We live on 10 acres of land in the North Georgia Mountains. My dad lives at one end and we live on the other end of the long property. It is a very good arrangement for us all. My dad enjoys us living so close and we all work together to keep up the property. On this property, we have a few farm animals that we have for food and enjoyment. When I was younger and had fewer children we had so many more such as geese, ducks and horses but as I have gotten older and my spare time is more limited, we have scaled back to just what is necessary and easily cared for.
I have a farm blog, that I write posts for, when I think I have some important information to share. It is not kept up as this one is but many visit it for information on goat care or contact me for advice.
We love living here. It is a very good place to raise children and a healthy way to live life. We have dairy goats that keep the pastures ate down, keep the weeds and brush down, are fun to care for and a great source of milk and manure for the gardens.
We have a few bucks! They are very stinky boys but a necessity, in order to arrive at the end product of a doe in milk production. :) It is very hot here right now. I took this around 10 in the morning and they dug into the dirt, to reach cool soil to lay on for the day, under the trees.
We also have a herd of lovely easy to milk does. They do not smell and to me act a lot like dogs. They are very friendly and make great pets. Very sweet girls. I do not milk them all at once as they would produce way more milk than we could consume and use. I usually milk two at a time.
We always keep a small flock of chickens. After years of having all different breeds, the most economical are the commercial White Leg Horns. They give the most eggs, for the longest duration of time, for the smallest amount of grain given. I usually keep a few Bantam Silky Chickens as they are very broody. If I want to hatch any chicks out, they are more than willing to sit for me and do that. We have a chicken coop for them up on a hill. We have two rat terriers that live with them to protect them and kill or run off any predators. They have killed snakes, possums and rats. They have run off many other things including raccoons and barked to alert us to stray dogs.
There is also a huge stray dog that showed up several years ago, that stayed. He thinks he is guardian of the property. He is a great dog. His story is here.
We also have several barn cats on the property. If a new stray shows up, I trap it, get it fixed and release it. I don't mind feeding all the strays. I just don't want them having kittens everywhere. No matter how wild they are when they come, they always are my friends when I milk, as I usually pour some warm milk out to them before leaving the barn. Needless to say we have very few snakes and mice around. :) One of our cats is 15 years old and another barn cat 17! I guess all the fresh milk every day!
The children have many pets. I think pets are a wonderful way to help keep stress levels low in a home. I also believe they are very good for all children, especially children with special needs. Our children are all very bonded to their pets and they are a great source of pleasure and comfort.
We have a rule here...You can ask for a pet and if you take good care of it you can keep it. If you wanted another, you can have it because you proved you are responsible. If you don't take good care of the pet you wanted, than it goes to a new home and you can not ask for or get another pet for a long time. I do not have time to care for so many animals. I do check behind all the children to make sure they are taking proper care of all the animals they have but I don't personally care for hardly any of them. The only animals I am responsible for are the female dairy goats, my poodle,
I also care for any of Antonio's animals because being in a wheel chair, he can not. I have so many other responsibilities in home schooling, child care, the upkeep of our home and usually have the care of a garden each year, that I do not have the time to care for pets. The children all have chores and work together to care for the farm animals.
We have had many pets over the years. Especially, great dogs that have been faithful family pets and companions. If my children are able, I try to let them each raise and have their own lap dog to enjoy for their childhood. It has worked out well here and very few children were unable to care for one of their own.
Antonio loves reptiles. He likes to watch videos about turtles and lizards especially. Antonio is unable to do very much so any animal he wants I try to get for him and care for it for him. He does not ask for much in life. He has had fish tanks, hamsters and birds over the years but his favorite, he always comes back to, is reptiles. He asked for turtles for his 8th birthday. We got him two thru the mail and he named them Antonio and Sid. He still has them today 13 years later!
William has his own room. He has his little dog Dixie. She is so young and active, it is hard for me to get a clear picture of her!
William also has a fish tank he has taken care of and kept going since he was 9 years old.
Carolyn is a very loving, tender and nurturing person. She would have 100 animals to care for if I would let her. I have to put a limit on what she has. She raised up her dog since it was a six week old puppy. Her name is Princess. They are inseparable.
Having pets has helped Zeke tremendously with his Autism. In his ability to give and receive love. It has also helped him learn responsibility and compassion. He has a little dog that is almost always in his arms named Roo Baby. It is like his security blanket. If Roo Baby is not in his arms she is in a little dog stroller that he keeps in his office next to him.
Elizabeth is not very consistent in caring for her animals. Animals such as dogs that require a schedule of consistent care long term, is something she does not do well. It becomes an area of rebellion and stress for all over time. She however has been taking very good care of her parakeet she has had for two years now named Charlie.
The foster children are not old enough to have or care for pets yet but we did get them a little pony to start riding soon named Buck-a-roo.
God originally created us to tend the Garden of Eden and care for all the animals created. I think that is why so many people love having animals around them and enjoy caring for them. God is so good to have blessed us with such a place to live and enjoy. A wonderful place to not only raise children but allow them to have plenty of space to play and have the experience of raising animals. It makes for having happy family memories as they grow up.
Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.