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May possibly buy a mini farm next year and would love some advice.

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This isn't exactly an hs question, but I know quite a few of you ladies have farms, and those do have direct hs benefits.  :)

We're currently wrapping up the last of the updates to our home.  We've been talking for years about moving where we would have five or more acres, and it seems like a much better & easier option now that both of our daughters are homeschooled.  It would be so nice to have a huge garden, our own animals, and participate in 4H.

Sorry this is so broad a question, but what should we think of?  We'd love to have two or more wool-bearing animals (we've been 'spinning' our own yarn with a drop spindle).  Initially we were thinking of sheep but llamas are incredibly soft and seem brighter too. 

Can chickens be kept in a coop with a big fenced yard area?  My SIL's are loose, but I'd like to keep the areas by the trampoline & play set clean.  Do you have to have a rooster?

Thank you for pointing me in the right direction!

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 8:38 PM
Replies (11-20):
NdAppy
by Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 12:31 PM
1 mom liked this

Are you wanting to garden enough to sustain you through the year?  You're going to need a massive garden.  We plant two (40'x40' and 40'x20') and get enough to just make it through the winter with some things and some to make it through the year.  We're actually discussing doing a third garden.  What you will yeild will vary based on your soil type, watering, location, etc. 

We don't have any animals other than our horses.  With the animals you are going to need to look into the county you are looking at what the zoning regulations are, how many animals (and what kinds) they allow per acre.  Also, are you wanting to grow your own feed or going to purchase comercial feed.  Also talk with vets in the area that deal with whatever animals you are planning to have as they can tell you what vaccinations are required, recomened or are not nescessary. 

TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 29, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Thank you blue!  That is a ton of knowledge, I so appreciate it.  

Last three questions if you have a chance.  I'm guessing this is true - do the goats have to be/have been pregnant to give milk?  If we had all female animals would we be milkless?

Do you sell your baby goats or is your herd growing exponentially?  That would make for a good math lesson!

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 I'm going to try to imbed my answers to make sure I answer all those questions!  :-)

Quoting TidewaterClan:

Thank you so much for all of that information!  I would never have thought to ask about the well or shots.  We're just one state away but I know the deer here have all kinds of illnesses so we'd probably need some Ohio shots. :)

Those are some cool-looking goats!  Do you drink their milk?  Do you have to buy milk other than that? Yes we drink their milk and make cheeses: fromage blanc, mozarella, ricotta, and yogurts too.  We have 5.7 acres and 9 goats (at the moment).  NDs (Nigerian Dwarfs) can come into heat 2 times/year, so we try to have babies in January and Late July.  They give milk (enough) for four months between kiddings.  We do supplement their milk with some store bought.  When 4 or 5 of them are all milking we are drowning in milk, but during the point where they are still giving to their kids and are pregnant we let them be to give them more strangth. My SIL had those big goats, and they kept getting loose because they'd open the gates.  They were smart.  Are yours like that too? Yes, ours stay on our property without fencing though when they do get out.  There is just plenty to eat here, so they would rather stay close for safety. They also bought a pasteurizer, but never used it.  I may be able to buy it cheap. :)  How much land do you think a person would need for four goats or two goats/two sheep and a handful of chickens? Remember that goats multiply very, very fast.  So 2/3 goats turns into 9/10 very quickly.  I've heard that you can get away with 2 acres with 4 goats and a handful of chickens, but you don't get much of a yard.  5 acres suits us pretty well although we are now talking about buying a couple more acres next to us and getting a horse.  So remember also that you just keep wanting to expand your livestock.  We are certainly getting turkeys and a pig this coming spring and bees and rabbits the following spring!  LOL

Those Cochins look nice.  Would you have or not have a rooster?  My SIL said hers crows all during the night, with no snooze button. :)  They had one that was incredibly nice, and another that wasn't.  That's too funny about the soup, supper, etc.  I'm sure they didn't realize that's where they were headed!  If you want the flock to keep itself up, then a rooster is necessary.  If you are okay with buying peeps every few years, then it's not necessary.  Ours only crowed during the day.  He wanted everyone quiet at night.  Our chickens were smarter and better able to take care of themselves with the rooster around.  He made them roost up high each night, now they stay on the bottom few rungs in their coop which makes them easier pickings for predators.  He was also always on watch and would use strange trills to tell them when to get under cover.  He was very helpful when his hens had babies, they would be alerted to hawks and get their broods under cover.  So they are very useful, but they can be temperamental or down-right mean!

Thanks for the orchard idea!  We planted five apple trees two years ago and finally had one apple off each.  That would be awesome to find a place with enough trees to have all of our own apples (especially without all of the chemicals).  

Sorry for all of the questions.  Happy to help!  I floundered our first few years, so I really love answering questions, makes me feel like I've learned something!  :-)My girls and I have been discussing it for years, but DH is the one who has been pointing out all of the farms around here that are for sale.  :) 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Oh Cool!! 

We have Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They are great for meat and milk and they are supposedly good for their fiber as well, but we have never sheered them (yet).

