"But everybody else is doing it!"
Whoa! Before you go churning your own butter and knitting your dogs hair sheddings, here are a few things to consider....
We all had a stinky kid in school, right? Here in Vermont, the stinky kid is usually the kid that lives on a farm. I went to school with such a kid. Yes, he stunk. Karma seems to have a way of coming around. I am now the stinky kid from my childhood. Karma, that b!tch.
Everybody poops. Chicken poop. A lot. Meat chicken poop more than egg layers. I just said to Tylan the other day, "Those chicken $h!t bigger poops than the cat!" Meat chicken are kinda like babies. They eat, poop, and sleep. They don't venture far from food and water. So, the concentration of $h!t is heavy. As you can imagine, if the poops are as big as a cats, it's friggin' stinky!
Egg layers are stinky too! Our hens have a roosting problem. So, they roost in their laying boxes. Which means they poop in them. The morning egg round-up is shitty to say the least.
Raising and processing your own meat is a stinky job. I'll try not to get too graphically descriptive here, but blood and guts have distinctive smells. As disturbing as this sounds, we have a 5 gallon bucket where we dispose the unused portions of the chicken after processing. This bucket also contains dead bodies. Not human bodies. Bodies from around the yard; rodents, birds that have died. There are holes drilled around the top of the bucket. Flies will lay their eggs in the rotting material. The eggs become maggots. Maggots eat the rotting material and eventually overflow the bucket. The chicken will eat the maggots that are exiting the bucket holes. PUTRID AND DISGUSTING, but free food for the.... um.... live chicken.
HARD WORK AND LITTLE PAY
Homesteading is physical labor. It can also be emotional and stressful.
Do you enjoy spending time outdoors? In the rain? In the snow? You better answer yes because you will be outside A LOT. EVERYDAY feeding and watering animals, tending to their ailments, collecting eggs, fixing/ haying coops. As they say, the work is never done.
It's hard on your wallet too! We definitely don't do this for the money! I don't even dare to do the math, but I'm positive we spend more money than we make. Because my BF works in the city, he has pretty good luck selling eggs to coworkers. I however, work in small town, farmville, Vermont. I couldn't give eggs away if I tried!
Sometimes birds die for what seems like no reason. Sometimes you have to put one down due to sickness/ ailment. Sometimes you kill an animal by accident; we ordered a batch of chicks through the mail. They come super tiny. I went to water them and accidentally put the water dish right on top of a chick (I don't even know how I didn't realize). Later that day, my BF did a chick count. We seemed to be missing one. He lifted the water jug and there it was. A flat chicken chip :(
NO REST FOR THE WICKED
Get used to the idea of never vacationing again.
I got my taxes back this year and thought, "I want to take our families on a vacation!" So, I booked, what was always my families dream vacation, an ocean front property in Maine that sleeps 14! The home owners were even going to allow us to bring our 2 rambunctious pitbulls! I was so excited. Until I remembered.... we have 50+ birds on our homestead. Who the heck is going to house-sit while we're gone if I invited everyone we know?! (because we literally have no friends. Who has a family AND a life these days??)
It's one thing to need a dog or cat-sitter, but a farm-sitter? What if you were 100's of miles away and your pig got out and ended up in your grouchy neighbors yard? Even if you did have a farm-sitter, do they know how to get a 200lb pig back into its pen? (do I even know how to get a 200lb pig back into its pen?? Eeek!) What if an animal dies while you're gone? Can your sitter handle the gut bucket?
I think about the future and dream about vacations I'd like to go on.... Bora Bora looks heavenly. I loved California. I'd love to visit San Francisco again. Take me to Maine any day. I guess that's all I can think of. Actually, it's not bad that I'm a homesteader, because I rarely want to leave my house in the first place ;)
I actually don't regret starting a homestead at all. Well.... I DO wish I had taken that vacation to Bora Bora before jumping on the ol' bandwagon! LOL! As if I could ever afford Bora Bora.... I'm too poora poora ;)
Until next time,
YOU'LL LOVE THESE TOO!