Ideas Needed!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pointer_hunter, May 28, 2004.

  1. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    I have a few questions that I feel you all can help with. I currently live on 2 acres. One acre consists of the house, garage, shed and driveway. I have a 10’x24’ shed that holds 16 rabbit cages. The other acre is about ¼ cleared and the rest wooded with brush. There is an old well that I could either run electricity to and hook up a pump or put a hand pump on it. We were hoping to move north on a larger area, but the job switched and now we’ll be at this house for another year or so. I now want to get a few more animals but my DW has some reservations (things naturally come from a store). I thought about getting a RI Red roo and some Barred Rock hens (chicks would be sex linked) but they have brown eggs and not white (again “good eggs” should be white and store bought). Can I split my rabbit barn in half and use one end for chickens without bringing in disease? Also, I want to get a few pigs (probably pot belly) to fence in the wooded acre. I think my biggest question is how to work with my DW on this. She thinks a farm needs to have a lot of acreage so that it isn’t near the house. I really feel like I have a great set up on the extra acre.

    Any ideas on how to set up a “picture perfect” small farm on the extra acre or how to work on getting the DW to see the homesteading outlook would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    don't focus on trying to make her see things as you do....that food doesn't come from a store etc. it probably won't work and if it becomes an issue she might not admit you are right, even if she starts to think you might be!

    try telling her you want these additions as a hobby, something you want to do for fun. the eggs are an added bonus, but don't emphasis that. once you get started, sell some stuff and maybe that will get her interested. that sure works on my hubby. he spent months laughing at my chickens until i brought the money home. he has a lot more respect since i am producing income.

    find out what her concerns are. smell? flies? how it looks? address each concern. you can make things look pretty, though it just takes more work. smells can be minimized by light stocking rates and stra tegicplantings.

    jena
     

  3. cashcrop

    cashcrop Well-Known Member

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    Tell her the chickens will reduce the bug population. I'm not sure where you are located in MI but, if your area is like mine in Northern WI....it's teaming w/ moquitos and ticks(vectors of disease)! They(chickens) will do a good job of reducing the population! Then try to sell some of those brown eggs!!
     
  4. Homesteader

    Homesteader Well-Known Member

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    Please be sure she never has to deal at all with the RI roo....never had trouble with roosters til we had one of them. Man, so many stories on these boards about their temperment.

    You have a mixed marriage as JD used to call it. Tough one. I agree with the idea of trying to address her concerns one by one. And maybe point out it's not a farm, but a homestead.

    Perhaps she feels she'll be the one who ends up doing all the work? A quiet silent fear of many women when their DH's get a brilliant idea! hee hee.
     
  5. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    ok,i love homesteading...and the one thing i saw wrong with your idea was the pigs.. a "city nose" will never take to the smell.....

    good luck, but dont think she will change just do it for yourself,and at most hope for benign tolerance
     
  6. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Good advice, that.

    I have a "mixed marriage" too, my DH cares nothing for homesteading while I have wanted it all of my life.

    Know what? Food doesn't HAVE to come from a grocery store to LOOK like it comes from a grocery store. It can LOOK like store-bought, if you make it look that way.

    As long as you want more chickens, get a couple that lays white eggs. And, yes, selling them DOES result in more respect from your partner.

    When you pick fruit, wash it and get any bits of green grass or leaves off before she sees them. Makes a world of difference, believe it or not.

    If you decide to raise meat, take it home in nice packages like the meat she is used to seeing: Butchering yourself can wait until she knows on an EMOTIONAL level that your meat is every bit as good as store-bought. If you want to butcher a chicken, make VERY sure it looks like store-bought, even though you will tell her that you raised it.

    For my beloved spouse, blackberry pie, blackberry sauce to put on ice cream, and steamed broccoli converted him. He STILL wants nothing to do with the homestead, but he no longer examines the dinner with a suspicious eye. Food from our little homestead is just food, now, which is a BIG improvement! :worship:
     
  7. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice. This place is great! :worship: My DW is coming around slowly. We bought ¼ of a cow from my uncle a few weeks ago. She can eat it as long as she doesn’t know “who it is.” I do know that she’ll NEVER eat rabbit. Something about, “how can you bottle feed them to save them….just to turn around and butcher them.” As for the pigs, I figured just having two in a small pen and rotating it through the woods will keep the smell down plus clear out the area. I can’t bring in a goat or sheep to clean it up (I asked), and I don’t think that it is big enough to bring my cow down.

    Homesteader, you said RI roos are bad. I don’t really have to get one, just thought the look was nice on them. Also, I read that using the RI with Barred Rocks gives you the sex linked chicks, which I thought would make my sorting easier if they ever hatched. Would I be better off getting a BR roo along with the hens? I am stuck with brown eggs I think. I don’t like the looks of the leghorns (kind of puny) and the heavy breeds only lay brown eggs…..or am I wrong on that one?