We have chickens and we did have a rooster.  He was awesome! We got 5 roosters and picked the best one to keep.  We slowly named all the non-keepers....Supper, Soup, Pot Pie, and Griller.  We kept a pretty white guy that we named Whitey Ford.  They are Cochins, so they have pretty fluffy feet.  They are good for both cooped living and for free range.  Ours are free range within the goat paddocks but they put themselves back in their coop at night by themselves, train them by putting them in each night and they will learn where to go.  We had a raccoon that killed him (and most of our chickens) last fall, so we are going to replace them next spring.

If you can find a house with an established orchard, it is worth its weight in gold!  LOL.  We are still putting in our orchard and it is taking forever!  LOL

Also think about whether there is a place where you can put a cold store room.  We built ours under the cement porch, but our neighbor has one set into the hilside.

Ask about the water.  The water in our area (the wells) are full of iron, but you can't see it.  When the water sits, the iron turns to rust and falls out.  We abandoned our well and put in a cistern that catches the water off our roof because the water is so bad, but it would have been nice to know that we needed to do that before we spent thousands on the well and thousands on trying to clean and soften the water. 

Also before you get any animals, see if the animals you want are raised by anyone around you.  Then if they are, ask what shots you'll need.  When we lived in VA, tetans was never a problem, but here in PA the shots are a must!  Plus ours need dewormed because they get the same worms as the deer.

Any other specific questions?


 


TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 29, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Thanks!  I didn't know there was such a difference in chickens.  I need to research lazy, good egg laying chickens then!  I think I'll steer away from the Americanas.  We have one dog who can climb a fence - he doesn't need company!

You guys like the alpacas?  We were thinking of those too.  We petted one the other day and it was just like touching a cloud.  My girls immediately fell in love with those big huge eyes.  The 4H Clubs around here definitely include llamas, so I think alpacas would be included too.

Quoting snowangel1979:

Kinda look into the chickens before you get them. We have Americans and isa browns and black somethings. While the isa browns do o.k. in the pen the Americanas stopped laying (they lay blue, green or other color eggs.) The Americana's also climb the fence when you clip their wings. LOL. We had to cage our because even though they could go any other direction and its nothing but feilds or the person doesn't care, they wanted to tear up the people across the streets flower beds. LOL.
If your keeping them in a big fenced in area you'll probably still need to clip their wings. It's easy. (only do one wing though. LOL)

Have you looked into suri alpacas. They have wonderful wool. A women around the corner from us has them and DH wants to get some really bad. LOL. She said the only thing she gives them is a wormer once in a while because of the deer.

We have over 5 acres but It's long. Hopefully we are looking into getting like 80 one day. You'll also need to look into how many animals you can have per-acre. I think ours is something like 2 animals per acre depending on the animal and you have to have over 5 acres, ect,ect. LOL.


bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 2:01 PM
1 mom liked this

 Yes, they need to have babies to have milk so no buck means the milk will dry up.  We have sold babies (mostly the girls), the boys we allow to stay intact for about 4 months to beef them up then we castrate them (it's very easy with a little rubber band castrator) and 2 months later we butcher them.  Yeah they kind of multiply like rabbits!  HAHA!  We've sold the meat too.  There are a couple Persian families that come to us for their holiday meals. And they pay a pretty penny for the meat too. (we got nearly 9 bucks a pound last time, but we live close enough to Pittsburgh to have a market for that.)

Quoting TidewaterClan:

Thank you blue!  That is a ton of knowledge, I so appreciate it.  

Last three questions if you have a chance.  I'm guessing this is true - do the goats have to be/have been pregnant to give milk?  If we had all female animals would we be milkless?

Do you sell your baby goats or is your herd growing exponentially?  That would make for a good math lesson!

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 I'm going to try to imbed my answers to make sure I answer all those questions!  :-)

Quoting TidewaterClan:

Thank you so much for all of that information!  I would never have thought to ask about the well or shots.  We're just one state away but I know the deer here have all kinds of illnesses so we'd probably need some Ohio shots. :)

Those are some cool-looking goats!  Do you drink their milk?  Do you have to buy milk other than that? Yes we drink their milk and make cheeses: fromage blanc, mozarella, ricotta, and yogurts too.  We have 5.7 acres and 9 goats (at the moment).  NDs (Nigerian Dwarfs) can come into heat 2 times/year, so we try to have babies in January and Late July.  They give milk (enough) for four months between kiddings.  We do supplement their milk with some store bought.  When 4 or 5 of them are all milking we are drowning in milk, but during the point where they are still giving to their kids and are pregnant we let them be to give them more strangth. My SIL had those big goats, and they kept getting loose because they'd open the gates.  They were smart.  Are yours like that too? Yes, ours stay on our property without fencing though when they do get out.  There is just plenty to eat here, so they would rather stay close for safety. They also bought a pasteurizer, but never used it.  I may be able to buy it cheap. :)  How much land do you think a person would need for four goats or two goats/two sheep and a handful of chickens? Remember that goats multiply very, very fast.  So 2/3 goats turns into 9/10 very quickly.  I've heard that you can get away with 2 acres with 4 goats and a handful of chickens, but you don't get much of a yard.  5 acres suits us pretty well although we are now talking about buying a couple more acres next to us and getting a horse.  So remember also that you just keep wanting to expand your livestock.  We are certainly getting turkeys and a pig this coming spring and bees and rabbits the following spring!  LOL

Those Cochins look nice.  Would you have or not have a rooster?  My SIL said hers crows all during the night, with no snooze button. :)  They had one that was incredibly nice, and another that wasn't.  That's too funny about the soup, supper, etc.  I'm sure they didn't realize that's where they were headed!  If you want the flock to keep itself up, then a rooster is necessary.  If you are okay with buying peeps every few years, then it's not necessary.  Ours only crowed during the day.  He wanted everyone quiet at night.  Our chickens were smarter and better able to take care of themselves with the rooster around.  He made them roost up high each night, now they stay on the bottom few rungs in their coop which makes them easier pickings for predators.  He was also always on watch and would use strange trills to tell them when to get under cover.  He was very helpful when his hens had babies, they would be alerted to hawks and get their broods under cover.  So they are very useful, but they can be temperamental or down-right mean!

Thanks for the orchard idea!  We planted five apple trees two years ago and finally had one apple off each.  That would be awesome to find a place with enough trees to have all of our own apples (especially without all of the chemicals).  

Sorry for all of the questions.  Happy to help!  I floundered our first few years, so I really love answering questions, makes me feel like I've learned something!  :-)My girls and I have been discussing it for years, but DH is the one who has been pointing out all of the farms around here that are for sale.  :) 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Oh Cool!! 

We have Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They are great for meat and milk and they are supposedly good for their fiber as well, but we have never sheered them (yet).

We have chickens and we did have a rooster.  He was awesome! We got 5 roosters and picked the best one to keep.  We slowly named all the non-keepers....Supper, Soup, Pot Pie, and Griller.  We kept a pretty white guy that we named Whitey Ford.  They are Cochins, so they have pretty fluffy feet.  They are good for both cooped living and for free range.  Ours are free range within the goat paddocks but they put themselves back in their coop at night by themselves, train them by putting them in each night and they will learn where to go.  We had a raccoon that killed him (and most of our chickens) last fall, so we are going to replace them next spring.

If you can find a house with an established orchard, it is worth its weight in gold!  LOL.  We are still putting in our orchard and it is taking forever!  LOL

Also think about whether there is a place where you can put a cold store room.  We built ours under the cement porch, but our neighbor has one set into the hilside.

Ask about the water.  The water in our area (the wells) are full of iron, but you can't see it.  When the water sits, the iron turns to rust and falls out.  We abandoned our well and put in a cistern that catches the water off our roof because the water is so bad, but it would have been nice to know that we needed to do that before we spent thousands on the well and thousands on trying to clean and soften the water. 

Also before you get any animals, see if the animals you want are raised by anyone around you.  Then if they are, ask what shots you'll need.  When we lived in VA, tetans was never a problem, but here in PA the shots are a must!  Plus ours need dewormed because they get the same worms as the deer.

Any other specific questions?


 


 

TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 29, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Thank you for the garden sizes!  My grandma had a huge one, but I couldn't remember how big it was.  Do you can most of your vegetables or do you have a deep freezer too?

I never thought to check the zoning, but that's a great heads up!  Thanks!  I'll check the two counties we're looking at and see what they list.  The vet is a wonderful idea too, plus will give us an idea of vet costs and help us with our decision on which animal(s) make the most sense too.    

Quoting NdAppy:

Are you wanting to garden enough to sustain you through the year?  You're going to need a massive garden.  We plant two (40'x40' and 40'x20') and get enough to just make it through the winter with some things and some to make it through the year.  We're actually discussing doing a third garden.  What you will yeild will vary based on your soil type, watering, location, etc. 

We don't have any animals other than our horses.  With the animals you are going to need to look into the county you are looking at what the zoning regulations are, how many animals (and what kinds) they allow per acre.  Also, are you wanting to grow your own feed or going to purchase comercial feed.  Also talk with vets in the area that deal with whatever animals you are planning to have as they can tell you what vaccinations are required, recomened or are not nescessary. 


TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 29, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Wow, that's super nice!  I never thought of the goat market like that.  We live in Dayton, and are close to Cincinnati and Columbus.  We have a lot of small ethnic groceries; I think we'll swing in and see what they're selling.

Oh, my BIL had turkeys last year and this.  He's made some good jingle selling them (after they were butchered of course!).

The beehive would be great too, especially with all of the free pollination!

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Yes, they need to have babies to have milk so no buck means the milk will dry up.  We have sold babies (mostly the girls), the boys we allow to stay intact for about 4 months to beef them up then we castrate them (it's very easy with a little rubber band castrator) and 2 months later we butcher them.  Yeah they kind of multiply like rabbits!  HAHA!  We've sold the meat too.  There are a couple Persian families that come to us for their holiday meals. And they pay a pretty penny for the meat too. (we got nearly 9 bucks a pound last time, but we live close enough to Pittsburgh to have a market for that.)

Quoting TidewaterClan:

Thank you blue!  That is a ton of knowledge, I so appreciate it.  

Last three questions if you have a chance.  I'm guessing this is true - do the goats have to be/have been pregnant to give milk?  If we had all female animals would we be milkless?

Do you sell your baby goats or is your herd growing exponentially?  That would make for a good math lesson!

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 I'm going to try to imbed my answers to make sure I answer all those questions!  :-)

Quoting TidewaterClan:

Thank you so much for all of that information!  I would never have thought to ask about the well or shots.  We're just one state away but I know the deer here have all kinds of illnesses so we'd probably need some Ohio shots. :)

Those are some cool-looking goats!  Do you drink their milk?  Do you have to buy milk other than that? Yes we drink their milk and make cheeses: fromage blanc, mozarella, ricotta, and yogurts too.  We have 5.7 acres and 9 goats (at the moment).  NDs (Nigerian Dwarfs) can come into heat 2 times/year, so we try to have babies in January and Late July.  They give milk (enough) for four months between kiddings.  We do supplement their milk with some store bought.  When 4 or 5 of them are all milking we are drowning in milk, but during the point where they are still giving to their kids and are pregnant we let them be to give them more strangth. My SIL had those big goats, and they kept getting loose because they'd open the gates.  They were smart.  Are yours like that too? Yes, ours stay on our property without fencing though when they do get out.  There is just plenty to eat here, so they would rather stay close for safety. They also bought a pasteurizer, but never used it.  I may be able to buy it cheap. :)  How much land do you think a person would need for four goats or two goats/two sheep and a handful of chickens? Remember that goats multiply very, very fast.  So 2/3 goats turns into 9/10 very quickly.  I've heard that you can get away with 2 acres with 4 goats and a handful of chickens, but you don't get much of a yard.  5 acres suits us pretty well although we are now talking about buying a couple more acres next to us and getting a horse.  So remember also that you just keep wanting to expand your livestock.  We are certainly getting turkeys and a pig this coming spring and bees and rabbits the following spring!  LOL

Those Cochins look nice.  Would you have or not have a rooster?  My SIL said hers crows all during the night, with no snooze button. :)  They had one that was incredibly nice, and another that wasn't.  That's too funny about the soup, supper, etc.  I'm sure they didn't realize that's where they were headed!  If you want the flock to keep itself up, then a rooster is necessary.  If you are okay with buying peeps every few years, then it's not necessary.  Ours only crowed during the day.  He wanted everyone quiet at night.  Our chickens were smarter and better able to take care of themselves with the rooster around.  He made them roost up high each night, now they stay on the bottom few rungs in their coop which makes them easier pickings for predators.  He was also always on watch and would use strange trills to tell them when to get under cover.  He was very helpful when his hens had babies, they would be alerted to hawks and get their broods under cover.  So they are very useful, but they can be temperamental or down-right mean!

Thanks for the orchard idea!  We planted five apple trees two years ago and finally had one apple off each.  That would be awesome to find a place with enough trees to have all of our own apples (especially without all of the chemicals).  

Sorry for all of the questions.  Happy to help!  I floundered our first few years, so I really love answering questions, makes me feel like I've learned something!  :-)My girls and I have been discussing it for years, but DH is the one who has been pointing out all of the farms around here that are for sale.  :) 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Oh Cool!! 

We have Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They are great for meat and milk and they are supposedly good for their fiber as well, but we have never sheered them (yet).

We have chickens and we did have a rooster.  He was awesome! We got 5 roosters and picked the best one to keep.  We slowly named all the non-keepers....Supper, Soup, Pot Pie, and Griller.  We kept a pretty white guy that we named Whitey Ford.  They are Cochins, so they have pretty fluffy feet.  They are good for both cooped living and for free range.  Ours are free range within the goat paddocks but they put themselves back in their coop at night by themselves, train them by putting them in each night and they will learn where to go.  We had a raccoon that killed him (and most of our chickens) last fall, so we are going to replace them next spring.

If you can find a house with an established orchard, it is worth its weight in gold!  LOL.  We are still putting in our orchard and it is taking forever!  LOL

Also think about whether there is a place where you can put a cold store room.  We built ours under the cement porch, but our neighbor has one set into the hilside.

Ask about the water.  The water in our area (the wells) are full of iron, but you can't see it.  When the water sits, the iron turns to rust and falls out.  We abandoned our well and put in a cistern that catches the water off our roof because the water is so bad, but it would have been nice to know that we needed to do that before we spent thousands on the well and thousands on trying to clean and soften the water. 

Also before you get any animals, see if the animals you want are raised by anyone around you.  Then if they are, ask what shots you'll need.  When we lived in VA, tetans was never a problem, but here in PA the shots are a must!  Plus ours need dewormed because they get the same worms as the deer.

Any other specific questions?


 


 


bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 2:21 PM
1 mom liked this

 Always think about all ends of the animals you are choosing.  It's why we chose NDs, they have good milk production and a good meat/bone ratio.  It's also why we chose the cochins.  The males are meaty enough to make good meat chickens.  So we let them go broody and raise a new group of girls.  But half of them are boys, so when they start crowing (and ready to fight) we can butcher them too.

