Keeping our residents well fed, year-round, isn’t just about putting a smile on their faces at meal time (although we do enjoy seeing that!), it’s about maximizing their quality of life and minimizing their chance of getting sick or suffering debilitating conditions due to being severely over- or under-weight.
Unfortunately, most commercially prepared food for livestock, like pigs for example, is designed to help pack on as many pounds as possible in the shortest period of time with little to regard for health or quality of life. In fact, commercially prepared pig food is even called Hog Grower! That’s not what we want for our residents. We want them at a healthy weight and full of energy and vitality.
For our pigs
While it is a common misconception that pigs eat anything and everything, that’s mainly because that’s what they are fed. Often a diet of food scraps and garbage, or commercially prepared pig feed that’s high in fat and low in fibre, leads to many poor health outcomes for pigs including something called fat blindness. Our sweet resident, Carlisle, came to us fat blind. (You can read all about Carlisle and this condition on our website.)
To help ensure our pigs get down to a healthy weight and maintain it for life, we feed them a specially milled pig food that we had designed just for the sanctuary residents. Plus, they get lots of fresh fruit and veggies that vary with the season. Our pigs particularly look forward to Hallowe’en when they get lots of their favourite pumpkins to munch on.
For our goats and sheep
Again…there’s a common misconception that goats eat anything and that’s just not true! In fact, our goats can be quite picky eaters. To help ensure that our goat and sheep residents get a healthy and well-balanced diet, we always ensure that they have a good supply of second cut hay (which is high in moisture and protein) as well as lots of fresh fruit and veggies. And while the pigs look forward to Hallowe’en and all-you-can-eat pumpkin season, the goats and sheep are all about the festive holiday season when they get a special treat of previously loved Christmas trees! They enjoy nothing more than digging into the bark, needles and branches of a good holiday tree.
For our chickens
Our smallest residents are not forgotten when it comes to their dining pleasure! We feed our little feathered friends a delicious mixture of chicken feed with fresh fruit and veggies in quantities that are right for their tiny bodies and digestive systems.
And, of course, all our residents that are mobile have the option of grazing our pasture during the warmer months for additional nutrition.