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Frequently Asked Questions

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These are questions people ask us a lot , so here are a few answers that may be helpful to those of you who want to homestead / raise animals or a garden , or if you are just interested in what we do here .

Q. How do the goats paint ?

A. Our very first painting goat painted with her hooves , but she was a very strange and unique goat . Most of our goats paint with a paintbrush in their mouth . We hold the canvas for them with a spot of paint in the middle , and they move the brush around , making brush strokes , some of them are wild painters making big bold brush strokes , while some goats make small delicate strokes. Once we knew the goats could paint we taught other farm animals to paint as well , the pony also paints with a paint brush in his mouth , as do the sheep , and the pigs paint with their nose , chickens and ducks paint with their feet , dogs paint with their paws ,but also know how to paint with a paintbrush in their mouth , though they prefer paw painting.

Q. I want to homestead / subsistence farm , but where do I start ?

A. We get this question a lot , the easy answer is start where you are . Starting small is just fine . A really good place to start is with growing some of your own vegetables and maybe get some laying hens , you can always expand out into other things as you go. Don't let anyone convince you that just because you start small it's insignificant , Everyone has to start somewhere . Planting a few vegetables in containers or pots is just as valid as a full blown farm , because everyone's journey is a different one , you may not want to do as much as someone else , and that's okay . Starting small may also allow you to " wade in on th shallow end" , find out if this is what you want , if this lifestyle is for you . If you decide to go big , make sure to do your research on the things you're planning to do , this is always a wise course of action , because you may get , say a pig , and then realize there was a lot you didn't know about pigs , maybe you didnt know how hard they are on fencing , and you weren't prepared for the destruction they will do if your fence is not tough enough . We all learn as we go , but being prepared for what you are going to do can save you a lot of time , trouble , heartache and money .

Q. If i want eggs , do i need to have a rooster with my hens ?

A. No , hens will lay eggs without a rooster . They will not be fertile of course , so if you want to hatch , or to let your hens set , you will need a rooster . Having a rooster with your hens does have more than one purpose though , hens will often fight , and a rooster settles the arguments between them . A rooster will also hopefully offer some protection for your hens . We keep more than one rooster with our flock , there will always be a head rooster in charge , this boss rooster will only tolerate other roosters in certain circumstances . First , you'll need a rooster that is definitly the boss, but not too mean , second , the roosters you put in with him will need to be willing to be bossed , if we put a rooster in there that does not get along , he has to go. The best luck we have had overall is to raise young cockrels in with their father , he is much more likely to tolerate them , and they are much more likely to know their place . If you have a really really good rooster , he will even help with the chicks , scratching the ground and clucking to them when he finds food for them . It is a delicate balance keeping peace in your flock , but it is essential that you do , because hens under too much stress do not lay as well nor as predictably.

Q. - How big a garden do i need to put 70% food on table?

A. - we have 3 adults in our household , our garden is about 60'x 50' or so , on a good year we grow about 1400 lbs of potatoes , we also can 50 quarts of carrots , 140 quarts of green beans out of our garden as well as all of the fresh swiss chard we can eat , squash ,pumpkins , tomato plants etc ,

only plant the kinds of things your family will actually eat is one of the big things we have learned , otherwise it is wasted space , we usually reserve a small amount of space for experiments ,things we might like to grow but we've never tried to grow before or we don't know how it will grow here , if you're not going to can or freeze foods from your garden of course you won't need as much space

another really good thing to remember is that block style planting helps you make the best use of your space , we accomplish this by , rather than planting a single file row of say carrots , we would take a section say 2 feet wide , ours runs north and south , and whatever length you like , then we plant little rows within that space running east and west , and we plant those rows probably only about 3 or 4 inches apart so they will be socked in there thick , this allows less room for weeds . In addition to our garden , we raise our own meat , eggs , milk and dairy products , which is how we manage to raise 70%-75% of our food

Q. Does a goat have to have a baby to have milk ?/ Does a goat have to be a female to have a baby / milk ?

A. Yes , the goat must be a female , and she has to have a baby to produce milk . Goats will usually produce milk long after their kid has been weaned , Your average goat hopefully is going to milk up to 11 months , most of ours milk 9-10 months out of the year . There are always exceptions to this , with wonderful exceptional does that will "milk through" this is a doe that will milk longer than normal after having a kid . We had one goat milk for 8 years straight after a kid , without having another one . Does that milk though are worth their weight in gold because they get you through the slim times when you are waiting for your other does to have their kids and start producing again . Goats will need to be dried up 2 months before having new kids in order to allow their body to put energy and resources into the kids , as well as allowing the doe to "freshen" which is when she starts to produce milk again . The milk will at first be nutrient rich colostum that her newborn kids will need.

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