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A rooster’s piercing crow urges a volunteer in overalls and rubber boots to hurry up and scatter cobs of corn. Flocks of chickens frolic through sprinklers like kids on a summer day. Here at the Austin Farm Sanctuary, in the tiny Bastrop County town of Paige, animals are living the good life. Gated areas are spread out over the sprawling, forty-acre property. Several pigs housed to the east snooze in a muddy patch under the sun, while cattle graze on fresh grass by a pond to the west. I’m struck by how different the experience is from visiting a zoo. Here, it smells like animals and dirt. The enclosures are roomy, and none of the residents seem bored or frustrated (pacing is a common sign…
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