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Ethical Carnivores

Discussion in 'Livestock Guardians' started by JoyfulGoats, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. Feb 28, 2017
    JoyfulGoats

    JoyfulGoats Ridin' The Range

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    Once we move to our farm, I am considering the possibility of getting a cat for mice/rats, or a dog to guard the animals. However, I don't feel comfortable giving them standard dog or cat food, since the animals in it come from industrial farms that don't treat the animals right. Since one of the reasons why I want livestock in the first place is to have animal products from happy animals, then it seems wrong to then get a cat or dog that wouldn't eat the same way.

    Do any of you feed your cats or dogs with the animals you raise? If so, how many animals do you need and how does it work?
     
  2. Feb 28, 2017
    NH homesteader

    NH homesteader True BYH Addict

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    I agree with you on a philosophical level, and I've tried to do that. It would have worked fine for one of my dogs but the other has very high nutritional needs and I struggled with having enough to keep weight on her. I am unsure of the exact requirements though. I started a thread about it on here.I'll try to find it but my phone doesn't always cooperate.
     
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  3. Feb 28, 2017
    NH homesteader

    NH homesteader True BYH Addict

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  4. Feb 28, 2017
    JoyfulGoats

    JoyfulGoats Ridin' The Range

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    Of course if a dog has special needs, then we have no choice, but I would like to know if it would be at all possible. I'm not sure it would be in my case though, because I don't have the buildings to house hundreds of animals, but maybe a cat would be possible. I don't know, just an idea. I'll check out your thread, thank you!
     
  5. Feb 28, 2017
    NH homesteader

    NH homesteader True BYH Addict

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    She doesn't have special needs per se, she's a hunting dog with super high metabolism!

    I don't know about LGD breeds, they may also have higher needs. I'm curious to hear if anyone has more experience as I feel the same way as you!
     
  6. Feb 28, 2017
    JoyfulGoats

    JoyfulGoats Ridin' The Range

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    I just meant different needs since she needs more food. From what I found online, it would seem that I would maybe need 40 chickens per year for one cat. That is a lot of food, but maybe doable. I could do two batches of 25 chickens. But I'm thinking that maybe I should do without for now since we are just starting out. I'll just hope my neighbours' cats chase the mice :lol:. Maybe I'll get a mule to guard instead (apparently they work fairly well). I've seen a few people selling some this winter, but there are no breeders that I know of in my area. There is only one, but they are miniature mules. I'd be interested in the draft mules. I guess I have a lot of research to do! My family isn't too fond of having a dog, but I've wanted one since I was little.
     
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  7. Feb 28, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard True BYH Addict

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    I'd love to hear more about that statement if you don't mind.
    I'm not familiar with the term "industrial farm" either.
     
  8. Feb 28, 2017
    NH homesteader

    NH homesteader True BYH Addict

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    Industrial farm= CAFO, I assume
     
  9. Feb 28, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    That ideal is too hard for most of us to accomplish. I feed my dogs kibble with the occasional farm treat. I canned chicken backs last summer with rice and vegetables and they get one of those quart jars once in a while, but honestly, I just don't have the want to or the time to raise and process all their food.

    I think you mean a donkey and not a mule. Even donkeys have to be trained to other livestock.
     
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  10. Feb 28, 2017
    JoyfulGoats

    JoyfulGoats Ridin' The Range

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    I think the term usually used in english is factory farms? In just translated the french term since I couldn't remember the other. For example, in factory farms, the animals are kept in cramped spaces, often they are dirty, the chickens have their beaks trimmed to avoid pecking since they are so tightly packed. I also saw a hidden camera video where the people went to see a turkey slaughterhouse, and the turkeys were hung by their feet on a turning thing that passed them through a blade, but depending on how the turkey moved (since it was scared), the blade would hit something else and cause unnecessary suffering. The male chicks of the egg industry are ground up alive, etc. I do not feel comfortable supporting this type of farming. We've been eating eggs and meat from small organic (and grassfed for red meat) farms, where we actually know the animals are free range, not just the so called "free range" that just means in a fence with a cement floor outside for a tiny bit each day, or "cage free" where they are still just as cramped, just not seperated in cages.

    I agree with you Baymule, I think it won't be possible to raise them with my own meat. It would be too expensive. I did mean a mule though, haha. Not a very common animal, I suppose. Usually donkeys are used to guard livestock if LGDs aren't, but I do prefer a mule. I would try to train her, but even if she didn't guard, it wouldn't be the end of the world. I'd want her for riding, and also the fact that draft mules are very big might make a smaller predator think twice.