Posted by btchakir
As part of the research we went to a farm owned by some local folks, Sally and Jimmy, to learn about maintaining the goats and chickens (plus…unexpected surprise… to see how Jimmy raises pigs).
Now we know more about the expenses of feeding and maintaining the critters, about milking and egging, about dealing with animals in bad weather, about unexpected costs, etc. etc. etc.
Sally is a retired teacher, and Elly sees
herself getting heavily into this in another four years when she retires from teaching… from what I see, it’s like giving yourself another full-time job. The rewards, of course, are dozens of eggs every week, goats milk for cheese (and soap!) and all the exercise you get taking care of these guys.
Jimmy has 11 1/2 acres (we have, as of now, 4 1/3 acres) so we are going to be doing a much smaller operation than they are… but still it’s enough for the two
of us to handle (maybe even more than we can handle… I want a tractor!). Just walking around their farm for an hour and my knees were killing me. I could ride around much more easily.
Jimmy’s pigs were great to look at (the piglets are cute little devils, but I don’t think the work and space needed for pigs is something I can deal with. Where goats have 1 or 2 kids a year, a mother pig will drop 17 or 18 piglets without thinking about it.) Jimmy raises and butchers them himself… not something I even want to think about doing. The chickens are enough for me to start with. I don’t know when we’ll be starting a goatery.