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glorfon

Animal Husbandry part 2

So which animals do we want to raise? For the record I left pigs off because they only produce meat and shit!
vov35

what the crap is an alpaca?
Zeerahks

Oh please!  No contest: cows and alpacas!

Chickens are nasty, with the only redeeming quality being eggs.
Goats...eh.  Cheese.  Maybe?  That's about it.
Sheep are good only for their wool, which we would probably only use during winter months.

Meanwhile:
Cows give us milk, butter, cream, etc etc etc. As well as, if we choose, meat that is (IMO) better than Chicken or sheep.
Alpaca give us (hypoallergenic) fleece and, if we don't mind breaking a law or two, meat.  Also, an average of 10 alpaca per acre = sell-able clothing, etc.
glorfon

alpaca

A sheep's wool could be used for making sellable clothing too.
Zeerahks

True, but people tend to value alpaca wool over sheep wool.
UnMeilleurReve

Isn't cashmere made from alpaca? I would *kill* to have my hands on that to work with....

We do realize that if we do fabrics, we're going to need a loom, a few spinning wheels, dye vats, dyes (not a problem if we grow fruits and amaranth, etc.), some weaving shuttles, etc.? Though I have to say, I am intrigued about making a functional foot-pedal operated 100 color thread loom....
Zeerahks

Hells yes!
glorfon

Cashmere comes from the belly of the cashmere goat I believe.
tuffenoughtorock

Zeerahks wrote:
Oh please!  No contest: cows and alpacas!

Chickens are nasty, with the only redeeming quality being eggs.
Goats...eh.  Cheese.  Maybe?  That's about it.
Sheep are good only for their wool, which we would probably only use during winter months.

Meanwhile:
Cows give us milk, butter, cream, etc etc etc. As well as, if we choose, meat that is (IMO) better than Chicken or sheep.
Alpaca give us (hypoallergenic) fleece and, if we don't mind breaking a law or two, meat.  Also, an average of 10 alpaca per acre = sell-able clothing, etc.



I raised chickens for 8 years, and there is nothing "nasty" about them.  They are very sweet creatures that do wonders for insect control, and their feces make great fertilizer.  They are attentive and will sound an alert if predators are nearby.  They also have the potential to live 12 years or so and take up little space.  Hell, you can free-range them and have a simple shed to put them in the nighttime.

I can't see why we would have cows, unless they would be eaten (to which I am opposed).  They eat more, may need expensive vet attention if injured or birthing, and also (if breeding) dealing with bulls and sick calves.  

Alpacas are unfamiliar to me, so I don't have too much of an opinion about them.  But if you want to use any animal for wool or fiber, you better know how to handle and shear them.  It can be very dangerous for the handler and animal.
UnMeilleurReve

In that case, Christie (because your sn is too long!):

I'd be almost good for cashmere goats, lol. Alpaca wool is supposed to be superior to sheep wool, so we might want to go for alpacas.

Also, if we're hoping to be able to sustain 45 people and are capping ourselves at 20 people, then we should be able to keep cows pretty easily.

Also, chickens are only really nasty if they aren't handled properly or often enough. That goes for any animal, really.

However, if we do have animals, we are going to want to have a vet of some sort available.

We're also going to want to have somebody experienced enough in handling and caring for them as a member that can teach us as well as take care of animals.
tuffenoughtorock

Erm...I'm still skeptical about cows, though.  What will they eat in the winter?  I've also had horses for years and they eat alot.  It can cost upwards to hundreds of dollars for feed and hay in the wintertime (unless you bale your own hay, which my father has done) but there are still the costs of maintaining a tractor, buying fuel, and purchasing expensive equipment.

And if a cow gets sick, you are looking at thousands of dollars for vet bills and medication.  Even the simple task of vaccinating them is costly.

And the issue of water.  Unless there is a creek nearby that can sustain large animals, we would have to deal with hauling water, or setting up an underground water system.

Don't get me wrong, my goal isn't to shoot down the idea of having cattle, just the fact that they are expensive and I don't want them to suffer because we can't take care of them.
My neighbors have cows, and I know several people who have raised cattle their entire lives and they are a full-time committment.
UnMeilleurReve

I've got a friend in Idaho who kept a single cow and let it use their acreage as pasture. If we're considering sheep, cows, and alapaca, we may want to set aside a plot of land to be pasture and figure out how much we can sustain. We can also grow our own hay.

Additionally, this should probably be put in a different thread, but so far it almost seems as if we're planning on manually harvesting and growing. If we're not, we do need to look into equipment: donations or applications of funding toward this purpose might be a good idea. It would also make feeding our animals easier.

So, new thread for farm-equipment? And remember, tractors, etc., require gas, which requires money and pollution...
Guest

I say neither.  We need to learn to live independently and not rely on animals for our own needs and purposes.  Besides, I hope everyone realizes how much effort and committment these types of animals require.

And besides, someone mentioned the idea of having cows/goats for milk, etc....like all other types of mammals, a cow or goat is going to need to be bred in order to produce milk.  What are we to do with all the young that are born out of it?  

There is a reason why we and all other types of mammals are weaned at a certain age...we don't need milk anymore!
Zeerahks

Well...true, we don't necessarily need milk, and we don't need the huge amounts of calcium and vitamin D that we are given.  But we do need some, though we'll probably be able to get what we need from the vegetables we raise.

As for harvesting, I am strongly opposed to using any petrol-powered devices anywhere.  So, either we do it by hand (a lot of work, but fortunately it's not that large of an area) or we somehow use mechanical (non-electric) means of harvesting.
glorfon

As far as pasture most of our green space (around houses and what not) we can let the animals graze on.  And in the winter they can eat corn & hay.

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