Walnut Hills News

The Goats of Walnut Hills

For several years, JoEllen Mast and Wanda Schrock talked about how the residents would love to see all the baby animals born in the spring. This year, they had a new resident that loves animals and came from a farm to Walnut Hills. She longed for her animals, and if an animal would come to visit, it was the highlight of her day.

Jo Ellan and Wanda continued to dream about their miniature farm, only as time went on, the conversation shifted from "wouldn't it be nice?" to “why can’t we?” and “how can we make that happen?”

Wanda shared with a resident’s son what they were thinking, and he quickly came on board with a donation from his family toward the purchase of a chicken coop. They hatched one of four Silkie chicken eggs and the mother Silkie, along with two light Brahmas donated by Rick who works in maintenance.

Wanda had some interaction in the past with Pygmy goats and knew how entertaining they could be. She found a family with connections to Walnut Hills that raised Pygmies. They were glad to sell their only female, who was named Nikki - in memory of a past resident who loved Pygmy goats and had a stuffed goat named Nicodemus. Nikki is so affectionate and spoiled. She will do anything for treats!

Oreo is a friend they borrowed for the summer from a local man and she has now returned to her home farm. Oreo was timider but came around with Nikki’s help.

Jo Ellen’s father built an extension for the front of the chicken coop, so they would have more room and her daughter and granddaughters come once a week to clean the pens and give baths to the goats.

A local woman and her two boys bring their therapy dog in every other week. Wanda told the woman about the project and her husband, a veterinarian, decided to donate his time and the vet clinic where he works is donating supplies. They have been fantastic and the support from everyone has been overwhelming!

Wanda and Jo Ellen knew the residents would enjoy the animals but had no idea how much the campus and even neighbor and staff children would love them. It’s been rewarding in so many ways.

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