17 Mar ’16
I don't know how to word this to search for it, so if it has been discussed before please guide me to the right forum or topic!
We live just inside the city limits. We are not allowed to even have chickens in the city limits. We purchased 17 acres of land about 60% wooded 40% field for a cabin. There is a garage, with electric and a lagoon on the property but no well. We are not sure if we want to build a small cabin or maybe just park a camper there. We will eventually have a well drilled but for now there is a flowing well open to the public just 2 miles down the road. I have for many years wanted to raise our own livestock, Cows, pigs, goats and chickens. I have a large garden in town and plan on planting a larger garden at the "cabin". Year after year its just not working out for us to actually live in the country. So I thought my dream of raising our own quality food was just not going to happen. But then I drove past a large field of cows with no house in site and it made me think. Do I really need to live where my livestock lives? As in can I live in town and have a farm about 6 miles away at the cabin? I would of course go there everyday, twice a day if need be. I have plans on hauling water with our 4 wheeler and a water tank in a trailer from the flowing well down the road for the garden. I could haul water for the livestock also. ultimately I would like to have 4 beef cows, 2 calves and 2 one year olds staggered so we had 2 ready to butcher each year(I hope that makes sense). 2 pigs, and a few goats(maybe) for milking along with a few hens for laying and once a year a batch of meat bird chickens.
I should add that I grew up on a farm so farm chores are not new to me. But we lived on the farm, everyone that I knew that had farm animals lived on their farm. It only occurred to me after I saw the cows in a field no where near the "protection" of a homestead that maybe I don't need to actually live there. Am I crazy for thinking this way? I am a stay at home mom and my youngest is now 14, my husband works out of town a lot so I have lots of time on my hands.
It would be really great if this were doable! Any advice?
It is doable but My concern would be safety of the animals and if they get out. Pigs are very smart and can become a nuisance with breaking out, we had some a couple years ago that got out no matter what I did, the neighbors were always calling and telling me the pigs were in their backyard eating pine cones. Luckily they were cool with it.
Have you tried addressing the town selectboard about changing the zoning to allow chickens?
I would do it with low maintenance animals, chickens, turkeys, even a cow or two, pigs and goats I would be hesitant with unless I was right there.
Another option would be to contact a local farmer and explain your situation, they might be willing to allow you to raise your animals along with theirs in exchange for farm chores. I have done it with pigs over the years, I don't like raising an animal by itself so I find out which of my friend wants a pig and we raise them together, we split the feed, chores, etc.
6 Oct ’15
I think K is on the money. Try a couple of small/simple critters. See how that goes. Maybe the daily commute or hauling water might not work out like you plan (been there).
A good enclosure is important, to keep the critters in and the predators out.
You certainly can have a couple of garden beds and I bet you will do great at that.
What K 'neglected' to tell you...is that his pigs got out because he used zip ties to 'keep' them in...okay, gotta run....
6 Oct ’15
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