Horsebarn Hill is a drumlin, defined by Dictionary.com as "an extended, oval hill or ridge of compacted sediment deposited and shaped by a glacier." Its long axis is oriented in the direction of the glacier's movement.
The fields on and near Horsebarn Hill are used for pasture and cultivated for hay and other forage crops to feed the Department of Animal Science's livestock. Crop and grazing rotation practices insure that the soil is not depleted and helps prevent erosion.
The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources' student chapter of the Wildlife Society maintains bluebird boxes in the pastures. Birds seen in the area include bluebirds, woodcock and many birds of prey, such as peregrine falcons and red-tailed and Cooper’s hawks, which eat rodents, starlings and pigeons.
Occasionally while visiting Horsebarn Hill you will notice the pungent aroma of manure. Manure from the dairy cows housed in the Kellogg Dairy Center is stored in a manure storage tank. The tank is pumped out every 10-15 days, and the manure is spread on the crop fields during the growing season.
UConn operates a compost facility near the Mansfield Depot Campus. About 45 percent of the Department of Animal Science's beef, horse and sheep waste is processed there. Compost is sold to support the department's programs and to export excess nutrients off of UConn farms.