Suggestions, please

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by DayBird, Jan 31, 2005.

  1. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Messages:
    2,173
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Pell City, AL
    Hey, we're supposed to sign the papers on the singlewide in the morning to be moved out to the five acres we signed the papers on last Monday. We've got a bunch of parrots to move, along with rabbits and six hens and many other assorted household pets.

    What about other animals, what should be next?
    Here's a copy and paste from my last update thread, but the animal part was overlooked. What are your thoughts on my game plan?


    We plan on adding Goats. I'd like myotonic fainting goats but we also need a milk goat. I think I like the idea of the myotonics being easier to fence in. My wife likes the idea of boers and nubians. She'd like to get two nubian does and a boer buck. Cross breed the two so we can butcher the kids and milk the nubians.

    Now that we have more land that is completely unrestricted, way, way out in the boonies with our closest neighbors having 100+ "pit games" in his yard, I want pigs. I think I'd like to raise potbellieds for meat. She would rather buy a feeder pig every spring and have it butchered in the fall.

    We're also going to get more poultry. More chickens for sure, something to raise for meat. Again, I'd like to get a dual purpose breed to raise our own chicks year after year, but she would rather just order in broiler chicks to raise. I also want turkeys, again the same with the chickens. I'd rather get some blue slates but she'd rather just order a few of the bbwhites. We both want muscovy ducks so we're going to be on the lookout for some of those.



    If we get pot belly pigs, can they be pastured with the goats? I'll probably pinion the muscovys so they will be grounded and not tempted to stray into the lake across the road. Maybe we'll just get some geese instead. I saw some pictures of some "blue slate sebastopols." If I put the ducks or geese in the pasture with the goats, I shouldn't let the pigs in, should I? I've never considered pigs before. Never before have I had the opportunity to have them.

    We also need some cherry trees and strawberry plants. She wants 10 apple trees and I want some pear trees. Gooseberries sound interesting.

    Sorry, we've already packed all my books. The only reading material I have available (besides my Bible) are all those wonderful spring catalogs for seeds and fruit trees and baby chickens. I'm having a hard time going to bed. I've tried twice so far and can't close my eyes for thinking about all the plans for the new place.
     
  2. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Messages:
    2,173
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Pell City, AL
    We want bees too, for the honey.

    But we've read that you can't have them if you have ducks or geese because the birds will swallow them while they're still alive and the bees will sting their throats causing them to swell up and die. Is this true?

    I know there are specific forums here, but my questions deal with keeping the animals together. That and I really can't sleep because I'm too excited about moving and having all these wonderful new opportunities that we haven't had in the trailer park so far.
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Wound up pretty tight tonight, hunh? <G> I don't know about the goats per se, but I know that you cannot keep pigs with cows. The pigs can damage the cows, and would prob do same with goats. Anyhow, the pigs will tear your pasture up pretty badly. You can keep poultry in the goat pasture.

    Know what you mean about not being able to sleep! LOL. I'm hoping to get a certain 80acre parcel. No house, just a little hunting shack. I go to bed with my head spinning. Do I want to do it THIS way? or do I want to do it THAT way? Back and forth. First I absolutely make up my mind and then I absolutely change it! A double minded woman is unstable in all her ways! This move has been a very long time in coming for me, so I very much understand your excitement. Hope it all goes very well indeed.
     
  4. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Messages:
    2,173
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Pell City, AL

    I've not had a place that felt like home since I was 12 when my mom left. I can't wait to get "home."
     
  5. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Messages:
    2,173
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Pell City, AL

    I've not had a place that felt like home since I was 12 when my mom left. I can't wait to get "home."

    I shouldn't call it a pasture anyhow. It's five acres of oak trees and hickory trees with some dog woods for an understory. Around the edges is a very heavy growth of privett and honeysuckle. I imagine I'll have to do some work to get to the point of calling it a pasture. Maybe we'll start with the goats and buy a young pot belly pig to raise for slaughter, to see if we like the idea of keeping pigs. My thoughts were that if we had several pigs, we wouldn't get attached to any single one. If we only had one pig, either a pot belly or a big pig, we'd make a pet out of it and we'd always have a pig. Same thing with rabbits. We have a pet rabbit that we've had for years. No intention of ever eating her. When the guy gave us the 16 rabbits that I had never seen before, I had no problem butchering the two that bit us every day.
     