Thanks, I'm hoping the turkeys will be a good investment.  I've heard they are hard to keep a flock going.  They die over the winter.  But I'm optimistic.

Quoting TidewaterClan:

Wow, that's super nice!  I never thought of the goat market like that.  We live in Dayton, and are close to Cincinnati and Columbus.  We have a lot of small ethnic groceries; I think we'll swing in and see what they're selling.

Oh, my BIL had turkeys last year and this.  He's made some good jingle selling them (after they were butchered of course!).

The beehive would be great too, especially with all of the free pollination!

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Yes, they need to have babies to have milk so no buck means the milk will dry up.  We have sold babies (mostly the girls), the boys we allow to stay intact for about 4 months to beef them up then we castrate them (it's very easy with a little rubber band castrator) and 2 months later we butcher them.  Yeah they kind of multiply like rabbits!  HAHA!  We've sold the meat too.  There are a couple Persian families that come to us for their holiday meals. And they pay a pretty penny for the meat too. (we got nearly 9 bucks a pound last time, but we live close enough to Pittsburgh to have a market for that.)

Quoting TidewaterClan:

Thank you blue!  That is a ton of knowledge, I so appreciate it.  

Last three questions if you have a chance.  I'm guessing this is true - do the goats have to be/have been pregnant to give milk?  If we had all female animals would we be milkless?

Do you sell your baby goats or is your herd growing exponentially?  That would make for a good math lesson!

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 I'm going to try to imbed my answers to make sure I answer all those questions!  :-)

Quoting TidewaterClan:

Thank you so much for all of that information!  I would never have thought to ask about the well or shots.  We're just one state away but I know the deer here have all kinds of illnesses so we'd probably need some Ohio shots. :)

Those are some cool-looking goats!  Do you drink their milk?  Do you have to buy milk other than that? Yes we drink their milk and make cheeses: fromage blanc, mozarella, ricotta, and yogurts too.  We have 5.7 acres and 9 goats (at the moment).  NDs (Nigerian Dwarfs) can come into heat 2 times/year, so we try to have babies in January and Late July.  They give milk (enough) for four months between kiddings.  We do supplement their milk with some store bought.  When 4 or 5 of them are all milking we are drowning in milk, but during the point where they are still giving to their kids and are pregnant we let them be to give them more strangth. My SIL had those big goats, and they kept getting loose because they'd open the gates.  They were smart.  Are yours like that too? Yes, ours stay on our property without fencing though when they do get out.  There is just plenty to eat here, so they would rather stay close for safety. They also bought a pasteurizer, but never used it.  I may be able to buy it cheap. :)  How much land do you think a person would need for four goats or two goats/two sheep and a handful of chickens? Remember that goats multiply very, very fast.  So 2/3 goats turns into 9/10 very quickly.  I've heard that you can get away with 2 acres with 4 goats and a handful of chickens, but you don't get much of a yard.  5 acres suits us pretty well although we are now talking about buying a couple more acres next to us and getting a horse.  So remember also that you just keep wanting to expand your livestock.  We are certainly getting turkeys and a pig this coming spring and bees and rabbits the following spring!  LOL

Those Cochins look nice.  Would you have or not have a rooster?  My SIL said hers crows all during the night, with no snooze button. :)  They had one that was incredibly nice, and another that wasn't.  That's too funny about the soup, supper, etc.  I'm sure they didn't realize that's where they were headed!  If you want the flock to keep itself up, then a rooster is necessary.  If you are okay with buying peeps every few years, then it's not necessary.  Ours only crowed during the day.  He wanted everyone quiet at night.  Our chickens were smarter and better able to take care of themselves with the rooster around.  He made them roost up high each night, now they stay on the bottom few rungs in their coop which makes them easier pickings for predators.  He was also always on watch and would use strange trills to tell them when to get under cover.  He was very helpful when his hens had babies, they would be alerted to hawks and get their broods under cover.  So they are very useful, but they can be temperamental or down-right mean!

Thanks for the orchard idea!  We planted five apple trees two years ago and finally had one apple off each.  That would be awesome to find a place with enough trees to have all of our own apples (especially without all of the chemicals).  

Sorry for all of the questions.  Happy to help!  I floundered our first few years, so I really love answering questions, makes me feel like I've learned something!  :-)My girls and I have been discussing it for years, but DH is the one who has been pointing out all of the farms around here that are for sale.  :) 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Oh Cool!! 

We have Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They are great for meat and milk and they are supposedly good for their fiber as well, but we have never sheered them (yet).

We have chickens and we did have a rooster.  He was awesome! We got 5 roosters and picked the best one to keep.  We slowly named all the non-keepers....Supper, Soup, Pot Pie, and Griller.  We kept a pretty white guy that we named Whitey Ford.  They are Cochins, so they have pretty fluffy feet.  They are good for both cooped living and for free range.  Ours are free range within the goat paddocks but they put themselves back in their coop at night by themselves, train them by putting them in each night and they will learn where to go.  We had a raccoon that killed him (and most of our chickens) last fall, so we are going to replace them next spring.

