The Great Livestock Debate: Which Animals Are Best For Our Farm?

We had an actual fantasy imaginative and prescient of our “farm” life once we discovered this property. “A Mini Farm!” we screamed after which we fortunately placed on our blinders concerning all of the day-to-day realities. I suppose that’s the job of the fantasy – it calls you to maneuver swiftly with fierce pleasure, figuring out that you simply’ll cross/leap off the subsequent bridge whenever you get to it. We watched The Largest Little Farm a minimum of eight instances as a household each earlier than and through lockdown. We romanticized having a “mini-farm” like solely two stifled metropolis slickers may. In my “farm fantasy,” miniature goats would greet visitors as they bought out of their automobile – startling them at first, befriending them by the top of the weekend. In my fantasy, we’d be chasing rascal-y chickens again into the coop, with the naughty one at all times being a punk. We’d tuck in our “rag-tag group of misfits” – an alpaca, a mini-donkey, and a goat all snuggled collectively at evening, and the youngsters would feed them each morning earlier than they stroll to highschool, and spend the weekend cleansing the stalls. And on account of our glorious farm way of life and routines, our youngsters, who’re much more privileged than Brian nor I ever had been, would stay grounded, un-entitled, and turn into beneficiant residents on the earth. Years of tending to our livestock, harvesting crops, and most significantly choosing up hundreds and a great deal of shit on the day by day would resolve my largest parenting concern. It writes itself! We want animals to snuggle with and shit to choose up!!

Wait, So Why Do You Actually Need “Farm Pets”?

We now have no plans of constructing this a enterprise with their fur, milk, cheese, eggs or to breed them and dump the infants. The true and solely purpose we would like farm pets is that we actually get pleasure from and love animals a lot and we would like extra of them to care for and snuggle with. We love our pups, together with the a number of walks they require most days, a lot. We had been obsessive about our cats once we had them. We all know that the correct animals will convey us plenty of pleasure and hopefully vice versa. We aren’t doing it for optics or as a result of we predict it’s quirky and funky. We merely assume it is going to be plenty of enjoyable and we now have plenty of love to present to animals. Because of this ensuring they’re good “pets” is essential to us (and really totally different than what’s a typical good “livestock”). I’m admittedly not a type of individuals who need to care for any animal off the road. Whereas I want I had been, I’m not Kristen Bell, keen to tackle any animal’s issues. I believe it’s essential to know who we actually are going into this course of. We would like pets to like and care for however know our bandwidth.

The Actuality…

It’s moist and wet for seven months of the yr. Poop smells gross and might create parasites that make the animals sick for those who don’t clear it up rapidly. Parasites imply pictures and vaccines that we now have to implement. Fur must get sheared, toenails have to get clipped. We aren’t precise idiots and we all know that proudly owning animals may be very totally different than petting them at a farm. So, is that this the very best thought? And if that’s the case which of them?

Earlier than You Can Weigh In, You Want Some Details:

  1. We each work/write from residence and our schedules are fairly manageable most weeks. We’ve retained a lot of the slowness from lockdown, we’re critical homebodies, and many of the child’s actions are within the neighborhood. So the concept of tending to the animals and backyard nonetheless appears like what I need to be doing. Briefly – we now have the time/want.
  2. Brian needs to take the lead on all issues animals, and he’s actually driving this circus practice. If he weren’t I might give it at the very least one other yr right here to verify we are able to deal with it so I don’t overcommit myself. However his degree of enthusiasm is off the charts, and generally, if Brian needs to do one thing, he does it actually, very well.
  3. We now have a feed barn and enclosed paddock which is about 1/4 of an acre. We’re all set!! Proper???

The Paddock & The Barn

In order you’ll be able to see we really are kinda arrange – there’s a totally enclosed paddock that has tons of grass/development and shade. It’s not enormous, but it surely’s huge! And it’s not like we want it for some other objective. So it’s simply sitting there.

The barn has two sides – one aspect has stalls, and the opposite is our child’s present clubhouse for the summer time (however at any level if we want it for animals we’ll do this).

