Farm life heartbreak

Today I had to experience first hand death of a farm animal.

What started as an ordinary day quickly went very wrong. One of our Nigerian dwarf goats was suffering from urinary calculi. It was immediate and sudden. He was suffering and in excruciating pain. As the day went on his suffering continued.

My husband works long hours leaving me to make big decisions alone sometimes.

Today was that day.

Anyone who knows me. Knows that I love animals probably too much. My heart can’t take much heartbreak.

But as the day went on sweet Gus began to suffer unbearable pain.

With no vet available and the prognosis so grim I had to mercy kill my sweet Gus.

I’ve never killed an animal.

I’ll be honest I was nervous. I prayed over sweet Gus before. His goat crying was to much for my heart to handle. And so I sent him on his way to heaven.

I like to imagine all animals happy in heaven. Eating all their favorite things.

Frolicking.

Today opened my eyes to the fact that I’m too sensitive for this farm life.

I can’t stand to watch anything suffer. I never want to play God and choose to end a life.

But today I was faced with no better choice.

It was quick and I hope painless.

Has anyone started their homesteading journey to realize they aren’t cut out for certain aspects.

I never would have thought that I’d have to mercy kill one of my sweet beloved animals. I adored that sweet animal and his silly gentle nature. He will be so missed.

The ugly reality to living a sustainable lifestyle

When we started our homestead and decided to try and live a more sustainable life I had no idea the work it required. With my husbands job he is gone more hours than home a lot of days. Leaving me to handle the homestead alone.

The idea of chickens was enticing. Goats seemed an easy way to control the landscape on our little farm. Gardening seemed so magical. And mini cows seemed like a dream come true for my animal loving self.

With the state of our country it seemed unwise not to add a little sustainability to our lives. I don’t think an apocalyptic ending to earth is on its way. But I do think there are a lot of benefits to sustainability.

But there is an ugly side to running a small little farm. And a reality that it isn’t as easy as it may seem.

Living a more sustainable life is a lot of work. On Pinterest you see screenshots and images of how to homestead. How to live a sustainable life. But I’ve yet to come across and article that depicts truly how much work it can be.

Some days it seems easier to just forego all this homesteading business and shop at our local grocery store for items we want or need.

Making most things from scratch is time consuming.

Farm animals love early mornings. I personally despise them. I’ve never been a morning person. No matter what voodoo potion or positive self talk I give myself.

I don’t like them. And never have. I’m not a morning person.

Farm animals poop a lot and they are dirty. It’s a lot of work keeping their stalls clean.

Farm animals don’t only need cared for in fair weather. With bad weather comes the same responsibilities.

Their food bags weigh a ton. It’s not for the weak to carry animal feed across the property.

Goats are incredibly stubborn. Sweet. But stubborn. They will demolish your beloved plants in seconds if you aren’t careful.

They are little Houdini’s. At least once a month discovering a way to break free and unleash the rest of your farm animals.

Chickens can and will eat their own eggs if you aren’t careful.

You have predators to worry about (depending on where you live.)

Chickens need their wings clipped unless you want them flying out of their pen and pooping all over your property.

Making most items from scratch is a LOT of work. Some days I find myself in the kitchen cooking my days away.

Call me little house on the prairie.

Gardening can be a fun experience but is also a lot of work. There are bugs to battle that want to enjoy your hard earned garden goods. Wildlife will take a few bites from your garden as well. Where we live in the high desert gardening is a lot of work with the harsh seasons and crappy soil.

So if you are thinking of starting a more sustainable life. But want to know some real ups and downs about homesteading maybe you will find some answers to questions you may have.

Maybe you too love the idea of self sufficiency but struggle with the work that it entails.

What do you despise most about homesteading?

And of course what do you love about it?

I love a lot about homesteading as well but thought someone else could benefit from reading the negative side as well.

It’s nice to know full well what you are getting into.

Danielle

Should I raise meat birds on my homestead?

If you happen to be a vegetarian you could skip out on this article.

If you spend a lot of money at the grocery store weekly and are sick of the prices of meat as well as the quality you might want to continue reading.

Part of our homesteading journey included possibly raising meat birds.  Me, being the biggest animal lover couldn’t really stomach the idea.

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That is until King Mabel went rogue and transformed into an aggressive Rooster.

Anyways.  As our trial meat bird.  King Mabel’s life came to an end and he was processed for dinner.

So let’s get into it.

Pros

  • You know what quality of meat you are getting.  In our case we have had King Mabel for 10 months and we fed him a high quality chicken feed. (He was handfed up until a few weeks ago when he got testy)

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  • Free Range
  • Quite tasty was the consensus from the family.
  • It gave us a perspective on how much we as American’s consume.  That was a huge eye opener.
  • Taught the children a valuable lesson regarding consumption, and being grateful for the food on the table.  (They were not present for King Mabel’s death)
  • Ease of plucking and preparing the chicken.
  • Gives the hen’s a break they were starting to look a little ragged.
  • No loud crowing at 3:30AM.

Cons

  • Death.  I have always had a love hate relationship with meat.  The animal lover in me can’t really stomach too much.  So I’ll be honest I cried.
  • Finding a quick way to kill the chicken.  Like I said this has been a learning experience.

So our consensus was that it was worth it as you can see the pros definitely outweigh the cons to raising meat birds on your homestead.  It really put the amount of food we consume into perspective.  I know I can speak for myself when I say that I will consume much less meat now knowing and seeing the process from start to finish.

I’d say if you are seeking a simpler way to living.  Consider the pros and cons before raising your own meat birds.

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