r ranson wrote: ... Looking at your lovely list of animals I think to myself, that's a long list of animals. From personal experience, it may be challenging to start with that many different kinds of animals all at once. If I had to start farming again, the one thing I would do is have fewer animals. I would probably have one kind of animal, maybe chickens, then watch the land for at least two years while I learn how to care for the chickens. Then, add the next animal to the equation - sheep. spend a couple of years letting the sheep train me how to keep them in optimum health before getting the next animal. There are so many things to learn and so many things that can go wrong - I've seen so many farmers get over excited and fill their farm with animals, only to have the animals health (and the farmers') suffer for lack of time and knowhow. Of course, if you are already familiar with keeping livestock, you know all this already
Patrick Edwards wrote:
r ranson wrote: ...
So, I have a question regarding this exact thing. How does one find the balance between having animals early on to help improve the land and prepare it for growing all the goodies and taking time to acquire animals because of the difficulty that can arise in caring for them?
Summarized - I have heard both ends of the argument, that animals should be acquired early on in order to help improve the quality of the land/soil more rapidly and that one should wait because animals can be difficult to care for. Where do you think the middle ground lies?
For me, I think we have to eat. I want to be independent and I don't want to eat out of the store.
So what will you want to cover your food groups so you don't feel like you need to get outside food?
If you don't want to do it all, what can you trade to get what you want?
Lamb and wool are great trade goods. They have a high value in the market and in my area I am the only organic grower. I trade lamb for cow, pork, help and vegetables.
I think Finn Sheep are really great because they can cover milk, cheese, meat, yard maintenance and wool.
Sheep can be very happy in a small safe paddock with a nice little shelter. The whole operation can be dragged or relocated as needed. Once they know where home is they will stay close. They will run back to their barn if they smell trouble. A couple times a day you can let them out to graze. I keep an eye on them while they do the yard work or take them with me when I go on a horse ride. They fill their bellies, then I put them away.
In terms of starting vs. waiting.... I would get on it. The time is now.