Homestead: Animal Husbandry
Don't you love that word husbandry? It's old-fashioned, but a good word. Here is its meaning -
the science of breeding, feeding, and tending domestic animals, especially farm animals.
We aren't exactly breeding any yet, but Lindsay has plans for Ameraucana chickens. They lay blue/green eggs.
These days we would just use the word farmer, but in our culture we are not farmers. We don't exactly have a farmette, though we have just over four acres of land, a barn, chickens, and horses. By real estate standards we have a 'large lot.'
We will be getting a garden in this week - though for this year, we decided to buy plants rather than start seeds, but that is a post for another day.
Having animals is a commitment. The horses must be fed twice a day most of the year, but in the middle of summer they have enough grazing to not need hay. They sometimes don't need grain then either, and they always have access to fresh water. This requires that their trough be cleaned out every other week or so, as well.
The chickens get some feed but mostly free range all day. They have access to the fresh spring feed creek for their water needs. We check for eggs several times a day, as some lay early in the day and others lay later in the day.
We lost two chickens last week. They are just gone. We are fairly certain some sort of predator got them, as our wyandotte (the white headed one in the header) whom we call Charlotte Lucas, has several tail feathers missing also. Her "sister" Maria Lucas. in the photo with her, is one of those gone. We were sad about that. We've become attached to them. We can't quite figure out what happened as they must have been attacked during the day, but somehow Charlotte survived/escaped. We are on the look out for a few more chicks now.
Because we let them free range, we do keep our eye on the all the time to make sure they do not wander into the neighbors yard or cross the street into the other neighbors yard. The chickens just think its one big salad bar for them but it doesn't make for happy neighbors when they dig up bulbs in the autumn.
They do make a mess of my front garden. Here is proof -In the midst of beauty…
We also have a cat and a dog. They require food and fresh water daily as well. And they need to go out everyday and be provided for if we will be away for the day or for a vacation.
Sadie (our dog) and Watson (our cat) coming in with me after I feed the animals this morning. Watson had been asleep on the hay in the barn, he woke up as I opened the barn door!
We are planning to raise some meat chickens this year. They take about 10 weeks. We are going to give it a try, as we are always trying to keep our expenses down, and we like to eat meat that is organic and/or feed GMO feeds.
I hope you have a beautiful day!