This year, my husband, children and I moved to a different farm. In the spring, we got a new flock of peeps. I have made my own term of endearment for them…”peep-nerds”. I chose the barred rock breed because they are supposed to be docile, hearty, and low maintenance. My “peep-nerds” are not docile, not so hearty, and definitely not low maintenance.
I also invested in a herd of meat goats, Myotonic breed aka: Tennessee Fainting Goats. They also were given a term of endearment “goatie goats”. This particular breed was chosen due to their resistance to parasites, their small but strong bodies, and their low maintenance grading. My goatie goats are pretty strong, and are very resistant to parasites, but low maintenance – not so much.
I have now come to the conclusion that I raise high maintenance animals no matter what the “books” say.
My peep-nerds run to my car when I pull in the driveway. They demand fresh bread in the morning, and wait on the porch for me to deliver the goods. They prefer me to sing country music and want peep-treats all the time. I have created monsters!
My goatie goats cry when it is cold outside (they have a wonderful barn, but figure if they cry I will bring them some fresh grain). They only graze on the best of the best grasses, and prefer their hooves trimmed with a golden hoof trimmer! Oh…and they like me better when I wear my Ohio State University coat? Buckeye fans, I guess. I won’t even tell you about my inside cat, “Queen Size”, boy, have I created a monster in that cat!
Anyway, raising livestock is not easy and no matter what the books say, animals are not low maintenance. They are high maintenance. They require good care, fresh water, and food at the least. I wish my high maintenance peep-nerds would lay golden eggs, but they reward me for my dedication to them with wonderful, orange yolked, fresh brown eggs! The goats reward me with not having to mow a few acres…soon they will fill the freezer too.
This holiday season if you have the urge to present a friend with a gift of livestock, please gift them to a high maintenance type of person like myself. Someone who will sing to them, spoil them, and treat them kindly in their life. If we serve animals in their life, they will serve us in their death!