NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Possible to have a successful smallholding without killing the animals?  (Read 18877 times)

Tudful Tamworths

  • Joined Aug 2009
    • Liz's website
Re: Possible to have a successful smallholding without killing the animals?
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2013, 11:00:08 pm »
Even ones that sell meat on a small scale generally don't by themselves make a profit, one of the couple normally has to do some work outside the farm. So without the income from any sales? I wouldn't think so unless you write books on how to small hold etc!


Are you having a laugh, lachlanandmarcus? Trust me, you won't make a fortune out of writing books.

J. K. Rowling's school teacher told her the exact same thing!  ;)
We're talking about different kinds of books here.
www.lizshankland.com www.biggingerpigs.com
Author of the Haynes Pig Manual, Haynes Smallholding Manual, and the Haynes Sheep Manual. Three times winner of the Tamworth Champion of Champions. Teaching smallholding courses at Kate Humble's farm: www.humblebynature.com
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cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Possible to have a successful smallholding without killing the animals?
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2013, 09:17:38 pm »
I suppose you could do working holiday's on a working farm using an old mobile home or three sort of set up , that might feed the animals and give you a bit spare dosh to use during the rest of the year .

 Re the petting thing ..

Ideally you need to be on an easy access road system and with plenty of passing traffic . It's even better good if your only 10 or so miles from a big conurbation .

The site signage will be your big draw device so you need to think about who ,why, and where  etc. that you will advertise and where to place legal/approved  signs.
 

Could you have add on's , like a separate place to sell things that come off the small holding or out your kitchen?? / 

If you live near to a place of interest, beauty or fishing  or a sporting concern like riding stables , water skiing have you looked into  a small CL caravan type set up ? 
 
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

JulieWall

  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Cornhill, Banff
    • The Roundhouse
Re: Possible to have a successful smallholding without killing the animals?
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2013, 09:57:47 pm »
It is possible for your animals to contribute to the fertility of your plot and even save you labour if you manage them right. Ducks will eat all the slugs for you and give you eggs - do you eat eggs? A goat can give you dairy products and fibre, chicken runs can be used as a tractor to clear the land of weed seeds, cut worms etc as well as providing an egg crop. A couple of sheep can keep you in wool and keep a small area cropped and weed free (I use ours to eat down the grass around the house where it is a pain in the neck to mow or strim) and if you are really adventurous it might be possible to use the dried pats as fuel. All of these will gve you a crop of fertiliser too.
If you are going to do it properly then you really do need some animals in your system unless you are intending to rely on petro-chemical fertilisers and they won't be around for ever, so why not learn how to do without them now ;)
Permaculture and smallholding, perfect partners
http://theroundhouseforum.co.uk/

Bodger

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: Possible to have a successful smallholding without killing the animals?
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2013, 05:32:08 am »
Do you need livestock at all to have a smallholding? There are arable farms, so why not an arable smallholding? :idea:

kelly58

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Highlands, Scotland
  • Home is were my animals are.
Re: Possible to have a successful smallholding without killing the animals?
« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2013, 08:41:22 am »
We have  :pig: :chook: :dog: :goat: :horse: :sheep: :&> and they all play a part. Chucks eggs l sell at work and
to campers as we have a CL site, l also make strawberry jam, have a polytunnel to grow them in plus veg which is fed by the manure. Goats milk we use and swop. Shetland munches down difficult places to mow, so do the sheep. The sheep wool goes to a friend who spins it. Pigs are munching through the allotment as we speak.
Ducks eat slugs etc. The dogs let us know when people arrive, and chase any predators. We both work but the long term plan is to expand and have shepherd huts and tent pitches for campers. We are near John o groats
so have tourists passing. Will have holiday let built soon, self catering. So we have a goal :thinking: its coming together slowly, but the enjoyment we get from living here is priceless ! So thats me finished babbling on :excited: no you dont NEED to kill your animals. Wish l could, they would taste good because they are spoilt :love:
Have a good day all ! l will l have 3 days off to potter, bliss  :wave:

