Overwhelmed

claire1

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
10
Points
26
Nothing wrong with reassessing, and deciding to get rid of some, or even all...

Build infrastructure, and then start over.

Decide what gives you joy, keep that, and get rid of what gives you too much stress.

I have to say... if the kune kunes aren't giving you joy.... I would get rid of them first. But then, I am soured on kune kunes. We tried them last year, fed them over the winter, SLOW growing pigs! We butchered them this summer, and they were NOT very big, but they were VERY fat. The sausage off of them (and I love pork sausage) is almost oily/greasy. Just, way too fatty, all through the meat too, so no way to really make the sausage less fatty.

They were very laid back and easy to handle, so didn't need the high quality fence a "regular" pig would.
But, uh... yeah... disappointed.

A couple of years back we raised a "regular" pig. And that sucker grew fast and huge, great meat. Not as easy to handle though... definitely don't want to toss the kids in the pig pen with a "regular" pig....

Goats... I had goats for years.. I never did manage to fence them... but then I refused to spend money on fence. (I live out in the country and I did manage to train them to not wander too far. I did lock them in the barn at night).

So, for goats, I would recommend buying quality fence.

Chickens and ducks are easier to fence, and can be fenced with fish net tacked between trees... or anything really.

For supplies I would check at all dumps and see if they have construction trash you can root through. Also stop at all construction sites and ask if you can look at their trash. Stop at any business that generates pallets and ask if you can have them (i got a bunch from an internet place that gets their internet dishes on pallets), ask at window replacement businesses for the old fogged windows that they remove from houses. Also, I found a bunch of stuff on Facebook free pages, and some from Craigslist free pages.

Collect a bunch of great junk, bring it home, sort through it, and build stuff.

For the coops I built out of scrounged junk... I laid everything out on the lawn and parking area. I kept rearranging stuff until I saw how it would fit together, then screwed it together.

As to hauling water? You have kids? Make the kids haul the water. I found my kids learned way better, and were way more obedient when they were physically tired. Hauling water and hauling wood every morning was an excellent start to the day.
LOL on the kids hauling water... !! Our neighbors find everything and anything at garage sales, junkyards, Craigslist, you name it.

Our neighbors have no barn yet, and they plan on a shed. Right now the horses are their protectors but with with sheep lambing twice a year and the goats sometimes twins, we are going to clear our big barn/shed of the 30 yrs worth of junk and put up gates inside and troughs for food, water so they can lamb/kid safely and stay there. The lambs need to be warm as well as the kids, but they all will get too cold during the winter months. We have cougars and bears and I do not believe that their open shed plan will keep the animals safe. IDK.
 

claire1

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
10
Points
26
This must be a typo. Optimal temperature for chicks is 90 - 95 degrees.

excellent article!!!

I also found that if you have feather dusters + the heat lamp (both hung correctly) they will gather under them and be very happy chicks. My It is probably a typo or more likely a memory loss thing... *it's been years since I had my own brood* so thank you for the correction.
 

secuono

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
7,057
Reaction score
8,238
Points
553
Location
Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
For years I've dreamed of having livestock. We have that, now. Sorta. But now that we have them, I'm feeling burned out or something. Tired. A bit annoyed, too, I guess. We just moved to a new house and part of my aggravation is that we don't have areas set up for the different critters (yet). Part of it is our new place doesn't have an outside spigot so I'm hauling water via bucket and I'm not used to doing it that way. And then there's the animals:

Got Muscovy ducks about a year and a half ago. All of them died except one female and our male. The female has laid 3 clutches. Only her first clutch was successfully hatched out and even then, most of the ducklings died. Ended up with 3 babies, which I eventually sold because I figured she'd hatch out more and I wasn't prepared to send them to freezer camp. Well, the last two attempts in hatching out eggs resulted in duds, a dead duckling, and disappearing eggs.
Now we're at our new house and since we're still working on fencing and whatnot, they have the new yard to free-range. But where do they want to hang out? On the back porch. So I have all these lovely "gifts" in the morning to spray off. Which means dragging the hose from the front yard because, again, no backyard spigot.

Got chickens but even after leaving them cooped for days so they'd know where to sleep and lay eggs, they refuse to go where they're supposed to. Instead, just like the ducks, they're trying to sleep on the porch. As for the eggs? I have no idea where they're laying them! Fencing an area for them would help, I know. But it's slow going. And, apparently, my husband and I have ZERO idea how to make a stupid gate so...

