How’s this for the perfect summer lunch: the blackboard special and a fresh fruit salad at your favourite local café, followed by a great craft beer to wash it down. Sound nice? It’s not too far removed from the gourmet fare we serve Animal Farm’s furred and feathered patrons every day—with a couple of minor adjustments!
Obviously, we don’t serve our animals beer. They’re under-age for one thing. But we do feed our adult sheep, cows and goats spent barley from the beer-brewing process. Rich in protein and fibre, brewers’ waste is highly nutritious and our animals love it.
Every week, we collect over 200 kilos of this superfood from Eddyline Brewery & Pizzeria in Richmond (thanks, guys). In summer, we need to use it all within three or four days before it spoils. In winter it normally lasts a week.
Where our food comes from
We spend around six hours every day on food-related activities, including collecting, preparing and serving the food kindly donated to us by local businesses. Current members of our Business Superhero Hall of Fame include:
- Countdown Trafalgar Park for fruit, veges and bread
- Mapua Country Store and Four Square Mapua for veges and fruit
- The Oxford St Kitchen + Roastery in Richmond for café scraps
- Mapua’s Jellyfish Restaurant & Bar, Apple Shed Café & Bar and Alberta’s—also for café scraps
All the food we’re given must be sorted. Some of it, like potatoes and onions, must be cooked before it can be served. The only foodstuffs our animals won’t eat are lemons and mushrooms.
Donated food is meant to supplement, rather than replace, specialist livestock feed. It’s important that our animals have balanced diets but with an annual feed bill in the tens of thousands, we’re very grateful for the additional support. Nothing ever goes to waste.
Where possible, we grow feed as well. In 2016 we produced enough baleage (baled silage, or fermented grass) to last two years. Members of our wonderful local community also give us branch prunings for our goats and deer, who go mad for them!
Who gets what
We’re currently bottle-feeding four kids and five lambs, three times a day. Each feed requires four litres of milk in total. We use a 50/50 mixture of goats’ and powdered milk.
Our other animals get a selection that’s appropriate for their requirements and varied according to what’s seasonally available:
- Goats: veges, grass, tree prunings
- Pigs: pig nuts, café scraps, fruit, bread
- Chickens: poultry pellets and corn cobs. Our chooks are also free-range, so there’s plenty of opportunity to steal greens from the guinea pigs!
- Guinea pigs and rabbits: seasonal fruit and veges, including carrots, peppers and apples
- Ostrich and emu: poultry pellets, veges, chopped-up fruit salads of watermelon, pawpaw, peaches, apricots, bananas and strawberries.
Get involved at feeding time!
Serving our animals good-quality food is our top priority because we want them to be healthy and happy. If you’d like to get hands-on and be a part of that, visit the Petting Area at 11:00am or 3:00pm. That’s when we feed the babies and we always appreciate the help. When it’s not baby season, you can still hand-feed our older animals. It’s great fun and they’ll love you for it!