Homesteading During Quarantine
How’s everyone’s Quarantine 2020 going? Around here life is still puttering right along. Although we have been largely unaffected by the shut down and coronavirus, things are still a little different for us too.
All of a sudden we have become the most famous people in the neighborhood! We have been getting so many texts, calls from friends and neighbors looking for eggs. We have about 50 layers and they are barely keeping up with the demand! We get close to 40 eggs a night or more and we sell nearly every egg that we don’t consume. I have sadly even had to turn a few people away to ensure that I have enough supply for my regular customers.
Many more people seem to be looking into becoming more self sustaining because I have had many more people than usual contacting me about purchasing rabbits. We had slowed down our breeding over the winter but now I wish we had been having litters all winter to be able to sell to everyone who is looking into finding a sustainable meat source. We have had 3 litters in the last week, but they won’t be ready to go for at least a month.
Obviously the animals are oblivious to any changes. The goats and dog are happy to have the kids around to play with more with school being closed until at least May 1st. But it has been difficult to get animal feed! We usually like to have enough on hand to make it at least a month, and we try to substitute as much as we can with forage during the spring and summer, but with it just beginning to green up, we are dependent upon buying animal feed.
Chicks have been in low supply. We have never hatched our own chicks, but have always purchased from our local IFA and Cal Ranch stores. This spring the chicks have been flying out of the stores. No pun intended there. The first shipment our local Cal Ranch store had this spring of 800 chicks sold out in 1 day! I think being self sufficient is wonderful, but I worry about how many people will get into chickens only to abandon them when this virus scare is over.
Another crazy way that farms and small farms alike have been affected is in trying to find the animal medications used to keep our herds healthy. A popular and relatively inexpensive drug used for mites and as a de-wormer, Ivomectin, is becoming hard to find. Many stores such as Tractor Supply have pulled it temporarily from shelves because people are using it to self medicate against the virus. These are some crazy times!
Here locally there has been a run on the local nurseries to purchase seeds for this years gardens. I am very glad for the ability to save seeds, and that we purchased our seeds needed for our Spring and Summer gardens before the panic ensued.
There is definitely a sense of security in having our own food grown and bottled for food storage as well as a fresh supply of eggs and meat on the farm. I am excited to see more people finding there way to more self sufficient practices. I hope you all are enduring the social distancing well and I hope to see you all soon when this crazy time has passed! Until then keep reading and stay strong!