JulieWall

  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Cornhill, Banff
    • The Roundhouse
Re: Possible to have a successful smallholding without killing the animals?
« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2013, 05:54:06 pm »
It's just my opinion of course, but wouldn't a smallholding without livestock be more of a market garden? I reckon if you really know your stuff you could do without animals but you'd need to be composting your own waste products (euphemism) or bringing in fertilisers from outside.
Permaculture and smallholding, perfect partners
http://theroundhouseforum.co.uk/

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Possible to have a successful smallholding without killing the animals?
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2014, 09:48:03 am »
Hi
It is theoretically possible, however there would be a point where you would have to sell some of the animals, otherwise overstocking would be an issue. I would recommend keeping pedigree animals, which can be registered for breeding, and selling them as breeding animals. I hope this helps.
Thanks
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: Possible to have a successful smallholding without killing the animals?
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2014, 09:59:21 am »
It's just my opinion of course, but wouldn't a smallholding without livestock be more of a market garden? I reckon if you really know your stuff you could do without animals but you'd need to be composting your own waste products (euphemism) or bringing in fertilisers from outside.
No, you can have birds - no need to kill them - get eggs.  All of these could be sold.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

midtown

  • Joined Oct 2013
  • English Lake District
Re: Possible to have a successful smallholding without killing the animals?
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2014, 10:33:10 am »
Even ones that sell meat on a small scale generally don't by themselves make a profit, one of the couple normally has to do some work outside the farm. So without the income from any sales? I wouldn't think so unless you write books on how to small hold etc!


Are you having a laugh, lachlanandmarcus? Trust me, you won't make a fortune out of writing books.

J. K. Rowling's school teacher told her the exact same thing!  ;)
We're talking about different kinds of books here.
I've just discovered how much a friend of mine is paying to do a permaculture design course!!!! :o
Now that does seem to be a good little earner! :D
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.  ~Douglas Adams

Porterlauren

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Possible to have a successful smallholding without killing the animals?
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2014, 11:19:29 am »
Not every bit of land has to be a 'small holding', in the image of a mini farm.

You could quite happily plant some fruit trees, fruit bushes etc. Have a poly tunnel, herb spiral, and raised beds.

And then keep some chickens and ducks for eggs and as pest (insect) control.

You could quite easily have a really productive small plot of land, much like the 1000's of allotments all over the country.

You would be able to reduce not only your carbon footprint, but also your living costs (or at least improve the quality of your living), and may well be able to make a little pocket money with eggs, veg boxes etc. However, on a small scale, swopping with friends and neighbours is probably a better idea.

If you have livestock, you will always have to deal with dead stock, be it sick, old or injured animals, or a said, the surplus males that have been bred.

Maybe, if you are not keen on killing animals. . . . .. stick to the gardening.

Young Ed

  • Joined Apr 2014
should be able to keep sheep for a petting zoo type thing and milk (if you bread them and want to bottle feed or at least supplement the lambs diet and then use the ewes milk for cheeses etc) and if you get the right breed the wool, all this should cover costs but it will be bloody hard work to set up and maintain

trouble with keeping any animals and being a strict vegi and not wanting to kill any animals is that if a sheep gets too badly ill or injured or too badly broken mouthed etc then it is much better and kinder to kill it and if you don't it may be of concern to animal welfare or so

you have pretty much got to decide
A) are you prepared for all the hard work?
B) could you send a sheep or other animal to slaughter if it was only better for the animal?

if the answers to A and B are a firm solid YES then you have got to ask will you breed ad sell lambs to market or will you just keep sheep until they must go and then buy in some more?
Cheers Ed
Cheers Ed

fiestyredhead331

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • NW Highlands
    • Facebook
all sounds very exciting Ed  :excited:

On the petting farm side I personally wouldn't go down that road, we've had lots of people suggest we do as we have such a variety of animals, all friendly etc but friends of mine had a rare breed farm  nearby that was open to the public, had insurance but after one minor mishap the premiums went through the roof and they had to close their doors!

