Let’s be honest, how many of us have thought to ourselves, “I want farm fresh chicken eggs.” I could just go to the feed store, buy some chicks, feed them a bit, and then have eggs in a couple of weeks. If only it worked that way. The fact is, it takes a bare minimum of 16-20 weeks and then even at that point its only 50% egg production until the chicks reach 24-26 weeks. For example, we started with 100 chicks, we put them in the brooder for 4 weeks, moved them outside, fed them hundreds of dollars worth of grain, nurtured them, and then finally 16 weeks later we had our first egg. Reality is, it takes time and money to get those “free” eggs, but they are worth it if you want the healthiest, farm fresh eggs. – If it’s worth doing, it takes time.
How about fresh, raw, goat milk? Did you know that in order to get fresh milk, goats must have babies and only then can you milk the does and get fresh milk. A lot of people don’t know this. In fact, we still get asked that question a lot on our farm. I remember back in 2017 when we first decided on dairy goats. We bought two goats from a reputable breeder, bred them (had to rent a buck!), and waited. If all had went according to plan we would have had babies in the spring but things don’t always go as planned and it turned out or does were not bred and we had to start over. At this point we decided to invest in our own buck for better chances at pregnancy and at milk! Bucks must be kept separate from the does or babies will happen at the most inconvenient times (like the middle of winter..) so we also had to invest in separate housing for the buck. Goats are also herd animals. They don’t do well alone, therefore we also invested in a friend for our buck. We started dairy goats in 2017 and had our first babies and glass of goat milk in 2019 – If it’s worth doing, it takes time.
Lastly, we wanted to raise our own pork. We have raised them before, but in a confined area. This turned into a smelly, muddy, mess! We decided in 2020 that the Joel Salatin approach (moving the pigs every 11-14 days to a new paddock), would keep the pigs clean and help us out by tilling the ground. Just as we thought we were getting the hang of it, they figured out that our electric fencing wasn’t hot enough and that the grass was better on the other side of the electric fence. We fought tooth and nail with them and tried multiple different ways to keep them in, but no matter what we did, they were out, every single day. We fought with them for weeks, until finally we gave in and back to the stationary paddock they went. Improvement yes, but not perfect. – If it’s worth doing, it takes time.
All in all, there are lessons to be learned, and knowledge to gain. There isn’t a single person in the entire world that hasn’t failed at some point. The important part is that you get back up, dust your pants off and keep at it. Eventually, repetition after repetition, you’ll get it and it will make it all the more sweeter when you do! – if it’s worth doing, it takes time!