For more information about the Biltmore you didn't know existed, view our FREE Digital Edition today or download our FREE iOS App.
Images courtesy of The Biltmore
Want to learn more about the Biltmore you didn't know existed? Read on for details about the Farmyard at Antler Village and touring the West Side.
Farmyard at Antler Hill Village
Even if you don’t have time to explore the fields and pastures of Biltmore’s west side, you can still get a glimpse of some of the animals raised on the estate at the farmyard at Antler Hill Village.
It’s a great place to visit with the kids as they have a chance for an up-close, and sometimes hands-on, experience with a variety of chickens, roosters, goats and a couple of Belgian draught horses.
“We keep more than 500 chickens that lay hundreds of eggs each week,” says Melonye Trivett, Biltmore’s director of equestrian and Antler Hill Farm programs.
Many are the same heirloom breeds that Vanderbilt brought to the estate including Light Brahma and Barred Rock varieties. There are also Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes, and the curious looking Transylvania Naked Necks, which don’t have any feathers around their necks.
“The chickens are part of our intensive pasture rotations,” says Trivett. “We use portable chicken coops called “chicken tractors’ that allow us to easily move the flock to different fields.”
“We want birds that get out and hustle and graze,” says Ted Katsigianis, vice president of agriculture and environmental sciences at Biltmore. “They are very beautiful birds. We have an oven stuffer roaster – we had about 600 last year. They are naturally fed and it produces a totally different taste. The chefs really like it.”
See the West Side of Biltmore For Yourself
Venturing into the west side of Biltmore is possible, but it requires a little more planning and additional fees.
While a special Legacy and Land Tour is offered daily to explore parts of the east side, there’s no daily shuttle tour for the west side. If groups want to explore the agricultural side, they can make arrangements when they book reservations.
But there is another way, if you have a sense of adventure.
Hop on a Segway, which is a two-wheeled motorized vehicle that you ride while standing, and steer your way through the west side – these tours are offered daily April through December.
Keep in mind that you’ll be traveling over mostly dirt and gravel roads in this section of the estate. The tour covers seven miles and lasts about two and a half hours. The fee is $100 per person in addition to the regular price of admission to Biltmore.