How many of you keep homestead animals : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

How many of you keep goats, chickens,rabbits,cows,pigs and how important is it to your lifestyle.I dont have any at the present time,and I really miss having fresh eggs and my own homegrown meat. Just wondering.

-- Roxanne (, December 27, 2001


We keep pigs, chickens, guineas, ducks, an occasional turkey, and rabbits. All our animals are on pasture or free roam. My rabbits are caged, but I bring the pasture to them! It's very important to me to be raising our own meat and eggs - because then we know what when into the meat! No growth hormones - no antibiotics, etc. And we know they were well treated and had happy lives while they were here.

-- Cheryl in KS (, December 27, 2001.

We keep hogs, 2 cows, chickens, turkeys, draft horses and of course, lots of dogs and cats. It is a good feeling to have dinner night after night that is completely from our own hands. Although, in really cold weather like we are having now, some mornings I wonder?

-- Joanie (, December 27, 2001.

I have one horse, 2 goats, 4 sheep, one pet turkey, about 2 dozen laying hens and a rooster, and nine rabbits. And of course the dogs, cats and kids. I will be raising meat chickens again in the spring, and plan to get some ducks for sure too. Havn't had ducks for a little while and really miss them. I can't imagine not having the animals!! It is such an important part of my life!!! I especially love those times when we have big breakfast all from here. I want to be able to raise a calf each year, and pigs too, but we cannot where we are now. I am hoping for a move to our own place (we rent now) in the next year or so.

-- Jenny (, December 27, 2001.

Hey Roxanne! Does old Calvin the cat count? "It's" a purty good alarm clock when left inside during the night! Set to "go off" at 2 am each early mornin--wantin out. Eats like a Mule, pig head'd like a hog and sometimes smells like a horse. "It" thinks it's human, won't hardly eat cat food--prefers whatever I'm gnawin on--also prefers "Animal Planet" on the dish and drops to the carpet to snooze at will. Rekon I can claim'm on my income taxes this year? Naw, don't rekon. Unkle Sam has a satellite parked over our place just lookin and watchin all THEIR deer as my trees are being destroyed by'm. I sure do wish those ornery deer tasted like beef! old hoot,the homesteadin kat keeper, gibson. Matt.24:44

-- old hoot gibson (, December 27, 2001.

We have chickens. Cale usually gets a deer so we don't use much beef, and I buy our pork from a local group that raises and butchers it for a fund-raiser. I love having chickens! They are so fun to watch and I like getting our own eggs, but we don't butcher them.

-- Melissa (, December 27, 2001.

My uncle raises a small herd of Red Brangus cattle on our cattle ranch, but other than that, no other animals that we raise. At my home, my wife and I are owned by our dog and cat. We are planning to build a chicken tractor and raise chickens for eggs / fertilizer / tick control. Gotta consult dog first, should be okay, but with dogs ??? We live on a small city lot right now, but plan to in the future live in the country. We are planning the yard to be a small garden for us, providing food for the family. (If I have to water it, it might as well pay us back, right?). So far have two lemon trees, 2 orange trees, a small vegetable garden, prickly pear cactus, and are planning for a grape arbor, maybe rabbits if the chicken experiment works out. Don't want to expand too fast; we lead really busy lives, with a small son and an upcoming daughter this spring, so don't want to get in over our heads.

But we consider it important. Yeah, I hunt the majority of our red meat; not only cheaper but is lower in calories, less fat, and provides recreation. Wish I was more like many of you now, but, baby steps for now.

-- j.r. guerra (, December 27, 2001.

We have rabbits,chickens,geese and a few calfs. We have started on the hog pens for spring and I would like to get a goat or a milk cow in the spring also. I have a goal to be total independent of dairy and meat needs by the fall of 2002!. Plus with the garden and what I trade for may be just basics-flour,sugar,etc, by then also!

-- Micheale from SE Kansas (, December 27, 2001.

We have four Arabian horses (one breeding quality mare to be bred this spring), a flock of 24 Black Australorp laying hens, four outside dogs, two of which are real guard dogs that repel coyotes and the like away from our property, and a large assortment, eight to be exact, of barn cats (all spayed and neutered) that do a real good job of clearing all the many buildings and outbuildings of mice, rats and moles, as well as keeping the hayfields and yards clear of moles, voles and shrews. The dogs join the cats on the mole hunts sometimes, the cats don't eat them, but the dogs do!!!

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (, December 27, 2001.

We have eight hens and a rooster, 4 dogs (three outdoor, one indoor), and five cats (indoor and fixed). More chickens may be in the future. My husband hunts for deer and grouse and ducks. And we buy lamb from friends of ours that raise it freerange.

