Sheep in Pasture

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Heifer Int. and the animals on our farm...

Our family has a long history with the hunger-relief organization Heifer International. We donate both our time and some of the profits of Airy Hill Farm B&B to Heifer. Here’s how animals like those here at Airy Hill Farm assist families around the world:

Alpacas (and Llamas)

Heifer photo


  • meat that is high in protein and low in fat.
  • yield high quality manure.
  • small size beneficial where there is no refrigeration – one meal for a family.
  • require only low feed costs and initial investment; eat garden/vegetable waste.
  • take up a small amount of space.
  • can be kept in rural or urban areas by people with little land.

Horses (Water Buffalo, Yaks & Camels)

  • provide muscle power: ½ of world’s farms rely on animal power; 20% of world’s population relies on animals to pull loads.
  • can provide transport, depending on the animal.
  • can give unique solutions … water buffalo provide 5% of the world’s milk.
  • are more economical, especially where machinery, fuel, or maintenance costs are high.


  • are cheap to feed; eat food scraps and crop residue.
  • generate 16-20 piglets a year.
  • provide 200 pounds of meat per pig.
  • grow very fast, from 3 lbs. at birth to 240 lbs. in 5-7 months.
  • supply manure for the garden.


  • live in almost any climate or terrain: cold, rocky mountains or hot, dry plains.
  • graze on land that is unsuitable for crops.
  • flock together, easy to control.
  • generate 2-3 lambs a year, which are ready for market in about 5 months.
  • can be raised for wool, 18 pounds of wool per clip.
  • can be raised for meat.
  • supply manure for gardens.

Cows and Calves

  • give up to five gallons of milk/day.
  • extra milk can be sold or made into butter, cheese, and yogurt.
  • can provide meat (bull calves). supply manure, which is an excellent fertilizer.
  • eat grasses, leaves and crop wastes.
  • can sometimes be used to pull plows or heavy loads.


  • don’t take a lot of space.
  • adapt well to different climate.
  • aren’t expensive to feed – they peck at bugs.
  • improve the ground by scratching up the soil and fertilizing it.
  • supply eggs and meat that add protein to diet (200+ eggs/year/bird).