So here's what you may not know about me... About four years ago we bought a dumpy old 60's farmhouse on 8 acres with the express plan of someday raising our own food. Particularly food of the walking variety, as we are not vegetarians.
Of course, first we had to gut and remodel the house (ourselves) and then we tried a garden (wuh-waah), next came pigs and egg-laying ducks. The pigs come and go (ahem), but the ducks should have stayed. Only we seem to have lots of wild predators about, who continue to outfox us despite numerous duck habitat security improvements.
At some point it didn't seem right to keep trying. We gave our last "sitting duck" to a friend who successfully keeps chickens, and opted to focus on fencing in the front 3 acres for a cow, the king of walking meet.
Good news - this post is about animals we don't plan to eat!
On Saturday Brandon finished the fence. Huge achievement. Huge! Our next move was to buy a llama. Yes, a llama. This is where it gets tangly. You want a cow. Ok, but cows are picky eaters who avoid eating weeds, thus gradually increasing the weeds in a pasture. Common strategy - add goats. Goats love weeds. Goats are cute. Goats are pets you don't plan to eat!
Problem - foxes also eat goats.
Solution! Get a llama. Llamas eat the same foods as goats (go weeds!), but they are tough. They have a natural guard-dog instinct (actually, they are anti-dogs as in coyotes, wolves, foxes, etc.) and can seriously harm predators with one swift kick.
This is our llama, Charlie, who's not so sure about Liam. Liam is also tough.
Actually, Charlie is super sweet. We got him on Sunday and he's already bonded to us. He likes to be pet and has only spit once... at Liam.
And because we didn't want Charlie to be lonely (serious) we ran off to get a pair of female goats yesterday. Awwwwwwwww, theyaresocute! Sooooo cute. Rosie and Violet are here to stay. We have them in a little temporary pen right now so that they can bond with Charlie and we can catch them easily. You should see them frolic. Adorable.
So, our strategy is to allow Rosie, Voilet and Charlie to work on our pasture a bit, putting those weeks to good use. Hopefully in the fall we can invest in some improvements on the pasture itself (planting good seed) and then maybe.... maybe in the spring we can get a cow. Long journey. Let's hope the beef is worth it!
Actually, in all seriousness, the journey itself has truly been worth it. Part of what inspired us to pursue all this was the desire to raise our kids with space to run, shout and climb trees and the responsibility to care for animals. Naturally, Aria is already plotting a goat-related business venture. Good times ahead.
p.s. thanks honey for the little red gate. I love it!