We have a mini farm with about 200 animals.
Goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, Great Pyreenes dogs, cats, & 3 kiddos.
We have this minifarm because, as a vegetarian and vegan for over 30 years, I am unable to support an industry that locks an animal in a box or cuts their beaks off to prevent pecking others because the animal is well…going crazy due to confinement & a humans need for more. I find it cruel. There are also only a few companies I trust to have ethically and humanly raised meat that’s GMO free.
So, we as a family decided to raise our own animals in a biointensive/closed loop way. We did this also as a way to support the kids education as we use both Montessori (Erdkinder) and Waldorf pedagogues. Farm life is full of sciences, maths, and other educational opportunities. In order to do this we have to plan and prepare for our animals. Sometimes I do jump the gun and buy before we’re completly ready and och…it has made life more complicated at times. (Like when I bought 12 ducklings in the spring and winter decided to stay longer so…the ducklings stayed in the house WAAY longer than we wanted them too.) PLEASE don’t tell my husband I said that ’cause then he’d think he was right for the second time in our relationship. But, one thing I never do is buy before I have researched for a very long time. I researched goats for 4 years, chickens for only 1 though. I HATE being the one that tells my kids NO all the time (Ben works MASSIVE overtime.) I came up with
These questions are what must be answered and what the kids must share with us in order to purchase an animal. They also must to create a presentation to share the answers to the 10 questions. I made a printable with the quesitons and a ‘mini contract’ I and Ben and the kiddo must sign. I’ve even started adding a due by date if they’re wanting to have the animal this year unless they’re willing to assist with the money. We budget for everything otherwise we’ll have nothing.
If you’d like a copy of the farm printables you can find it at the end of the post.
These are the 10 Questions….
- Have you researched them?
- Do you have housing built for them?
- Do you have food and drink ready for them?
- How will you prevent, identify and care for them if they’re ill?
- What about poop?
- Do they serve more than 1 function?
- How will they be protected?
- How will they affect the animals we already have?
- How will they affect our family? (fear, harm, goals, vacation)
- Is there space to raise them happy, healthy while still maintaining as natural an environment while in captivity?