Thursday, August 29, 2013

So You Think You Want To Farm?.......

There are many types of farming... It all from my view point involves Blood, Sweat and Tears.. but also Happiness and Contentment... It's a crazy mix of life... 
 Our type of farming is basically a mix of livestock and gardening... A hobby farm that can be anything from a 1/4 acre to 100 acre farm depending on who you are talking too.. My advice when people ask me about farming... Start out small.. Learn a couple of species of animals at one time not 10 different ones..... 
 Take poultry... Chickens, ducks, turkeys and guineas... All poultry but all require different things.. Goats, cows and sheep... All ruminants.. but sometimes vastly different Mineral needs that can even be fatal.. Not to mention fencing requirements, feeding and housing.. You have to take into consideration all these things.. then there is what to do with them.. Why are you raising them? Meat Milk & Eggs? To sell breeding stock? What is your market? What breeds are you interested in? What is the market for them? Where will you keep them? what set up do you plan on having? 
 I have seen many people get started, have all sorts of "Plans" then a year later they sell out because its not what they thought it was going to be.. or they lost a bunch of babies to one thing or the other that year or something ate all their chickens... Either way they gave up, got discouraged and thought it wasn't for them... Farming can be the toughest best thing you ever do.. I have had to make hardest decisions ever since I started raising our own Milk, Meat and Eggs... These animals get sick, hurt and old.. Not all can stay forever either..
 Some people come into farming with the intentions of saving the world.. Others just to make a buck or two..  You can do both.. Don't laugh... you really can make money.. There are Many ways to farm... MANY... Some aren't right.. Like dousing in pesticides, fake fertilizers, feeding meds to "prevent" things and vaccines but thats a whole other topic..
 There are many options out there. You are not going to be a farming success over night.. It's going to take lots of hours, work along with Blood, Sweat and Tears..  Farming never takes a vacation.. Doesn't mean you can't... Farming takes Good relationships with your family, neighbors and any one you do business with.. My first piece of advice to anyone... GOOD fences Make GOOD Neighbors.. Always.. That is an absolute truth!
 Anyway... If you think you are meant to be a farmer ask your self some hard questions.. Like the following list....
 1. Will you be able to decide whether an animal lives or dies? Whether its butchering, putting it down because of illness or severe wounds. Its not a matter of if but when it happens...

2. Will you be able to stick your hands in places you never thought you would? For example You have a laboring mother... no baby has presented and you have to go inside to see whats wrong.. If you can't you may lose both baby and mother. Vets and Helpful friends aren't always available.. 

3. Will you be able to process an animal that you intend to eat? This means do it all yourself? because you may have hard times and not be able to take it to the butcher shop like you plan.. Or the butcher shop is booked up for months and you need the animal gone... It happens..

4. Do you know how to research? Anything?? Diseases, treatments, breeds, requirements, or anything else to do with what you want.. I am talking books, websites and other people.. I have people call, email and knock on my front door asking questions..  I have stacks of books and list of websites..   I don't mind people asking me questions.. It's when they ask me the same question every 3 months.. Never learning..

5. Are you willing to be laughed at?  Some where, some time  Some One will laugh... At your plans, your decisions or your farm.. Let it roll off  like water off a duck's back....  Everyone has path in life.. and they are all different from each other..

 6. Are you willing do take care of your critters, farm and all that it includes no matter the weather? rain, snow, sleet and hail... They have to be taken care of.. The animals(and plants even) depend on you for everything.. 

 7. Are you prepared for anything?.... really anything? I have seen the craziest things ever since owning goats and operating a farm.. I had a friend recently have a goat kid fall down in the wall of the barn. She had to pull the outside wall off to get to him. He got out, and up on the stack of hay and then fell in.. He was okay, she was okay (after a minor heart attack). But really a goat falling down in a wall?... Naaah no way.. Oh but Yes way... You just gotta laugh, shake your head and say All in a day's work....

 Just a few things to think about before you think about farming.. Research, research, research.... And don't forget about the Creator who made all living things and gave us dominion over every fowl of the air and beast of the field... He expects us to care for them....
Then step on in the water's fine! lol 



Mr. Zeke this morning.. 
He's Big... He's bad.. And smellin' fine for the ladies...
We the people will be glad when breeding season is OVER!


 Little boys behind the fence...
Little girls laid out like the princesses they are..
I caught Ceci mid stretch there...

  Sunshine my herd queen in front.
Emily in back...
My old ladies soaking up sun this morning..
They are 10 & 11... They are getting old for goats..

I hope everyone has a blessed week! 

I cried unto the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me. Psalm 3:4-5

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Great post, Tonia. Farming ... best to go into in with your eyes wide open and prepared.

Love the photos of the goats. :D