I declare March barn yard month. Style of barn like to build, imagine pallets as walls and middle with a gate on both ends.
At the moment we have 3 turkeys, 9 goats (think 4 are pregnant), 6 chickens, 6 geese(never wanted but friend needed to get rid of),2 ducks, 9 chicken chicks 2 dogs, and 2 cats. We have a wish list for animals like everything else. Here’s the wish list
Goats 3 (2 female 1 male) all nieborhors babies are given to us so we raise and sell and trade more goats than ever wanted.
Rabbits ( 4 female 2 bucks) have but didn’t have right barn to protect so will get new once barn finished and can keep at right temp.
chickens- building our flock up 6 chicks a year till have 100 free ranged)
Turkeys (10 hens min 1 tom) would like to eventually build a large flock but we eat at holidays.
ducks (4-6) love eggs for baking
Cow (1 milk 1 meat)
Pigs (3-4) may try breeding later
Bees (4 hives) in orchard or berry field not barn
Quail (50 to start would run wild)
Pheants (50 to start would run wild)
Barn is built out of free pallets, free tin roofing (for helping a friend) and the wire and post brought. Top of barn is only built to allow the heat to escape in summer and the pallets are lined with cardboard in winter to keep warm. We live were summers can be high as 114F and winters can be as low as -30F so we have to be prepared to face both extremes. The Openings where there are gates in winter have barn rugs/ traps that cover them. The middle has enough of an opening that can burn a burn barrel for add heat if had too. We hope to complete the bottom 2 sides this year. As you have seen in pictures and videos the bottom right stalls and pens are completed. 2016 We hope to finish the top of the barn. We are also hoping to complete pasture this year but till have well can’t get the cows as not enough water to handle them. This Spring we expect 9-20 baby goats to be coming our way and have really luck out this year as we have been able to sell, and trade a lot of last years goats for hay and cash. We hope to be adding piglets into the barn this year as we get more and more done on it. We are a very unusual barn and keep all goats billy and nanny’s together which helps the smell greatly. So far none of our billy’s have ever gotten that nasty billy smell to them this way but we end up with all females getting pregnant too. May have to change this when we start milking. We have been majorly blessed in that haven’t had any coyote or big cat problems at all. Our barn yard cost about 75 dollars a month in feed, of course that raises when have lots of babies but then can trade them for hay or sell which helps keep the barn going. Many people ask in the summer for the different kinds of eggs we have and that helps with the cost of scratch and other bird feed. I am hoping the pigs will be as easy on the budget as the other animals have been. We do manage so far to raise a lot of our meat, and eggs. Hoping soon to add milk and it’s by products to the list, even if it is goat not cow. We have so far found that raising the different kinds of animals we are have paid for themselves and even help pay for the extra materials to build their housing.
I understand that raising your own meat isn’t for everyone and that it is hard to love something and still put it on the table when it comes time too. We figure that this way we both know what we are eating, and we know the animals are being given the best life we know how to give them till such time. I figure my free ranged turkeys are getting a wonderful year of love and care before becoming Christmas dinner, rather than being keep in a small pen and not experiencing the love of the people who will be eating them. As a child growing up this was a very difficult idea for me to understand and even now I spend time talking and thanking each of my animals for the blessing they will one day provide for us. Yes I could just go to a store and buy my meat preprocessed and wrapped but really it’s the same as buying a tomato or growing one I much rather have my own sun grown and ripen tomato than the bland ones from the store. I have even began to hate Nov- Feb. when the birds aren’t laying. The taste of store eggs vs fresh are totally two different things, even if both are called eggs. I am excited to learn to make fresh butter, cheese, sour cream, yogurt and even soap all from my own barn.
Add this to my gardens, orchard and berry fields. Get a well drilled and then I don’t see anything standing in the way of our dream!
Take a moment today and think hard what are your dreams? I know not everyone’s dreams are the same, I would never be happy living in a mansion or owning a boat but maybe you would. What steps can you take today to move you closer to your dream? As for me I am going back down to the barn yarn and building some more of the walls today. I hope you find a touch of your dream in each day as I do!