Brian And I Had been Each Raised With Farm Animals

This complete “need to have cattle” began in our youth. Brian’s dad and mom have a ranch-style residence with a barn and a pasture in a horse group. It’s the place he grew up, they nonetheless dwell, and the place we bought married. It’s unimaginable. He by no means owned a horse, however there are horses everywhere in the neighborhood and sometimes individuals would preserve their horses of their pasture. I grew up within the woods of Coastal Oregon with a goat for blackberry maintenance and a lamb/sheep. The lamb was received by my oldest sister throughout a 4-H lamb scramble (uh, are we nonetheless doing that?) and we bought to “preserve” it. Yay us (not). My older brother put me on the sheep, making an attempt to make me experience it which it didn’t recognize. So for the remainder of the summer time, it will knock me down each time I stepped outdoors. I very a lot don’t look after sheep to this present day. My household additionally has a ranch in Wyoming and they’re bonafide cowboys (NOT farmers, enormous distinction). So rising up we might go go to continuously and there they’ve all of the animals (however for an actual objective, not for enjoyable like us).

brian’s dad or mum’s farm!


So at present imma stroll you thru our deductive thought course of. It’s riddled with naivete and privilege, however that’s to be anticipated whenever you purchase a “farmette” or a “gentleman’s farm”. I additionally need to be certain that it’s understood that we all know that for many individuals it is a livelihood stuffed with unbelievably arduous work and I don’t need to diminish that by performing prefer it’s only a enjoyable pastime that we are able to simply do. We all know it’s work which is why we’re taking our time and researching to determine what is sensible for our household and this property. We all know this received’t be straightforward or pure to us, however we hope it’ll assist our household develop in methods (similar to our pups did) and create plenty of moments of pleasure for our youngsters and our neighborhood,

Chickens???? Everybody Has Chickens!!

The apparent first alternative is chickens. The Pandemic Poultry Pet! In fact, we’d love contemporary eggs and chickens are humorous and unthreatening to children (plus they put themselves to mattress at sundown which appears mindblowing). However the extra we analysis we now have determined to take a pause on chickens for now for the next causes:

  1. Rats – I suppose our neighborhood particularly has plenty of rooster coops and plenty of rat issues. We lived in New York for 10 years. We handled rats in our house day by day. So to be sure to don’t get rats it’s essential to pour a cement pad (or so we’ve been informed) and that’s a degree of dedication that we aren’t near but.
  2. Rooster poop is an actual factor – It smells, needs to be cleaned up continuously, and might trigger ailments. We concern that this could be an excessive amount of for us. We’re idealists, however we additionally know our weaknesses.
  3. The principle purpose we needed rooster is for the day by day eggs, however in Oregon, there are such a lot of farms that we are able to purchase regionally from with the very best eggs ever so possibly our greenback is healthier spent supporting actual farmers who make this their livelihood.
  4. Coyotes – We now have a couple of massive guys that go to the property looking for bunnies, so we’d have to actually enclose and shield these chickens which once more means a monetary infrastructure that we aren’t able to decide to.

It’s not a endlessly “no,” however at present we aren’t going to get chickens (please persuade us both manner within the feedback).

Goats! Miniature, Pygmie, And Miniature Pygmie

Attempt to not purchase a child goat after going to a child goat celebration at a child goat farm. Facet word: Child goat events are Oregon’s model of LA events the place actors come in numerous character costumes (Frozen, Star Wars, pirates, superheroes, you identify it). It’s humorous how totally different states have totally different celebration industries. Briefly, child goats are so cute however they develop as much as be huge goats and I’m undecided we love huge goats as a lot as we have to. Nothing is off the desk (ha, goat/dad pun), however Brian and I aren’t at present leaning into goats for no matter purpose (okay high quality, a few of them creep me out with the entire sq. white eyes factor and sometimes their butts have quite a bit of grossness in them). Once more, whereas I understand how pretentious this all sounds I believe being trustworthy with what you like/need/want and might deal with is actually essential earlier than you decide to taking good care of one other being. We don’t take this duty calmly so we now have to really feel actually, actually good about it.

