5 min read

Goat Who Was Almost Killed Is So Happy To Be Safe

He loves snuggling up next to the people who rescued him.

Of all the animals who call this Canadian sanctuary home, one stands head and horns above the rest.

Sunshine is the mightiest of goats. But the peacemaker-in-residence at Piebird Farm Sanctuary never has to use his horns.

"He keeps everyone in line, in a sense. Not in an aggressive way," Sherry Piebird, who runs the farm with her husband, Yan, tells The Dodo. "He's learned what the other goats should and should not be doing.

"If the younger goats are having a bit of a battle, and it gets a little out of control, he just saunters over in his gentle leading way and they just separate."

Maybe Sunshine has such a penchant for peace because he's found his own in these sprawling acres near Nipissing, Ontario.

Born a boy at a hobby dairy farm seven years ago, Sunshine had no milk for his previous owner to profit from.

He would have likely been killed as a baby had the Piebirds not intervened and taken him back to their farm.

"He was skinny and malnourished," Yan explains. Much of that was due to the fact he hadn't gotten any of his mother's milk and the vital nutrient it contained, colostrum.

As a result, his horns weren't fusing properly, growing splintered and stunted from his head. Sunshine had to spend the first couple of months living in the house with the Piebirds, while his new family wrapped his horns in comfrey compresses, trying to get them to grow properly.

A weak and wobbly newborn, Sunshine would soon become the goat he was always meant to be.

"He's super strong," Sherry says. "He's the biggest of the herd. His horns are gorgeous now. He's kind of a miracle in a way."

But even after moving outside to live among the other goats - MightyPepe, FreedaFreeFree, LibbyBirdy, MommaBill, Sadie, Jollygood, Mercy - he never lost the connection he had forged with his human caregivers.

Sunshine gets his strength from an inner peace. You can see him channeling it every morning, as he basks in the sunshine that he was named after.

"His favorite thing on these sunny days is just to totally chill and meditate in this morning sun," Yan says.

Sometimes, he likes to get even closer to his celestial namesake, climbing into a treehouse built just for him.

Other times, he likes to bask in the warmth of the humans who visit the sanctuary as a spiritual retreat. Sometimes, that passion for people can be overwhelming.

"He loves being really close to people, and because he's so big, sometimes he doesn't realize how big he is," Sherry explains. "He really wants to lean in. And sometimes, humans fall over and it's really hilarious."

"He's just a big, lovable guy who wants to be close," Yan adds.

You can follow the adventures of Sunshine, along with all the other animals who calls Piebird Farm Sanctuary home, here. And here.

You can also read more about Sunshine here.