July 29, 2013

Raising Livestock: the Regulars

Although we've had some "temporary" or "short term" livestock projects, such as the waterfowl, the animals we've raised for the freezer, and others that were here just for awhile, but for some reason did not work out, we've had permanent residents as well.

When we moved to Oak Hill, we brought three goats and half a dozen chickens, our pet dogs and indoor cats. We also brought rabbits with us, but they died off in the heat of our first summer. We tried again several years later, but have decided that the summers in Oklahoma are just too brutal for raising rabbits. We know others who have done it successfully, but we cannot.

However, the goats and chickens, dogs and cats have always been here. We added a horse soon after moving here, and have a few more of those now. All of these are considered "permanent".

I started out raising buff orpington chickens, and had quite a nice flock for awhile, but now I have a motley assortment of half a dozen mixed-breed hens and a couple of roosters. They provide eggs for our family, although they are several years old now and don't lay well in the winter or the middle of summer.

My dairy goats are a staple, although I'm on my second herd now. After I lost my first herd of Nubians in a barn fire in January 2012, some of my dear friends made sure I had replacements. I now have a small registered herd that will be bred this year and give me kids and milk this spring, Lord willing. I'm eagerly looking forward to that.

Our barn cats hunt gophers, mice and rats, as well as the occasional grasshopper and moth. We have three indoor cats as well; I am in danger of being a crazy cat lady when I am old. A wonderful benefit of my indoor cats is that they alert me to scorpions in the house. The ones on the white ceiling are easy to spot, but the only way I've found the ones on the brown tile floor and tan carpeting is because the cats told me they were there.

Cracker, our outside dog, guards our property and livestock from coyotes and other predators. I can't make a go of things without outside dogs; I tried last summer and I KNOW that a good dog is worth its weight in dog food.

I love my goats and horses, and I hope I will have them for years to come, but I do realize that I am getting older. I will enjoy them for as long as I can, hopefully for many more years.

Previous posts in this series:

Raising Livestock: Freezer Bound

Raising Livestock: Webbed Feet

Raising Livestock: Just Because

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  1. I love Buffs!
    We have not had chickens for a couple of years. We took a break. I do miss them at times.
    When we have time to put together a chicken tractor we will have them again.

  2. Hi Sandra, I miss my buffs too! I hope you will be able to have more chickens soon.


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