  6. Kygardengal

    Kygardengal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    344
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I know what you are going through with the insomnia...I am up most nights these days..Lots going on and my head just spins and spins solutions and ideas.
    No matter how hard I try I can not relax enough to sleep. Try a cup of herbal tea, maybe something with Valerian. Sorry I don't have answers for the decisions that are really keeping you up. Best Wishes to you on your move....
     
  7. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Messages:
    2,173
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Pell City, AL
    I've had two cups of catnip and chamomile tea, hot with lemon and honey. My eyes are floating.

    You've got to give my your opinions. Assuming you like pork chops and bacon, would you want a pig?
     
  8. Jim in MO

    Jim in MO Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    107
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Can another night owl chime in?

    I know folks who swear by potbellies but personally I'll stick with the full size versions. We've had both and the potbellies are still here as the world's most repugnant pets: :haha:
    That along with some problem with doing home castrations. (others will tell you that they have had no problems but then they have done better than me.)

    Try to find a Yorkshire or a Duroc and you'll do fine but they are rough on pastures but if you can pen them in a brushy area they'll clear it rather quickly same with the goats. The wife loves Nubians by the way; they're gentle and give a decent amount of milk. Myself I'm partial and prejudiced towards milk cows, you just can’t beat a Jersey for wonderful creamy milk that makes the best yogurt, butter, cheese, and ICE CREAM.

    But I wouldn’t pasture your pig with the other animals as they can get a little feisty at times and can do some serious damage.

    For Ducks, have you considered Blue Swedes? My youngest son has two (he’s 7) and they are really the most low-keyed ducks that I have ever seen. And they’re really pretty as well. A good dual-purpose chicken that has worked for us is the Rhode Island Red. Good layer and they grow to a good size fairly quick so if you want a few for the table it works out great!

    Sorry for the ramble but I can’t sleep and you asked :haha:
     
  9. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,266
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    I don't know anything about goats.

    Dad, & most farmers back in the 40's, had about 100 acres of this wet 220 acre farm fenced for cattle & hogs. Shared the same pasture. All the time. I'm not aware of the problem you mention, but perhaps it's something with a small pasture????

    Me, I would get market hogs, not pets.

    Be sure there is enough feed for all this livestock, woodland doesn't have much feed value per acre, until it gets opened up & some grass growing. Tree leaves & twiggs doesn't put much meat or milk on and you're looking at 2 acres or so....

    --->Paul
     
  10. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    50 miles southwest of Louisville
    As far as ducks & geese in the pasture with the goats, the birds will swim in the drinking water, and your goats will never have clean water, and thus, won't drink. Goats hate dirty water. No matter how hard I tried to train them, the ducks & geese here always found a tub of water they were not suppposed to be swimming in! My ducks used to roam the pasture, but now they are penned up again, and it's their own fault. Ducks & geese are messy to keep, messy poop, icky muddy water. Make sure where you put them drains down away from anything else.

    We had some free potbellied pigs, not tame, and they were scary. They rooted out under the pig panels all the time if the ground got muddy. And they can run very fast! They will make a real big mess of your ground if you don't have good rings in their noses, even the little babies. You have to cut their teeth too. We could not do it, they were too big allready, and too wild. We gave them all away. For raising pigs, a good way to do it is wait till your garden is just starting to produce (plant allot of squash, extra stuff) and then get some baby feeder pigs, raise them on grass clippings, garden stuff, and then sell all but the ones you put in your freezer. No pigs over the winter mud. Just an idea. Either way, be sure to get tame pigs, not wild ones.

