Unfortunately, tossing food and food items over the fence into Farm animal pens can be harmful to the health of the animals. In recent months, Loma Vista Farm has experienced many dangerous situations where food is tossed into pens from the street. This activity has led to:
- Placing many farm animals at risk.
- Illness of farm animals—in some incidents, situations have been so severe that the Farm’s veterinarian has had to rush to the farm to care for the animals.
- Unexpected expenses—in a few situations animals have had to be taken via emergency transport to local veterinary offices and care facilities. Emergency transport of ill Farm animals can be, and is, very expensive for larger animals.
- Loss of our beloved friends—sadly, a few of our Farm animals have been lost through the years because of foods and items tossed over the fence and into their pens.
Loma Vista Farm is reaching out to the community with a request for support. Over the past months and years the public has been tremendous in supporting animals with gifts of food items. It is not uncommon for anonymous donations of food to appear in the Farm animals’ pens during the day or night. Unfortunately, this activity can be very dangerous for the animals.
Farm animals are much like people. Similar to people—we watch what we eat and in what quantities—this applies to Farm animals as well. Remember the old phrase, “don’t feed chocolate to dogs,” because their bodies cannot digest chocolate. All Farm animals have limits on what they can and cannot eat safely. Recently we’ve lost a couple of animals because of colic and acidosis, which are more commonly caused by overeating the wrong foods.
Tossing food into animal pens or feeding animals the wrong foods leads to many avoidable situations. If items or food tossed into animal pens were to stop completely, the problems listed below could be avoided:
- Sickness and illness of the animals
- Farm animals suffering in pain because of eating foods they should not eat
- Excessive ($) expenses to Loma Vista Farm caused by emergency veterinarian care
- Emotional sadness for the Farm staff and students when animals are suffering or lost
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN FOOD IS TOSSED INTO PENS
Similar to people, when farm animals eat the wrong foods they can get food poisoning and become ill. Same as people, when farm animals overeat they don’t feel good either. Farm animals are not people. Farm animals all have different digestive systems that operate in different ways. For example, a cow has four different stomachs; in comparison, people have only one stomach. Concerns include:
- Many times Farm animals don’t know when to stop eating.
- Farm animals will eat or attempt to eat almost anything.
- Farm animals don’t know not to eat some things.
Loma Vista Farm is fortunate and grateful for neighborhood and community support. Loma Vista Farm wouldn’t and couldn’t exist anywhere else but in Vallejo, California, next to Loma Vista Elementary School and MIT. For over 35 years the citizens and students of Vallejo and the neighborhoods immediately surrounding Loma Vista Farm have been generous with their outreach in feeding the farm animals. This activity has, at the same time, helped to keep Vallejo “green.” We all feel good when we can avoid waste and recycle everything from leftover food to cut grass from the lawn. For years, “food” and items have been tossed over the Farm’s fences into the animal pens. This activity has helped to avoid wasting leftover foods, breads, garden vegetables, lawn clippings, etc. Unfortunately, tossing foods and items over the fence into Farm animal pens can be very harmful to the health of the animals.