Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Homestead: Animal Husbandry

Don't you love that word husbandry?  It's old-fashioned, but a good word.  Here is its meaning -

animal husbandry
noun
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!



9 comments:

  1. gracious sakes that's a big egg! :)
    sorry to learn you lost a couple chickens - such pretty birds. i especially love the blonde hen as she's the color of my evelyn girlie.

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  2. We are an (inside) cat family surrounded by dog families! Which annoys the heck out of Victoria. ;)

    I envy your fresh eggs!

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  3. A pleasant look at your "farm" and the way you care for your animals. It must be sad to lose chickens and not know what happened. I was talking with my niece's neighbor who told me that my niece's chickens were ranging a bit too far and it was getting annoying. I shared it with my niece and now the chickens are in the coop period. I suppose that is not as good for the chickens, but much better for neighbor relations. Perhaps one day, my niece will move to an even more country location.

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  4. OH! what a lovely post of your animals and how they are loved and taken care of. I can relate to the loss of chickens, we have lost quite a few as well as guineas,but DH has started replenishing our flock, we have baby Ameraucanas, and three new guineas! Many times Dh has chased our chickens out of the gardens with a rake or hoe, quite a site to see! I always tell him that they are helping by eating the bugs, but like your photo they do love plants too!
    From one farm girl to another, great post!
    Blessings,
    Sue

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  5. Enjoyed the tour and the pretty blue eggs. I like the word farmette :-) That many acres seems like a farm to me. It must keep you busy. Nice to see all the green too. How nice to have fresh eggs every day.

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  6. Those blue-green eggs are ever so pretty. Sorry you lost chickens. You do keep busy around your place.

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  7. Sighing because I just love reading about your life. I don't even have a large lot, animals other than domesticated ones aren't allowed in the sub division. That's where God has had us stay, though, and He does know best. (Like maybe I would be a miserable failure at hobby farming if I tried.

    I love the idea of a hen that lays blue eggs!!!

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  8. It looks like a farmette to me! (And I like that term, too.) I'm sorry to hear about your lost chickens. That must be troubling. I would be a terrible farm girl because I get so attached to animals.

    In my dreams, I have sheep (for wool), cows (for milk), and chickens (for eggs), and everything lives to a ripe old age and dies of natural causes. See...I'd be a terrible farmer.


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  9. I love all your animals! And the hen house on wheels is pretty genious! :)

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