles of warm milk. The responsibility of becoming a caretaker for a little animal like Brook Lyn gives students a chance to recognize their own ability to make a contribution. Many of the children have been “taken care” of all of their lives by caring parents, concerned teachers and mental health staff, but stepping up and holding a bottle for this little orphan lamb transforms them from service receivers to service providers.