Sunday, August 5, 2018

Chickens, Goats, and Why We've "Gone Farming"

It's been a journey since we last talked. I find myself thinking more about writing now than taking the time to put pen to paper. But today I'm writing to answer the big question everyone's thinking and asking us - "Why did you guys buy chickens and goats?"

Oatmeal, Yummy

Nash and Knox
    Mary and Noah with Misses

It's a pretty simple answer - I wanted chickens, worked on convincing everyone in the family that we needed them, then I changed my mind! But it was too late. Everyone was on board with having chickens so off to the feed store we went. Now fast forward a bit.. In the beginning having chickens was an experimental hobby idea but through having them we have discovered some basic benefits that are worth sharing (and part of the reason we've added goats to our homestead too).

  • Rhett has shown signs of Apraxia since he was very young, he now has a better control of his movements from handling the birds.
  • Noah, Levi and Rhett all are included and expected to care for their chickens - they assist with feed, water, cleaning the coop, and bringing in fresh dirt.
  • Routine - Every day rain or shine we care for our flock. Not just Mary and I, but the Boys are responsible too.
  • Our extended family are involved with raising our chickens as well! Our Nieces come over to play more, close friends are intrigued, and Mary's Mom has begun "tending" to the flock when we're away on business and leisure travel.
We began with 7 chicks. We had no idea there were as many varieties of breeds, we didn't know how to care for them, and we certainly didn't expect to Love them the way we do. And that my friends is why we have expanded our Farm.
Mama loving on a new baby
Feed time with Rhett and Levi

We now have 2 dogs, 12 birds, 2 goats, our pond has more fish and turtles than ever, (we eliminated our gator problem with new fencing), we built a coop - That was a fun family project, and a swimming pool. What a busy 2018 so far!

But the meat of the story is this - Find something that your family can do together to grow and learn. I never knew the importance of a hobby as an adult until this year. It just so happens my hobby includes my Wife, Children, Parents, Grandparents, Neighbors, and Friends.
Hei Hei, Our Silkie Bantam Rooster
Farmer Levi
You never know what will happen next in the "Ainsworth Story". Stay tuned! Our project today is turning regular seed and feed into viable growing plants for winter (1 pound of oats becomes 6 pounds of feed, Lord willing.)
The beginnings of our "seed into feed" project
Our "Seed to Feed" Project


At the end of a "Farm" day
PS - All of the Boys are happy, healthy, and excited for school to begin. Rhett has come leaps and bounds in the last several months. He recently had a minor medical scare that we're still learning about but he thankfully doesn't have any tumors or contributing factors that we've discovered. Please keep him in your prayers.

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