Thursday, March 24, 2011
With a Chick, Chick Here & a Chick, Chick There...
We currently live in the FAR northwest suburbs of Detroit (far enough away that we only visit Detroit maybe once every two years, if that), in a "Township," but it's still citified enough, with neighbors all around, so that we aren't allowed to have farm animals.
The reason I got to thinking along these lines is that we know two other couples who, within the past two years, have purchased homes on a few acres, and they have been able to buy farm animals and use them to help provide some of their food. The one couple bought a second home on a river near Alpena, MI, and they spent the better part of last year turning it into a working farmhouse/future retirement home. They grow their own veggies in the summer and can them; they own a good number of chickens and are "swimming" in fresh eggs each week (many of which they donate to area food shelters); they also have pigs, turkeys, ducks, etc., and use those animals to help subsidize their meat supply. Oh, and by living alongside a river, they fish as often as possible and have been able to add all kinds of fish to their diet including salmon. The second couple lives in the Howell, MI area, and they have chickens, ducks, turkeys and pigs that help add to their food supply.
Tom (hubby) and I think we would actually enjoy adding a little bit of farm living to our daily routine. We already cultivate a good-size garden in our back yard each year, and I'd love to learn how to can the leftover vegetables for the winter. We both enjoy eating fresh eggs and would have no problem feeding and caring for a few hens and roosters. As far as purchasing other farm animals to help with our meat supply though...well...that would be tough for us as we are extreme animal lovers. If we ever bought a calf, for example, we'd probably give him a name like "Fluffy" put a dog collar on him and take him with us on evening walks. In other words, we'd have no problem going in halves with another farmer on meat, but he'd have to raise and slaughter the animals; not us!
We could also put our heads together and come up with ways to save on heating costs, water costs, electricity, etc. I guess some Internet research could provide helpful ideas too if we were so inclined to research this topic.
But, in spite of all our creative ideas and good intentions, we'd have to sell our current house to buy another one, and houses in Michigan aren't selling for more than pennies these days, so I guess we'll continue on as we are. Still...in my mind's eye I can picture me some day holding up the bottom of an apron that's tied around my waist, full of chicken feed, and calling, "Here, chickee chickee! Here, chick!" as I toss the feed onto the ground outside the chicken coop. Then again, I can also picture myself winning a million-dollar lottery this year. LOL