The Kunes are just starting to get interested in breeding but it hit me the other day...how will we slaughter their babies when they're old enough to eat? We're in-town so we can't shoot them. We had the WORST time moving them to our new house so I can't imagine trying to load them up and "off" them somewhere out of town. And I discovered we have one (new) butcher in our area and he's full up for who knows how long so that option doesn't work, either. In the meantime, while I love my big 'ole lawn turds, they eat sooooo much! I'm starting to wonder if they're (financially) worth it.

Then there's the 2 Nigerian Dwarf does I bought a couple of months ago. They'd been kept with a buck and were supposed to be pregnant. Except, they don't appear to be at all. Unless the timing was off. Guess we'll know for sure by the end of November. But I'm looking at them and highly doubting it...

So I've got ducks that can't seem to hatch out ducklings (meat source), chickens who are laying eggs heaven knows where, pigs that I'm not sure we'll be able to slaughter, and goats that were supposed to have kids and produce milk but, odds are, aren't pregnant.

I feel like I'm feeding animals and they're not giving anything back. Well, except poop.

Does anyone else ever feel overwhelmed and tired when it comes to raising animals?
This is my dream but I'm starting to feel like giving up. Or cutting back.
Feeling this way makes me feel guilty. Especially since my husband has done soooo much to accommodate this dream of mine. Even to the point of moving us to a place with more property. I also worry that as soon as I sell, say, the pigs then food prices are going to skyrocket and I'll regret getting rid of them.

Thoughts? Encouragement?

Buy a lot of garden hose and hook it up to a sink to water them. I do this in winter. You can buy a 300+ gallon trough, fill it and use that water to bucket out to the others.

Sell off the geese, you can buy new ones later.
Same with the chickens. Both are cheap to restart later on.
Need to keep them locked up 2+ weeks and chase them into the coop each night for 3-6wks for them to relearn. Without a fenced area, you won't find the eggs until they start to explode or you sit out there all day and watch them/follow them. Lock them up until noon-1pm, they should be, mostly, done laying by then.
Butchers around here are usually full up 3-6mo ahead of time. And because of covid, 1-2 years for some. A very heavy, well placed 🪓 might work, especially if you butcher them younger. Or sell the young for others to eat/breed. How in town are you? You may still be able to shoot them.
You can send off blood to check pregnancy in the goats. And without much of a secure, working farm, it would be best if they are not bred and kidding out until next year or later.

I bought and sold lots of animals before I found the ones that fit just right. Better to sell them now than be forced to give them away or them somehow suffer not having the right space, fencing, $ to care for them.
If I could get DH to sell and move, I'd sell my sheep, dogs, cat, cavies, indoor fish to get out of here. Only keeping my horses, indoor cat/dog and the koi. But no luck and everything is too expensive out there. Good for selling high, but then you have to buy at a high price. Owning a horse is not better than renting, that's what I've learned. Both have so many cons, it really seems even. =/
 

Genipher

True BYH Addict
Joined
Oct 9, 2011
Messages
635
Reaction score
679
Points
273
Location
Oregon
Nothing wrong with reassessing, and deciding to get rid of some, or even all...

Build infrastructure, and then start over.

Decide what gives you joy, keep that, and get rid of what gives you too much stress.

I have to say... if the kune kunes aren't giving you joy.... I would get rid of them first. But then, I am soured on kune kunes. We tried them last year, fed them over the winter, SLOW growing pigs! We butchered them this summer, and they were NOT very big, but they were VERY fat. The sausage off of them (and I love pork sausage) is almost oily/greasy. Just, way too fatty, all through the meat too, so no way to really make the sausage less fatty.

They were very laid back and easy to handle, so didn't need the high quality fence a "regular" pig would.
But, uh... yeah... disappointed.

A couple of years back we raised a "regular" pig. And that sucker grew fast and huge, great meat. Not as easy to handle though... definitely don't want to toss the kids in the pig pen with a "regular" pig....

Goats... I had goats for years.. I never did manage to fence them... but then I refused to spend money on fence. (I live out in the country and I did manage to train them to not wander too far. I did lock them in the barn at night).

So, for goats, I would recommend buying quality fence.

Chickens and ducks are easier to fence, and can be fenced with fish net tacked between trees... or anything really.

