"Men will never rest till they've spoiled the earth and destroyed the animals." — Holly in Watership Down
Cottontail Cottage Farm Sanctuary (CCFS,) is located on the coast of Maine, on a beautiful 50-acre historic farm. Our mission is to provide compassion, respect, dignity and love to rescued farm animals who have suffered severe neglect and abuse and give them a place to call home. CCFS is a vegan-operated 501(c)3, nonprofit organization, committed to the healing, rehabilitation, and security of every animal in our care. Guided farm tours provide a platform for education where lecture series and hands-on learning events are taught in an effort to encourage mindful-living for the good of the animals and the planet.
Cottontail advocates for veganism and demonstrates compassion for all creatures in the hopes that more lives may be saved by inspiring others to adapt a similar, cruelty-free lifestyle. It is our deepest hope that by sharing our animal stories, in person or through social media, people will make the connection that farm animals are feeling, emotional and sensitive beings capable of strong emotions such as love, happiness, fear and grief. CCFS strives to educate the public about not only the importance of animal care and welfare, but of living a vegan lifestyle in an effort to end animal cruelty and suffering.
CCFS is a magical place! “The Rookery" (a two hundred-year-old cape,) perches high on top of a knoll allowing co-founders, Jenny and Mathew Nichols, to keep a close eye on the over 75-animals who live here. The sanctuary is located down a long lane with lilacs and a single, magnificent Lombardy poplar. Behind the Rookery is an old-fashioned kitchen garden where vegetables and herbs are grown. Food growing and gathering demonstrations are a big part of our farm learning series and encourage plant-based eating.
Currently, there are over twelve different species of animals in our care, including, horses, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, bunnies and an array of waterfowls and birds. The forest farm is surrounded by a big, perimeter fence, permaculture hedgerows and a trail-system, where visitors can walk and observe the animals in their natural setting. While being diligent about our eco-system, the hedgerows
are created from wattles, branches, twigs and natural elements gathered while clearing for new pasture land. This thoughtful method not only eliminates noxious elements in the air from frequent burn piles, but allows the fallen wood to be reused and woven by creating a natural fencing system. At the same time, it provides a nesting place for native birds, and habitats for wild rabbits and other small creatures. As the “dead hedge” breaks down, enriching the soil - live, non-toxic, indigenous plantings like briar, willow and honeysuckle are introduced, creating a "living hedge" as popularly seen throughout the British countryside.
This unique farm sanctuary approach to land management adopts arrangements observed in flourishing natural ecosystems. It includes a set of design principles derived using whole systems thinking. As conscientious land stewards, principles are implemented such as regenerative agriculture, rewilding, and community resilience and, of equal value, animal waste management. Rather than have unsightly manure piles that are offensive smelling and attracts flies which can carry disease to the animals, we carefully cart and spread the refuse around the root systems of trees and specific eroding soil areas throughout the 50-acres. In this full-circle approach, the animal eats the hay; excretes the hay seed; where it is cultivated back into the earth; where it then sprouts. In time, new forage grasses will grow.
We are excited to welcome you to the farm and introduce you to all of our beautiful feathered and furry friends!
Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to Cottontail Cottage Farm Sanctuary. CCFS is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) entity and receives no federal, state or local funding. The organization is entirely funded by donations, bequests, grants, and fundraising activities. Thank you for your fierce love for the animals and helping us give them a second chance!