Although horse management is the focus of our work at Gut Rosenhof, numerous other four-legged and also feathered friends have found a home with us as well. In addition to our dogs and cats, we also have goats, chickens, rabbits, pigs, doves, ducks as well as exotic animals such as camels and lamas. Every type of animal has its own particular place to live, which is appropriate to the species. This means they live peacefully alongside each other to the pleasure of the inhabitants of Gut Rosenhof, as well as visitors.
The clowder of cats at Gut Rosenhof are a colourful bunch of felines, each as unique as only cats can be: We have the long-haired ginger tabby, Felix, who came to us from the forest as a foundling and has now made the house his kingdom. Hexe – also a stray – came to us with her three kittens – Leila, Kira and Bianca. These beautiful black cats enjoy spending the day sleeping under a blanket on Anja Beran’s bench in the indoor riding school or in the cosy warm riders’ social room. Katerle the former stray now never goes too far from his new-found home to make sure he never misses any food or the chance of some fond cuddling. Helmut and Lotti were almost beyond hope when they first came to Gut Rosenhof. Lots of love and patience has revived them, however, and they now enjoy the company of resident tomcat Felix. The other members of our cat family – currently 12 in total – are Frieda (from the Palace of Versailles), Angie (from an animal shelter) and Salem (a stray).
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Camel & lamas
Our elderly female camel Suleika is enjoying her retirement in purpose-built open stabling. Following the death of her companion Sahib, a new friend should have been found for her but the lamas from Circus Krone, which have meanwhile moved in at Gut Rosenhof, immediately struck up such a bond with Suleika and took such good care of her that a new friend was no longer required.
We currently have two Asian pot-bellied pigs, Vroni and Hansi, as well as two miniature pigs, Maxi and Molly, living at Gut Rosenhof – and we can confidently say they are ‘happy as pigs in mud’. They go exploring in the grounds, love to visit the man of the house, exciting one or two of the horses along their way – because not all of the horses are already familiar with this type of creature. The pigs, on the other hand, are always completely calm and composed – except when a delicious bowl of mash is brought their way – which gets them snorting with delight. Siegfried and Karl-Heinz, a cross between a domestic pig and a wool pig, are the last new additions to the pig family at Gut Rosenhof. The two live harmoniously in a shared accommodation with the goats.
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Two goat families enjoy their specially-designed enclosure at Gut Rosenhof. The first tribe comes from the petting zoo at Circus Krone and lives with the two miniature pigs, Maxi and Molly. And the Valais Blackneck goats, which enjoy extensive grazing in their spacious open stabling which they share with the retired horses, also have a few rocks in their vicinity where they can demonstrate their climbing talents.
The Red Deer (Cervus elaphus)
An acquisition which we were very happy to take over from the previous owners (the Moser family). The red deer feel most at home on grass land and open woods in flat and hilly areas. Their main period of activity is at dusk. They graze and nibble at grass, leaves and branches of deciduous trees and form herds. Males and females remain separated for most of the year. Matriarchy dominates in the herds of red deer. The rutting season is in September and October. During this period the dominant male loses a fifth of his body weight and an equivalent amount of energy. They eat virtually nothing whilst pursuing their romantic aims. The red deer is the only animal dating back to the stone-age period which has survived until today!
Various chickens, ducks, geese and doves enrich the diverse community of human beings and animals at Gut Rosenhof.
The benefit of keeping hens is quite obvious. As the already existing hen-house was already rather small, we decided – with just a few exceptions – to keep miniature poultry. As we consider it important to preserve original breeds of domestic hens, the following breeds may also be admired here:
- Appenzeller Spitzhauben
- Deutsche Zwerghühner
- Thüringer Zwerg-Barthühner
- Westfälische Totleger
Domestic pigeons are the only free-flying pets which always return to their cote. Our decision concerning a fantail pigeon was actually taken for us when we were given one as a present. This is how – after originally starting off with three pigeons – we have now reached the grand total of twenty. Domestic pigeons with one exception (the African collared dove), are descended exclusively from the rock pigeon (Mediterranean countries, North Africa, Senegal, Ghana, the Middle East, North and Central China).
Indian Runner Ducks & Geese
Our original reason for keeping Indian runner ducks was to have a reliable form of snail control and, as all animals, they make a significant contribution to the authentic appearance of the countryside. Here also, rather like the case with the pigeons, our original half dozen have since become several dozen.