I just read a news article “Backyard chickens dumped at shelters when hipsters can’t cope, critics say” Why does this surprise anyone? Have you visited a dog/cat shelter lately? I am always amazed at how many adult animals are surrendered in and the reasons they are turned in.
I have blogged before about when you take on chickens you need to be prepared for the full cycle of life. I also have talked in this blog about when I have culled/butchered chickens and how it is a sucky part of owning a small flock. I haven’t done it to gross folks out or offend them, though some of the private offline emails have received indicated that I am a whole lot of nasty things because of some of the posts. I do it because I want to share with folks that there is a cycle of life to the food we eat and the animals that we own. When you fantasize about the farm life and how wonderful it would be to grow your own things and then harvest them, don’t forget just like your life agriculture isn’t all rosy. If farming or ranching was easy we would still have millions of families still in agriculture. Instead the number of people who grow the food we eat is smaller than ever. More and more of our citizens are so far removed from where their food comes from they can imagine how it all happens even if their logical mind tells the.
I am an advocate for folks growing some of their own food. I think it is important for folks to understand how hard it is to bring food to the table. But I hope you start small and think about what you will do if it is only a phase. Assume it is, it might be one season or a ten year phase, but odds are it will come to an end eventually. If you start with a small garden a little sod can put your life back the way it was. If you choose to have animals it is much more complicated to get started, but also much more complex to stop. With animals you need to be prepared to respectfully end it which in many cases involve butchering.
Remember if you want to be more self-sufficient you can’t be self-sufficient if you only do the easy things and leave the hard decisions for someone else to make.