Posted by Kitty Sharkey , Thursday, July 21, 2011 10:05 AM
I'd like to clarify one point raised by a comment to my last post.
I hope to raise my own, though maybe not quite on the scale you are.
On what scale to I actually produce my own meat?
Yes, I have a lot of animals, and yes some of them are raised for meat. But since going down this path I find that I eat much less meat than I did before choosing to live my life this way. Because I choose to raise and slaughter my own meat, it has become much more precious to me. I acknowledge the life that I gave the animal, and the fact that it's given its’ own life to nourish me.
As to the scale of meat production here on my homestead, it's a lot less than one might assume when looking at my place. Here's a general idea of my schedule.
Once a quarter, I raise 3 or 4 meat birds for my own personal consumption. Since I'm normally only feeding myself, one chicken or duck provides me with anywhere from 4 to 6 meals, or enough meat to feed my guests should I have friends over. Since I am not allowed to own a rooster for breeding, I buy straight run chicks (not sexed). I cull at approximately 4 months, which is when a rooster usually starts to crow anyway.
Once a quarter, I breed one of my two doe rabbits. One rabbit provides me with approximately 2-1/2 meals. The number of kits born varies. Delilah had 7 kits in her last litter. Melissa currently has 9. The kits are weaned at approximately 8 weeks and separated by sex to prevent any unwanted pregnancies. I cull at approximately 3 - 4 months once they have reached approximately 3-1/2 pounds dressed weight.
Based upon this schedule, I consume approximately 1 chicken and 2-3 rabbits per month. That calculates to approximately 10 meals a month, or 2 meals a week. It’s even less if I entertain friends.
So exactly how much meat DO I eat? Far less than the 96.6% of the US adult population who are meat eaters. Far FAR less!