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 and ducks 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.
Precious, Stevie and Brianna the turkeys free-range in the backyard where they enjoy interaction with visitors. Especially when being hand-fed grapes. Stevie sustained a head injury when he was young and has some lingering neurological issues that are overcome with a few special accommodations. Brianna was found on the road after falling from a turkey transport truck. Both her physical and emotional wounds have healed and she has learned people will no longer mistreat her.
The goats are a wonderful part of the sanctuary and often provide amusement. Nutmeg, Lily 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. Blackie, Bonsai, 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.
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 piggy paddock.
Edgar the Mini-Donkey is an absolute sweetheart. He loves to have his ears scratched and looks forward to his regular back massages. He’s a tolerant fellow and takes everything in stride, even the occasional nibble on his ears from Charlotte.
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. After a few days they relaxed and, with help from our curious and extroverted Charlotte, they quickly learned Serenity Farm is a safe and loving place.
Pollinator gardens are ever-changing and expanding. In addition to native flowering plants, other aspects are included for a complete habitat. Small swales are incorporated for butterflies to re-hydrate and soak up minerals from the soil. A decorative pond includes a fountain that splashes onto rocks for the bees. Trees, bushes, and native grasses are strategically placed for pollinators to rest and roost overnight.
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. Trees and shrubs include Redbud, Dogwood, Hazelnut, Oak, Elderberry, Indigobush, Lespedeza, Locust, Hawthorn, Crabapple and Spice Bush. Fallen branches are used to create brush piles and dead trees are left as snags for a wildlife refuge. A permaculture orchard was added in September of 2020.