    I do know that whatever I do, it has to look pretty. I think that’s her main concern. I’ll have to plan the layout on paper and see how it all goes.
     
  8. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    lots of white paint and bushes in the right spots.

    as for the rir roo...i've never had mine be mean at all. the only aggressive roo i had was a huge barred rock.

    jena
     
  9. cashcrop

    cashcrop Well-Known Member

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    Pretty huh? Why not arcauna(sp?) chickens? Aren't they the ones that lay multi color eggs? You could get a little variety of layers...then you could figureout which you like best. If you don't like some you could always take them to a animal swap meet!
     
  10. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    First time you ask her to eat a green egg might be the last time you ask her to eat a green egg! :haha: :haha: :haha:

    If you get pigs, put a ring in their noses and make sure you keep them in their pen! First time one comes banging on the door in the middle of the nite you might find yourself in the pen. That is where I was wishing my last landlord when he couldn't control HIS 300 + pound 'pet'. grr

    Whatever you do, try to keep from making her sick to her stomach. The mind may try to forget and forgive but your stomach always remembers. FI I had stomach flu and ate a strawberry milkshake when I was 19. To this day I cannot abide strawberries. Even writing this makes me feel like gagging.

    Hopefully she will soon be as gungho on homesteading as you are.
     
  11. rootsandwings

    rootsandwings Well-Known Member Supporter

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    another mixed marriage here. :)

    I think pigs may be a stretch. How long do you have to get rid of the sheep/goats after the complaint? most places give you thirty days and you can clear a lot of brush in 30 days.

    Campines are a lighter breed, but they lay white eggs and are very pretty. they're supposed to be delicious. Hamburgs also lay white and come in nice colors and patterns. The ones we had were grumpy though.

    the bug eating and large quantities of french toast, cake, and popovers are winning the chickens lots of points here.
     
  12. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

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    What about an assortment of pretty bantams? You don't need a rooster for eggs, after all- only for chicks.
     
  13. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    Place you rabbit cages up along the wall of your shed, and let the chickens scratch through the droppings, this will allow the strong odor from the ammonia to be disapted faster, and also give the droppings the ability to compost better as well.

    rabbits are excellent graziers, if you have a yard that needs mowed, put the rabbits out in moveable cages, let them eat the grass moving them daily as needed, which will help also show your spouse that these rabbits are worth more to the homestead than just meat, it saves the enviorment from excessive fossil fuel use in the lawn mower [ok its a stretch but worth a try]. Thecchickens can also be grazed in cages or a "chicken tractor" which is moved daily, and both help fertilize the lawn so it maintains a nice green color longer without as much off homestead cost.

    Hogs cost alot to raise, sometimes they eat way more than the effective cost of the meat can justify, your call there, depending upon how much you have they can graze on [yes they too are a herbivore] and how much you must supplement them from the feed store or if you purchase grains from a local grower.... cost is cost and should be factored out beforehand if you can manage, remembering nothing ever quite does as good live as it can on paper.

    May I suggest getting your wife Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living which may help her to grasp a better idea of what you are trying to achieve.... one day at a time.

    Most of all dont bite off more than you yourself can handle at one time, add gradually to your plan, which it looks like you are trying to do, once the spouse takes an interest, then it can be developed more effectively.

    William
     
  14. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    I talked to her this morning and we looked at some of the chickens that I would like to order. The hens will be RI Whites, Barred Rocks and White Rocks. The rooster will be a RI Red (if he gets mean, I’m sure he’ll sweeten up with some BBQ sauce). I threw in a few leghorns for white eggs and let her pick out the ones she liked. I told her that we could use the white eggs for eating and the brown eggs for baking. We live off a fairly busy yet country road, so putting out a sale sign for eggs should keep us from over flowing with eggs. I told her the lay out of the rabbit/chicken barn and how I was going to fix it so it looked nice. I have family members that have farms that don’t look so hot, so that is where her fear is coming from. I’m probably just going to stick with the chickens/rabbits for now. I thought about the pigs because my brother in law use to work on a pig farm and if I had questions, I could just call him up….that and my grandmother has a basement full of old canned goods that no one besides pigs will eat. I thought those would feed them pretty well and only supplement them with grain from time to time. I did think about a goat, but I know nothing of them, don’t want to milk them and don’t know if I’d like the taste of the meat. The only complaining I would have to hear about would be from the DW…she’s the one that said “NO” on the goats/sheep. I think once I get the poultry house fixed up nice, she’ll loosen up a bit on the other stuff. She isn’t totally against everything, I think deep inside she is kind of upset that she doesn’t have the time to do anything like that. Her job keeps her going pretty steady. I keep telling her that if we raise our food and ditch her cell phone she could stay home, but man…….she loves the phone!!! :no: