why I started
An advantage of vegetable and fruit growing relative to keeping animals is that you do not have to be there everyday. With an irrigation system it is easy to set the watering timer for duration and frequency and depart with an easy mind. And even if the low pressure gravity fed system should clog it is no great deal. However, with animals it is different – you need to be around – for some activities such as milking, every day, and for others, such as chicken, at least every other day.
So my transition to a more committed presence at the “property” began with bees, which can pretty much take care of themselves.
You buy the bee hive components and accessories, then you buy the nuke of 5 bee filled frames, you provide nutrition for the bees if it is early spring and then you can pretty much leave the bees to their devices, with bee inspections every 2 or 3 weeks or, in my case, hardly ever.
Keeping chicken is a bigger plunge. It began when my neighbor introduced me to her chicken and I took care of her girls for several weeks. I felt good about the idea of having my own chicken. I reasoned that since I was at the property most days and I could always find someone to care for them when on vacation, it made sense to have my own chicken. I purchased my own flock of 8 chicks and then when my neighbor moved away I inherited her mature egg laying chicken. A number have died but I rebuild their numbers by hatching their eggs – I have a very protective and productive rooster. And I get lots of really good eggs. And I am still enjoying it.
I still refer to my place in the country as “the property” – perhaps when I commence dairy activities with a cow or goat, the tag will become “the farm”.