Archives For Livestock

I’ve written a lot about why we chose to move out of the suburbs and into the country. If you’ve spent any time on this website, you’ll already know that liberty was a big factor for me. The truth is that freedom always comes with a cost, and sometimes it can be pretty ugly.

The story I’m about to relay might be a little shocking for some of you. I apologize if it’s upsetting, but I feel compelled to share the good stories along with the bad. The weekend before last brought a lot of excitement to the Ant Farm, but very little of it was the good kind.

Leigh was out of town on a beach trip with some friends from college, and I was “batching” it with the kids. After a hard day of picking up brush and seeding the field, the kids and I were out late Saturday night consuming insane portions of fried goodness at Top o’ the River.

At 6:15am I was awakened to a very strange sound. It was one of those groggy instances where you question whether you actually heard it or not, but then it happened again. It was a loud “BAGOCK!” Instantly I knew what was happening, and I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty.

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Photo by Justin Johnsen.

We experienced another first this weekend at the Ant Farm. We’ve been camping on the weekends in our motor home, and this weekend we invited the neighbors to join us for a campfire. The children roasted hot dogs, ate smores, and we all exchanged stories about our lives. It was the kind of campfire experience you might expect… right up until the howling began.

I’ve heard wild coyotes howling before, but never like this. Continue Reading…

If you told me two years ago that I’d be slaughtering rabbits on a lazy Saturday morning, I probably would have laughed right in your face. I’m talking about the rude laugh where you have to cover your mouth with your hand so you don’t spit on a person.

I’ve always been kind of sqeamish with blood and guts and all, but I guess on some level I’ve known since we started this whole farm thing that I was going to have to find a way to get over some of that. Our daydreams about farm life have typically included some chickens, goats, maybe a few pigs, and a dog if the kids have anything to say about it. The truth is that if we’re keeping animals around the place, some gross stuff is going to happen. Hooves will have to be trimmed and abscesses, worms, growths and Lord knows what else is inevitable. I had quietly accepted that part of our reality, but in my mind, all of the conversion of animals to food would be outsourced. However, as I read numerous books on the subject it started becoming clear to me that paying someone else to do my dirty work would probably produce lower quality meat and would likely erase any potential savings from growing our own food.

That’s how I found myself standing in a friend’s driveway with blood on my shoes and a fresh, un-lucky rabbit’s foot in my hand.

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