Lynne asked in our last post what all do we raise on our farm. We do not have a very large farm. We have 29 acres. Our desire is to raise and grow as much of our own food as possible. We have always said that we did not want an animal that did not pay its own way somehow. So, I will take you on a tour of our farm or at least its animals.
Our first love in the animal kingdom is our dogs. We have 3 which is TOO many. This probably violates our rule of paying their own way. =) They are watch dogs and they do kill unwanted critters sometimes. They are spoiled though. Star occasionally will help round up an animal, but none of them are trained in herding. They do have some natural instinct though. We have Southern Star, Southern Belle and Dixie Darlin'.
Next, I will introduce you to our 2 jersey milk cows. This picture shows Buttercup VERY pregnant. =) Molasses is also a jersey, she is just a darker brown. We are currently milking Buttercup and there are 2 calves nursing off of Molasses.
We raise calves for beef. We often breed our jerseys to angus bulls. We also buy day old jersey bull calves and raise them for beef. This is one of the jersey bull calves. He has been made into a steer. We always do at least one extra. We sell what we don't use and it pays for ours.
We have Shetland sheep. We originally got the sheep for their wool. I spin (although I am a beginner and don't do it enough). One of my favorite books is a picture book called All The Places To Love. It starts out with a Grandma holding her brand new first grandbaby and wrapping it in a blanket made from the fleece of her very own sheep. I want to do that. =) We sell the rams as meat. We have also sold some of the ewes to people as well.
We had goats and I miss them more than I will say. I don't often look at their pictures because it hurts. This is Honeysuckle.
We also have bees. We have not done a lot with the bees. My son is highly allergic to bee stings, and they are my husband's one thing he doesn't like. We do like to keep a hive though at least for the pollination. We have gotten honey from them, but not for the last couple of years.
We also raise pigs about once a year. We get them at about 40-50 lbs. and raise them up to butchering age. Again, we do extra to sell and it pays for ours.
These are some of my laying hens. They free range all over our property. The Light Brahmas (the white ones in the picture) are often in the woods and I think that is where many of them lay their eggs. =(
This is some of our broilers in a pen. We raise several batches of broilers on pasture every year. We have a pretty good customer base that buys them every year.
We also do turkeys on pasture for the week of Thanksgiving. Ours are usually all spoken for by the end of August, but starting some time in October, we get calls every day of someone wanting a healthy turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner.
We also have cats. I am not a cat lover at all. However, they are all outside cats that are supposed to keep the mouse population down.
Well, I think that about covers what all we raise. Thanks for taking the tour with us!!