    I let my chickens range around the farm, and they always come into my yard and scratch up all of my flower beds. They have 12 acres, several barns, but they want on my porch and my yard. They drive me insane. As soon as I feed the barn cats, here come 4 or 5 chickens around the corner to eat all the cat food, and the cats let them! All day, every day, I am chasing chickens & 1 turkey hen out of my yard & hay barn. I know they know, because as soon as they see me, they run like the wind, back thru the fences screaming. I like them to be able to scratch the pastures and keep the poop/flies cleaned up with the horse pastures & goat barn. The chickens running loose will make for allot less flies in the summer for sure, but I am at a loss at how to keep them in the pastures! I have 2 Border Collies I've trained to chase the chickens out of the yard, but they still come back every time we go into the house, or the dogs go to sleep. I have about 12 big rabbits that free roam, so I can't put chicken wire around my yard, or the rabbits couldn't get back in. The rabbits are no trouble at all, and come when I call them for carrots & stuff. The dogs know to leave the rabbits alone.
     
  11. Kygardengal

    Kygardengal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    344
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Kentucky
    O.K, I don't eat pork so I personally wouldn't want a pig. Back when I did eat
    pork, we had pigs...Actually 50 sows...They did pasture but not with anything else. The ducks and chickens we had were kept seperately. I agree with Cindy that the ducks make a mess of any water they can get to. I have no persoanl need for a goat since I prefer cows milk and one day hope to have a Jersey. If I were to have a pig. I would have to buy something very young in the spring to fatten and slaughter in the late fall. The one thing I hated about pigs is the smell. It wasn't too bad in the pasture, it was the lagoon behind the farrowing house that was bad. I can handle the smells of any other animal, not pigs..Just my 2 cents.
     
  12. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Messages:
    2,173
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Pell City, AL
    We went to sign the papers on the house today. The income tax refund anticipation loan check had not yet come in so we couldn't close this morning. :waa: :waa: She's expecting it tomorrow and we'll go Thursday morning. Anyhow, while we were in St. Clair county this morning, we went to the court house. My car tag expired yesterday and instead of renewing it in Walker county where we live in the trailer park we had it renewed where we've bought our five acres. Anyhow, while in the court house, I went downstairs where they keep the extension office. I met the agent and he was very friendly and helpful.

    I told him that I wanted both dairy goats and meat goats. He said to get five goats. To fence in 3 acres into half acre plots. To get a buck and two doe boers and also two doe nubians. The kids produced from the boer does would be pure bred and from the nubians would be percentages and that these would bring the best price at market. He said that most farmers in St. Clair county are switching from beef cattle to boer goats. He said to keep the nubian girls to themselves and only allow them access to the buck when we're wanting to breed them and to keep the boer buck with the two boer does all the time.

    He said to forget about pot bellies. He said if I wanted to have a pig, to buy a feeder pig in the spring and butcher it in the fall. The guy at the farmer's co-op said to buy 8 of the fencing panels and make a 32 by 32 feet pen for the pig, downhill from the house and run all of the greywater from the house into this pen. Does that sound right? Sounds like a muddy mess to me.
     
  13. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    85
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Location:
    NM
    I'm not sure on the sue of grey water as we always used fresh water for the pigs. One suggestion I will make is to get at least 2 hogs to fatten up. They seem to like company and do better when there is another one around. Plus you can sell the spare one and recoup some of your expenses.

    Nik
     
  14. Cindy in KY

    Cindy in KY Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    726
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    50 miles southwest of Louisville
    Naw, I wouldn't send the greywater to the pigs, not if you're trying to go natural and organic as possible. All the soaps from the shower & washing dishes would be in the dirt, also the grease from pots & pans. You can use greywater to water trees. When we went 3 months here with no rain, I used the washing machine water (put the dump hose into 5 gallon buckets and carried) to save all my trees & some of the garden. (very little soap and no bleach)

    We have a very old homemade metal pig waterer, with a metal bar across the whole top, so they could not get in it, and they didn't drink anymore than any other of the animals.

    Get your Boer does from good milking lines. Around here, the Boers have fizzled out because the does were not giving enough milk for their babies, not like the dairy goats do. Check first, and ask allot of questions on the goats you get. Also, the Boers do not do well here on pasture, as they were bred for dry, hard ground, and in wet areas, like Kentucky, they get foot rot really bad. Folks around here are having to keep them inside all the time till the ground dries, and we have had the wettest winter/year on record.
     
