Mooo-ving in a New Direction?
With the high cost of food, and having to deal with questionable quality; many of us are aspiring to be more self-sufficient. Mooo-ving in a new direction…there is a backyard livestock boom being spurred on by a desire for healthy, affordable food.
With a bit of excess land and a little bit of knowledge, you could convert your backyard into a barnyard. Right? The good and the bad news is; your animals will always be right there, to inform you of when it’s time for their dinner or they just want some TLC.
First of all, I will endeavor to supply some relevant pros and cons about mooo-ving different farm animals into your backyard. It’s my intention to help you make the best possible choices as to who you should adopt into your little family. You may end up running to your nearest supermarket; grateful to be able to purchase your food without the subsequent drama.
Backyard Chicken Coop
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road, roll in the mud and cross the road again?
A: Because he was a dirty double-crosser!
Many people just LOVE their chickens! Some can actually be wonderful, friendly pets. They will follow you everywhere! One of the pros of
raising chickens is undoubtedly, the eggs. Delicious for breakfast, lunch
or dinner. Also, a few chickens don’t take up a lot of space. If you plan to raise chickens for poultry, you can calculate approximately 2 pounds of
feed to produce 1 pound of chicken meat.
As for the cons, keeping your brood safe may be a challenge. Ravens, raccoons, coyotes, eagles, hawks, mink, weasels, raccoons, owls, and even dogs are natural predators that love to eat chickens. Furthermore, young chicks can be eaten by owls, cats, and sometimes rats. Does that have you wanting to sleep with your treasured chickens? Hence, the chicken coup and chicken wire to protect your feathered babies.
Get Your Goat
Q: Why did the ram run over the cliff?
A: He didn’t see the ewe turn.
Fresh goats milk (which you can use to make cheese) is one of the big pros of having a goat. Goats are smart, funny, social, curious, and interactive. Certainly, baby goats (kids) are hilarious! They’ll keep you entertained with their backyard antics.
The cons of keeping goats is (sorry to say) “essence of billy goat.” If you have an intact billy goat, you won’t be able to miss it!. Your neighbors residing downwind may let you know they notice too. Consequently, the nanny goat may be the only one who truly appreciates her Billy (sometimes).
A Horse Is A Horse
Q: Did you hear about the depressed horse?
A: He told a tale of whoa.
You can’t ride a chicken or a goat. However, you will quickly discover that neighbors, friends, and family members will be more than willing to borrow your horse for the afternoon. All the fun of riding with none of the work, will make you very popular. Work is definitely a con of owning a horse, by the way.
If you decide to get a horse, you will definitely be mooo-ving in a new and exciting direction. Make sure you have lots of room. These beautiful, majestic creatures need lots of open space. Remember that you’ll be feeding your horse, but the horse will not be feeding you. Another con? Unless, of course, you charge for the rides.
Moooo-ving in a New Direction
Q: Deja moo?
A: That feeling you’ve heard this bull before.
If you are mooo-ving in a new direction, owning a dairy cow will make you feel like a real farmer. “Green Acres” anyone? Bart Simpson was wrong when he said, “Don’t have a cow, man.”
Cows are terrific! They provide fresh milk and cheese. What could be better than that? And if you can handle “harvesting” the manure, you can sell it for a considerable amount of money. If you don’t get too attached to those big, soulful, brown eyes; cows can also give you beef.
Owning a cow isn’t all fun and fresh cream, though. Before investing in a dairy cow, you should talk to a dairy farmer. It won’t be hard to do…They never go on a vacation. They will tell you that it takes money to make money. How to make a small fortune from a large one? You will also be investing in your large-animal veterinarian in order to keep your cow healthy.
Here Piggy, Piggy, Piggy
Q: Did you hear about the pig with laryngitis?
A: He was disgruntled.
Want some wee (wee, wee, wee, all the way home), wiggly, pigs for your little farm haven?
Pigs are a good choice. They are intelligent, highly social, and contrary to popular belief, extremely clean animals. Pigs are one of the easiest animals to raise. Pigs grow to maturity much faster than beef cows and provide far more meat (and lard) than chickens.
In addition to pre-made feed, pigs love all types of produce. You can even grow crops specifically for your pigs. They love turnips, beets, peas, pumpkin and apples. Combine barley, vegetables, table scraps and swine minerals and you will have a well fortified diet. Fresh milk is an ideal protein source that pigs really enjoy. Another reason to “Have a cow, man!”
Finally, have I talked you into (and out of) a backyard barnyard? Just remember that when you adopt animals they are a big responsibility that requires serious thought, research and commitment. Mooo-ving in a new direction?