We all think of cats, dogs, and sometimes rabbits and guinea pigs when we think about adopting an animal from a rescue shelter. But did you know there are some shelters that also have farm animals such as ponies, goats, pigs, and ex-battery hens looking for new homes? They might not be quite as cuddly when you are watching TV on the sofa in the evening, but can be great companions for those with lots of space, or allergies to the more usual furry friends. And you might even gets a few eggs as a bonus!
Visit the websites of these charities if you are interested in adopting any of the animals on this page, or check your local shelter to find out if they have any farm animals waiting for new homes.
Natalie is a pretty goat from Buttercups Sanctuary. She loves people, and getting into mischief. Her favourite trick is poking her head through the cat flap to look for food!
Wood Green The Animals Charity often take in groups of ex-caged chickens. The hens come out of the farm at around 18 months old. These chickens make wonderful pets and in no time at all they will become fully feathered and sociable additions to your back garden. They are extremely inquisitive girls, and will come running straight up to greet you!
Jessie is a Shetland pony from The Horse Rescue Fund. She was previously adopted as a companion pony as the shelter was informed she was not easy to ride. Five years later Jessie is back with the Fund through no fault of her own; as she is overweight they are hoping to find a ridden home for her, though she is a bit mischeiveous and does have a habit of bucking.
Polly, Cupid and Bubbles are a family of goats available to adopt from Margaret Green Animal Rescue. Bubbles is definitely the boss and sometimes head butts people she doesn’t like! She has a wicked sense of humour and loves being scratched between her horns. Polly is the laid-back mum, and Cupid is a sweetheart with a gentle soul who is occasionally very vocal.
Bert and Ernie are pigs from National Animal Welfare Trust. They moved to the shelter after they out-grew their previous owners’ garden. Ernie is a small pot bellied pig and Bert (the spotty one) is a medium oxford. They are looking for a home together as they miss each other if separated. They are both very friendly, and Bert particularly loves to have his belly rubbed and even rolls over to let people give him a scratch.
Sydney and Sam are Muscovy ducks from National Animal Welfare Trust. They are happy to live with other animals, as long as they have their own secure area. They have to be given grit to help them digest their food properly, and need access to water for swimming and bathing.
If you are interested in adopting a farm animal and want to find a rescue shelter close to you, use our Advanced Search form to find animal charities near to your postcode.
Can't adopt but want to help? Check out our list of animal charities looking for donations!