Originally Posted by DebbieSkinner
We tried cattle and also sheep a couple times and even goats. Just too difficult because of their size for our 5 1/2 acres and the fact that we have to irrigate to have grass/pasture. Plus the added difficulty of the infrastructure for containing larger animals and the difficulty in processing and freezer space required. I have some funny stories that I could share about our Coriente cattle escaping and roaming the area and the phone calls we received.
My folks had 25 acres but the horse, cow, sheep, goat livestock were still troublesome. The horses and cattle need lots of pasture and in SoCalif it's too dry most of the year except for a bit of green in Winter/Spring. The sheep tore up the ground and were nasty tempered with or without their lambs around. The goats were downright destructive, chewing car bumpers, bicycle tires, wooden gates, leather tack in the barn, and they were masters at escaping their enclosure, etc. Once they ate my Pop's uniform sleeves off the laundry hanging on the clothesline! None of these larger livestock were worth the bother and a moaning cow needing milking can bellow for miles! That's when the folks realized they could get meat AND eggs from just the poultry, with less feed cost, and less problems rounding up animals at dusk. The over-abundant milk-producing cow was never missed or the tons of homemade cheese either! Cows' milk is meant for nurturing calves rather than having humans forced to consume an over-abundance of dairy products.
Your question about geese interbreeding is that they are like chickens and will mate with anything - even a duck if they can catch one! Silly but I've seen it happen. Chickens cross-breed and so do ducks and geese. They generally stick with their own kind but all bets are off in breeding season. I've seen several drakes hopping on a single duck at the same time practically crushing her so I don't advise more than one male in a small gaggle or flock.
Your photos of your property are gorgeous! Enjoy!