Caring For Animals

Hello, my name is Nathalie. I am the animal caretaker/trainer here at Windy Hill Ranch. I have a great job that is a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. Holidays and vacations are very limited, as animals do not take time off themselves! I work 6 days a week and not one day is the same as the other. Let me show you what an average day is like for me.

I arrive at 7am and begin by checking each animal to make sure they are o.k. Then it's time to feed them. Each animal has it's own individual feeding requirements. For example, some have to have their food wet, or some have vitamins and supplements added. While the animals are eating, I take care of some office work, which includes updating all the animal records. After the animals have had their breakfast, training begins.

I usually start with Tallulah, our Dromedary camel. She is a lot of fun to work with, as she is a quick learner. Next, I work with the alpacas, Chubasco and El Nino. Chubasco isn't too excited about training, but El Nino has shown a little interest. After the alpacas, I work with quiet, calm, little Bella, one of the baby doll sheep. Once Bella's training is finished, I get Cheva for some fun goat training. Finally, the morning training ends with Helen, the large farm pig. She is very smart, but can also be a very big challenge. After all, she probably weighs close to 600 lbs. When all the training is done and all the animals are groomed and out in their pastures, I take the opportunity to sit at my desk and once again work on my animal records. Besides maintaining complete medical records on the animals, I keep training records and make notes of what training was done with the animals and track their progress. After a very busy morning, I am definitely ready for lunch.

After lunch, afternoon training begins. I start by bringing Spartacus and Bingo into their stalls. They come in early so they don't eat too much grass. Mini-horses need to watch their weight. I spend a lot of afternoons lunging and training Lovable, Bingo, Spartacus. I also try to work with Baby Buckley, Lady Buckley and Pippi, our Sicilian donkeys. It's a fun filled afternoon with a high activity level.

 

 

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

 

 

 


After all the training is completed, it's time to start bringing the day to a close. I begin by preparing the food for everyone. Once that is done I bring all the animals in for the day and as I put them into their stalls, I once again check them to make sure they are all ok. And, very importantly, I check to make sure they have plenty of water for the night. Once everyone is safely in their stalls, they get their supper. While they're eating their grains, I double check to make sure everything is set for the night. If it's a cold night, we close their stall windows. When everyone is done eating their grain, I collect all the dishes and wash them so they'll be ready for another day. After I make sure all the doors are properly closed and everyone is safe for the night, I do a little more office work and complete my training records for the afternoon. When you work with so many different kinds of animals, it usually takes more than the usual 8-hour workday. There is always so much to be done in one day and there doesn't seem to be enough time. The great thing is, this job is so rewarding, fulfilling and priceless, not to mention a lot of fun!

 

 

To return to the home page at any time, simply click the Windy Hill Ranch logo in top left-hand corner...