Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Animals on Our Homestead

 Our little homestead has really been growing as far as animals are concerned so I thought I should do a post on that today. :-)

The animal that gets the most attention around here (though he would say it still isn't enough and he would like all the attention that we give to the others too) is our dog Kitchi. He is a golden retriever that will turn 2 in September. He has brought a lot of laughter and fun to our family and a little frustration too (when he decides to dig in flower beds). He loves to tease (Steal a glove or a shoe and play chase with you as you try to get it back) and hates to be left behind. He is in 4-H dog training which we hope will be helpful. :-) He actually is pretty good in many ways but more training will not hurt at all. His job around the homestead is to keep bear away from the bees, predators away from the other animals and deer away from my flower beds and fruit trees (the main garden is fenced). Also to provide us with entertainment.

At the same time we got Kitchi we also got Esther - a rabbit of uncertain breed. We do hope to breed her in an attempt to provide meat and fur/leather for our family. A friend is going to give us a couple of male rabbits soon. So far she has just been a pet and provide a little bit of manure for homesteading purposes.

Last month we added Ruth and Naomi to our homestead. I thought I had a better picture but I couldn't find one. They are cute bunnies that are a mix of Mini Rex and Silver Fox. We got them to use for breeding to produce meat and fur. They are also pretty cute. The kids have enjoyed holding them and playing with them.

This is the cage that the boys (mostly Jonathan) made for the rabbits. We will need to make another for the additional rabbits we hope to get soon. It goes over top of the chicken run. The Chickens make use of all the feed that gets spilled.

 Our Broiler chicks arrived last week. We got 35 this year. This is the first year to have the full production at our place. My dad has done most of the broiler raising in the past. Jonathan made this chick pen. It works great for now but Aaron and I need to get busy and make a bigger pen for them to live in soon!
 We have 5 older and 18 newer (2 month old and not laying yet) layers. The older 5 may get butchered this fall but they are laying nicely now.
 They have a nice coop and run (built mostly by Jonathan) next to the garden. I love being able to throw weeds over the fence to them when I am working in the garden.

 Besides the broiler chicks the newest addition to our place is Mr. Sippi our cute little kitten. We got him from a friend last week. He has become my gardening buddy and Megan loves taking him around all over. He has a nice little home (he is a total outside cat because of allergies and just not caring for pets in the house) in the garden shed. His job is to catch mice so they don't eat animal feed or come in our house etc. He also is in charge of keeping little animals out of my garden. I have explained his duties to him and we hope that he listened. :-)

We can't forget the bees. I picked up 2 new nucs early last month. They are doing well and multiplying like crazy. They are packing in the honey as well. Mom and Dad came over this week and helped me to finally put up a fence to protect them from bears and skunks and such. I am very thankful! Neighbors have reported bear issues/sightings so we did need to get something done.

 I am thankful that God gave us animals. And I am thankful that he provided them for food: "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything." Genesis 9:3  I don't truly enjoy butchering time but I would rather eat meat from animals that were raised in a good way and fed well and had an enjoyable life. We are able to do things that way that God designed them to be done and I am grateful for that.

Do you raise animals? What do you have at your place?


JoannaTopaz said...

We are only "raising" our 2-year-old teenager dog (totally understand the attention hog thing) and do not/will not ever have cats because of severe allergies. One of the concerns I see people voice about outside cats here in the suburbs of the Twin Cities, however, is the coyotes. Do you not have that concern up North?

Nola said...

We don't have any pets or animals other than short-term ones. :) I don't enjoy dogs unless they are very well trained and I don't have the desire to do that and my husband doesn't like dogs. I would have a house cat but my husband is allergic. By having "short term" animals I mean things that we can have to watch for a short while and let go. Right now we have snails inside in two jars that my daughter is looking after and learning about and we have about 15 tadpoles we are watching. Last week we found quite a few dragonfly nymphs climbing out of the water so we put them in an aquarium with rocks and sticks and watched the nymphs split open and the adult dragonflies emerge. It was really neat and I had never seen that before!! Have you ever had any "temporary" pets like this? Any ideas for any other creatures like this to observe? Sometime we hope to incubate chicken eggs but I am not sure that we could have chickens here in town (we live on the edge of town with a big lot backing onto bush) nor am I certain it would be something I would want to do at this point. I am going to look into giving the chickens to a friend who has a farm with chickens. Have you ever hatched chicken eggs? We also have some critters in the yard we like to watch that are just wild...red squirrels and lots of birds and sometimes bears...I wish they weren't around but they are neat to see as well in some ways.

Abbi said...

Joanna, I have not heard of people around here being concerned about a coyote getting there kitten. At our old house we did have one get some chickens and that wasn't very nice but I have not had a concern with them and our cat. That is an interesting thought.

Nola, Short term pets are fun. We used to do that (and may again at times) do that a little as well. Mostly what we have had fun keeping short term was getting a monarch caterpillar and feeding it milkweed and then watching it turn into a chrysalis and then a butterfly. That is really fun and not to hard. Do you have monarchs around there? A little painted turtle or box turtle is another idea and they are not hard to catch or care for. I totally understand your feelings concerning a dog. I would have never gotten one if it was just me but now that we have him I have enjoyed him as well. Our son Aaron wanted a dog in the worst way and when we finally said we were ready for one he was overjoyed. And then it took us a month or so to find one that would work. He almost made himself sick during that time with his anxiety over finding one. He LOVES animals and really loves his dog. We would have horses and all sorts of animals if he could really have his way.

Carmen N said...

We just have laying hens (8) right now, and a whiney Basset Hound. I would love to have bees, but we haven't made the jump into beekeeping yet. I remember having rabbits growing up - they were pets, kept outdoors. That ended when one attacked my father and he was afraid of us girls getting hurt. Someday, when we find a place with more land I would like to add some animals. I'd love to have fiber animals - sheep, alpaca, etc. :)

Abbi said...

Fiber animals would be perfect for you. I hope you are able to get them someday! :-)


Blog Widget by LinkWithin