-- Cat (, December 27, 2001.

Horses, goats, pigs, chickens, ducks. Rabbits are down to one pet rabbit. I consider the goats, pigs and chickens "essentials". If times were real tough, I would probably get back into raising a few rabbits for meat again, as well as the ducks. I would keep a few horses for working and transportation. As it is, we have a LOT of horses, they are a business and I really don't consider them to be that big a part of homesteading for us. To my mind, homesteading just wouldn't be homesteading without the goats, pigs and chickens, they are not only some of the most economical and necessary critters we have, but I "need" to see them when I head out to the barn in the morning. They ARE my lifestyle, if that makes sense.

-- Lenette (, December 27, 2001.

We have 7 cows,7 rabbits 40 chickens, 2 cats, 1 dog 16 pigs. We had pygmy goats but no market here for them. Animals make me feel like a farmer you know with the feeding and putting up hay and such.

-- Thomas Calloway (, December 27, 2001.

We have at present: 5 barred rock and 1 aracauna hen (none of which have laid in about a month - I guess it's the weather, though we didn't have this problem last year), 1 dog (dalmation), and 2 hermit crabs (one is temporary, belongs to my son's kindergarten class and was needing a home for the holidays). Oh, and I almost forgot, we just recently became the proud owners of 1 hereford cow, to be taken care of by my brother (she will run with his herd and breed to his bull) in exchange for the use of our 80 acres to run some cattle on starting in March. I'm looking forward to that beef after she calves!

No other animals at this time, I don't think I would want to butcher my own (not because of the butchering, but because I have smelled singed and boiled chicken feathers when my parents used to butcher, and it sends me running!), so anything we get in the future would mostly be either for eggs or for pets. I love those homegrown eggs, the store bought ones I've been making do with the last few weeks are pitiful!

-- Christine in OK (, December 28, 2001.

We have our cow and calf,plenty to keep us busy for the winter. Come spring I will get chicks. Really miss my own eggs. I'm buying organic eggs from the store.I even miss looking out and seeing the chickens. It really seems a waste to throw scraps out that the chickens could be eating. I love watching them fighting over the baked potato skins. We are enjoying our homegrown beef. We had T-bone steaks for our Christmas family gathering. Isn't living in the country just the greatest. I thank God all the time for finding such a nice place for us.

-- Jo (, December 28, 2001.

I have nine llamas that I use their fleeces for spinning and battings for quilts along with one angora goat (her fleece keeps me really busy), one donkey, one potbelly pig, one guinea, a bunch of hens and roosters, three dogs, five cats, two guinea pigs, a parakeet and a siamese fighting fish!

-- Emily in central Ky (, December 28, 2001.

Right now we're on a city lot so we just have the three indoor cats. I considered getting some rabbits but I had a pet rabbit as a child so I don't think that I'd be able to butcher one now.

I was visiting family over the holidays and discussing our homesteading plans with my parents. My 6 year old neice overheard and told me that I was being silly for wanting some chickens because chickens only lived in zoos.

-- Sherri C (, December 28, 2001.

We have chickens and rabbits. Planning on getting two pigs, Nubian goats for milk and a calf for beef.

-- Terry - NW Ohio (, December 28, 2001.

Currently we have 12 hens which have just begun laying eggs in spite of the snow, 5 roosters--4 of which will be stewed sometime soon, 2 cats, 2 rabbit does.

My plans for when we have our own land include a pig, 2 cows (for milk and calves--beef, heifers, oxen), more chickens for meat (while maintaining a laying flock), and eventually sheep for wool and meat.

-- Cathy N. (, December 28, 2001.

We have three pottok horses (10 month olds), two dozen laying hens, two roosters, three bantams, a dozen ducks - muscovy and other, five meat rabbits, we usually get a calf for beef in the summer, and a pig for sausages etc. I am planning on getting a lamb or two for my brother this spring, and we might try a goat or a small dairy cow some time in the next couple of years. I will also be hatching out some guineas this spring when eggs go for sale.

There is always something to do with all these dependants, right now I am concentrating on training the horses - eventually they will help out with the gardening, and transport people and produce.

-- Chenoa (, January 28, 2002.

We are just getting into animals on the farm. This is our second year here, we moved in last year. We now have some ducks and a rooster that were needing a home so we took them in. We soon will be getting some geese and a few more ducks for breeding. I also want some chickens. Next spring we will get a calf for beef and a pig for slaughter in the fall. I like to raise my own vegetables as well. We have a deer farm near us so I would like to buy a deer to. As far as pets go my kids have 2 dogs,a turtle and a mini rex rabbit! ;)

-- L. Daniels (, September 29, 2002.

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