Thursday, November 15, 2012

Down to just 4

I have finished butchering all the Freedom Ranger meat birds. And I sold all my "un-laying" laying pullets except the 4 Red Stars and the Americana rooster, who will be going to a new home soon. So just 4 hens now. The least amount of chickens I have ever had. There are 2 of the RS that have been laying a beautiful dark brown egg every day now for the past 2 1/2 months. And they are ALL the same age. So they are all gone except these 4.

I was talking to a guy the other day who has a lot of Nubian goats, that if the animals on my farm aren't producing something, like meat, eggs, wool, milk, they have to go. I don't have the room or money to keep a farm animal that's not giving back. I have had Abby, my Lamancha doe, for about 8 years now. She'll be 12 in Feb. She just dried herself up last week. I went from a pint to nothing in a day. She should be bred again, but after this, I won't be breeding her again. The last 2 years, it's taken a few months to get to where we could drink her milk. I guess that happens with age? SO I was telling this guy that I'll need to find a goat retirement farm for her to live out the rest of her days. He said he keeps all his animals til they die. He said he wouldn't want to live on my farm.

But really. What do y'all do with older, non-producing animals on your farms? I don't think I could butcher Abby. I have had her too long for that. Or my ewes. And I will not take any of them to a sale barn at this age. That would be animal cruelty for sure. I might be able to butcher for dog food maybe. If I had to. If there were no other options. But he said he would let her live there the rest of her life. So I said I would bring her next year about this time if she's still living. And I'll come visit.


Kristin said...

With the exception of my kids' silkies and ducks (and to be honest, my 2 indoor kitty cats), we have a rule that animals must carry their weight around here.

I am glad you found a home for Abby. I'm not sure what I'll do with my girls when they're too old to be bred. Fortunately they're only 6, 6 and 2 now. I suppose I'll try to find them a free home where they'll be pets or something. Or maybe I'll be a softy and let them live out their retirement here in exchange for their years of service. I'm sure it will depend somewhat on the state of the world at the time.

What do you mean by taking a couple months to drink Abby's milk? Colostrum in it that long?

Kris said...

Well, this spring, Abby's milk was just awful for a few months. It took that long to get to where it was drinkable. But after that, it was good. And I remember last year it took awhile too. So I was wondering if age had something to do with that. She has no Toggenburg in her at all.

Kristin said...

Eww yuck, I hope my girls don't do that. I've heard it should be good after 2 weeks or so. I'm breeding Kat again the last week of Nov and bringing Onyx back to Carrollton in Dec. I need to get these girls bred!!!

Kris said...

I never have had this happen with any of the others. I did have a Togg. doe who's milk was totally nasty all the time. I hope all mine a re bred now. I put John Henry in with Abby and Zarah for a little while yesterday and nothing happened. He acted a little bucky of course. So I moved the boys up front, I have someone bringing a doe to breed this weekend.