Settling In Field Animals
Every species and breed will have slightly different needs, but these are a few quick, general points to help you settle your new field animal into its new home.
Remember that field animals can be very distressed by the moving period and it’s normal for them to have a reduced appetite and appear anxious. However, it’s also easy for a field animal to become ill in this time and you may struggle to know whether it’s just anxiety or something worse.
Hopefully, this will help you move your animal through the transition period with minimal discomfort and provide you with things to look out for so you can have some peace of mind.
Make sure your animal has access to food and water. Secure its new environment so it can’t escape or injure itself on anything. Give it shelter and an area where it can be alone and feel safe. It’s always a good idea to give the animal lots of time to itself and keep things quiet after the journey so they can recover.
Leave them in a calm and safe area, checking them from a distance at regular intervals. Make sure they’re settling down and not getting more anxious or upset. Sometimes, the move can unsettle an animal enough for it to lose its appetite. Try and give the animal the same food it was on before it moved, whether from us or another previous home, to give some dietary consistency. This will give them something familiar in their new environment, but will also help to avoid any stomach upsets that they can develop when moving onto new food while stressed. Remember that feeding sheep and goats bread can make them seriously unwell.
If you change its diet, make sure you do it gradually and not until the animal is fully settled. When you do give food, leave the animal at least 20 minutes to approach and eat in its own time. Take away any leftovers to encourage a good appetite and help develop a routine. Always have fresh hay and water available, but remove any old hay that is becoming dusty and this can cause health issues.
If after 3-4 days the animal is still not eating, contact your vet or call us for some advice. If your animal is showing any signs of illness and not eating properly, contact your vet immediately.
We would recommend that you take out insurance for all your animals so you’re protected and secure if one of them gets ill or injured. Many policies will also give you security if your animal escapes and causes an accident, and we’d strongly recommend this too.
With regard to introductions, it can take a long time for your animal to become sociable with others. This can be the case with some individuals more than others, some because of their personality and some because of their background history. We will make you aware of an animals’ history when we hand them over and will also provide you with any other information we have on them.
It’s important not to be forceful when introducing animals for the first time. Take things slowly, let the animals meet each other with a partition or divider first. Watch the interactions closely and for a while after, as your new animal could be getting bullied. If your animal is content, eating and able to get to shelter happily, it may still not want to mix with other animals until it is ready. Let it go at its own pace. It can take some animals up to eight weeks or more to fully settle in!