side of urban homesteading
As we meet more people, we hear things like “I am going to quit my job and start urban homesteading” (hearing that I was like “um, first ask your wife because we aren’t going to be responsible for a divorce”). Then there are those who , at the spur of the moment, get some goats, then call us up afterwards with a long list of questions.
Actually, when it comes down to it, urban homesteading is not glamorous and it’s not all cute baby chicks and homegrown tomatoes
Truth is it’s work – yes, hard work, failures, sickness, diseases, flops, death, pests and a slew of other hardships. It takes a passionate and dedicated bunch to weather the storms every year and come back again with faith and perseverance.
This week one of our hens (Bella aka “Hells Bells”), who, as a pullet, was slightly weaker than the rest, had a mild case of prolapse. When an animal on the urban homestead gets sick or has problems, city folks have to realize that they, themselves, may be the only ones that can treat their animals. It’s not like there’s a chicken or goat vet around the corner. You gotta go in and treat them yourselves, so be sure you stock up on books on how to treat sick animals. And be sure you have the stomach to treat whatever is thrown your way without throwing up!
Having learned to treat our own, we soaked her bottom, smothered her backside in manuka honey to reduce swelling and gently pushed the ovriduct back in. She’s doing well today, but she’s always been prone to problems. Like the time she had a crop infection and she spent the night in my bed with my hand holding her infected crop. Of course, Jordanne’s holistic treatments worked wonders on her infection but you just know she won’t likely live as long as the others. It’s just one of those gut feelings – which we have found out after so many years of raising animals is pretty darn near accurate.
During the day we continued to check on her – right now, she’s hanging out with Sissy in the sun and having one heck of dust- kicking dirt bath. Choosing not isolate her completely is contrary to what many poultry experts would have prescribed, but she’s happy. We are always monitoring her and, after a few hours hanging with the gang, she was brought in for what we hope is some healing time. We’ll continue this routine, monitoring for as long as she needs.
So before jumping feet first into the urban homesteading waters, know this: the journey will be filled with long hours, little pay, you can forget about long vacations or even vacations, one disease and sickness after another (both plant and animal) failures and frustrations.
Are you up to the challenge? You aren’t just only digging in your garden, you are digging deep within yourself – wondering “do I really have what it takes to stick it out?” Heck, you may be surprised what you find out about yourself – sometimes, it ain’t pretty.