For supplies I would check at all dumps and see if they have construction trash you can root through. Also stop at all construction sites and ask if you can look at their trash. Stop at any business that generates pallets and ask if you can have them (i got a bunch from an internet place that gets their internet dishes on pallets), ask at window replacement businesses for the old fogged windows that they remove from houses. Also, I found a bunch of stuff on Facebook free pages, and some from Craigslist free pages.

Collect a bunch of great junk, bring it home, sort through it, and build stuff.

For the coops I built out of scrounged junk... I laid everything out on the lawn and parking area. I kept rearranging stuff until I saw how it would fit together, then screwed it together.

As to hauling water? You have kids? Make the kids haul the water. I found my kids learned way better, and were way more obedient when they were physically tired. Hauling water and hauling wood every morning was an excellent start to the day.
Funnily enough, my husband just asked me a couple days ago if the pigs still "give me joy".

The big thing for me is that I look at their trusting, squishy faces and I start feeling guilty about getting rid of them. And we went through SO MUCH trouble to get them to our new home, I'd hate for it to be all for nothing. But...they're causing more stress than joy these days so....

Love the rest of your advice. Thank you.
 

Genipher

True BYH Addict
Joined
Oct 9, 2011
Messages
635
Reaction score
679
Points
273
Location
Oregon
Buy a lot of garden hose and hook it up to a sink to water them. I do this in winter. You can buy a 300+ gallon trough, fill it and use that water to bucket out to the others.

Sell off the geese, you can buy new ones later.
Same with the chickens. Both are cheap to restart later on.
Need to keep them locked up 2+ weeks and chase them into the coop each night for 3-6wks for them to relearn. Without a fenced area, you won't find the eggs until they start to explode or you sit out there all day and watch them/follow them. Lock them up until noon-1pm, they should be, mostly, done laying by then.
Butchers around here are usually full up 3-6mo ahead of time. And because of covid, 1-2 years for some. A very heavy, well placed 🪓 might work, especially if you butcher them younger. Or sell the young for others to eat/breed. How in town are you? You may still be able to shoot them.
You can send off blood to check pregnancy in the goats. And without much of a secure, working farm, it would be best if they are not bred and kidding out until next year or later.

I bought and sold lots of animals before I found the ones that fit just right. Better to sell them now than be forced to give them away or them somehow suffer not having the right space, fencing, $ to care for them.
If I could get DH to sell and move, I'd sell my sheep, dogs, cat, cavies, indoor fish to get out of here. Only keeping my horses, indoor cat/dog and the koi. But no luck and everything is too expensive out there. Good for selling high, but then you have to buy at a high price. Owning a horse is not better than renting, that's what I've learned. Both have so many cons, it really seems even. =/
Yeah, I've bought and sold so many animals, trying to find what works for us. Seems "what works" keeps fluctuating.

Oh, we're pretty "in town". Living on the same road as the hospital. Our neighbors has a mini horse, though, so animals don't seem to be an issue. Or, at lleast I thought so until I got a note from a different neighbor complaining about the pigs. Anyway, definitely can't shoot guns where we're at. My husband keeps saying we can just cut the pigs' throats when it's time to slaughter but I don't know that, if it came down to it, that he could. We also would have to slaughter the piglets shortly after weaning because we don't have the space (or permits) to raise them until they're bigger. Wouldn't be a lot of pork.

I'll look for a longer hose. I like the idea of filling the trough and dipping water from it.
 

Mini Horses

Herd Master
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
5,256
Reaction score
14,587
Points
538
Location
S coastal VA
I think you just got too much "joy" at once! 🤗 😁

Sooooo easy to do. Our dreams are huge, right? Cut back and ease through it. Even now, after 50 yrs of a farm, I still have to reign myself in!! :old;) you see utopia and live in reality. I admire your husband for working to make you happy. He loves you very much to be tolerant of both the animals and your moods. Starting a farm is tough -- in town, that's really a challenge. I'd think the pigs would be the hardest, given neighbors are close. I can say that cutting their throat would be very hard as skin is really tough and they don't have close vein to bleed out. Find a butcher for them. 🤫👍
 

2goatgal

Chillin' with the herd
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
4
Points
26
Moving is hard, moving animals is harder work, trying to build infrastructure is double hard work. I get it.

We moved to our 8 acres with horses, dogs and chickens. I had a water spigot in front and back. Had to connect several hoses and drag them out, then roll them back up. That got real old.

