Well, its February, which means it is time to start getting ready for our first spring “on the farm”. I have been busy researching and scouring Kijiji for deals on building supplies and baby animals. Now the stressful part of this is that we don’t have a barn…or fences, or anything really resembling somewhere to put animals. We do have a small shed (see below, its not cute!), and some broken up cement where there USED to be a barn 😦 Too bad it’s not still there, sigh. So when I say getting ready for spring “on the farm” it’s more of a state of mind then an actual farm! I can picture what I want to be out there on our 3.5 acres, but right now it’s just a dream.
My “plan” is to start growing our farm with heritage breeds. From what I have read they are better at foraging, better at reproducing and of coarse not genetically modified like newer breeds. Plus I like the idea of being able to keep the breeds going and being able to introduce more to the market through reproduction.
Sooo what I do know is, we have LOTS of projects to start on out there. Painting the shed, fixing the doors, fixing up the interior for animal use, building a lean to (for the goats), building a pig shelter, putting up ALOT of fencing, clearing the paddock area, transporting the chicken coop and rabbit hutches from my parents house, not to mention a garden…phew! Lots-to-do
Unfortunately we also have lots of projects to do IN the house, so my mind is spinning with what to do first! We are in the middle of pulling up our kitchen floor (5 layers!), to get down to the sub-floor (which we are planning to refinish), refinishing 2 dressers and a side table, refinishing our stairs, refinishing our living room floor, and painting our front door, all this amongst organizing our house so it is live-able, and well…kids.
What I am trying to remember is that right now a place to put the animals needs to be priority, because we only have so much time to get animals so they can start growing and be ready for the summer/fall. But it’s hard to not want to try to do everything at once!
This weekend we are planning on getting our first heritage breed, a 13 week old Berkshire Pig. As well as putting a dozen Barred (Plymouth) Rock hatching eggs in our homemade incubator from a local registered breeder. These will be an addition to our only remaining (after RATS got in last year, ugh!) Plymouth Rock chickens from last year, 1 rooster and 1 hen (currently residing at my parents house). We still need to get our Nigerian/Pygmy goats over here to our house, as well as our New Zealand White rabbits. I have also made arrangements to breed our Nigerian/pygmy doe, Hershey in March with a stud service. She will be breeding with a pure bred Nigerian so we will be bringing more of the Nigerian blood into her line. Hopefully we will be able to get a pure bred doe this year as well! (Wishful thinking)
As for the building projects… I was able to find someone who was gutting a house on Kijiji and get a bunch of free wood. It’s not perfect but it will do for a few shelters, at least for this year.
If you are planning on starting your own little homestead, make sure to check kijiji/craigslist, and check it often! Watch the free posts, home renovation materials, and livestock sections so you know your prices and can nab free and cheap materials when they come up!
I will keep you posted on our progress!