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Things I didn't know before I started "homesteading"

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams
Chickens will eat Styrofoam. Especially in the middle of a feeding frenzy over leftover spaghetti from an Italian restaurant, but it won’t kill them. Goats can often fit out a hole in a fence, but after gorging themselves on the “greener grass” outside, they may not fit back in. Some dogs will hold down and “lovingly but obsessively” pluck the hair off baby goats just as they would pull the stuffing out of their favorite toy in ecstasy. Electric fence is your friend. You will understandably but unjustifiably act like a nervous crack head when you get pulled over, knowing that if the officer were to look closely they would find syringes, needles and strong prescription sedatives and painkillers as well as rubber gloves in your car. It’s all for my animals, honestly officer! If you want the talkative checker at Wal-mart to stop talking to you, reveal that you are here getting “supplies for my goats”. This only works if your supplies include rubber gloves and KY personal lubricant in preparation for kidding season emergencies. When making curious inquiries at the hardware store some employees will insist on knowing what you are trying to build. They won’t believe you when you tell them “a chicken plucker” .They will also feel the need to get their store buddies involved so you can explain it to them too. A 250lb pig will fit into a cone shaped tomato cage. But they won’t understand that they have to go backwards to get out and will run around the yard in a panic with the dogs chasing him. They only do this at 3A.M. Pigs will do anything for powdered sugar donuts or marshmallows including following you into the butchers, while the butcher and his helper standby laughing. See you don’t need those electric pig pokers and sticks to beat them in! A good butcher will also feed the leftover marshmallows to them right before “the big bang” so they can leave this world doing what they love most! (Or at least he will tell you he did) Just because a goat can get a bucket on its head doesn’t mean it can get it off. Goats can also get a 5gal bucket bail around their torso and run around making horse hoof beat sounds by kicking the bucket while screaming for help. Both are really funny. Those cute little Cornish rock chicks will grow into roosters that will try and eat you if you fall down in the pasture. That is when you know the time is right for them to go to “freezer camp”. Oh, and definitely don’t sit still too long in the hog pen either. They are omnivores after all. Make sure your cable, phone lines etc. do not run through the hog pen. They will dig them up. When a goat gets out of his crate on the highway in the back of the pickup he will lay on top of the stacks of bunny cages as if it is perfectly normal. The curious stares of fellow drivers will alert you to this situation. (This happened to the lady I just gave my Nigerian buck to on the way home) While racking wine into carboys with tubing all over your kitchen, and preparing to make goats milk soap with lye (a well known ingredient used in the manufacture of meth) and while your syringes are sitting on the table to remind you to give the CD&T vaccine to the goats that evening, you probably want to make sure you are not expecting company especially of the overzealous law enforcement type. This is especially bad if you have a cold or allergies and are keeping Sudafed handy. They might get the wrong idea. If your children are young enough to not already have an education in the birds and the bees than you will have many opportunities to start the conversation. But you won’t be sure if or how to correct or explain more when one asks “did daddy breed you to make me?” just say….. “Yes” Don’t bother explaining to your neighbors why you follow your goats around with Dixie cups trying to catch goat berries to check for parasites. Just let them wonder, it’s more fun that way. FYI this is the best way to occupy a three year old for hours. Also don’t bother explaining when someone calls and your three year old tells them you are busy making “poop soup” and can’t talk (mixing goat berries in float solution for fecal check).