When Times Get Tough

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Not that I enjoy knowing others are hurting, I don’t! Yet, when we have the opportunity to talk with other Farmers and Homesteaders who are hurting; it somehow brings a sense of comfort. Perhaps it’s just knowing that We’re not alone!

Six months ago it was difficult to find a Goat, even a male goat, for under $200 and sometimes they were selling for twice that. Now, it’s difficult to sell one at all, many have put them in the freezer or dropped their prices to $100 or less! Gas prices, Feed Costs, Building Upkeep, and so on are all steadily increasing in cost. It’s a two-edged sword and that is made worse by seemingly poor feed being supplied by Livestock Feed Companies. We hear of many people who’s hens have all but stopped laying! Likely due to the copious amounts of dust and filler that is evident in so much of the feed being sold. Not only that, but as someone recently pointed out, during Covid there were many large producers who were dumping milk and meat because they couldn’t get it to market due to lack of trucking. Undoubtedly some of the problems with the Feed are because it’s been sitting in Storage facilities for too long! We’re not sure of the reasons, but we all face ever-increasing costs and now a glut on the Live Animal Market that is pushing the prices down.

Then, making all of this worse are the overly abundant Government Regulations that, as I’ve been told are not allowing new farmers to get Licensed or Quota to sell Pork and Eggs. Thus, even those who want to go that route can’t because they can’t get Approval. So, that means basically sneaking around, selling eggs where we can and selling sides of pork when able. Which, some say falls under Farm Gate Sales. “Farm Gate” a handy term used by Government and Industry Regulators to keep the little guy out of it, and keep consumers buying “factory raised” from the Grocery Corporations and Factory Farms. It’s a sad state of affairs!

Now, couple this with the shame and embarrassment that comes from using your change to buy your next bag of livestock feed! Listing animals you’d rather not sell on Kijiji and hoping they sell. Waiting till the animals you have grow large enough to process and hopefully sell as Farm Gate Sales. 

Those trying to be honest and upright about it are left trying to fathom through the Regulations. Take for example, “Farm Gate Sales”. Some say it means that Sides of Pork can be sold, but not commercial cuts like packaged Pork chops or sausage, etc. Others say that “Farm Gate” means You can sell it as long as the Customer is coming to Your Farm or Homestead to buy it. Still, others, say Farm Gate means it’s alright as long the person You’re selling to is the end consumer and doesn’t resell it to someone else! What’s the Truth? Many of us who want to do things legally and upright find it hard to get clarity and many others just don’t try!

Regardless, things right now are difficult, not only for us, but for many others! In some way s we’re lucky, we at least have access to land to let our animals graze when the money for Feed and other Costs get out of hand and when all our money is tied up in our Livestock as we wait for them to reach Market Weight.

We’ve been blessed really because people know how well we care for our animals and have the space we’ve been asked to take in about 38 Birds and Animals. They still need to be fed, so we only felt able to take 6 Sheep and 8 Muscovy Ducks. We’d like to be able to take more, we sell most of ours when they’re young and as pets. Unfortunately, they don’t all go as pets and so some go in the freezer and others get sold. They all get named and treated as pets! They have a great life, except for that one bad moment!

In many ways, we are fortunate, and we have many great friends and followers, and many have asked how they can help! To answer that question, drop off a bag of feed, bring us old fencing, chargers, etc., and of course, if You are so inclined, Make a Donation.

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