Hubby and I have always loved the idea of being more self-sufficient and saving money where we can. We have occasionally considered livestock animals, but only recently have we lived somewhere that it was feasible to have them.
Unfortunately, the land has covenants that prevent having any sort of large livestock animals (other than horses). Chickens and other birds have not been viable options because my father (we live together with my parents) absolutely loathes them.
So, that has pretty much put a damper on our desire to have more control (and better prices) for the meat that we eat. That is, until recently!
Friends of ours live on property that is partially covered by an incredibly thick mass of
blackberry canes. Last year, they raised a piglet for the freezer in a movable pen. The pig feasted on blackberry leaves and rooted up the canes, leaving clear, fertilized land that can be utilized for garden space. This year, they sought to double their clearings by raising two piglets.
But, they didn’t really need two sows worth of meat in their freezer, so they were putting the word out that they wanted someone to split the responsibility, the work, the expense, and the meat.
Long story short, we jumped at the chance and became kinda, sorta pig farmers. We have the benefit of someone else’s land and forage for them, as well as expertise in knowing how to successfully raise them. This greatly increases our chances for success by shortening our learning curve!
We chip in for food (which can include kitchen scraps as well as commercial feed), help with labor, and watch over them when the other family wants to travel. Plus, we are learning a new skill set that we enjoy dabbling in. It’s completely a win-win for us (we hope it proves worthwhile to the other family as well!).
Have you ever cared for livestock animals?
Till next time,