If you can find a house with an established orchard, it is worth its weight in gold!  LOL.  We are still putting in our orchard and it is taking forever!  LOL

Also think about whether there is a place where you can put a cold store room.  We built ours under the cement porch, but our neighbor has one set into the hilside.

Ask about the water.  The water in our area (the wells) are full of iron, but you can't see it.  When the water sits, the iron turns to rust and falls out.  We abandoned our well and put in a cistern that catches the water off our roof because the water is so bad, but it would have been nice to know that we needed to do that before we spent thousands on the well and thousands on trying to clean and soften the water. 

Also before you get any animals, see if the animals you want are raised by anyone around you.  Then if they are, ask what shots you'll need.  When we lived in VA, tetans was never a problem, but here in PA the shots are a must!  Plus ours need dewormed because they get the same worms as the deer.

Any other specific questions?


 


 


 

TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 29, 2013 at 3:04 PM
That was extremely wise thinking. We'll probably start small (relatively speaking) with a pure wool animal. I'll have my girls help research wool production versus vet/feed/bedding/??? costs to see the difference between sheep-llama-alpaca options.

They both want to toss in a goat, because they're clever and fun, but when I ran the meat sales by them both of their mouths dropped open in shock!

Have your boys always lived on the farm?


Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Always think about all ends of the animals you are choosing.  It's why we chose NDs, they have good milk production and a good meat/bone ratio.  It's also why we chose the cochins.  The males are meaty enough to make good meat chickens.  So we let them go broody and raise a new group of girls.  But half of them are boys, so when they start crowing (and ready to fight) we can butcher them too.


Thanks, I'm hoping the turkeys will be a good investment.  I've heard they are hard to keep a flock going.  They die over the winter.  But I'm optimistic.


Quoting TidewaterClan:


Wow, that's super nice!  I never thought of the goat market like that.  We live in Dayton, and are close to Cincinnati and Columbus.  We have a lot of small ethnic groceries; I think we'll swing in and see what they're selling.


Oh, my BIL had turkeys last year and this.  He's made some good jingle selling them (after they were butchered of course!).


The beehive would be great too, especially with all of the free pollination!


Quoting bluerooffarm:


 Yes, they need to have babies to have milk so no buck means the milk will dry up.  We have sold babies (mostly the girls), the boys we allow to stay intact for about 4 months to beef them up then we castrate them (it's very easy with a little rubber band castrator) and 2 months later we butcher them.  Yeah they kind of multiply like rabbits!  HAHA!  We've sold the meat too.  There are a couple Persian families that come to us for their holiday meals. And they pay a pretty penny for the meat too. (we got nearly 9 bucks a pound last time, but we live close enough to Pittsburgh to have a market for that.)


Quoting TidewaterClan:


Thank you blue!  That is a ton of knowledge, I so appreciate it.  


Last three questions if you have a chance.  I'm guessing this is true - do the goats have to be/have been pregnant to give milk?  If we had all female animals would we be milkless?


Do you sell your baby goats or is your herd growing exponentially?  That would make for a good math lesson!


Quoting bluerooffarm:


 I'm going to try to imbed my answers to make sure I answer all those questions!  :-)


Quoting TidewaterClan:


Thank you so much for all of that information!  I would never have thought to ask about the well or shots.  We're just one state away but I know the deer here have all kinds of illnesses so we'd probably need some Ohio shots. :)


Those are some cool-looking goats!  Do you drink their milk?  Do you have to buy milk other than that? Yes we drink their milk and make cheeses: fromage blanc, mozarella, ricotta, and yogurts too.  We have 5.7 acres and 9 goats (at the moment).  NDs (Nigerian Dwarfs) can come into heat 2 times/year, so we try to have babies in January and Late July.  They give milk (enough) for four months between kiddings.  We do supplement their milk with some store bought.  When 4 or 5 of them are all milking we are drowning in milk, but during the point where they are still giving to their kids and are pregnant we let them be to give them more strangth. My SIL had those big goats, and they kept getting loose because they'd open the gates.  They were smart.  Are yours like that too? Yes, ours stay on our property without fencing though when they do get out.  There is just plenty to eat here, so they would rather stay close for safety. They also bought a pasteurizer, but never used it.  I may be able to buy it cheap. :)  How much land do you think a person would need for four goats or two goats/two sheep and a handful of chickens? Remember that goats multiply very, very fast.  So 2/3 goats turns into 9/10 very quickly.  I've heard that you can get away with 2 acres with 4 goats and a handful of chickens, but you don't get much of a yard.  5 acres suits us pretty well although we are now talking about buying a couple more acres next to us and getting a horse.  So remember also that you just keep wanting to expand your livestock.  We are certainly getting turkeys and a pig this coming spring and bees and rabbits the following spring!  LOL


Those Cochins look nice.  Would you have or not have a rooster?  My SIL said hers crows all during the night, with no snooze button. :)  They had one that was incredibly nice, and another that wasn't.  That's too funny about the soup, supper, etc.  I'm sure they didn't realize that's where they were headed!  If you want the flock to keep itself up, then a rooster is necessary.  If you are okay with buying peeps every few years, then it's not necessary.  Ours only crowed during the day.  He wanted everyone quiet at night.  Our chickens were smarter and better able to take care of themselves with the rooster around.  He made them roost up high each night, now they stay on the bottom few rungs in their coop which makes them easier pickings for predators.  He was also always on watch and would use strange trills to tell them when to get under cover.  He was very helpful when his hens had babies, they would be alerted to hawks and get their broods under cover.  So they are very useful, but they can be temperamental or down-right mean!


