Hi from the Winterless North!
We don't have any live stock at the moment (and one of our daughters has informed us that we can't call ourselves a farm because possums, rabbits and a semi tame eel don't count!) and we want to learn as much as we can about the "do's" and "don'ts" before we venture in that direction. I also need to learn the art of fruit preservation, now that we are starting to grow more than our kids (all 5 of them!) can eat.
The forum seemed a good place to get ideas, feedback and interact with a wider base of people who "get" what we are about (some of our friends freely admit that while they love to visit, they think we need our heads examined wanting to do this on a permanent basis). So here we are!
Look forward to talking to you
What do they mean those don't count? Well, probably only the tame eel actually counts, in my book.  Learning about livestock before you have them is a very sensible idea and something a lot of people make the mistake of not prioritising, to the cost of their animals' welfare! Ask anything you like. Never think a question is to stupid to be asked.
Runamuck;423052 wrote: ...and one of our daughters has informed us that we can't call ourselves a farm because possums, rabbits and a semi tame eel don't count!) and we want to learn as much as we can about the "do's" and "don'ts" before we venture in that direction. ...
Yup all are still at home (2 at high school, 2 at intermediate and 1 at primary) but it's not as brave at it sounds. Sadly current financial constraints mean that we are tied to jobs and Monday to Friday we live in suburbia. Also, as much as we'd like to, 7 of us living full time in the current arrangements is just not feasible, so the permanent move has to wait until the house is built - which of course is itself driven by finance; not to mention the weather. Preparation of the site has now stalled until after winter - it's just too wet and boggy to work our aging heavy equipment safely on the hill (and the digger is now in the shed with it's tracks off while we weld up the sprocket tips).
Of course it's a bit of a catch 22 situation because there is lots of stuff we can't do until we are up there full time; but we are viewing it as a learning opportunity and trying not to mind the delay too much - it's only 18 months away after all.
What we really need to do is understand what livestock are suitable for what we want to do; and how to care for them properly - after all it's not quite the same as having a cat and a dog or two! Chickens are a must have, but in terms of providing meat, milk etc do you opt for a few sheep/pigs/goats/house cow/mix of all and in what numbers?
As I say - it's probably just as well we have this time to learn first, put into practice later as we have an awful lot to learn!
Anyway, good luck with all your projects! We love goats, so of course 'Go Goats!', but it's all down to what your circumstances allow. We also have a house cow for the cream and occasional cheese making, but all the milk we drink is from our goats, and nearly all the cheese I make is goats' milk. I find they are easy-care and quite enjoy the company of people, and no where near as pushy as our house cow, whom we've had since she was 4 days old. She thinks she's a big puppy!
I can give you ideas about preserving - I am the preserving queen!
Bottling is good and can be used for crumbles etc, and on cereal for brekkie. But what our kids love even more is dried fruit and fruit leathers. I do have a dehydrator, but because of the power comsumption (so no so suitable for you with a generator) I actually did 90% of mine this year in the front of a car on a sunny day. Took about 1.5-2 days. We did feijoa and apple, but now going to do kiwifruit and persimmon.
To do the roll-ups/leathers, you boil it slightly, mush it slightly, spread on a tray and dry! Good luck
Some people are so poor, all they have is money.
Oh and the generator is big enough to run all our electrical appliances so dehydrator sounds very appealing, especially for leathers for the kids school lunches. Hubby cranked it up the other day, had 5 heaters, his welder, all the lights, the tv and the dryer going!