Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chicks, Rabbits and Goats, OH MY!

Living on 73 acres, you learn pretty quickly that farm animals are really a necessity and not just because they are cute, fluffy and you have extra money to spend.  We live roughly 15 miles from our town (small though it is) so we need to keep the basics on hand. In fact, you could almost consider us preppers. Not that we expect the world apocalypse or the nation's economy to fall, but we do live in an area with tornado activity. (Plus, I have no desire to run to town daily b/c I forgot to buy it the day before.)   What does this have to do with animals? Let me explain...

Chickens. We have 24 right now (12 adults, 12 chicks) and I am incubating more. I can't say they are great for keeping the bugs away because I don't let mine free range. Now, before I get lots of peta comments, they get treats daily and I always make sure to throw grass clippings, meal worms,etc... to them so they have lots to do and eat. My chickens think if they are allowed OUTSIDE their coop, they should lay their eggs outside the coop as well. I became tired of playing Easter egg hunt every day to be honest.  Plus, if you garden, it has to be enclosed completely because chickens do not care if your squash or green beans are almost ready to harvest, they will scratch and destroy the plants to find the teeny-tiny bug in the center of the plant... just because they can. Our hens do quite well in keeping us supplied with brown eggs and we have 2 roosters to continue the line. The rest of the roosters? Well, sorry but in the pot they go, which only adds to the farming experience.

Rabbits.  We have A rabbit currently but are getting a few more so we can start breeding them. Not because they are cute and fluffy. Not because I planted too many carrots. They are production rabbits and will be culled at 8 weeks old. Now, again, no peta comments. Our doctor told us that rabbit meat would be GREAT for our twins' digestion problems since the medicine isn't really working and I see no point in buying the meat at the supermarket for an OUTRAGEOUS price when we can raise them much cheaper. For anyone with digestion problems ( heartburn, acid reflux), rabbit meat can be used as a replacement in any chicken recipe (I swear it almost does taste like chicken...) and you will be amazed at the difference it will make.

Goats.  Okay, I have to admit: I love our goats. We have a Nubian and a Nubian/Brush Goat mix that have been in our family (between us and my hubby's parents) for the past 8 years.  They are GREAT lawn mowers! In fact, I haven't mowed our backyard in over a year since we brought them to our house. (In-laws are sick and couldn't take care of them any longer). Not only that, goats' milk is also GREAT for digestion problems. It has made a HUGE difference in our kids' issues and I can honestly say that I actually dislike using cows' milk for anything but cooking now.

That's all the animals we have so far... well, unless you count the 2 dogs, 2 cats and 2 fish. And the guineas in the incubator. But next year, we're adding 2 horses,  2 steers and maybe (if I can talk the hubby into it) a pig or 2.  I figure that if we own this much land, we might as well put it to use! lol


  1. I'm in the same boat. It's 20 miles to the nearest grocery store.

    I wish we had that much acreage! But I'm grateful for what we have.

    We're still looking for meat goats. And some time in the future I'm sure we'll raise another pig. There is no pork better than a farm-raised pig.

    Rabbits are incredibly easy to raise. (Not so easy to kill though.) But like anything else, I'd rather butcher my own animals knowing I gave them the best possible life than the animal factories the grocery stores use.

    I love your farm entries. It's like visiting with a kindred spirit. :)

  2. Thanks so much, Maria, I appreciate that! I have to admit, when we first moved back here, I wasn't really sure of the slaughter part but thankfully, my husband is a hunter. After having our kids, especially with the twins diet issues, I started researching different foods and when I realized how many bad things were in the processed foods that all of us eat? I quickly changed my mind, needless to say. Our kids (and us) eat much healthier now and I can see a big difference in their behavior as well. They help with the animals and have more respect for not only the animals but for themselves be helping be responsible. As far as meat goats, I will say that Nubians are my favorite since they are so great with milk production also. Good luck in finding them and I will definitely be posting more of these from now on.