Thanks for the orchard idea!  We planted five apple trees two years ago and finally had one apple off each.  That would be awesome to find a place with enough trees to have all of our own apples (especially without all of the chemicals).  


Sorry for all of the questions.  Happy to help!  I floundered our first few years, so I really love answering questions, makes me feel like I've learned something!  :-)My girls and I have been discussing it for years, but DH is the one who has been pointing out all of the farms around here that are for sale.  :) 


Quoting bluerooffarm:


 Oh Cool!! 


We have Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They are great for meat and milk and they are supposedly good for their fiber as well, but we have never sheered them (yet).


We have chickens and we did have a rooster.  He was awesome! We got 5 roosters and picked the best one to keep.  We slowly named all the non-keepers....Supper, Soup, Pot Pie, and Griller.  We kept a pretty white guy that we named Whitey Ford.  They are Cochins, so they have pretty fluffy feet.  They are good for both cooped living and for free range.  Ours are free range within the goat paddocks but they put themselves back in their coop at night by themselves, train them by putting them in each night and they will learn where to go.  We had a raccoon that killed him (and most of our chickens) last fall, so we are going to replace them next spring.


If you can find a house with an established orchard, it is worth its weight in gold!  LOL.  We are still putting in our orchard and it is taking forever!  LOL


Also think about whether there is a place where you can put a cold store room.  We built ours under the cement porch, but our neighbor has one set into the hilside.


Ask about the water.  The water in our area (the wells) are full of iron, but you can't see it.  When the water sits, the iron turns to rust and falls out.  We abandoned our well and put in a cistern that catches the water off our roof because the water is so bad, but it would have been nice to know that we needed to do that before we spent thousands on the well and thousands on trying to clean and soften the water. 


Also before you get any animals, see if the animals you want are raised by anyone around you.  Then if they are, ask what shots you'll need.  When we lived in VA, tetans was never a problem, but here in PA the shots are a must!  Plus ours need dewormed because they get the same worms as the deer.


Any other specific questions?




 




 




 

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 3:27 PM
1 mom liked this

 Awe!  Yeah we bought the farm when my oldest was maybe 9-10 months old, so it's all they've known.  I think the research project is a great idea!  When my oldest decided that he want to "do" the chickens and the eggs next year, we had him do a budget sheet with extra feed costs, cost of the peeps, electricity for the brooder.  Then come up with a fair price for the eggs.  I get first crack at them because I'll be his investor.  And then he'll slowly buy me out of the business.  He's very excited!  But it had the added benefit of showing him that butchering the males will make him more money.  Of course it helps that male chickens are very violent.  And he'll show them at the fair too!  :-)

Quoting TidewaterClan:

That was extremely wise thinking. We'll probably start small (relatively speaking) with a pure wool animal. I'll have my girls help research wool production versus vet/feed/bedding/??? costs to see the difference between sheep-llama-alpaca options.

They both want to toss in a goat, because they're clever and fun, but when I ran the meat sales by them both of their mouths dropped open in shock!

Have your boys always lived on the farm?


Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Always think about all ends of the animals you are choosing.  It's why we chose NDs, they have good milk production and a good meat/bone ratio.  It's also why we chose the cochins.  The males are meaty enough to make good meat chickens.  So we let them go broody and raise a new group of girls.  But half of them are boys, so when they start crowing (and ready to fight) we can butcher them too.


Thanks, I'm hoping the turkeys will be a good investment.  I've heard they are hard to keep a flock going.  They die over the winter.  But I'm optimistic.


Quoting TidewaterClan:


Wow, that's super nice!  I never thought of the goat market like that.  We live in Dayton, and are close to Cincinnati and Columbus.  We have a lot of small ethnic groceries; I think we'll swing in and see what they're selling.


Oh, my BIL had turkeys last year and this.  He's made some good jingle selling them (after they were butchered of course!).


The beehive would be great too, especially with all of the free pollination!


Quoting bluerooffarm:


 Yes, they need to have babies to have milk so no buck means the milk will dry up.  We have sold babies (mostly the girls), the boys we allow to stay intact for about 4 months to beef them up then we castrate them (it's very easy with a little rubber band castrator) and 2 months later we butcher them.  Yeah they kind of multiply like rabbits!  HAHA!  We've sold the meat too.  There are a couple Persian families that come to us for their holiday meals. And they pay a pretty penny for the meat too. (we got nearly 9 bucks a pound last time, but we live close enough to Pittsburgh to have a market for that.)


Quoting TidewaterClan:


Thank you blue!  That is a ton of knowledge, I so appreciate it.  


Last three questions if you have a chance.  I'm guessing this is true - do the goats have to be/have been pregnant to give milk?  If we had all female animals would we be milkless?


