Friday, May 10, 2013

Backyard Livestock 101 is Tomorrow!

Come to Cold Antler this spring for a day dedicated to backyard livestock for beginners! This is a day at the farm for those of you interested in adding animals to your home and garden, but perhaps a little cautious? After all, farm animals add a whole new element to your everyday life, and if you come here you can see, touch, ask, and have questions patiently explained and fears removed. And if you are ready to add that flock of chickens and rabbit hutch: you will get the inspiration and community push you have been craving. Heck, you can get the chickens too..

The long day focus on animals raised for food production, and how their by-products (manure, offspring, etc) can add to your farm. They do this through added income, barter, food savings and by creating nutrients to your soils for vegetable production. (I want folks who come to this workshop to not just understand the value of a rabbitry, but how to use the magic pellets in the garden and use compost tea.) By adding livestock you are creating a full circle for your. Chickens and compost piles create a place to feed food scraps, and their soiled bedding creates new, rich, soils for your plants. Stop depending on outside sources to enrich your life. You have the space, time, and resources to do it yourself, promise.

We're going to focus on chickens in the morning, and everyone who attends is welcome to pick three from a brooder of heritage chicks, all will be dual-purpose heavy breeds for eggs and meat production. You'll get a copy of my book, Chick Days, as well. It's a complete beginner's guide to raising layers for the backyard, but will also help you get your dual purpose flock off the ground. We will discuss brooders, coops, predators, feed and care. Since I firmly believe that poultry are the gateway drug to backyard animal food production - we will focus on them half the day. And if you haven't sat in a backyard holding a chick in your palm while a goat yells at you to scratch her neck, then you haven't lived!

The afternoon is about additional animals that can feed yourself, family, and friends. Get an introduction to rabbits (bunnies may be available to purchase), dairy goats, sheep, and pigs too. We'll tour the farm talking about hay, fences, water options and sharing stories and tips. Since all of Cold Antler's livestock have entry gates within 50 feet of the farm house you can see, touch, and smell what turning a backyard into a farm does to a place: the good and the bad. I will also talk about slaughter, and the options you have as a new farmer. Come knowing little and leave with a lighter heart, a starter flock, a book, and a day spent with fellow new farmers on a beautiful spring day!

P.S. We may even see a lamb born! It's that time!

Date: May 11th 2013
Time: 9AM - 4PM
Location: CAF
Fee: $125 (includes birds and book)
Limit: 15 people, 2 spots left!