Things to expect living in the country.

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by TheHalfWayCoop, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. TheHalfWayCoop

    TheHalfWayCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    Campbellville Ontario
    This is sort of a weird post... but DH and I are going to go look at a farm Friday that would put us 'out there' a bit. Mind you, we wouldn't be more than a 20 minute drive from a convenience store, or gas station I don't think, but I'm thinking of things like, what to expect from using oil to heat, using and maintaing a well, proper rural neighbour ettiquette (is there such a thing?), how to deal with wild life, does everyone who lives in the country keep a gun? I'm trying to think of all angles to make sure we're making the right choice. I really, REALLY want a farm for the purpose of growing our own food, keeping the chicken, bees, and possibly raise a cow for milk and a pig/steer/other for meat. I love the quiet, I love the dark, and I don't mind not having neighbours, but I'm wondering if in the 'romanticism' I'm ignoring things that could pose potential problems that we don't know how to deal with. We have four small children (and one on the way) as well, so we want to make sure they're all good too. I think it would be good for them and they love caring for the chickens, etc...

    To sum it up [​IMG] What tips do you have for rural living? Special tips for those who have hard winters like we do?
  2. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    I am in BC. Guns? You know Canadians have a different attitude- and laws- about guns, than our southern neighbours. It depends on your area (wildlife wise) if you need one, and how willing you are to go through the process of being legal to get one.

    A good rule of thumb to living out in the country is never run out. Never run out of heating oil, animal feed, people feed, kid medicines. Make sure you have a small stockpile so you do not have to run to the store. Keep enough food for at least a week.

    If you are on a well system, have backup water. Learn how to use your back up. This could mean as simple as having a few jugs of water in your basement. Have back up heat and know what to do- in the dark, when your hands are numb. Depends how far out you are, but a back up phone is a great idea.

    Talk to your neighbours. Ask about wildlife, water, what grows best.... Nearest everything. With kids you will need to factor in how close Emergency services are. Closest ER? How fast can you get there? In snow... at night.... with a screaming baby....

    Good luck in your new adventure!
  3. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    We are 20 minutes from everything too. The main thing is to keep your pantry and freezers full because you can't just run to McDonald's. As far as critters, you better expect them in all shapes and sizes, including every stray dog and cat that comes by (or is dropped off). We do keep guns, one for every size animal. We don't have bad winters here so I'm no help on that. The neighbors will be important out in the country, you won't have many so be good to the ones you do have. The kids will love living with all the animals, helping with the garden and being able to play all day outside. At least mine does.
  4. andbab

    andbab Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you have a dog make sure to keep it at home. Country neighbors don't appreciate strange dogs chasing their livestock or ripping up the garden. It is nice to have a really bright flash light handy to check weird noises in the night. Living in the country is the best my kids love it. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
  5. StupidBird

    StupidBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    If your neighbor calls to tell you he just hit a deer at so-and-so, it's assumed you know to toss a cooler or two in the car and meet him there. If you have a truck, its coolers and a tow chain. [​IMG]

    Seriously, I'm sure you'll find it great. clairabean has the right direction. Check the Sufficient Self sister site (link at bottom of BYC page)

    *OMG, I hear a tree frog in the citrus I wheeled inside for the winter! Gotta go, the dog is going nuts*
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Quote:All excellent advice! A few other tips...

    Power outages are common in the country due to fallen trees on the lines during ice, snow or rain storms. Prepare for this with flashlights, candles, kerosene lamps, Coleman lanterns, etc. Learn how to use these things and have a plan before it happens.

    Your older neighbors can educate you on well usage and probably know more about your well than you were told by the realtor or previous owner. People in the country are both extremely nosey and, at the same time, extremely private. It's hard to understand or explain, but they value their privacy...just not yours. They don't mean to be rude but it is more cultural than behavioural. This can work to your advantage when you need help or information but can work to your detriment if you have any weirdness or unlawful practices planned.

    Your pets cannot run free just because they are in the country. If anything, the older country people are more strict on this than anything else. They have livestock and they don't mess around with someone's pet just because you and your kids may luuuurrrrrve it. If it's spotted in their fields, it is an automatic target. They may give you a chance to come and claim your pet...and again, they may not. Good fences make good neighbors more so in the country than anywhere one appreciates drifting stock, pets, etc. on their land.

    Your chickens are more in danger from predators, so adapt to this by providing livestock guardian animals, hides, vigilance, etc. Out in the country, there are no such things as a Ft. Knox coop...there is always something that can get in, so provide for this by having your own predatory animal on guard night and day.

    Be prepared for some of the friendliest folks you will ever meet...and some of the most stand-offish. They don't change much in the country, so any change is hard for them to deal takes them time to get used to you. It's best if you try to fit into neighborhood instead of trying to change it to meet your if your neighbor gets up at 5am and moves his cattle, they are bawling like they're murdered, and he is yelling at them to boot, I'd just refrain from asking him to stop this practice so your husband can sleep. Likely he has been doing this for all his life, his father before him, and so on and so forth.

    Once you are there for awhile, you'll wonder why in the world you didn't do this sooner and will dread the thought of ever "going back". The quiet, star-filled nights, the sound of the wildlife, the friendly waves and the wonderful solitude of the country will feed your soul like nothing else.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  7. Magnolia_1971

    Magnolia_1971 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 19, 2011
    mukwonago, wi
    We just moved from out in the middle of no where to a little closer to town. The things that were a problem for our family are as follows; most of the negatives deal with transportation.

    Taking kids to friends houses 20 min. 1 way, 40 min round trip just to drop off. [​IMG]
    School transportation. No bussing for us. [​IMG]
    After school sports (lots of driving) really anything to do with school
    No kids in neighborhood for kids to play with [​IMG]
    Long response time for police ext.
    No one to car pool with [​IMG]
    Gas is expensive [​IMG]
    groceries are 40 minutes away, round trip [​IMG]
    family did not visit much because we were so far out.
    far from work
    the smell of cow and pig poop! very bad in the spring with farmers spread it on there land. The flies were bad this time of the year also. [​IMG]
    No cable

    Now the good (what I miss)
    So beautiful [​IMG]
    secluded [​IMG]
    we could afford a large house, now our house is medium to small [​IMG]
    The sunsets, such a wide open area [​IMG]
    watching storms come in [​IMG]
    the view from the house, large farms

    I hope this helps. Good luck! You should be able to get a good deal. [​IMG]
  8. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    THIS makes it all worth it.

    Extra everything on hand, yup.
    Keep your vehicle(s) in good repair, especially tires, windshield wipers, and battery. Keep a good, bright, flashlight in each vehicle, plus a blanket or two you won't mind losing or getting muddy or bloody. You may never need to use those blankets, but if you do, you'll be glad you had them handy. Keep roadway flares or reflective triangles in the car, too.

    Get a GOOD sturdy, not too large wheelbarrow! One you can manage; if you get one too large, it will be frustrating as heck. Trust me, everybody in the country has uses for wheelbarrows. Folks naturally think of shovels, rakes, hoses, but don't always think of buying a wheelbarrow...

    Buy yourself some sparkly wind-spinners and wind-chimes. Hang 'em from the eaves or out in trees; they will brighten your spirits on cold, wintry days and help keep hawks away year 'round.

    Good luck on finding your own little homestead in the country!
  9. LoveMyFeatherBabies

    LoveMyFeatherBabies Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 8, 2011
    Shelby, NC
    I was raised in the city and moved to the sticks when I got married.

    Yes, we have guns - lots of them. We have strange people who show up at times and we like to have weapons for them as well as critters.

    The biggest thing I have had to adjust to is the well system. If your power goes out, you have no water unless you have a hand pump. This is why we keep jugs of water in the basement. We also have a creek nearby if necessary. You will want water on hand, I promise. Definitely have alternative heating and lighting sources (we have a wood stove in the basement and a stock pile of flaslights, batteries, wood, food, etc.)

    Our neighbors are very friendly, but then again we are in the southeast. People let their dogs roam and there is an understanding that if they cause trouble, they are fair game. (We have cow pastures across the field and the kids love it when the cows get out and come grazing in our yard!)

    You will need a dog or two outside because they really keep the chicken predators away. Like everyone else said, you will ask yourself why you waited so long to move out to the country. It is the best place to be!
  10. X2Farm

    X2Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Homer, GA
    What to expect?!

    If you live near anyone with cattle.. weaning time can get rather noisy [​IMG] Unless they're like us, and the cows bellow every time they see us, day or night [​IMG] There are times I feel sorry for our neighbors [​IMG] [​IMG]

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