Do you sell your baby goats or is your herd growing exponentially?  That would make for a good math lesson!


Quoting bluerooffarm:


 I'm going to try to imbed my answers to make sure I answer all those questions!  :-)


Quoting TidewaterClan:


Thank you so much for all of that information!  I would never have thought to ask about the well or shots.  We're just one state away but I know the deer here have all kinds of illnesses so we'd probably need some Ohio shots. :)


Those are some cool-looking goats!  Do you drink their milk?  Do you have to buy milk other than that? Yes we drink their milk and make cheeses: fromage blanc, mozarella, ricotta, and yogurts too.  We have 5.7 acres and 9 goats (at the moment).  NDs (Nigerian Dwarfs) can come into heat 2 times/year, so we try to have babies in January and Late July.  They give milk (enough) for four months between kiddings.  We do supplement their milk with some store bought.  When 4 or 5 of them are all milking we are drowning in milk, but during the point where they are still giving to their kids and are pregnant we let them be to give them more strangth. My SIL had those big goats, and they kept getting loose because they'd open the gates.  They were smart.  Are yours like that too? Yes, ours stay on our property without fencing though when they do get out.  There is just plenty to eat here, so they would rather stay close for safety. They also bought a pasteurizer, but never used it.  I may be able to buy it cheap. :)  How much land do you think a person would need for four goats or two goats/two sheep and a handful of chickens? Remember that goats multiply very, very fast.  So 2/3 goats turns into 9/10 very quickly.  I've heard that you can get away with 2 acres with 4 goats and a handful of chickens, but you don't get much of a yard.  5 acres suits us pretty well although we are now talking about buying a couple more acres next to us and getting a horse.  So remember also that you just keep wanting to expand your livestock.  We are certainly getting turkeys and a pig this coming spring and bees and rabbits the following spring!  LOL


Those Cochins look nice.  Would you have or not have a rooster?  My SIL said hers crows all during the night, with no snooze button. :)  They had one that was incredibly nice, and another that wasn't.  That's too funny about the soup, supper, etc.  I'm sure they didn't realize that's where they were headed!  If you want the flock to keep itself up, then a rooster is necessary.  If you are okay with buying peeps every few years, then it's not necessary.  Ours only crowed during the day.  He wanted everyone quiet at night.  Our chickens were smarter and better able to take care of themselves with the rooster around.  He made them roost up high each night, now they stay on the bottom few rungs in their coop which makes them easier pickings for predators.  He was also always on watch and would use strange trills to tell them when to get under cover.  He was very helpful when his hens had babies, they would be alerted to hawks and get their broods under cover.  So they are very useful, but they can be temperamental or down-right mean!


Thanks for the orchard idea!  We planted five apple trees two years ago and finally had one apple off each.  That would be awesome to find a place with enough trees to have all of our own apples (especially without all of the chemicals).  


Sorry for all of the questions.  Happy to help!  I floundered our first few years, so I really love answering questions, makes me feel like I've learned something!  :-)My girls and I have been discussing it for years, but DH is the one who has been pointing out all of the farms around here that are for sale.  :) 


Quoting bluerooffarm:


 Oh Cool!! 


We have Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They are great for meat and milk and they are supposedly good for their fiber as well, but we have never sheered them (yet).


We have chickens and we did have a rooster.  He was awesome! We got 5 roosters and picked the best one to keep.  We slowly named all the non-keepers....Supper, Soup, Pot Pie, and Griller.  We kept a pretty white guy that we named Whitey Ford.  They are Cochins, so they have pretty fluffy feet.  They are good for both cooped living and for free range.  Ours are free range within the goat paddocks but they put themselves back in their coop at night by themselves, train them by putting them in each night and they will learn where to go.  We had a raccoon that killed him (and most of our chickens) last fall, so we are going to replace them next spring.


If you can find a house with an established orchard, it is worth its weight in gold!  LOL.  We are still putting in our orchard and it is taking forever!  LOL


Also think about whether there is a place where you can put a cold store room.  We built ours under the cement porch, but our neighbor has one set into the hilside.


Ask about the water.  The water in our area (the wells) are full of iron, but you can't see it.  When the water sits, the iron turns to rust and falls out.  We abandoned our well and put in a cistern that catches the water off our roof because the water is so bad, but it would have been nice to know that we needed to do that before we spent thousands on the well and thousands on trying to clean and soften the water. 


Also before you get any animals, see if the animals you want are raised by anyone around you.  Then if they are, ask what shots you'll need.  When we lived in VA, tetans was never a problem, but here in PA the shots are a must!  Plus ours need dewormed because they get the same worms as the deer.


Any other specific questions?




 




 




 

 

paganbaby
by Silver Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 6:49 PM
1 mom liked this

Right? lol

Quoting TidewaterClan:

LOL, I can think of way worse things!  Maybe one day.  Dreams are good.  :)

Quoting paganbaby:

We don't have the money and a sustainable farm is dh's idea of hell,lol. A girl can still dream though...

Quoting TidewaterClan:

Have you guys ever thought about it?  


Quoting paganbaby:

I want to do this so bad!!!





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