Advice: Ya/Nay

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by farmmaid, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have moved all our animals to our new house. That includes goats, geese,chickens ducks, horse and rabbits, from our lower farm.We will not be at the lower farm during the winter months. That leaves an empty pasture that is @2/3 of an acre. When garden time comes we will be there again. We were thinking of what we could raise in that space that we could get @ April/May and be ready to harvest Oct/Nov. There is a nice 3 sided shed in the pasture, shade trees and water 24/7. It is fenced now with heavy electric but other fencing could be put up also. Any suggestions: pigs, sheep, OR ?????? Combination ?????????. The land is very fertile, river bottom...Joan
     
  2. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Heck with that... pumpkins. Seriously profitable when done right.
     

  3. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    My husbands Uncle used to graze the long grass during the winter, instead of cutting it for hay.
     
  4. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The farm right next to ours grows corn, strawberries and pumpkins. We were thinking of a critter we could put in the freezer but any suggestions are appreciated...Joan
     
  5. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Well.. sheep, goats, and pigs, will require Fences of a sort not generally found around old hayfields. Cows you can keep behind three strand whatever. Pastured poultry will again require some invenstment in containment.

    And don't even think about Ostriches. ;-) They need chain link!
     
  6. Laura Workman

    Laura Workman (formerly Laura Jensen) Supporter

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    Your fencing sounds as though it would hold a couple of steers pretty nicely, but 2/3 acre would definitely be a dirt lot well before summer's end. Pigs, I hear, stay behind hotwire well once trained. Not being experienced with pigs and hotwire, I'd be hesitant to have hotwire be the only barrier keeping my pigs off the road. Same with sheep, although the hair sheep might be more trainable than those wooly ones. No way would you keep goats in. With a barrier fence in combination with the electric, basically, anything will stay in because it has to slow down long enough to get a nice shock while going through the electric.

    So the remaining problems are, what do you like to eat, and what will 2/3 acre feed? I think 2/3 acre with two pigs will give you a well-tilled field by the time they're ready for butcher. Maybe if you ring them, they'll just graze and not tear up the pasture? I don't know, having never ringed my pigs. Two sheep might be about right, especially if you can set up inner fences and rotate them every few days, letting the grass grow for a week or so unmolested between rotations. Geese, turkeys and Muscovy ducks are heavy consumers of grass, but would need more predator protection than the other choices. You could tractor chickens, too, or even rabbits.

    Or you could just rotate your horse through to make use of the grass, and use pastures closer to home for your smaller livestock. It seems like you have lots of choices, depending on what other pastures you have available. All of the above (except the horse!) will give you freezer filler by fall if purchased correctly in the spring.
     
  7. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just doesn't seem big enough to make good use of for livestock. Smaller creatures need better fencing; bigger creatures need more grass if you only want to let them graze, no other feeding. Not sure how far away this second farm is.

    Rent it to the neighbors for pumpkins, or some such.

    Rotate your current critters onto it to give your other pastures a couple week rest.

    --->Paul