We were impressed with Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary‘s vegan tacos when we tried them at the NJ Taco Festival in Sussex last September. In fact, they were our favorite tacos of all the vendors there! We also liked their story and the fact that they made hot sauces to raise money for the sanctuary. So, we decided to head up to Montague to visit them last weekend.
The first animals to greet us were gorgeous roosters. Their feathers were all different shades and lengths. Some of them made lots of noise and some rushed to the fence to greet us. They were all adorable. All the animals at Tamerlaine have been rescued from less-than-ideal situations. They all had different stories on how they arrived here but they all seemed pretty happy to be living out their lives in New Jersey.
Then we noticed that a few hens were roaming free right outside the rooster pens.
Turns out these little ladies sleep indoors because they are either somewhat disabled or healing from an injury. The sanctuary likes to get them outside as much as possible to lead normal lives so they spend their days quietly pecking the ground for bugs and greeting visitors.
Founders Gabrielle Stubbert and Peter Nussbaum soon joined us and the chickens for a tour of the facility.
After the very friendly animals, the next thing I noticed was how clean all the animal areas were. I haven’t been to a ton of farms but I did grow up near a lot of them and the ones I’ve been to were pretty muddy and smelly. All the animals at Tamerlaine Farm were clean and healthy looking and absolutely nothing smelled of anything but straw and fall leaves. You could really tell how much all the species living there were loved and cared for. All the coops even had heaters for the winter even though Gabby said technically they don’t need them.
Most of the roosters live in what they call “The Frat House.” These guys are too rowdy to live with the lady chickens so they have their own space to be rambunctious. Look how handsome they all are! They were pretty excited to greet us at the fence. Roosters are some of the least wanted animals on farms and in food production because they don’t produce eggs and they make noise. There is a lot of need to rescue these beautiful birds.
A couple of roosters who were being picked on by the other ones live with some of the hens. I think the other roosters were jealous of their feather-pants! We absolutely loved these guys with the feathery legs!
The feather-legged roosters and these two little guys with a Napoleon complex are able to live with a group of hens but not the other boys. These little guys spent a lot of time trying to bother the bigger roosters next door while we were there. They’re feisty!
Next door to the roosters and mature hens, there were younger hens who were newer to the sanctuary.
The young hens had a potbelly pig friend named Ferdinand who roots around in the dirt and brings up bugs for the chickens. The chickens followed him around everywhere he went. It was adorable. Ferdinand seemed to love hanging out with his chicken friends. Every time we walked by this enclosure, he’d run out to greet us, too.
Next up on the tour were the turkeys. They were making really soft little turkey noises and were also happy to see us coming. One tried to fly a little bit and Gabby explained that some of them just had their feathers trimmed because they were able to flap their way out of the enclosure and got into the street. When the gate opened, they all tried to come out. They were very curious! Here they are gathering right by the gate to see us.
They were very soft and very mild mannered. I loved these guys!
The leader of the turkey group, “Mr. President,” even fanned out his tail for awhile to show how handsome he could be.
Finally, we met Clara and Artie the potbelly pigs who don’t live with chicken friends.
Clara is the tan pig and was rescued from an owner who couldn’t handle her anymore. The sanctuary looked for a mate for Clara to pal around with and Artie came to them from owners who wanted something more than they could provide for him. Artie’s former owners still come visit him and must be happy to see him in such a nice place.
Once we met all the animals, Gabby and Peter took us back to their pond house which is where they hold events and are planning more soon. It’s gorgeous back there and we can’t wait to come back to see it in other parts of the year. It must be stunning in the spring and summer!
Near the pond house is a wide open space where they plan to bring some sheep and goats into the sanctuary. They have some sheep staying at a neighbor’s farm right now and they’ll find some goats to share the space with them.
Their house/office/hospital is a former barn and it was lovely inside. They have plans to build a visitors center and staff housing on the property, too.
They have little pens on the first floor for injured and sick animals in recovery.
This is also where they make all the meals for the animals. There were a lot of different kinds of food! They use the eggs that their hens lay by feeding it back to the chickens, shells and all. It’s a good way to give them minerals and protein. The pigs even get a hard-boiled egg once in a while.
The staff and founders of Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary were all very loving and we could tell they wanted the best for the animals in their care. They are vegan and who wouldn’t be after seeing what they’ve seen when rescuing these animals?
It really made us think about what we eat and we’re planning on being more thoughtful about our food. With Thanksgiving coming up, we’re definitely thinking about having more fresh vegetables, fruits and grains on the table. And, some Tamerlaine Farm Hot Sauces, too!
Check out all the pictures from our visit to Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary and buy some of their hot sauce to help support them!
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