1 step closer

Thursday night (14th April, 2016) one of our goats gave birth to THREE kids. And although they are all boys – not ideal – the good news is they are all healthy.

goats

So this is one step closer towards our goal of getting all our own milk and cheese home- supplied. If everything goes to plan, all three kids will be weaned in 2~3 months time, which will then give us about 6 months of future milk (and cheese) supply. By the end of this time, around November, the whole cycle should have started again after a visit from a local billy goat.

With most high protein foods (meats, chicken & fish, and dairy) having the highest footprints in terms of CO2, water etc. my more ambitious goal is to become self-sufficient in these food groups.

foodmass-1

We currently have 14 chickens which supply us with more eggs than our family of 5 can keep up with, and  from time to time, they also provide us with opportunities for meat – for example – if we have too many cockerels, or any fall victim to local weasels (which has happened once so far).

We are also lucky to have a steady supply of venison and wild boar meat from neighbours, which I consider to be very sustainable sources of meat.

So in general, reaching the point where we don’t need to buy dairy, chicken or meat products is no longer the pipe dream it seemed a few years ago.

Post script:

Of course, a better course of action would be to become a strict vegetarian again (as before moving to Japan)  … and to then get my family to do the same.

May be this will become my next pipe dream.

 

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About ifd66

From UK and living in Japan. I am very interested in sustainable development and in general ecology and conservation issues and solutions. Finished building a low impact family house in Shiga, Japan in 2013 and am now focused on using permaculture to develop our plot of land into a more sustainable, productive, and attractive space. My hope is that this blog is useful to those interested in similar issues and way of life.
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4 Responses to 1 step closer

  1. That’s really great news.

    We’d like to have goats ourselves and would have no problem feeding them on weeds during the summer but I was wondering how you feed them in the winter ? Do you grow fodder for them or find enough vegetation growing then to feed them ?

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  2. ifd66 says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for contacting.
    It depends where you are living. Here is Shiga, we have quite mild winters so they get about 50% of their food in the winter from foraging. The rest is made up by hay (actually more like straw) and sometimes old rice from nearby farmers.
    And if you should you find it difficult finding a place to get your goats, we will be looking for homes for most of this years kids sometime in the summer.

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  3. Thanks,

    Over here in Chiba most of the weeds die off during winter. I guess we could devote some of our farmland to growing fodder for them, as we do for our chickens. Is that rice straw you use for fodder or wheat straw ? We can probably get a lot of rice straw from the other farmers around us.

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  4. ifd66 says:

    It’s wheat straw – and quite expensive. We manage to get by on very little though, by using the vaccant lands around us for grazing most of the year round. Vegetable cutting (cabbage leaves etc) from local farmers also a useful source of winter food. But would be great if you can grow your own wheat or get cheap rice straw. Now waiting for our second dow to have her kids … any time now.

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