In 2013, our first small herd of sheep was brought to campus to provide student learning opportunities and fresh, grass-fed lamb in our dining halls. The lambs, mostly a heritage sheep breed called Tunis, were believed to be raised in Tunisia more than 2,000 years ago. Our lambs rotationally graze on the Farm, gaining most of their nutrition from green pastures. Students participate in their daily care and wool shearing. To promote good health, students also harvest medicinal herbs from our food forest and feed them to the sheep.
A variety of chicken and duck breeds live on the Antioch Farm, including heritage breeds threatened by extinction. In keeping with the Farm’s ecological ethic, our poultry, like our sheep, have access to pasture daily, live in mobile structures, and are fed primarily local, organic feed. An electrified mobile fence, charged by a solar panel, contains the birds and keeps them safe from predators. This fence allows us to provide fresh grass to the animals as well as distribute their fertilizer around the Farm.
Students, as Farm staff or volunteers, participate in all aspects of care for the birds from chicks to adults. In addition, students may take soil samples of manure-enriched areas as a part of their Environmental Science Class or just take a stroll at the Farm between classes to watch the ducks immerse themselves in the baby pool.