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Musicians Rally to Help Out Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary

Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary takes in unwanted farm animals.
Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary takes in unwanted farm animals.
Ken Hamblin III

While Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary in Henderson has been a longtime home for unwanted farm animals, many of whom have suffered abuse and neglect, it’s also been a standout place to catch both touring and local bands — in part because where else can you get to know a new band while bonding with rescued animals?

In a normal year, those concerts would take place between March and October alongside outreach and educational events that would bring in 60 percent of Broken Shovels' operating budget. But because of the pandemic, the farm hasn't been able to host large gatherings, and the sanctuary's bank account has suffered.

Broken Shovels founder and director Andrea Davis says she spends around $11,000 a month to feed roughly 200 large animals and 350 birds. Around 200 of those animals — mostly baby ducks and chickens — were given to the farm by people who fancied themselves urban homesteaders and bought them on a whim during the stay-at-home order.

“This year there was sort of a pandemic fad of buying baby ducks and baby chickens,” Davis explains. “And it seemed all nice and good until people realized that they poop, they're noisy, and they've got to go to a special store to get their food and actually have to do work. It's not just getting your Instagram selfies with them.”

Employees from AEG Presents Rocky Mountains and local musicians will volunteer at Broken Shovels during Feed the Flock Week, which starts on November 9 and ends with Thanksliving on Sunday, November 15, when the sanctuary's staff will cook up a special dinner for the turkeys living on the farm.

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Starting at 4 p.m. on November 15, Deer Creek Sharpshooters, Dragondeer and Spectacle will perform from the farm, and the event will be live-streamed on Facebook Live.

While the concert is not open to the public, Davis says Broken Shovels is offering a limited number of tickets for the event. People have a chance to win an in-person spot by donating through the farm's Venmo (@brokenshovels) or through Broken Shovels' website.

Davis has been moved by how many in the music community wanted to participate in the fundraiser.

“Musicians are also hurting right now,” she says. “It felt weird to reach out to another profession. We're a nonprofit and rescue. Musicians, for a lot of us, are rescuers.”

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