Shifty

On Thursday night we were sitting at home when we received a phone call from Josh’s mum saying that the neighbour had found a black kitten on the side of the road. He had been hit by a car. We had a quick look around and although Simba was in the house, we couldn’t find Shifty. My heart sank.

We immediately went to the neighbours and poor Shifty was in a bad way. Although it was 8.30pm we got in the car and headed straight into town to the after hours emergency vet. The vet took an x-ray and he had seriously broken ribs and was having major difficulty breathing. He suggested we leave him there overnight in the oxygen tank and we would assess the situation in the morning. By the time we got home and into bed it was about midnight – I was then up at 6am after a terrible sleep, being so worried about poor Shifty. We called the vet, who was going to take him out of the tank and see how he was doing, but he seemed to be ok. Continue reading

Raising chicks – Day 1

Chickies!

Chickies!

When Josh & I first got our laying hens it marked a bit of a turning point for us. We’ve both grown up having home-kill meat in the freezer and have not thought twice about it…we knew where it came from! In New Zealand most farm animals are free range. Cows, sheep and deer are certainly not cooped up in confined spaces…it just wouldn’t work, however chickens and pigs are a different story.

It became clear very quickly that when our chickens were allowed to free range, eating as many bugs and as much greenery as they liked they were so much happier and healthier looking. As soon as we could see that this was clearly how chickens were supposed to be, we changed our way of thinking and our chicken buying habits. Up until this point when buying chicken from the supermarket, we bought what was on special. From now on it was free range or nothing at all. Continue reading

Homegrown Breakfast

Breakfast was a pretty exciting affair in our house this morning!

We had our first pig “graduate” a few weeks ago which meant we had homegrown bacon ready to go. Pair that up with eggs fresh from the chickens and a loaf of bread made in our shiny new bread-maker and we had a totally homegrown breakfast!

All ready for cooking

All ready for cooking

It was delicious and was an amazing feeling knowing that everything on the plate was either a product of our little farm or was homemade.

Yum!

Yum!

I wonder what’s next…maybe growing wheat to make the flour? I’m working on a house cow too…not winning that battle though šŸ™‚

Graduation Day

The day had finally come for our first little pig to “graduate”. I kept myself reasonably detached from the process and we arranged for the home-kill guy to come while I was at work. I’m sure eventually I’ll be ok to be there but for our first pig I decided to turn a bit of a blind eye! I gave him a good pat before I left for work and when I got home he was gone. Josh reassured me that the whole process was very quick and professionally done so that made me feel better. We had also watched a documentary recently on the state of some pig farms which was hideous, so knowing that our pig had lived a good life in a big paddock with a nice shelter and clean hay to sleep on erased any guilt I was feeling.

"Pig"

“Pig”

It was still a strange feeling though and the paddock looked a little empty with only 1 pig but the prospect of home grown bacon, pork chops and roasts was pretty exciting!

A week later Josh went to collect our meat – wow! When we spread it all out it looked pretty impressive. We ended up with 36 kilograms of meat in the form of roasts, chops, strips and bacon and it looked amazing. So much better than the pork you buy in the supermarket…this was real meat!

Filling up the freezer!

Filling up the freezer!

It is a great feeling knowing that we are making progress in our attempt to become self-sufficient. The meat looks amazing and tastes even better! I love knowing exactly where it has come from and what went into it and it is hugely satisfying knowing that we raised it ourselves.