Hi from a newbie

13 years 2 months ago #24580 by eunicia
Hi from a newbie was created by eunicia
Hi everyone

Thanks to Kate for helping me sort out registration issues, I can now use LSB forums. I have instructed gmail that lsb emails are not spam, so hopefully won't have any more issues.

My husband has recently joined lsb and been getting tonnes of help and advice from everyone so I thought I'd join as well.

We have a 1.3 acre lifestyle block in Okura which we bought in the beginning of the year. It was tenanted for about 10 years prior to that and so we spent the better part of the year cleaning up and renovating this very neglected property, in time for the arrival of our first baby.

We have absolutely ZERO experience when it comes to semi-rural living or livestock so I would take this opportunity to apologise in advance for all the stupid questions I am bound to ask.

We are still looking for a pet orphan lamb or goat and 3-4 chooks to complete our menagerie, but one thing at a time I guess, as we are also still getting used to our newborn baby! I hope that we can get it to a state where our children can enjoy growing up.

Looking forward to getting to know ppl here!

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13 years 2 months ago #347160 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic Hi from a newbie
Hi Eunicia and welcome. Congrats on your new baby boy - how wonderful for you and your husband. :)

There are no stupid questions when it comes to land/livestock etc - many of us started out knowing nothing about rural life, but you'd be amazed how quickly you pick things up. And there are lots of people on the forum who will give you very good advice on all sorts of subjects.

Mine would be to start with some hens - they don't take too much in the way of facilities (although some members lucky chooks live in absolute mansions :D ) and will provide you with lovely fresh eggs. Orphan lambs and goats are so cute, but they grow and will need more in the way of knowledge and facilities to look after properly, e.g. fencing, catching/holding facilities, shelter etc. IMHO as a sheep person, raising just one lamb could be a bit awkward in the long term, firstly because they're flock animals and, I believe, need company of their own kind, or at the very least another paddock mate. Secondly, even hand reared ewes can get a bit bolshy as they grow and have been known to play "who's boss" around people. Don't even think for a second about hand raising a ram lamb, specially with a young child... Rams are tricky enough with experienced sheep handlers and can be a dangerous disaster with newbies.

I'm not sure about goats, but there are many goat lovers on the site who will be able to advise you.

It's always great reading about other people's journeys into rural life, so please keep posting and let us know how you get on.
Cheers, Mich. :)

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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13 years 2 months ago #347190 by eunicia
Replied by eunicia on topic Hi from a newbie
Hi Mich. Thanks for the words of encouragement! Re: the orphan lamb, spook pointed us to one at the local vet which we have since adopted over the weekend and he is doing well, prancing around with one of our jack russells. we already have 3 other sheep lawnmowing for us so hopefully when he grows bigger he can join them in the paddock and won't feel lonely.

I very much want to have some chooks to get some eggs. Just not quite sure where to start. I have the following issues / questions to sort out before we get them:

1. what breed is good to get for eggs and also "low maintenance", if there is such a thing with chooks
2. housing - those chicken coops on trademe or here seem so expensive. they are all upwards of $300... is it enough to have one of those and house 2-4 chooks and contain them at the same time?
3. containment and protection - in addition to a coop, do they need a fenced off area with poultry fencing to run around in? problem is, our new neighbour has 2 cats. and we have 2 jack russells and while our dogs got along with our kune kune and lamb pretty quickly (they all share the front yard), i don't think that dogs instinctively will get along with chooks! and the neighbours cats - well we have no control over them and they can jump more than our dogs..
4. are they expensive to keep - chook food, etc


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13 years 2 months ago #347197 by Jessica2710
Replied by Jessica2710 on topic Hi from a newbie
Hi there

We have 2 cats and orpingtons hens.

It's sooooo funny to watch :D :D - the cats don't stand a chance against the chickens. They run away if the chickens come anywhere near them (hilarious - especially when we first got the chickens the cats didn't knwo what to do) :p
They are somewhat interested in chicks, but we haven't had anything untoward happen yet. But then again, I suppose every animal is different, maybe our cats are just 'pussies' [;)]

Our dog is another story unfortunately. Still need to work on stock aversion with this one.

I am new to the rural life too and have learnt so much in the last year both from the internet, books, neighbours and this forum. I know I still have tonnes more to learn though (Lambing for the first time this week).

A book I found useful was Practical Small Farming in New Zealand by Trisha Fisk (can I put that on here?:confused:). Its written specifically for NZ and covers care for different lifestock, fencing, pasture etc.

Good luck with everything :D

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