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)
- can live on rough, mountainous and hilly terrain.
- are sure footed and can be used as pack animals in taking goods to market.
- provide wool/fiber that can be made into clothing and sold for money.
- are hearty and require little care.
- yield meat that is high in protein and low in fat.
- eat grass and do not require extra food.
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).