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Hey, so i have a question, and any info would be much appreciated!

Me and my fiancé are looking into starting the journey of homesteading! She works as a pharmacy tech and makes 39,000 a year. I work as a behavioral therapist. Our goals are for me to stop work and work on the homestead full time. We would like 2 pigs, a few rabbits, about 10 chickens, and a goat or 2. We live in ontario, canada. My first question is, is it possible to homestead and live off of her income? And the second question would be, how much will the animals we want cost us monthly or annually? I know startup cost are huge and i know land and a house can be expensive as well! Any info on your current situation would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 

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I think you'll be surprised at how little time 2 pigs, a few rabbits, 10 chickens, and 2 goats require to take care of. I'm not sure you need to quit your job in order to make it happen. As far as cost, I would think $250 per month would be a good budget for the amount of animals listed above.

I have 5 goats, 20+ chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. I spend less than 30 minutes per day maintaining them and a couple extra hours each weekend. If the goats were in milk I would expect it to take me an extra hour per day. I work 50+ hours per week away from home and I commute 75 minutes each way to work. Maintaining the animals is still easy to fit into my schedule each day.

If you plan to quit your job and make it your livelihood.. I would recommend getting 20+ acres and doing something like 30+ pigs so you can sell 28+ of them for income and then raise a couple dairy goats and some chickens and rabbits for your own consumption on the side.
 

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I think what you want is totally possible. Getting started can be expensive but so is buying a house in town. But I agree with V-NH - that amount of animals won't take much time. Even if you added a very large garden you could still do it and work too. my 15 chickens cost me about $25 a month. They aren't laying now and I baby them with cracked corn and sunflower seeds to scratch for. They don't cost as much in the summer when they can be out finding most of their own food. My sheep were another $25 per month - 2 bags of sheep rations. I fed grain year-round. Hay was the real killer. We bought our own equipment but never managed to bale a decent bale of hay - which is why we don't have sheep right now. 8 small-breed sheep ate 1 bale of hay a day all winter. Hay is $5-8 a small bale.

We've never raised pigs. When you raise animals, you always need at least two. Animals don't do well by themselves. If you raise goats- do get 2, at least.
 

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My first question is, is it possible to homestead and live off of her income?
Sure.

But it's a whole lot better to keep both incomes, assuming yours in the ballpark of hers, put one away for land/housing/homesteading requirements, and spend just little bit of time per day (as pointed out above) on the few critters you're talking about.

Homesteading is a WHOLE LOT more fun if you have no debt, a decent pile of savings, and a bunch of machinery/buildings/etc already paid for. When you can drop 20-30 grand on a new tractor, and it not hurt a lick, you're in the 'fun zone'.... :D

My wife had a good job for 32 years, most everything I earned (self employed) (plus a chunk of hers) went into the place. Now we have a real nice place, a good pile of savings, the security of her pension, and both get to 'play' homesteading full time.
 

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We had four goats, three pigs and 80 chickens and we both worked full time.
We had a huge garden too.
Yes, Get more acres and grow your own feed and food.
 

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I pretty much agree with the others above - unless you have a very large homestead with huge gardens and lots of animals it isn't hard to maintain the homestead and a job as well. I worked outside my home for most of my life. My husband was often working out of town and I still raised my family, a modest garden and some meat/milk animals.

Saving money is always easier than making it, with the added advantage of not having to pay taxes on savings. I try to raise as many of my veggies as possible and I can and freeze quite a bit for use in winter. I have a small orchard which should start producing next year (we just moved here 18 month ago) and I have raised all my own meat for several years.

Sheep are easy for me. Mine are hair sheep so don't need shearing. They are pretty self sufficient on pasture and get nothing but water and minerals from spring through late fall. My chickens free range most of the time and are very cheap to keep. I raise a few dual purpose ones each year for the freezer.

The goats are a bit more expensive - I do have to feed them grain and alfalfa to maintain milk production. Pigs were most expensive for me as they had to be fed bagged feed (you don't **HAVE** to do that - I just didn't have access to much other feed for them. YMMV)

I have had rabbits - they weren't my thing and it gets too hot in the summer here for them to give good returns. I have had Dexter cattle but am down to my last steer - when he goes to the butcher I will not replace him - though I could raise one on the pasture he is on I can use that pasture as a grow-out for the young lambs - better profitability.

Mary
 

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We have that on 1 acre. We are retired with a nice retirement, enough tolive as we want to, very simply.

Work until you are all set up like you want to be, pay off everything and save enough money to live on. Keep the other income as long as needed. It depends on what you both want out of life. She may want more than you. When you get there, you will know what you need to live as you both, really want to....James

Added, grow a nice garden too, the 2 compliment each other and makes each cheaper to maintain.
 

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Depends where you are. Southwestern Ontario prices vs northeastern vs central makes a big difference. The livestock you've mentioned will give you maybe 20 minutes of chores a day.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone for all your info! I think the best route to take from what im hearing is to keep working so i dont go bored just sitting at home! I wasnt too sure how much time a day would be needed to care for my selection of animals as i have little experience with them in the past! I would love to start a garden and grow my own feed! I appreciate all the time and info! Thanks!
 

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Live off her income and save yours. This will give you an idea of “if” you can. I told my DD to do this. She had to give up her nail grooming, Starbucks, and stop buying clothes. But, they managed to live off his income and the extra money in savings meant they were able to buy the house of their dreams during the housing crash.

If you can save one income you will be able to get closer to your dreams.
 

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It is totally possible to earn 50k a year on a small piece of land.. but you WILL be putting in more hours (albeit less stressful imo) than a "regular" job.

On average when I was doing market gardens, CSA, value added etc I earned around 10k an acre... If I really fine tuned it, and went more intensive on the planting and rotations i could get that up much closer to 20k/ac.
 

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Why-oh-why would you keep working if your goal and passion is to homestead? I find that managing a small piece of acreage is nearly a full-time job, and I can't imagine making progress on anything if I had to be working away from home. You have the incredible gift and opportunity of a $40K+ income from your wife (who I assume wants to continue working away from home), which is more than sufficient to maintain a frugal, homesteading-type lifestyle. What's the point in earning more if it means that your life on the homestead begins after dark and consists of a frenetic weekend attempt to catch up?
 
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