Animals on the Rietzer Berg
In 2021, there will be guided donkey walks by appointment. Our curious friends are looking forward to company and maybe a few extra pats. Together with our experienced and sensitiv donkey master Basti you can explore the area of and around the forrest garden together. You can lead a donkey yourselves, if you wish.
There live the two donkey ladies Brauni and Knospe as well as the donkey Peppo on the Rietzer Berg. Brauni acutally was baptized Fatima, but she looks more like „Brauni“, because of her brown fur. She likes to joke and has shining eyes. Knospe is usually very exuberant and sometimes nibbles on one´s leg, e.g. when a visitor delved into a conversation. Each of them likes a little apple for breakfast. But the three also have an important task. Together with the sheep, they care for the forrest. Without their help the bird cherry spreads here, its bitter branches and leaves are even avoided by deer. But thanks to our mountain dwellers, ecologically valuable undergrowth communities can develop. In addition the donkeys protect the sheep and in a playful an witty way accompany visitors sometimes.
There has been a young donkey on the Rietzer Berg since February 12th, 2021. Brauni unexpectedly had offspring. The little one is called Flocke and has been roaming around with his parents on the Rietzer Berg ever since.
Under the donkeys' protection, three Cameroon sheep live on the Rietzer Berg: the beautiful Zora, the dark Othello and the little ram with one white „trouser leg“ Mopple. Mopple and Zora moved into the garden only in November 2020 after their predecessors Miss Marple and Sir Richfield was fallen victim to a wolf attack. Together with the donkeys, they take care of the forest.
The sisters Amy and Luna have been living on the Rietzer Berg since 2019. They grew up to excellent mouse hunters since then. Sometimes you can hear their vigorous meowing from afar through the forest, with which they draw attention to their presence and almost heartbreakingly ask for pats.
As of the beginning of 2020, the group of five ducks has grown to an impressive number. Nine out of ten ducklings that hatched in June chatter busy through the grass bed, splashing around with their parents in the pool and doing their laps in the garden during the day. As with mallards, the male ducks can be recognized by their decorative feather-tail curls. In the garden, they can move freely. Here they ensure that the number of snails is reduced, which not only benefits the vegetable harvest.
Drohni, the robin: What a quiet and mysterious bird being, a good-humoured loner, an attentive observer? Nobody knows exactly where it is nesting. It seems to visit the staff from time to time while working in the garden or the storage area, and it certainly has its eye on some visitors. Perhaps you encounter it unexpectedly, e.g. it suddenly sits in the hedge or the blackberry bush next to you. It always seems a bit like it has already been there for a while, and you just would not have noticed it yet.
Incidentally, a large number of songbirds and other wild birds live on the Rietzer Berg. There are feeding stations on the terrace and on the south side of the house, which are always well filled, especially in winter. You can watch rapidly moving swarms of individual birds very well on the north side of the house between the apple tree, the so-called wedding bed and the terrace.
The colourful koi or „brocade carp“ from Japan can reach up to 60 years under good conditions. On the Rietzer Berg, they live in the heatable pool of infinity. At first glance, they resemble goldfish, but they are significantly larger and also slimmer. Like all carp, koi are sociable, not just with each other. Even when dealing several times a day with a great number of chattering and immensely splashing ducks, they appear to be unimpressed or even curious.
About ten to twenty fallow deer (males) and dams (females) live on the Rietzer Berg. In 2020, the enclosure was divided into three fields, each with a refuge and a watering hole and plants are sown to provide food. In this way, the animals are always supplied with fresh green plants when they change fields. You will probably also see the white pack leader Hubertus Leopold vom Rietzer Berg with his shovel-shaped antlers typical of a fallow deer during a visit. In contrast to red deer or roe deer, fallow deer can be recognized by the white spots in the fur, which are more prominent in summer than in winter. Autumn is the rutting season when the males let out their rutting cries and fight with each other. The boys are born in the spring of the following year.
There is a fallow deer enclosure to the northeast of the landscape garden. Visitors are welcome to feed over the fence here. Chestnuts and acorns, but also dried bread and all garden fruits are well received.
Here is a gallery of pictures of our animals on the Rietzer Berg. Just click on the pictures to see them in large format.