  15. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Forget the guy from the CO-OP! That DOES sound like a muddy mess! I would run the grey water to my trees with a hose that could be moved frequently so you don't get the ground saturated in one spot. The pig will need some way to cool off, but a mud bog is not the answer. If you can do so, you might look at giving the pig a cemented area and a spray mist for hot days. Be sure pig has shade too. If you can't get pig a buddy, get him a radio for company. :cool:
     
  16. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,264
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    ................I'll just make one observation.....Too many animals....on Too little Land will result in more expense than income and cause erosion and ultimately reduce the market value of your property when you decide to sell and use the profit to buy a bigger place . fordy.. :)
     
  17. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    It does sound like alot of animals....

    We keep 5 does usually, down to 4 right now but we raised a bull calf instead of pigs because I do all the "critter" work myself with the help of my young children. I didnt want to be chasing escapees all day when I had so many other things to do, plus it is easier to butcher a calf yourself IMHO. We made our calf a very large doghouse out of discarded pallets and chip board. At first he was on a thick picket line then into a remesh pen. Our pasture is only 1/2 acre but I walk the goats frequently on our 5 acres. the calfs pen was inside the pasture. The calf was bottle fed by my children mostly with our goats milk because we dont have a market for it...so we turned milk into meat.
    We dont have any poultry yet but hope to have at the very least chickens, my sisters geese I find annoying so they are off my list.
    Rabbits are a possibility for us also....

    We spend alot of money on hay...winter is long here in Maine....we are considering buying a hay field for this reason...but we are taking it slow doing a new critter each year so as not to be overwhelmed and/or avoid huge losses do to lack of experience.

    Be careful when breeding the say Nubian goat to a boer buck it can make for large babies/hard delivery. We try to stay with alot of Nubian in our herd but I have a Togg/alpine doe when crossed with a nubian buck makes a fast growing kid with a nice dense coat for winter....did I mention the airplane ears? So ugly they are cute! Save your cornstalks for the goats and grow sunflowers for the chickens! All your canning refuse (especially tomatoes) can go to the goats too. I have heard that goat is like pork or venison....my goat meat looks like pork...but this is the first year any went to meat and havent tried yet....but the calf meat is delicious.
     
  18. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Messages:
    2,173
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Pell City, AL

    What are your suggestions? The extension guy at first said to start with 10 goats. To do rotational grazing. I told him I didn't want to start with that many. With what he was suggesting, we could keep just the one buck and since he'd be in with the boer does, noone would be lonely. The two nubian girls would be kept seperate from the boers and they would keep each other company. One of the reasons I was considering pot bellies was because they're smaller. There's a really nice thread on the pig forum, with GeorgeK responding alot. There's a link there to his website and it's very intriguing.
     
  19. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Messages:
    2,173
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Pell City, AL
    She said absolutely no cow. Our thinking, like with the rabbit, is the more we have, the less likely a single individual will be made into a pet. Anyhow, me and the boys are all intolerant of cow's milk now. She's the only one here that can drink it. We consume alot of dairy products. We really do need something that we can milk, so goats it is. We probably won't get a pig anytime soon. More poultry are in the plans, but probably not a pig...not this year anyhow.
     
  20. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    The calf was butchered at 6months....we were getting 5+ gallons of goat milk a day and the calf drank 2 gal a day. My mother was a bit attached to the calf and said she wouldnt eat any meat....guess what? the day he was butchered in her garage she helped cut him up AND had a nice steak dinner from him that night....Everyone was afraid he would taste like a goat from all the milk he drank! It was 160 pounds of boneless, pink meat.

    And come cold weather he was big and a giant pain in the butt, so I was ready to be done with him. And thats what I told my mom " If you had to go out there and feed him 2-3 times a day and make sure he hadnt dumped his water for the 5th time in one day, you'd be heartless about it too." His purpose was clear when we got him. AND I cant wait to have another one this Spring!

    What about some sheep? or are you fairly wooded?