At Toad Hall Nursery we have many animals on site and the children are introduced to all of them.
The donkeys are part of the Toad Hall family and often welcome you as you come in. The children love to feed them and the donkeys are never short of attention. Our donkeys are called Maggie and Gill. Some of you may remember our Donkeys being called Rupert and Rosie. Unfortunately Rosie became unwell and left us in August 2019 when she was 29 years old. After this happened, it was noticed that Rupert was very lonely without Rosie and following discussions with his welfare advisor, he returned to the Donkey Sanctuary in Devon to retire. He has made many friends since he moved there in October 2019 and we are still in touch following his journey. We have been to visit him in his new home and they have told us they are starting to see his cheeky ways. He is missed by many.
Maggie has been with us at Toad Hall Nursery since February 2020. Originally from a loving home in Scotland, Maggie was brought into the Donkey sanctuary in 2018 along with her friend Gill. Whilst we do not know much about their life before they joined the Donkey Sanctuary, Maggie has settled very well into her new home and has made friends with our goats and chickens. Maggie turned 12 years when she joined us and she loves a good scratch in between her front legs. Maggie is not a fan of loud sudden noises but appears to really enjoy the sound of the children playing. We are so proud of how well they have both settled and their welfare advisor commented how settled they seemed just weeks after arriving by approaching her whilst we were stood in the paddock. It can often take a good couple of weeks for this to happen and for them to gain your trust.
Gill joined Toad Hall along with Maggie during February 2020. Gill and Maggie were friends in Scotland before they were moved to the Donkey Sanctuary in Devon. Both Maggie and Gill were some of the first donkeys to enter the rehoming school which they Sanctuary introduced during 2019. Along with friends which they made at the sanctuary Bill and Ben, they were some of the first to Graduate from the school before being adopted by the nursery. Gill turned 8 years just before joining us and we were told she was the quieter of the pair. As she has settled, we have seen her confidence soar and enjoys rolling around in the muddy puddles in our paddock. Gill enjoys a cuddle and also a scratch on her bottom. Before leaving the Sanctuary, Gill used to hide behind Maggie, however she will often be the first one to say ‘Hello’ at the fence. To be able to tell the donkeys apart, Gill has a brown mark on her nose.
Our other animals
On site we have a goat called Bertie. He came to join us at a young age and was from a local farm owned by parents at the nursery. When he joined us, he was accompanied by a friend called Chunky who sadly left us. In 2018, Bertie was introduced to another goat called Buzz.
We have placed perspex sheeting in the fence for the children to see many of the animals.
There is also a rabbit in the pre-school unit garden and the children enjoy helping to look after him. All of the children have the opportunity to visit all of our animals which are on site and they are encouraged to help look after and feed them.