On the way home yesterday from seeing a particular property for the third time, we discussed what kind of critters we wanted to raise, and for what reasons. Had quite the lively conversation going. Turkeys. Guinea fowl. Even ducks and geese.
The Kid was sitting in the back seat and appeared to give serious thought to my question: "Would you eat a turkey that we raised ourselves?"
He paused for a moment. "Would I have to kill it?"
"No, honey, you'd see it on the plate, all ready to eat."
He gave it even more thought. I looked back and could practically see his wheels turning. "No. I couldn't eat something I knew."
Hmm. "So no bacon from a pig? No chicken?"
"No. Not if I knew it. Can't we just eat beans?"
"You don't like any beans but the canned baked beans!" I didn't mention, on purpose, that the canned baked beans had pork in them. "But you'd still eat eggs, right? Those are chickens that haven't started being chickens yet."
He nodded his head enthusiastically. "Yes, I love eggs!"
Hubby started to object. He believes people need a lot of protein, but I knew this would lead to an argument, so I forestalled it by saying, "And then if we have goats, you'd have all the goat milk yogurt you'd want, right? That's got a lot of protein! And you love sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds so we could grow lots of those!" (He's allergic to most nuts, except walnuts and pecans which I've started hiding in his gluten-free baked goods. Also, I grind-up dried beans to make bean flour so that adds protein too.) Back at the plenty of goat yogurt question...
Before the Kid could answer, Hubby interrupted and kinda whined, "But I want some too!"
I sighed patiently. "With 3 or 4 goats, or even a few more, and no pig or sheep or alpaca or mini-cow, we'd have plenty of goat milk to make a yogurt for everyone for practically every day. And more milk leftover to make cheese or just to drink. And we could make goat-yogurt ice cream too!"
See what I go through? Anyway, so the 13 year old Kid wants to be a vegetarian, except for eggs and dairy, and maybe every once in a while, BOUGHT bacon and fish. I'd been thinking about reducing my meat intake anyway, so maybe I'll join him. For Hubby, he will kill a chicken or quail when he wants other meat (or I'll buy some beef on sale).
Guess that solved our animal question.... Here's what I'm thinking:
- Araucana/Americana Chickens (eggs, feathers, pest-killers, fertilizer, and sometimes, meat)
- Bobwhite Quail (indoor providers of very small eggs, feathers, fertilizer and sometimes, meat)
- Nigerian Dwarf goats (high fat/high protein milk and milk products)
- Ruby Eyed White Angora rabbits (fiber, fertilizer)
- oh, and a small yippy dog and a "guard" dog
The quail and rabbits would be indoors, probably a barn or the garage. The chickens would be in a tractor-house or let free-range when I don't have seedlings that I need to protect. For the goats, we'd need about 1/2 an acre for 4 goats. That's not much land at all!
See? Looked at it logically and came to a pretty decent conclusion.
Well, I hope.