If UC Davis was a category in the game Taboo, one of the tabooed words would be “animal.” UC Davis is internationally acclaimed for our animal facilities. There are so many resources available to expand your knowledge, which may be particularly appealing for Evolution, Ecology and Biodiversity or Marine and Coastal Science majors, or just if you love animals. Take advantage of all the unique opportunities our campus has to offer-whether it is simply to learn more, or to get involved!
One of the most notable animal facilities on campus is our iconic dairy cow barn near the Tercero Residence Halls. However, there are many more located all throughout campus. Most of them are open to students interested in learning more. If the gate is open, you are welcome to walk in and talk to a staff member. The facilities generally have open hours for the public. Here are just a few examples:
California Raptor Center
The Raptor Center is open for free, self-guided tours during their open hours Monday-Friday from 9am-4pm and Saturday from 9am-12pm. You can learn about the rehabilitation of all kinds of raptors like red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, or barn owls.
There are three Avian facilities on campus: Hopkins Avian Facility, Meyer Hall Hatchery, and Meyer Hall Avian Facility. The Hopkins Avian Facility is located across from the University Airport and houses species including chickens, parrots, kestrels, and finches. Meyer Hall Hatchery supplies chicks and eggs to other Avian facilities and departments on campus. The Meyer Hall Avian Facility is an intensive research facility with controlled environments and chambers.
The Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture (CABA) Aquatic Center located on campus by the University Airport is the largest freshwater fish research facility of all the University of California campuses. Besides acting as a research space, some Aquatic Center animals are released to natural reserves at Putah Creek and Jamison Pond. It is open for tours by appointment during its open hours Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm.
The Horse Barn is mostly run by students and houses several stallions available to the public, with proceeds going back towards the equine education program. Tours are available by appointment during open hours: Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm. Fun fact: the one-and-only Gunrock was housed at the House Barn in the 1920s.
The Cole facility is a research facility with many studies involving cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs. It also encompasses the Meat Lab and the Small Animal Laboratory, which houses rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice. The Meat Lab is located in Cole C Facility and is open for meat sales on Thursday and Friday from 1pm-5:30pm.
Learn more about each Animal Facility here:
Get details about the Meat Lab here:
Barn Residency Program
Can’t get enough of these precious animals? UC Davis offers a Barn Residency Program, which is an opportunity to live-in at one of the nine animal facilities on campus. In exchange for housing, students work in the facility for approximately 10 hours per week. The facilities include: Dairy Barn, Swine Barn, Horse Barn, Sheep Barn, Beef Barn, Feedlot, Feed mill, Hopkins Avian Facility, and Goat Barn. Animals and free rent? Moo yeah! Check out the website below for specific requirements (you have to be able to lift a bale of hay):
You don’t have to be an Animal Science or animal-related major to immerse yourself in the opportunities that the campus has to offer. This is an underrated benefit of attending an agriculture school-don’t miss out!
BASC Peer Advisor
3rd year, Neurobiology, Physiology, & Behavior Major