Q. What is the purpose of the goats, the turtle, the ducks, and Quinn (its a bird you have I just don’t know what it is called)? I saw that you feed them leftovers then compost their poop, but couldn’t you just compost the leftovers?
A. Our animals not only provide us with companionship, they are vital to the holistic structure of the urban homestead’s ecosystem.
– The chickens and ducks provide us with eggs (we call them “sunshine eggs”) which are much more healthful than any eggs you can buy at the store
– Duck and chickens also are good at turning over soil in our raised beds at the end of the season and eating the “bad” bugs. Our property is so small that we let the chickens and ducks loose in the garden sometimes (under supervision, of course – because they can get carried away) .
– There are movable “tractors” that you can build. Google “chicken tractors” and you’ll find plans, I am sure.
– Ducks and turtles love snails (and slugs!) which are a menace to any garden
– The goats will one day provide us with milk
– These backyard barnyard animals are great composters and give nutrient rich fertilizer. We like to call the animals our pet organic compost system. Why? You are right, we could just compost the leftovers but the animals take the kitchen scraps and instead of waiting for months for the leftovers to break down into soil, they turn the food scraps into organic fertilizer and compost in a matter hours. Very efficient.
– Chickens and goats can be used as a method of weed control
– We are vegetarian so we don’t eat our animals, but if you were to eat meat these animals would provide you with a protein food source.
– Each of the animals (yes, even chickens!), has its own different and unique personalities. We jokingly tell folks ” we don’t have cable tv, we have animals.” They provide us with hours of entertainment – they are fun to watch.
– Goats are great pets – you can train them like dogs. We take ours for walks
– We don’t “compost their poop” their poop can be immediately used in the garden (no composting necessary). The soil of our animal enclosure is now rich, black dirt thanks to all their droppings.