Ok here is my situation, I am a veteran and am looking to purchase, and run a farm. I am looking for land in Kentucky, preferably with a house. I am looking to be as self sufficien as I can without going overboard, or getting into prepping. I want to be as organic as possible. I want to do rotational grazing with beef, pork, sheep, goats, and various poultry. I of course will plant outdoor seasonal crops. But I also want to do an aquaponics garden and farm crawfish, if plausible. I guess my questions, would be. What type of beef cattleshould I use (my thinking is to stay with older breeds, with as much natural antibodies as possible). I want to stay away from black. What pork would be best for plowing and grazing. While keeping good meat. What types of chicken, ducks, and geese would be best. I want to have a very diverse mixture of livestock. I am looking for 100 acres plus on the farm. Thanks in advance for any advice.
There are a lot of great threads on this site that go into great detail about all of the questions you've asked but it occurs to me that Darby Simpson's site might be of use to you as well as you research your business plans. You might even benefit from one of his workshops.
My own choice of breeds was entirely dependent upon what was available within an acceptable distance, plus within my budget. So while I may have thought American Guinea Pigs were a nifty breed, they simply aren't available in my area. Shipping them in would cost well beyond my budget. So I looked to see what breeds were being produced in the area, and picked among that pool. I ended up with Hawaiian feral x domestic crosses.
The last time I was in Kentucky visiting friends(several decades ago), belted cattle were readily available. I don't know if that's still true. My friends had mule foot pigs and durocs.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
Since you're looking to the Kentucky area, why not check out Joel Salatin? He's just over in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia so climate is similar, and he's got youtube videos and books that talk about his operations.
Also check with local farmers where you're gonna raise your animals. When I first moved to a rural area in 1977 I was mostly a southern small town girl / Navy brat - adaptable and capable of many things, but greener than grass to farming. The older farmers and their wives helped me and my family alot! They already had livestock that had been raised for decades and through several generations of mutation to succeed in our area - so much so that I ended up with 30+ chickens (5 different breeds from 3 farmers) given to me to start my flock, because they had too many. I also was given local corn, beans, melons, and other fruits and veggies to eat and can (kept the seeds to plant the following year). My garden from those seeds produced beyond belief. I recently had a similar experience with pumpkins - got a local produced pumpkin, planted about 30 to 40 seeds the following year (thinking that 1/2 of seeds in most seed packs don't make it). I had 38 pumpkins that fall. I saved some for cooking through the winter and gave over 2/3 of them to family and friends.
Modern term for this localized breeding is landrace - these are the breeds that are optimized to your growing conditions. It's how our ancestors created plants and animals that were so successful that we now have them 100 to 1000 years later and call them "heritage" or "heirloom" breeds.
Even Joel's son has created a rabbit breed that is optimal for their operation, I'm doing a similar program on my .15 acres with my rabbits. As for chickens, I have a variety of hens (sorry, had to get rid of roosters due to city ordinances) that lay colored eggs - no white eggs in this bunch. We easily get $4 -$6 a dozen for "Rainbow Eggs" and $6 - $8 for "Chocolate/Chocolate Chip Eggs". Kids love them and one dad explained that our "Easter eggs" are colored by the chickens because we fed them crayons. His kids and their friends HAD to come visit our farm. Everyone loves that story.
Anyway, lots of best wishes for your future.
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