Miniature Cows? Not So Miniature!!

There’s plenty of misinformation on the market within the miniature cow world. Y’all. These cows will not be small. All those on social are miniature cow CALVES, infants. We simply visited a farm outdoors Bend the place we noticed a couple of of their “miniature” cows which come as much as my ribs and are 1000lbs. Certain, they’re shorter than normal-sized cows, however they’re so huge and nonetheless kinda terrifying! The one on the left above is a TWO-DAY-OLD BABY CALF. We even referred to as about some miniature highland cows as a result of the PR and advertising round them are so convincing, however the farm we referred to as boasted that some had been $45k every. FORTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. I don’t doubt that these are the very best on the earth and possibly the proprietor noticed my IG deal with and thought that we had been up for that funding, however I couldn’t get off the telephone quick sufficient (largely as a result of I didn’t need to waste his time). Additionally with the rain, the highland cows with lengthy hair aren’t the very best thought. Nonetheless open to the concept, however we haven’t discovered a farm that had mini cows that felt the correct match for us.

Horses? Who Doesn’t Love Horses?

All of us LOVE the concept of horses however we all know they’re an enormous duty and we don’t assume we’re prepared for that. I additionally bought bucked off by a Shetland pony once I was 9 so I nonetheless have an honest quantity of concern round them. It’s really been (hopefully) a terrific lesson to the youngsters as a result of they know I’m somewhat scared however I preserve getting again on them and so they at all times have a good time me once I do 🙂 If somebody wanted a spot to maintain their growing old horse we might completely be open to that, however for now, we aren’t pursuing adopting a horse.

PIGS! Do We Want KuneKune Pigs??

Just a few weeks in the past we met this KuneKune pig and fell in LOVE. It was so humorous, cute, and made us chuckle quite a bit. All of us instantly responded to it so positively. This pig was in Bend and didn’t have any infants, so the next weekend we went to a breeder outdoors Portland. We beloved the piglets, however we need to purchase them from a breeder that has them socialized with people from an early age. These piglets had been very scared of us as a result of they had been saved in a pen and whereas they could heat as much as us, what we’ve learn is that some are uncovered to extra animals/people early on and subsequently connect to them simpler. We don’t need to need to chase round squealing piglets all day, however boy do we would like a few of these:

We had been informed that additionally they like being in at the very least pairs so if we had been to undertake some KuneKunes we might undertake at the very least two. After which we’d cease consuming Pork (sure, even bacon) endlessly. We’ve already talked to the youngsters about it and so they have agreed.

Are Alpacas The Transfer??

Our love for Alpacas is unwavering. They’re actually humorous animals that appear to have huge personalities. We now have been to 7-8 alpaca farms now and really feel fairly darn assured that we need to undertake some. We now have been really helpful to undertake two girl alpacas, one pregnant in order that we may help elevate a child after which have three. We just like the quick curly hair versus the lengthy hair (largely due to the rain) and since we aren’t focused on breeding, individuals say that girls are higher pets. Alpacas poop in a pile (all of them! in the identical pile!) so it’s straightforward to wash up. The poop can also be value some huge cash to hashish sellers which is fascinating since we dwell in Oregon (they name it “Liquid Gold” for fertilizer). I’m positive there are a million issues about alpacas that we don’t know and but we really feel prepared for it and excited. The largest problem is that a few of the farms we went to mentioned that domesticated canine are the most important drawback/enemy and that the canine can assault them and vice versa. So thus the hog wire on the break up rail fence to ensure that they keep separate. Our different huge concern can be that our canine would by no means cease barking at them each time they went outdoors.

In order that’s the place we’re at – three alpacas and two pigs. I do know it appears so random and possibly it’s, however based mostly on our in-person analysis these are the animals that each one of us connect with probably the most and might’t WAIT to undertake. We might truthfully LOVE any and all perception, good and unhealthy. We all know we’re naive (it’s unimaginable to not be naive on this state of affairs) so we would like all the information to assist. I’ll learn each posted remark for the day I promise!!!!!! And thanks 🙂

Leave a Reply

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings