Help convincing the wife (rabbits, quail, aquaponics)

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by RichnSteph, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My wife is/was all on board for backyard chickens very supportive of me building a coop etc. She is on board for the compost pile since it keeps yucky food stuffs out of the trash can in the house. Now that the compost pile has been infested with Black Soldier Fly larvae I'm in the process of building a stand alone BSF larvae bin (we'll be supplementing the chickens food with the larvae) and she's starting to get skeptical.

    I also want meat chickens, she's kind of ok with that just as long as I do the butchering. She refuses to allow meat rabbits or quail and has all but said the aquaponics system out back is all on me, even the garden part.

    What I need is help convincing her that the rabbits, meat chickens, quail, fish in the aquaponics system and the garden are all going to get us closer to food independence (or as close as possible) but I'm going to need help with the harvesting and care of all the parts. At this point she's decided that "Everything outside is yours to deal with, I'll take care of the inside but you still can't have rabbits and quail and crap like that out there."

    Other than just doing what I want and consequences be darned is there a gentle way to let her know that this is going to happen?


    Thank you in advance.
    RichnSteph
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd say baby steps. That's a lot of projects all going on at the same time. How much space do you have to dedicate to each project? Start with the egg and meat chickens. Get a batch of meat chickens in the freezer than revisit the rabbits and quail. Does the wife eat rabbit and quail? That might be a big part of the reluctance. Do you have kids that are going to have trouble eating Thumper? If this is your first go with chickens, there is enough things that can and will go wrong so limit how deep you go in.
     
  3. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're living on an acre of land so we've got the room we need. My wife has never eaten rabbit or quail and doesn't want to even try it. Our only child is 13 months old and will grow up knowing that the "pets" outside are destined for the freezer.

    This is our first go with chickens. The plan is to have six meat birds in the freezer by January. Between now and then get the fish/garden/aquaponics set up and ready to run next spring, I'll plant a few things in there to keep the fish alive but don't plan for a full blown garden until spring time. Then quail later in the year and rabbits next fall. I'm trying to do it in stages (I really would rather do it all now) so there is time for her to adapt to our little farm life.

    Thank you
    RichnSteph
     
  4. Alice28

    Alice28 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have to agree with Percheron chick. I know how it is to get an idea in your head ad want it all done now, sometimes you just need to slow down and take baby steps. Not knowing you, I can't say what your wife may be worried about, except the fact that a 13 month old can be extremly overwhelming without adding more and more to the plate. Do you tend to get ideas and not finish projects? I can see her being worried about having a bunch of half done projects. If you get chickens and have them a year, then she might be a little less stressed when the next project starts. I'm sure all these projects also cost a fare chunk which is also stressful. Like I said, I don't know you or your situation/ arrangement, but I do know being a parent to a young child and only being able to handle so much on my plate at a time. You might get started and decide you don't want to deal with more then te chickens, or you might get started and in a few months your wife starts to get really excited about the next step! I would love to see some pictures when you get it all started and going. Sounds like a lot of work, but also lots of fun! One day my husband and I would like to kind of have some of that going on ;) only no rabbits! But goats and more ducks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  5. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    x3 on taking baby steps partly out of consideration for your wife's feelings but also because there is a learning curve for all the projects you want to do.

    Personally, of the things you would like to do at some point, I would pick rabbits once you're comfortable handling the chickens. Learn as much about them as you can to see if you have the time (and acceptance by your wife) to take on another type of animal.

    We have chickens, meat rabbits, and goats (hoping to get to the hydroponics and beekeeping later). The meat rabbits we have are a pair of Californians and a pair of New Zealand Whites and they are the easiest animals we have to take care of. Rabbits are small, their living arrangements so to speak are fairly easy to accommodate, and with fresh water and measured amounts of feed, their basic needs are pretty well taken care of. We do some additional things for them like frozen water bottles and fans for the heat, fresh greens from the garden and a salt lick in each pen and in the winter we provide extra warmth by enclosing their area and put hay in their pens. Mating them was quick and delivery went well for our girls (the NZW had 2 and the CA had 8 from our 1st go at it).

    Have you ever butchered an animal before? I haven't and husband doesn't have any problem with me not being a part of that. So maybe there are parts of each project that your wife can do and get some enjoyment out of...for me it was feeding the rabbits, and of course watching the babies grow. Maybe your wife likes to garden and wouldn't mind using the poo for a garden. My husband is an amazing cook and he has found ways of fixing the rabbits for us that are delicious and tender so I don't really think "Ooh, that used to be a cute little bunny). Can you cook it if she's squeamish about handling rabbit meat?

    All this is a long way of saying, you both need to be on-board with the projects you mention because they will affect both of you. As you said, you'll both have a share in the work and expense.

    P.S. Just to clarify, I'm not saying rabbits are zero work but for us anyway, it has been easier and less expensive to take care of them then say the chickens or goats. Also, those cute little babies eat a TON of food as they grow so unless you do butcher them, be prepared to buy a lot of feed.
     
  6. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm lots of questions to answer in there. Let me give it a whack.

    I do finish my projects but they take time due to work and me wanting to spend time with the family after the daily grind in town. My wife knows me well enough to know that I'll plan something 3 times, change the drawings a half dozen or more and then take a few hours making sure I've got what I need to finish it once I put saw to lumber. I do cook well, my wife is much better at it than I am. We have both butchered animals from dove and quail sized up to deer and elk so no issues there although she doesn't want to ever do it again. No worries there though, I'm happy to do all the "icky" work.

    I will take ya'lls advice and take small steps. We'll start with the laying birds and get comfortable with that. Then go to the aquaponics over the fall/winter so that we can plant in the spring. After the garden is up and going well I'll pick up a few meat birds, or since we're starting with Buff Orpingtons I could get 10 instead of 4+rooster and butcher a few of them come spring if they are large enough. So after butchering I can see if she'll go in for quail and maybe rabbits later on down the line.


    Thanks again folks. We want to be as self reliant as possible with regards to food and we want it done soon. I'd prefer to feed my child on garden veggies and actual farm raised meat just like my wife and I were. Buying organic will put us in the poor house in a hurry.

    I'll start a thread once things are progressing and put up pictures of the coop/chickens, compost bins/BSF larvae bin and the aquaponics. We're still planning to go solar in the next 5 years so cutting down on our food costs will help add a little to the money for that.

    Take care all.
    RichnSteph
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  7. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    Wanting to be as self reliant is possible is a great goal...my husband and I have the same one. And raising a child on fresh veggies and farm meat is a very good idea. It sounds like you all will be very busy through these next several years (and what fun once your child is old enough to "help").

    I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing how things are going for you!
     

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