Hidden Villa’s Animals are cared for by our Animal Husbandry Manager and our Animal Husbandry Intern. Since caring for our livestock requires more than two full-time staff and offers a valuable educational opportunity, Hidden Villa’s other residential interns participate in morning and evening animal chores.
Our sustainable farming techniques include:
- Pasture Rotation – Moving animals from place to place benefits our farm animals by providing them with fresh grass and suppressing the buildup of parasites and disease. It also keeps our pastures healthy by fertilizing the soil and giving the grass time to regrow.
- Animal Rotation – While animals move from pasture to pasture, we are also careful to make sure that we follow one type of animal with another type of animal. For example, we might start grazing ruminants like cows, goats, and sheep in one pasture. Then the next week, we might send in our chickens and then later, our pigs. This practice also helps to suppress diseases and parasites and provides a great range of fertilizers.
- Providing Appropriate Space – When farm animals are kept in dense populations, they have a poor quality of life and can have a very harmful effect on the health of the environment. As density increases, these negative effects undergo exponential growth. At Hidden Villa, we make sure that we keep our animal populations at a level that adds to our efficiency while maintaining a high quality of life and a beneficial effect on the environment.
- Special Diet – Animals at Hidden Villa feed themselves in our pastures. In order to fortify and supplement their diet we also give them specific amounts of hay, grain, and even compost. The amounts and variety of food vary greatly between types of animals and can also change if one of our animals is pregnant or nursing. Therefore, we ask visitors not to feed our animal as a way to ensure that we keep them healthy.