Killing animals for whatever reason is part and parcel of going down that particular road but as others have suggested you could start with fresh produce etc?

anyway good luck with whatever you do  :fc:
keeper of goats, sheep, pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys, dogs, cats, goldfish and children, just don't ask me which is the most work!

Wean

  • Joined Jun 2014
I'm glad I found this thread.
It is very possible to have a 'smallholding' without killing animals, there are lots of suggestions on here as to how to go about it.  Growing of course is the main one, I forked out for polytunnels and grew loads of veggies and fruit, and started a box scheme, on a small scale of course, but it brought in some money.

I also kept animals because I am an animal lover, sheep for the fleeces, goats for the milk but I never turned them into baby machines just for the sake of the milk.  If I had bucks then I used them for four-legged weed control !  they fertilised the soil as well.

I had chickens and ducks for the eggs which always sell well, but always kept them in their retirement, I never 'got rid of them' just because they stopped laying, after all they had given me years of fresh eggs and deserved a happy retirement.  I always took my animals to the vet if needed, and would never 'despatch' one just for convenience.
Quail are easy to keep and their eggs fetch a premium rate. :thumbsup:
Have you considered boarding ?  not cats or dogs, there are enough kennels and catteries around, I used to board small furry animals, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats, hamsters etc. etc.  just make sure you have all the necessary insurance.

It has to be said that this kind of 'smallholding' will never make a 'living' but will bring in some extra cash and improve your own lifestyle.
Good luck  :)

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
We live on a smallholding... the only animal to have been killed was  a cockerel that had flystrike on his bum  ;)  So far, the goats milk from my maiden milker is keeping us quite comfortably with the 'extra income' that pads out OH's full time job with NFU, we don't raise young regularly. The sheep are lawnmowers so that we can access our orchard to make our plum wine each year, the goats are pets/milkers for Its Baaath Time and the chickens lay eggs to go toward their feed bill whilst giving our children lots of pleasure watching eggs hatch etc.  We'll deal with the cockerel issue later  ;) Of course being married to a vegetarian influences how things go a tad, but we manage.
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Fife
    • Facebook
I've been vegetarian for over 30 years and I'm a smallholder.  I wouldn't say it pays a living wage, it doesn't, but my needs are far less than most folk that work in offices to pay for their food and I reckon my lifestyle is way better.

There is a difference between killing animals for meat (which I can't) and euthanasing a sick animal - I can't physically put my ponies to sleep when needed but I can and do hold them for the vet so I am with them to the end and that doesn't compromise my beliefs in the slightest.  Ditto the hens, working cats and any other animal I have in my life - I can't do it myself but I find someone that can do the job properly and efficiently for me and I make the decision to let them go.

If it's just the meat side that is a no-no for you then go for animals that don't enter the UK food chain - ponies, donkeys, llama, alpaca, laying birds, caged animals/birds, tropical fish, reptiles.. plenty that males are sold as pets or for breeding rather than eaten.  Castrated sheep as lawnmowers and wool providers likewise, or females as long as you're not breeding and selling youngstock, or if you're taking on a breed where more go for breeding (?a rare breed perhaps) than for meat?

And yes, orchards, fruit and veg, arable crops in small quantities. hay, fibre crops, cut flowers, plant nursery, all potential areas to explore depending on your preferences.  I viewed a 15 acre holding years ago where their main crop was salad leaves, supplying bagged selections and individual types to local restaurants on a fresh daily basis.  Just a polytunnel and an old caravan for weighing and bagging, a label on and a van to deliver.  The rest was rented for sheep grazing I think, income for grazing can be meat or breeding or pet stock so you can decide what your tolerance is - I am happy to let grass for sheep that belong to and are killed by and eaten by others, just can't have sheep of my own and sell them for meat.
Barleyfields Smallholding & Kirkcarrion Highland Ponies
https://www.facebook.com/kirkcarrionhighlands/
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https://www.facebook.com/Ellie-Douglas-Therapist-124792904635278/

 

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