Build a run on the chicken coop and keep them in it. Do likewise with the ducks. I tried Muscovy ducks, total failure. Plus the extra work of water, more mess, water, did I mention poop festival? When they finally hatched out a very few ducklings, I was estatic—-until rats killed them all. Then my male Great Pyrenees decided they were on the menu. He killed and ate several, lunging at me to defend his kill. I darn near beat him to death with a pine branch. Verdict: I’m not a duck farmer. If I had a pond and didn’t have to provide a pool and clean it, maybe. But I’ll never again have messy ducks I have to pile all that extra work on myself in order to have them.

On the pigs, I don’t know how you loaded them, but it sounds like it didn’t work out too well. I raise feeder pigs every year. I never have a problem loading then to go to slaughter. First, have your slaughter pugs in a separate pen from the breeding stock. Yes, you can load one or two up, take them for a ride. Shoot in the head, drive home. Drag out, hand, gut and process. Here’s how I load with no stress and no problems. I don’t feed them the day before. My husband backs the trailer up, we open the back gate and I squeeze a couple of hard boiled eggs and drop them. Hungry hogs have to get in the trailer to eat them. I drop a couple more halfway in the trailer and the rest in the front of the trailer. We loaded up 3 big hogs a few weeks ago, biggest close to 400 pounds. Boiled eggs are my secret weapon.

Since you have kune kune you may need to build a smaller holding pen inside their pen. Feed them in it so they are comfortable. Build a short loading ramp, object is to raise them up enough to walk into the trailer so they can’t walk under it and give you a wild pig round up. You will need a gate for the small holding pen so they can’t escape. Once in the loading chute, you will need a gate so they can’t back out.

Move slow, be patient and lure them with boiled eggs and an empty belly. I even loaded a 820 pound boar with boiled eggs.

Do you know someone in the county that would be ok with you pulling up in their driveway to shoot your pigs? Randomly shooting on the side of the road will get you a visit from a sheriffs deputy. It’s illegal to shoot a firearm on the road.

What you are feeling is completely normal. We all get overwhelmed at times.

Water. Measure out where you want water spigots. Buy all the pvc pipe and fittings. Be sure and get a cut off valve for EVERY spigot. Rent a trencher and in a weekend, you should get most of it done. Be sure to check for underground electrical, phone, gas, sewer, etc lines before digging
My next door neighbor dispatched 2 pigs one Sunday morning with 2 22cal bullets to each head. It wasnt loud enough or long enough to attract any undue attention. I don't think you need to worry about that part of the process.
 

Jesusfreak101

Herd Master
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
2,734
Reaction score
6,479
Points
363
Location
Texas
Take it from a pregnant mama of four young children. Getting rid of animals temporarly isnt something to feel guilty about. I got rid of my 10 goats, 3pigs, 100 chickens, several ducks, all the rabbits, and even our cow. I plan to get more animals once i am able to again but one wasnt worth the stress and we also looking at moving. The animals like the person who brings the food but find them another home that does the same is not a bad thing either. Right now all we have is 16 chickens and 10 ducks or so. Try to cut back until your better able to handle the care load and more adjusted to your new home. Allow yourself to dream of what you want and how you want things breeders might not be the answer right now but you can get a burtcher hog pretty easily in most areas. There always animals for sale and you can save and invest in the ones you want when you decided to go back. Also some times chickens take several weeks to adjust to new enviroments my husband built a new coop out meat birds liked it just fine but my egg layers refused to live in it. You might need to make small adjustments until they are happy to live in it if after a week or more they still refuse. Laying hens like coops that are darker and less areas to see out of atleast thats the way mine are.
 

secuono

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
7,057
Reaction score
8,238
Points
553
Location
Virginia is for Pasture Farmers!
My next door neighbor dispatched 2 pigs one Sunday morning with 2 22cal bullets to each head. It wasnt loud enough or long enough to attract any undue attention. I don't think you need to worry about that part of the process.
I'd say, the problem isn't so much the loud noise as it is "gun fire, in a town, call the cops, someone was shot!!"
 

Cecilia's-herd

Loving the herd life
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
486
Reaction score
699
Points
163
Location
Zone 5b
Take it from a pregnant mama of four young children. Getting rid of animals temporarly isnt something to feel guilty about.
Take it from a pregnant mama over here too- we have 3 cows, 6 chickens, and 3 ducks- alongside a 21 year old cat and 2 dogs. Those 3 cows are exhausting, but I love them and they bring me joy, so they stay. I couldn't imagine the toll it would take on me if I didn't enjoy them. I agree, getting rid of animals isn't something to feel guilty about if you do it right.
 
Top