It is Harvest time on the Homestead, and that means animals are disappearing.
Of course, some are just being butchered…
Others, are being butchered and NOT replaced!
And others, sold!
You see, this is generally the time of year we figure out what animals worked best on our homestead this year, and which ones didn’t.
After getting new animals and birthing new animals in the spring, and working with them all summer, we generally have a good sense what it is like to deal with them on a daily basis. With winter coming, keeping those same animals will only get harder.
So we try to decide do we like working with the animal, do they fit nicely on our homestead, and do they give more than they take.
This year we got a lot of new animals. Let’s take a quick look at 2 of them…
Camels were a crazy big change to our homestead this year. Overall we really enjoyed working with these animals. They are generally a calm animal, like-able, and easy to be around. There are some difficulties that come with working with them though, hard to find vets who know what they are doing with camels, hard to find feeds, medicines, and equipment for them too.
Overall, we do like working with them!
Do they fit on our homestead? We currently do a lot of dairy work on the homestead, so they were an easy fit to our already dairy focused lifestyle. We didn’t have great fencing for them, but we have plans to change that and improve their pasture options next year. And we found keeping them in the barn was much easier than other animals we have kept in the barn in the past. So, yeah, they fit nicely.
Finally do they give more than they take…
The jury is a bit out on this one. Millie is dried up, and as you will learn watching the above video, we wont be having any calves or milk any time soon. SAD. Camels add a serious expense in feed, care, etc. And breeding Millie will be another big expense. But we love their presence, are excited to do some training, and would like to have camel milk again.
So, spoiler alert, Camels will be staying around for another year.
How about RABBITS?
Rabbits were something we had been asked by the audience for YEARS to try, and finally this year we did!
We make the Jump because at the time it seemed that our Baby and K could only eat a few different kinds of meats, rabbit was one of them!
We bought a breeding pair, got a colony started, built some rabbit tractors, and dove in head first.
After a season we have raised about 100 rabbits, butchered lots, put a bunch of meat in the freezer, and now have a good idea about what is all involved.
Do we like working with rabbits?
Not really. The clean up on an indoor colony is a lot of work. Cleaning cages wouldn’t be much better. Holding babies is fun, but larger ones can kick and scratch. And butcher days feel like a lot of setup and cleaning for a small amount of yield.
Do they fit our homestead?
Kinda… the pastured rabbits in the tractors were great on the feed bill, but the chicken tractors were not a great fit design wise for rabbits. The indoor colony was ok, but cleaning again was a ton of work.
De we get more than they take…
Some people would say absolutely. They can be fed mostly grass and turn out a bunch of meat, and a breeder pair can make soooo many bunnies.
BUT… this was the clincher for us… We have learned we don’t much like eating rabbit compared to our farm raised chicken.
So what stays and what goes this year at the homestead? Well, Camels are pretty safe. Rabbits, not looking so hot. If you want to learn about the other animals watch that first video in the post, you’ll hear our thoughts on cows, pigs, sheep, and everything else.
We have learned that our homestead does best growing and being trimmed every year, like a apple tree. Grow a lot, trim a lot, grow more, trim more, and with this rhythm each year you will have great production!
We apply this idea in other areas of life too.
Grow a bunch, try new things, then trim back.
One new thing we are trying this year is a NEW PODCAST!
This podcast is a little different than our previous one, Homesteady, Which is still going to be produced BTW… more news on that later.
The New Podcast is going to be a 5 day a week show, that, at least for now, is ONLY available to my email list subscribers!
I personally am tired of big tech censoring and controlling us content creators, and I have decided to fight back, by creating content and directly releasing it to my audience without big techs oversight.
The new Podcast is all about building that Homesteady Life that so many of you are striving to do, and it is all about action, little changes that add up to a bigger, better life for us.
I am Just about ready to start releasing it, but I wanted to test it out first.
SO… HOMESTEADY PIONEERS… get ready, Saturday Morning you all get a sneak peak! You get to be the testers of the new program.
There are 5 new episodes all ready to go.
If you are a Homesteady Pioneer, you will get the first one sent to you Tomorrow Morning.
If all goes well with the first 5 episodes, then all the rest of you on the Email List can start enjoying the new show in a week or so!
If you can’t wait, and you want to hear it tomorrow with the Pioneers but you are not one yet, OUR BIG SUMMER SALE hasn’t ended yet!
Till the end of August you can get a YEAR LONG PIONEER MEMBERSHIP with 4 Months FREE!