Kritters at Kritterhill
Kritterhilll Farm & Ranch began in 1998 when we purchased land in Toronto, Kansas. Mr. Bradley, my sweet husband said to me, “When we move to the country you can have all the animals you want." I quickly gained the nickname "Ellie May" by a local ole time farmer. We began building our "Hobby" farm utilizing refurbished and recycled materials whenever possible.
Through the years our heart has been to give a loving home to animals in need. We have been home to a three-legged dog, a three-legged cat, a three-legged goat, and many other loving animals in need. Our ranch is home to horses, cows, chickens, a goose, one pony, several dogs and cats, and a herd of hilariously entertaining goats.
We began our goat herd of Nubians and chose the breed primarily for their ability to produce milk and for their love of human interaction. Nigerian Dwarf goats are well known for the benefits they provide the horses (they are so cute and tiny too!) Boar goats are great for pasture clearing and are hearty mothers, with their fun personalities. Our horses have come to us from varying circumstances in need of a loving home.
Through the years, our farm has been home to many homeless and rescued dogs and cats. We have welcomed them, loved them and watched as they transitioned from timid and sick into healthy, warm and loving "friends with fur".
Our purpose is to share the heartfelt joy of interacting with the animals, introduce others to the experience of down-home, country living. We want to pass to the next generations the foundation and education that an active country life can provide. We believe in giving back to local rescues. All profits from sales at Kritterhill Shoppe go toward daily love and care of our animals. We will be posting animals for adoption in the spring and fall of each year. Support the Kritters
Through the years our heart has been to give a loving home to animals in need. Our ranch is home to horses, cows, chickens, a goose, one pony, several dogs and cats, on a herd of hilariously entertaining goats.
We began our goat herd of Nubians and chose the breed primarily for their ability to produce milk and for their love of human interaction. We have since added Boar Goats for their fortitude plus they are also great mothers. Nigerian Dwarf goats for the benefits they provide the horses (they are so cute and tiny too!)
Many of our horses came to us from difficult circumstances in need of a loving home. Through the years, our farm has been home to many homeless and rescued dogs and cats too. We have welcome them, loved them and watched as they transitioned from timid and sick into healthy, warm and loving "friends with fur".
We hope the legacy we leave to our family is that we took the best of us, added the best of those around us and gave our best back to those who become a part of our lives.
Offer them respect, Earn their trust,
Build a relationship, Find joy in love.
Miss Paisley's Story
There was an ad for a "Pony 4-Sale", although there was no picture of the pony available. Lisa asked the seller to send her a current picture of the pony. She was alarmed when she got the picture...it was of a very thin, little young Palomino pony filly (approx. 2 years old), standing against a barn door, looking very scared and unkept. She sent the seller back a message asking if they were aware that the filly was very thin. She explained to them that she was an Equine Nutritionist. The seller then responded that the young filly was in a small pen with its mom and another adult horse. He gave them 2 flakes of hay each day and the bigger horses would push the filly off the hay. She was basically starving to death. He offered to give the pony to Lisa to help it out. She jumped at the chance and said YES!
It was right before Christmas and the weather was very unpredictable. The pony was approx. 1.5-2hrs. away from Lisa. She reached out to some local friends to see if anyone was going that direction so they could transport the pony back to her. It "just-so-happened" that a family which lived near where the pony was located had just purchased a boarding and riding facility just a few miles from us. They were making trips back and forth as they moved so it worked out perfectly. so, she thought! This family had horses all their lives so had lots of horse experience. She told them if they picked her up they could keep her and take her in. They were excited about taking the pony in and using her at their new riding facility. They picked her up and called me on the way back home stating "the pony was in a LOT worse body condition" than the picture we were sent.
Lisa met them at their barn as they got back to their facility with the pony. She was quite alarmed at her body condition and apologized. She didn't realize she was in that bad of condition. She also left some feed and supplements with them to give to her. She was basically a "Bag of Bones" with lots of long, yellowish matted body hair. Lisa was also alarmed that they hauled her back in their big open stock trailer. It was a very long and very cold transport! She was so very, very hungry. You couldn't see her face very well due to the fact she wouldn't pick it up. She didn't want to quit eating the hay in front of her! It was just a few days before Christmas, so she told them she would check back in with them in a week or so.
It was right after the first of the year when Lisa contacted the family to see how the pony was doing. Their exact words were, "Were just waiting for her to Die!!" WHATTT!!! She immediately jumped in her truck/trailer to go pick her up. They had her in a dark stall way in the back of the barn with solid boards all the way up so you couldn't see in or see out. They were ashamed of the way she looked and were afraid others might see her. They also said she wouldn't eat which seemed strange. Long story short, all their water lines had frozen so there was NO fresh water in the barn. Her bucket of water was frozen. They were giving her dehydrated alfalfa pellets, so she could not eat due to the fact she was so very dehydrated! (The leading cause for horse colic and death in the winter.)
Lisa brought her home. She made her a really nice warm pen with lots of hay to eat and lay on plus a fresh water supply. Then a MIRACLE happened: she did nothing but eat and eat and eat her feed and hay!! She easily gained weight and got back to health rather quickly.
She had always had to fight for her food. Lisa would put her feed pan in the middle of her pen and she would run up to it with her ears flat back! She would constantly try to bite or kick at Lisa if she got near (as she had to do to survive!) Her body hair was very long and thick. Her body's natural way to keep her warm and survive when she was so very thin in the cold. As she was eating I Lisa would brush her winter hair out. She hated it and would bite and kick at Lisa. After some time (and determination) she finally started to enjoy it!
Lisa was so impressed of how "Miss Paisley" truly enjoyed being around people and kids.
Lisa reached out and said she had a pony that had been through a lot but loved kids. Once again, Miss Paisley had found her calling! She's been such a blessing to Kathryn, her grandkids and all the children that visit the farm. She is very much loved and cared for at Kritterhill. Miss Paisley is most definitely a part of their family!
Miss Paisley was still head shy when she came to live on Kritterhill, we slowly gained her trust using hand signs as you would with hearing impaired, Kathryn had learned this when she learned therapy dog training. It worked great, a simple wave and Paisley knew that biting wasn't allowed, and that brushing meant singing and comfort. She is so loving and so loved.
Update, Paisley has had two surgeries now due to her lack of care as a young pony, she lost most of her teeth, which horses need to eat hay. We feed her a soup of grain, bran and alfalfa twice daily. She goes out to pasture with her equine friends for socialization and has healed from her surgeries.
Paisley currently has a small stall that had been fine when she was able to eat as the other horses do, now before winter we are looking for materials to build her a larger indoor stall with a large paddock by her equine friends to maintain her health and socialization during winter.
If you are interested in helping with Paisley's build, there is art work for sale, organic goat milk soap and lotions as well as donations for the build. We are not a non profit, as we have rescues, saves and farm raised animals.
“One By One...We Can Help Those In Need”