Saturday, December 26, 2009
Animals and Sustainability
My husband Ken is frequently asking me where our new pet rabbits fit into our self sustainable lifestyle. I generally won't buy a pet unless it can benifit our garden or diet, which sounds awful but really I have to set limits or I would have an entire menagerie of animals!
We have chickens that provide eggs, they also provide an small income that goes to their feed as I sell a few dozen eggs per week. Ivé had chickens for about 10 years and over that time their egg money has also brought the majority of our camping eqipment including a $750 tent!
I also love the thought that while I am supply eggs to others they are no longer supporting batter hens and free range eggs that lets face it are probably not actually eating greens and geting much in the way and quality time!
The rabbits, are fantastic, they are a contant joy to myself and they all come inside in the evening and amuse us all with their antics. Their poo is a constant supply of manure used in the compost, worm farm and sometimes just straight on the garden with the straw.
I also feed them many of the garden weeds as we use no poisons here and all the rose petals that fall onto the ground so it's constant recyling.
The dog is for my own benifit really giving me daily exercise as I feel as a good owner I must walk him and it's nice to get out in the fresh air and collect new weeds from the creek for the bunnies while we are out each day.
Even the Goldfish have a purpose as I like to have water features for birds to drink from and for frogs, I also am aware that they are breeding grounds for mosquitos, so a few goldfish ensures this is kept at bay.
I would love to get a goat, but am time limited with 3 children , working part time and maintain this large garden and lifestyle, mostly for milking but then would my children drink goats milk? Probably not. LOL
Ivé thought about ducks to but they can be quiet messy and pollute water that the chickens need so I think with will stick the ones we have for now