Sustainability Bucket List #6

bucket list 6Animals for ConsumptionThis is something we’ve already started, although it is what I would consider small. We have 15 laying hens, a silkie rooster, and a Chuck-Chuck, so 17 birds total. I have three Barred Rocks, three Buff Orphingtons, three Rhode Island Reds, three Easter Eggers, two Delawares, and one little Silkie hen. Out of my 15 hens I’m averaging around a dozen eggs a day. That’s way more than we can ever even think about eating, so I sell them here locally when I can. I figure if I make enough money from them to pay for the feed they eat then we’re doing pretty good. So far my ladies have been paying for their selves, which is always a plus. I’d love to have some chicks to hatch and sell every year, that just hasn’t happened for us here yet.

We do want to expand though. Eventually I’d like to have a few milk goats. I’d like to have two or three does and a buck. I figure we can sell the babies, use them for milk while we can, and we can butcher one or two a year as well. Sheep, I have no desire to breed, but if I could find a few to raise to butcher size for us to keep in the freezer I’d absolutely love to. Rabbits is one area I really want to get back into.

When I lived in Ohio I raised rabbits for several years. Show rabbits, market rabbits, pet quality rabbits, you name it we had it. I raised Holland Lops and Flemish Giants and did damn good doing it too. At one point in time we have well over 100 bunnies at my parents place. Eventually, I’d love to get back into that. I loved working with local kids, giving them 4H and FFA projects to take to the fair every year. Plus for us, we would be able to butcher them for ourselves as well.

There’s are lots of possibilities here. Even if we only ever stay with the smaller animals like ducks, turkeys, sheep, goats, rabbits, quail, there are numerous possibilities. Plus, we would be able to say we knew how that animal was treated, what it was fed every day, the life it lived, and know exactly what we’re eating when we sit down to dinner. And that, is a huge deal for me.

Is raising animals for meat something you consider doing? Or are you already? Please let me know in the comments what you’re doing or would like to do to help your family rely less on commercially raised meats.

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