Meet Our Animals

Meet Our Animals

A Vermont Hillside Farm

Our Sanctuary

AJ’s Happy Chick Farm, on a hillside in Vermont, is always open to rescuing and/or fostering an animal in need. In the future, we hope to support this effort by becoming a non-profit.

Meanwhile, please feel free to contact us if you know of an animal in need of a loving, forever home. Our present family members who came to our Vermont farm ‘in need’ are:


Shelly is a male Sulcata tortoise whose natural environment is the African dessert. Sulcatas are one of the largest tortoise species in the world and can easily live to more than 100 years old. Shelly is a mere 20 years old (ish) and is the size of a turkey platter. He spends his time in a large fenced area outside, weather permitting.

Shelly overwinters in a 10×10 foot enclosure in the warm basement of the house. Shelly is remarkably intelligent, and friendly to both animals and children.


Tequilla is a yellow crested cockatoo that came to me as a rescue after being abused in her previous home. The stress of her former life led her to pluck out her feathers. Most of what she pulled out were primary (non-replaceable) feathers, and even though she is now a very happy and stress free bird she will forever be naked.

Commonly known as “The Naked Wonder” in my home, Tequilla has been with us since 2013 and I have begun to think about getting her a mate for company. If you know of another (female only- I am not looking to breed them) yellow crested cockatoo that needs a good home please do not hesitate to contact me.

Happy (now passed on)

Happy was a super friendly Jersey cow at a nearby dairy where the farmer had grown to like her sweet nature.  After she miscarried and her milk dried up, the farmer suggested that Happy could retire to our Vermont hillside farm rather than be sent to slaughter.

During a vet visit several months after her arrival we learned that she was pregnant! SURPRISE! Five months later, Happy gave birth to a beautiful calf we named Lemoo.

Unfortunately, after repeated vet visits we discovered that Happy carried Johne’s disease and her pregnancy was simply more than her body could handle. She passed away 4 weeks after having calved despite all of our best efforts and the very best veterinary care.

While we would have never bred Happy ourselves, we do feel most blessed to have such a wonderful calf as Lemoo. She will be raised here on our Vermont farm with hopes of one day becoming our milking cow.


Gilmore, another Jersey cow rescue, came to us a few months after Happy’s arrival in the early spring of 2019. She had been meant to be a dairy cow but an extreme foot injury had caused her to become lame, and every step was agony. After a while, walking became so painful she was unable to get around well enough to be able to work and was quickly loosing weight, and frankly, the will to live. Rather than go to slaughter we brought her in and began the long process of fixing her up. After many months and a variety of wraps and treatments and super clean fluffy shavings in her stall, Gilmore’s claw (A claw or toe is half of the cloven hoof). Sheep, goats, deer, etc., have cloven hooves) was only moderately better. The fact was, it was so damaged that it was impossible to repair and was never going to heal. Even with medication she was in a great deal of pain and could only limp around slowly.  One of the bittersweet sights was Happy patiently waiting for Gilmore so as to lead her to the better grass or the apple tree for grazing. By that fall she had gained all her weight back and was healthy enough that a team of vets concluded we could amputate the claw, leaving her with the other undamaged toe to compensate. It was a tricky surgery, albeit straight forward, and a very long recovery. Happily, by the following spring when released into the field, Gilmore ran and bucked and, for what must have been the first time in many years, she moved joyfully, seemingly pain free. During her recovery Gilmore kept a careful eye over Lemmo, licking and snuggling her between their stall fence. Now back in pasture she immediately became her surrogate mother and the pair are rarely seen apart from each other.    

Our Farm

AJ’s Happy Chick Farm is what is known as a ‘mixed farm’ (we try to do a little bit of everything) nestled in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. As a sustainable homestead we try to provide for all of our needs and, wherever possible, to provide some of these products for sale. This is constantly evolving and more items and animals are being added all the time. Please check in with us frequently to see the latest updates or drop us a line if there is something you are looking for.

Vermont Hillside Farm - AJ's Happy Chick Farm - Albany, VT