Animals On The Farm
By Susan Berry
Honest Discussion Topic:
Adding Animals To Your Farm.
Are you an impulse animal buyer?
I try to promote careful and caring consideration of taking on animals to any homestead setting. For 10 years I was a gardener/produce farmer. I researched and thought about taking on ANY animal for about five years. I could easily be an impulse animal buyer. I adore animals. That is how I got Teddy twelve years ago.
But it takes education. I wont take on animals unless I study up on them for a long time to learn all the possible, “what if’s,” I am not an impulse animal buyer in reality. That is not a fair practice to the animals.
Don’t get me wrong, I now know what is involved with chickens and I don’t regret getting them at all. I have had a flock of laying hens for just starting year three. Started with 8, then it grew to 12 and next week I will be bringing home 24 little babies. I love having them on my farm. It made what were just gardens, a farm, at least for me. Before I was just growing veggies, but with chickens around, it really feels like a farm.
I have been considering pigs for many years. Partly I have hesitated until I am sure I can truly raise them to eat. Which I will never be sure of until I see my piggie covered in brown sugar and cloves in the oven. My husband Don just wouldn’t take to “Honey can you take the dogs out before bed and don’t forget to walk Oinkie.”
I know I could never raise my own beef. Cows eyes are so pretty, nope, not gonna happen. See, I am a realist. Now a dairy cow is another subject. That is a definite possibility. I realize some of you are thinking, “she is just a farmer wannabe.” For many of us new generation of homesteaders it has been a process, a transition. For me a city girl whom life’s circumstances carried to the country, growing vegetables was such an adventure it took me five years to adapt to doing that.
So I am ready to take the next step. I have ruled out goats, not enough space. Ruled out sheep, after reading a book called Sheep Diseases that thought was fleeting. So pigs and cows are in the running for the next farm animal in my life. Careful consideration must be made and lots of preparation. Expense is another big factor, can I afford to care properly for this animal? Many things to think through. But I am closer to adding a new member to the family or should I say table? Since moving to our new home and having more land, the possibilities are exciting and tempting.
I had a serious conversation with my Facebook friends who spend time on Itzy Bitzy Farms FB page and, after they shared pros and cons, I made an educated decision about acquiring goats. Not to mention I did a great deal of reading. I would love to have goats but my current homestead is not big enough. So as cute as they are, I will make friends with a goat owner and visit regularly. I will be sure to come back and let you know of any new additions to the homestead. In the meantime….
Share with us your experiences with adding farm animals to your homestead dreams. I would love to hear them and learn more. We can always learn more and new and better ways to live the homestead life.
Have a wonderful Spring and visit us at our blog too, at www.itzybitzyfarm.com
Historic livestock and draft animals, Poitou donkeys are endangered but being revived by Texas ranchers Christopher Jones and Patrick Archer
Working with Mules
You’ll want to find a place on the homestead for a hardy and efficient mule.
What’s Wrong with Tall Fescue Grass?
Tall fescue grass – or rather the endophytic fungus that it harbors – affects cattle, horses and other grazing animals in a variety of ways.