Self-reliant agriculture

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by beast, May 16, 2011.

  1. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    ask any real farmer, not the weekend hobby variety,
    the kind of farmer that feeds and supports himself and his family by farming,
    and they will tell you there are only 2 kinds of farm pets
    'working' and 'dinner on the hoof'
    a working pet might be a herd dog or barn cat, maybe a llama to protect your sheep
    dinner on the hoof is pretty self-explanitory, an animal thats fattening for slaughter
    they keep much better alive anyway and itssure to be fresh when you eat it
    horses have a few uses but just to say you have one?
    save time, quit while youre ahead
    unless you work, ride or drive your horse 6-8 hours 4 days out of the week, every week,
    youre wasting money, feed, time and space
    just like having animals just cuz you love having them
    how many mouths can you afford to feed for nothing?
    its like inviting your whole family, church or neighborhood over for 3 free meals a day
    i bet you wouldnt do that more than once :)
    pets for the sake of having them is pure waste when youre trying to be self-reliant
  2. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    It depend on how an animal is defined: pet or productive?

    I agree with much that you say, but I suppose that much depends on how the animal contributes to the productivity of the self sufficient enterprise. I must confess that I am neither a cat nor a dog person, though I have kept poultry and guinea pigs as productive elements of a suburban home, and I am not a "pet" enthusiast as such, but I can see the value of "pets" in some circumstances.

    I may not eat a dog or a cat or indeed a horse, unless driven to it by starvation, but animals that may be be perceived as "unproductive" pets can be beneficial to the psychological well being of some people, and in that sense, although they may not be catching mice or herding cattle or other stock, they can still be valuable to a self sufficient homestead. My son, a returned veteran from service in East Timor, has found the ownership and care of a dog to be beneficial with dealing with PTSD issues that have, and are still affecting his repatriation to civilian life. In the possible case of TEOTWAWKI or some other lesser SHTF environment, companion animals, may have value in helping children and indeed adults in dealing with psychological and physical traumas consequent to living in a hostile environment (death and destruction on a major scale).

    Each situation ought be considered on its individual merits, and the costs and benefits weighed accordingly.
    Falcon15 and ghrit like this.
  3. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    those animals, like with your son, ARE doing a job
    when i say 'pet' i mean like the kid down the road
    that has 20 some rabbits, all just so he can say he has them
    or my oldest daughters mother in law whom the city just took 32 cats out of her home
    or my other daughter that has a horse and a chihuahua, both kept at my home
    she never sees them, never cares for them, but she brags on having them
    (but not for much longer)
  4. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    Much truth there. We have three Bichons (little white fluffy dogs) Though they are pets they chip in anywhere from 1000 to 3000 bucks a year as we breed them for sale. They are great pets that also pay their own way and then some. My rabbits are all bred for sale and food. Chickens for eggs and meat. We have one cat that is a good mouser even though she has no claws our home is mouse free.

    Just having a horse in the stable is huge waste unless you ride them all the time. A horse as transportation and garden plowing would be a good animal to have but I have not seen a plow horse in decades. Some will argue with you that a good guard dog is priceless but I dont plan on feeding any big dogs after the shtf. We will most likely have to put the dogs all down if there are no buyers for them. Kingfish
  5. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Non-working pets do indeed, as Chel said, add to the well being and general uplifting of the spirits. The rule of threes applies here. You can survive 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food, and 3 months without hope. A pet just to have a pet contributes, in many cases, a sense of hope, love, and belonging. Therapy pets for retirement home elderly folks are a great example of this. However - a caveat here. When the SHTF, many of these pets will be neglected, underfed, or released to turn feral. Take post-Katrina New Orleans for example. All of my animals are working animals or food on the hoof, but two of my working animals - cats to be specific, are also family pets, and happen to be well loved and affectionate.
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