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Rehoming a field animal

Field animals are very sociable and thrive on companionship. For this reason, we always rehome field animals either with existing animals in your home, or with a companion from one of our Rehoming Centres. They are happiest when sharing a home with their own species, so ponies with ponies, and goats with goats. That way, the physical and emotional needs of each individual animal can be met. 

How do I rehome a field animal? (goats, sheep,  pigs)
Are there any licenses needed to move field animals?
How do I rehome a horse or pony?
I’d like to rehome an ex-caged hen, what preparations do I need to make for their arrival?
Do you rehome to livery yards?
Do you have any donkeys available for rehoming?
View field animals looking for homes


How do I rehome a field animal? (goats, sheep, pigs)

  • Look at the area of land you have available to keep the animals. Will it be big enough? Is the fencing secure? Is there enough shelter? Goats will eat your plants so are best not kept in the garden. Investigate how much care the animals will require, you can visit our field animal advice section for help.

  • Call or visit our Godmanchester Centre to see what animals are available and to get advice from our Field Staff. Please note our opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays from 10.00am to 4.00pm.

  • You will need a holding number for the premises where they will be kept and we can advise you on how to get this.

  • You will need to fill out a Field Animal Home Finder Form and return it to us.

  • Once a suitable animal is found you can place a reserve on it. Our Field Staff will take your details and the donation can be discussed at this point.

  • A home check will be arranged and once the home check is passed a collection date can be arranged and all paperwork completed.

Are there any licenses needed to move field animals?

  • ‘Self-filled’ licenses are now used when field animals are moved; these are called movement forms (AML 1 or AML 2).

  • If you have goats, sheep or pigs as pets, the premises where they are kept must be registered as a ‘small holding’. You will then be issued a ‘Holding’ or ‘CPH’ number. This number must then be written on any movement form used. The place where they move to must also have a CPH number. This is so animals can be traced if there is a disease outbreak such as foot and mouth. Your local DEFRA department will issue you with movement forms and be able to register you as a small holding. Visit www.defra.gov.uk for further advice.

How do I rehome a horse or pony?

  • Consider the type of horse you would like. If you have not owned a horse before, be sure to read up on commitment they require and how expensive they can be.

  • Contact our Field Staff for advice and to discuss the horses and ponies currently available for homing. If you find a suitable horse or pony, you can make an appointment to come and spend time with the animal, grooming and leading them, to see if you are compatible.

  • A separate riding appointment can then be made; this is so you get the chance to really think about if the animal is right for you. Once ridden, and if all is going well, a reserve can be placed on the horse and the donation can be discussed.

  • A home check will then be arranged and once this is completed a collection date can be made. The paperwork will be completed on that date also.

I’d like to rehome an ex-caged hen, what preparations do I need to make for their arrival?

  • Prepare a secure house for the hens to go into at night, which is safe from foxes and other predators. In the house they need perches to roost on at night time, which are raised off the floor and have rounded edges. They also need nest boxes to lay their eggs and the nest boxes need to be small and dark if possible.

  • During the day hens need access to a secure run or garden as foxes will also come out in the day if they are hungry enough. Grass is ideal, but bark chip is also fine. They need to be able to have a dust bath in dirt, sand or bark chip.

  • At Wood Green we feed all poultry on layers pellets mixed with corn. They also need some kind of grit in their diet and oyster shell works well - this helps the chicken digest food and will also give them the calcium needed to produce good eggs.

  • If you wish, you can download and complete a Chicken Home Finder Form prior to your visit to Wood Green and email it back to us at field.rehoming@woodgreen.org.uk

Do you rehome to livery yards?

  • Yes! Providing you ask the livery yard owner to write a brief letter stating that they are happy for it to stay at the yard. Alternatively, you can arrange for them to be present at the time of your home check to sign the visit form.

Do you have any donkeys for rehoming?

Our promise to you

By the time you take your new animal home, we will already have taken the following steps to ensure your animal’s future good health and happiness.

All our field animals will have:

  • had their feet trimmed
  • been wormed and treated with louse powder
  • been vaccinated (including for Blue Tongue in the case of sheep and goats)
  • been ear tagged for identification
  • been neutered where applicable
  • had their behaviour assessed
  • been introduced to a companion where appropriate

In addition horses and ponies will have:

  • been shod where applicable
  • passported
  • microchipped
  • received a dental examination
  • been riding assessed, where applicable.

For further information on rehoming or to enquire about a specific field animal, please contact our Field Animal Welfare Team on 0300 303 9333 or by emailing field.rehoming@woodgreen.org.uk

You can find out more about field animals by visiting our field animal advice section.