Contributors to this thread:
Farmers and Homesteaders
How many of you homestead or farm?
I bought my retirement place last July and have 4 years and 5 months until I retire again.
So I decided I needed a hobby farm to keep me busy and I am feeling out a bunch of different things to be self sufficient and maybe recoup "some" of my costs.
The fat thread breakfast posts got me thinking on the breakfast I did last weekend....
Went to the coop, let the chickens out, grabbed some eggs, stopped by the garden, grabbed a tomato, green onions, grabbed a few pieces of jowl, fryed up jowl and cooked eggs over easy in the grease, toasted a couple pieces of sourdough toast from whole red wheat, added salt and pepper to fresh tomato slices, stuck an onion on the side, grabbed the mason jar from the fridge, shook the milk to mix the cream and poured in the glass.
So far I have 3 yearling heifers (Scottish highland), since I still work I heard that they are easier maintained and eat things other cows won't so figured it would be a good starter cow. Thinking I may do a more commercial breed once retired.
I also bought 10 "rescue" chickens already laying. Plan to raise two hogs next year and am thinking Tamworth "Bacon Pig" (I love bacon).
Being I don't know what I don't know I was hoping some would share whatever on the subject to give me ideas/educate me.
Did I mention I was never really around farming and am a total newb at 52?
As I just rambled I am hoping you guys will throw out anything and give me my next great idea to try.....
I do. I have home raised meat and eggs. I grow a few vegetables but I haven’t taken on a milk cow. One marriage is enough.
I usually raise meat birds (broilers). Cornish X Rocks. From chick to processing is 8 weeks for 6.5 - 8.5lb birds. I do 20-25 per year. Fills the freezer along with the venison, etc. Easy to raise, feed, water, repeat.
I have a Jersey milk connection currently but wife thinks she wants to get one after I get hogs to feed the excess. I am good with buying it at $2 over store per gallon rather than owning the cow....Why buy the cow right..;^)
Looked into chicken tractor and Cornish cross You tube, I would have to process since processors here only do cow/pig/goat unless its deer season and one the closest quit doing deer and dropped USDA cert. Said he made enough without fooling with the other stuff....
We do the processing ourselves for the birds. About 60 total between my friend and I. Look up making an automatic plucker. It certainly is worth it and does all the work for you. I would NEVER pluck 60 birds by hand. The plucker does it in 15-20 secs per bird.
Texas long horns. They eat anything. Plus, if you can find a place with enough acres for them to roam..... hell of a bow hunt. More dangerous than most think.
I second the Texas Longhorns, we raise about 75 head of them for our Grassfed Beef program. People are always surprised at the quality of meat they provide.
We will see how the Highland horns are the next couple years. If I don't get gored those could be an option.....;^) Everybody has Angus around me and I always like to be different.
Looking at rotational grazing. The smaller woods/pasture in the south being off limits come September. Right now about 30 acres is pasture with 50 in woods and thinking 6-10 cows. A Steer for meat each year, sell rest after weaning.
Auto pucker looks like a must make....
gflight, check out raising buffalo. Need a good fence and a roll of barbwire they can knock around, they are wild critters and will stomp you but are great eating and a viable market.
I bought my small farm in 1991 and raise 5-7 head of cattle for own use and family. They keep me active and organic meat to eat. I started with a registered Scotish Highland bull and registered Polled Herfords cows. About 5 yrs ago the bull was just laying there chewing his cud and 45 minutes later he bloated and died. At least I still had a 3 yr old 50-50 Scotish Highland bull so that what I use now for breeding. I looked into buffalo but the fence expense changed my mind quickly. I had to install fence on my whole farm and use 6 stran of high tention wire electrified. Used wood corner post and I turn the every other T-post the opposite way so when the deer hit the fence it only takes out one post rather than a whole section. Before doing the T-post rotation I had whole sections of fence tore down from deer hits.
I use rotation grazing and have to replace 10-20 plastic insulators every year from the deer hits.
Our 'Habitat for Wildlife Farm' raises wildlife to eat. This is 100% organic IMO. A local farmer does crop 12 acres.
Friday I chiseled the 5 acres that will be planted to a clover mix with cover crops at the end of August.
My wife said "I want a bison", I distracted her with highlands to get where I am now.....lol
No food plot this year but the deer like that south pasture......
I just look at the farms I want to buy myself
Sounds awesome gflight. We have a nice little garden and a few layer hens. Trouble is, they are old enough now that they are just pets, they only lay a couple times a week. I'd have cooked em but the kids believe they are pets... Oh well. The garden is enough to get some veggies and fruit over the summer and fall. Tend to be eating some of it up to about thanksgiving on a good year. We dont have the space to make a bigger garden regrettably...
Your set up sounds awesome.