I made a map of our place and I thought I'd share it with you. I also thought I'd share some of my inner thoughts with you. Nothing deep like, "I wonder if there ever really be world peace.?" But more like, "Can I afford to raise pigs?" Stuff like that.
First, I'll explain the map. The blue line shows our approximate property line. The green blobs are the gardens. The orange line shows the sheep/goat fence. The yellow square is the chicken coop, and the pink square is the sheep/goat shelter. The red outlines are proposed pen areas. The small one would be where the rabbits go, and the larger would be where the pigs go.
Ok, now for the rambling part. Let's start with the turkeys. I am getting in an order of 20 turkeys the last week of April. I need to figure out where I'm going to keep them. I'd like to be able to have them free range in the pasture with the chickens. I need to build them a small coop though so I can lock them up at night. I'm not sure where to put the coop. Maybe I should put it on the south side of the chicken coop. Or maybe on the south side of the sheep shelter so they're not so close to the chickens? I'd also thought about making a pen on the back side of the garage, but then they'd have to free range in the yard and not in the pasture. Hmm. Decisions, decisions!
Ok, now on to the rabbits. I've been wanting to raise meat rabbits for a while. They're small, easy to raise, and provide lots of meat for a family. I need to find a breeding pair (working on that) and build cages. I'm pretty sure the cages will be fairly simple to build, and hopefully inexpensive. They can eat garden scraps and I'd love to build a pen for them to be on grass too. I just hope it's worth raising and processing them. I'm sure it will be. Won't it? Anyone?
Now let's talk pigs. I've been dying to raise pigs for several years now. Well, not dying, but perhaps yearning. Or striving. Or hoping. I just think that pigs would make good use of extra veggies, eggs, and milk. They'd get to market weight fairly quickly, and then we could keep one for ourselves and sell the other one. I'm just not quite sure about them. I've worked with pigs before and they were on the farm where I worked in college. I'm just wondering if it's worth putting the time and money into them or if it'd be better to find someone else who raises pigs and just buy from them.
I also don't know how much more I can pile on my plate without losing my mind, ya know? I mean, it's fairly easy to do chores in the morning before work. I can feed the baby goats, milk June, and feed everyone else in about 20 minutes if I hustle. Soon the kids will be weaned, but then I'll have turkeys to feed. I could probably feed the pigs and rabbits in the afternoons only and save some time on morning chores....but what if I need to feed them twice a day?
I tend to over think things, but then I tell myself I better think about it some more so I'm not blindsided because I didn't think about things enough! See, this is exactly why I need to be able to stay at home. My pesky job gets in the way of all my house work/hobbies! Too bad we need the money and benefits.
So any opinions? If anyone has anything to add for me to ponder, I'd love to hear it!