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Re: Calling all "hobby farmers"
Old 02-26-2007, 02:21 PM   #21
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Re: Calling all "hobby farmers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joss
"Would I be correct in assuming the livestock puts a serious damper on your ability to "up and go"?"

That's a "yes" to me. Someone has to be there if you have livestock. You... or someone you trust.

There are just too many things that can go wrong. A fence falls down and you have livestock all over the neighborhood. Some dogs get into the pasture and raise hell. One of the animals gets caught in the fence; broken leg and all hung up. They get sick. They get loose. The water system breaks. The food system breaks. You use an electric fence and it shuts off and they figure it out.

To me, this is the absolute opposite of independence. I'd about as soon make a hobby out of day care.
You have done this before. To the list of thing that can go wrong I would add, the water well pump quits, the water line to the barn leaks in February when the ground is frozen, Ect.

I have raised a few cattle and the odd pig in the past but the commitment did not fit in with my work life and now that I am close to reitrement I am down to one dog, one cat and several chickens and will probably stay that way. I might fill the freezer with chickens and may build a greenhouse this fall.

Bruce
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Re: Calling all "hobby farmers"
Old 02-26-2007, 02:56 PM   #22
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Re: Calling all "hobby farmers"

The live-in student farm manager might work. Many of the Ag students at Cobleskill grew up on farms and know what it takes to keep things running. I would think you would be able to find someone easily. It's probably best to start with a sophomore who has been there a year and is committed to finishing his/her education and has gotten beyond the partying. Or you could look for a non-traditional student. Try inquiring at the Non Trad Student Organization. There might be an older student with a family who would be willing do it.
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Re: Calling all "hobby farmers"
Old 02-26-2007, 08:39 PM   #23
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Re: Calling all "hobby farmers"

Yup,
once you have livestock you have a ball and chain attached to you.
I am lucky as a neighbor lady needed a place to keep her horses and the deal is she watches my place when I am out of town and I watch hers when she has to go out of town.

There is always something to do, and yes the water line freezes in Febuary and getting it un-frozen is frustrating. Raising stock is not a sure thing even with care they can up and die on you.

Also the social scene is very different in the country vs city/town. My area is very religious and conservative, if your not it can get lonely.

The mind set is very different also, nobody is in a big hurry and the seasons are important planting time, harvest, haying, it all has its own pace. Things get done just done differently and on a longer time line. They are not going to change you have to change.

Still it can be fun even when the water line freezes

Kitty
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Re: Calling all "hobby farmers"
Old 02-27-2007, 08:25 AM   #24
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Re: Calling all "hobby farmers"

I used to raise honey bees when I lived in Arkansas. I loved it, but it is hard work at harvest time. The bees do all the gathering, so it is best to leave them alone - which gives you the time to travel during certain periods of the year.

I had 300 hives scattered through the Arkansas delta and worked a full time job. It gave me the extra money to help with my daughters expenses (tuition, car purchase etc.). Getting started will require some investment (equipment and a honey house)- which also produced some serious tax refunds. After the investment is recooped, you can expect a nice return for you efforts. You will also become very attuned to nature because your work with the bees is based on climate, nectar flows, and pollination times.
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Re: Calling all "hobby farmers"
Old 02-27-2007, 01:36 PM   #25
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Re: Calling all "hobby farmers"

Quote:
Originally Posted by scubamonkey
I used to raise honey bees when I lived in Arkansas. I loved it, but it is hard work at harvest time. The bees do all the gathering, so it is best to leave them alone - which gives you the time to travel during certain periods of the year.
Bees are one of the few types of "livestock" that I actual have thought about keeping.

Maybe down the line I'll hit you up with some questions, if you don't mind ...


Edited to add: on the subject of beekeeping, an interesting story from today's NY Times ...

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/02/...iness/bees.php
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Re: Calling all "hobby farmers"
Old 02-28-2007, 05:43 PM   #26
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Re: Calling all "hobby farmers"

Quote:
There are just too many things that can go wrong.
So true.

Twenty years ago I had two barns full of rabbits on separate
property from the homestead. One family emergency. Called
in a favor and got another rabbit grower to go do the basics
twice a day after taking care of their own. Fortunately it was
only for a week. There were loses but it went reasonably well
- all things considered.

Except for one thing. I paid a friend's responsible daughter
to take care of the dog and cats and the small rabbit set-up
(2 cages) in the backyard of the homestead. One of those
rabbits got sick and the very responsible teenager took it to
their vet where they kept it for several days and got it all
better. $$$ Guess I should have told her that those cute
little bunnies were intended for our dinner table. That was
some expensive rabbit stew!

So even when you think you have it covered - you don't.

I sold out shortly after that. There is just about no profit
in raising rabbits for commercial purposes.


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