Serenity Farm Animal Sanctuary often resembles a Beatrix Potter illustration. Farm animals are all lovingly cared for in a chemical free environment that includes pollinator and vegetable gardens and a certified wildlife habitat.
Rabbits live in a colony setting where they can live a natural life in a family group. They play and sleep together and regularly groom each other. There are both indoor and outdoor areas with tunnels, sleeping pods, platforms, brush piles and climbing sections. The dusting area of diatomaceous earth mixed with sand and fresh herbs allows the rabbits to naturally deter potential parasites. Their diet consists of hay, grass, vegetables and herbs with supplementation of pellets.
The chickens, ducks and turkeys live together in a barn with free access to a fenced area. To protect them from predators, we use a 200-foot electric poultry fence that can easily be moved to allow constant access to fresh grass. In addition to pasture, they are given fresh vegetables, herbs and layer feed.
Potbelly pigs Groot, Harley and Boots love to have the soft spot behind their ears scratched and will roll on their side for a stomach rub. They are a talkative trio and have a lot to say to visitors. Petunia is our youngest pig. She was found running down a road in an urban area. When she was brought to the sanctuary, she was only 12 inches long and not yet weaned. Our special needs pig, Oliver, joined us in August of 2020. He arrived with a respiratory infection, yeast infection on his body and in his ears, severely overgrown feet and blindness caused from obesity. Thanks to his weight loss program that includes lots of fresh vegetables, Oliver now has some sight and is able to walk around his paddock.
The goats are a wonderful part of the sanctuary and often provide amusement. Nutmeg and Charlotte arrived as babies and were bottle fed on the farm. Charlotte amuses us with her antics and will climb on anything within reach. When Charlotte first arrived, she was so tiny she lived in the house and slept on a raised dog bed. Blizzie, Basharoo, Boxcar and Bilbo came from an animal sanctuary that closed. They quickly adjusted to their new life and new friends. And our youngest family member, Fievel enjoys the company of our visitors so much that he begins calling them as soon as he hears them arrive. He has become best friends with Bella, our other miniature goat cross, and Charlotte. In March of 2022 we welcomed four Miniature Silky Fainting goats to the family – Elvis who is named for his beautiful blue eyes, twin sisters Amber and Onyx, and sweet little Franklin.
Our donkeys Edgar, Donqui and Hodie enjoy their own pasture with limited fresh grass, which is essential for their health. Hodie’s previous life with an inappropriate diet has caused permanent hoof deformities and she is prone to laminitis flare-ups. She is being kept comfortable with regular hoof trimming and a low sugar and low starch diet. She has made wonderful progress since arriving in December of 2021.
The sheep Harrison, Bean, Mack, Scarlet and MeMaw arrived in June of 2020 after their owner passed away. They were loved in their previous home and were not sure about all of the changes when they arrived. But they soon learned Serenity Farm Virginia is a safe place. Blackberry was found in a field as an orphaned newborn. When her rescuer contacted the farmer, he stated he was not going to intervene and would let “nature take its course.” Blackberry was then brought to us, and she has flourished into a beautiful Karakul sheep. Panda was also an orphan and was living alone in a yard when he was discovered by his rescuer. The owner stated Panda was staying until he was old enough to go to auction. His rescuer then purchased him on the spot and brought him to the safety of Serenity Farm Virginia. He immediately chose Blackberry as his surrogate mom and the two are inseparable. Our newest sheep, Rambo arrived as an orphan in March of 2022.
Pollinator gardens at the farm are ever-changing and expanding. In addition to native flowering plants, other aspects such as small swales, trees, bushes, native grasses and decorative ponds are strategically placed for a complete habitat.
A portion of the farm is devoted to reforesting with native trees and under-story plants. With guidance from the Virginia Forestry Department, we chose a variety of specimens that support birds and wildlife. Fallen branches are used to create brush piles and dead trees are left as snags for a wildlife refuge. We have received certification by the Audubon Society, North American Butterfly Association, Monarch Watch and the National Wildlife Federation.