Meet the Critters

We’ve been on our little farmstead for almost two years now so it’s still a work in progress.  Ultimately we’d like to be more self-sufficient and want to grow or raise most of our own food.

For us, farm animals were the easiest to start with.  When we purchased our home, the previous owners offered us their donkey, Precious.  They had already relocated their chickens and rabbits but were unable to find a home for Precious so we decided to keep her.  She’s not the most friendly donkey but she’s a GREAT guard donkey.

Precious the donkey

We also had an existing chicken coop so it was a natural choice to get chickens.  My husband had a co-worker who was looking to relocate four older hens because he was having a problem with snakes on his property and the hens were timid and scared so we ended up giving them a home also.

Our rescue chickens: Big Momma, Big Red, Little Red and Blondie
Our rescue chickens: Big Momma, Big Red, Little Red and Blondie

 

Little Red
Little Red

 

And then the insanity set in.  I decided four chickens weren’t enough.  It was spring and I had chick fever!  Off to feed store we went and I came home with three Barred Rock chicks.  They were the last of the chicks at the feed store we went to so, of course, I had to bring them home!

Barred Rock Chicks
Barred Rock Chicks

A week later my “chick fever” still hadn’t been cured so I came home from the feed store with more chicks.  A half-dozen Buff Orpingtons this time.

Buff Orpington Chicks

These 13 chickens would make up our main flock for the next year…until I started hatching their eggs…but that’s another story.

The next addition to our little farmstead were quail.  The chickens were providing us with eggs but no meat.  I had just started reading about the benefits of raising quail and my husband happened to mention one weekend that he loved to eat quail.  I did not know this!  My husband is not much for sharing.  The little light bulb in my head came one and I said we should start raising quail and…he agreed!

So off to Craig’s List I went to find a local breeder who would sell me some quail.  We found Japanese Coturnix Quail for sale from a local breeder and that was the start of our quail adventure!

Japanese Coturnix Quail
Japanese Coturnix Quail

Next came ducks…

Pekin Ducks
Pekin Ducks

 

Then the rabbits…

Californian Rabbits - one of the best breeds for meat
Californian Rabbits – one of the best breeds for meat

And then finally, the Narragansett Turkeys…

Narragansett Turkeys
Narragansett Turkey Poults

These are all of the critters we have…for now.  This spring, we’re hoping to add goats and sheep. But first…we have to get back to working on our garden.

I’ll be blogging more about our animal adventures so stay tuned!

4 thoughts on “Meet the Critters

  1. You have some of the animals I want but don’t have, and I have some that you want but don’t have. Do you have the ducks and chickens live together? How much does your donkey eat? Looks like fun, I am looking forward to poking around your blog more.

    1. The ducks and chickens are separated. We keep our chickens in a coop with a large run. The ducks have free reign of the back acreage since they’re too heavy to fly off. Precious, the donkey, eats from the back acreage and we give her a little sweet feed everyday as a treat. She’s sneaky though and figured out how to get at the duck’s bulk feeder so we’ve had to close that section of the yard off. We had opened the gate so they could wander out back and had put a couple of wires across the opening to help keep her out. She figured out that she could step through the two wires and started eating their feed. Sneaky devil!

      1. Cool. I need to build a bigger coop this spring and want to find a way to incorporate the ducks(if added), chickens, sheep, and maybe rabbits. You live further south than me in Michigan correct?

      2. Yes, I’m in Texas. I don’t think I could take the cold in Michigan. I’m already having a tough time with the winters we have here and they’re nothing like the winters up north! The ducks are pretty easy once they’re bigger. It’s when they’re little that they’re a pain. So messy! It’s so much better now that they can roam in the back. I’m really hoping to get goats and sheep soon. Just waiting for our weather to warm up some. Good luck with your future additions! I can’t wait to hear about them.

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