Monday, June 13, 2011

Lessons From the Farm

I'm quickly realizing that living on a real farm is a whole lot more involved than I thought. See, I'd read tons of books about homesteading, raising animals, and gardens and thought " I can do that!" It has become apparent that the people who wrote all those books didn't have a houseful of kids. They don't tell you that if you're on top of your outside chores rest assured that the inside of your home looks like a tornado has been through it. Here's a couple more things I've learned.

* goats really believe that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I'm now convinced whoever uttered that phrase was a goat owner.
* goats have the ability to squeeze through holes the size of an apple...really I've watched them!
* chickens will roost high in trees and will make you look like a crazy person while you stand underneath and shake sticks while yelling " I'm trying to save you from the coons you ninnies!!"
* said chickens will also refuse to use the coop that you and your dad painstaking finished so your children will be required to hold chicken chasing events every night at sundown.
* my free range chickens don't seem to understand that the coop is for laying eggs- they do not go in a makeshift nest in the middle of poison ivy and briers!
* lunch may or may not be served unless the children remind their mother since she's out chasing animals or weeding the garden
* a hour a day is not enough time in our new garden. I'm thinking it's going to require at least 2 hours a day.
* everything costs more than it should and you will need more lumber/fencing/chicken wire than you planned on.

I've had some set backs and some things just haven't worked out at all the way I though they would. However, we love our farm and animals. The kids get along better than I've ever seen them. We have slowed down and are enjoying life. What more could you want?


~Sara said...

It's all a learning experience. Sounds like you are doing a great job.

It took awhile for our chickens to lay in their nesting boxes. I found eggs all over. They now typically always come to the box to lay. It took about 6 months.

Also, our chickens are free ranged in the evenings. At sundown they always return to the coop to roost. Maybe this will eventually happen for you too.

Good luck!

ohiomommy said...

my suggestion for your chickens is to pen them up for a few days, maybe even weeks, until they realize the coop is perfectly fine for them. I kept mine penned in the run for a while, and when turned out they happily return before sundown. they just come and go in and out all day long.

Anonymous said...

Amen! Our chickens have a pen and most often lay in the nest boxes, however, even with 8 acres of our own to roam, they find the neighbor's yard much more enticing! And my two hours in the garden still seem to end up turning into more like four. I've also been guilty of feeding my kids dinner at 8 pm, because the "just let me finish weeding this one last bed" would turn into "well, it was tomatoes and time to string another string up before they fell to the ground" and "while I'm stringing, I might as well add another line to the peppers and eggplant too!" ha, ha! we love our quiet life - sometimes me more than the kids! :)i enjoy checking in on your blog from time to time! dacia at armydairymom at yahoo dot com