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Monday, April 13, 2009

Don't Forget the Animals

Living in the desert creates a different scenario for having animals than those of you that have animals in an area where it are not so arid. In southern New Mexico, the Mesquite grows like weeds. The leaves of the Mesquite are just fine for the animals. Feeding the animals is important regardless of any situation. Food storage should include foods for their needs as they will provide you and your family with so much.

In this photo my daughter is harvesting the leaves of the Mesquite. We have several bags and when we go out and about we gather the bags full to supplement the sheep, goats, and birds diets. Planning for the animals is very important, and here it is more time consuming, but solutions are in front of us.

The Mesquite grows a bean that can be dried and given to the animals as feed, or it can be ground into a flour and used to make a flat bread. It can also be ground and made into a coffee.

The Mesquite tree can be used for firewood. It burns so amazing, that my husband only uses this wood in the grill...green. He sends my sons out to cut several branches when he is planning on grilling.

As with most things in the desert, the Mesquite requires some stealth handiwork to take the leaves and gather the beans as the Mesquite has awful thorns. Living here in the desert southwest requires that one has tweezers on hand 24-7...
Since we moved to our farm we have studied intently what can be provided in the case of not being able to run into the local feed store. We have harvested the local grasses for feed, and collected the Mesquite beans, leaves and even the wood. We must not overlook the needs of our animals in prepping. Put together a med kit for each kind of animal, so that you can ensure that you take proper care of your critters.
These are two of the Double Nickel Farm Navajo Churro Sheep. This breed has been in the desert southwest for several hundred years, and are used to forage in this arid land.

We live in harsh times, not because I personally live in a dry arid climate, but because of the economy. One must take into account the needs of your animals when you are prepping. Don't forget that many items can be multi purpose reasons.
(c) double nickel farm
Have a great week!


Kymber said...

a very important post Jennifer and one that i think a lot of people who live in the city overlook - they forget to "prep" for their animals! hopefully people living on homesteads always prep for their animals...being that their animals are part of their lives and lifestyles. but a lot of city dwellers forget to stock up on food and first aid for their pets! thanks for reminding all of us with this post!

tweell said...

Hmm. I think I need another bag or two of dog food! Thanks!

erniesjourney said...

I know this is my main panic right now - not enough pet food - as soon as get tax check back we are going to remedy that situation too! Going to stock up but GOOD! Great post! Wish I had me some o' those pesky trees here!

Humble wife said...

Erniesjourney- yep I would think that is good advice. I use my egg money to buy feed and surplus, plus we forage much on the land. Don't forget with poultry that you can just dig up a few patches under grass and they will be busy looking for bugs....I wish we had grass that would grow and be green and not turn brittle and brown!(sigh- the grass is greenerlol)they like grass too. And food slops---bones, onion skins, peelings, egg shells broken up, ANYTHING...we even give them bones from chckens- it is a mad dash as they LOVE BONES. Oh and the last thing a snake wll do here on the farm is accidently cross into a chicken pen.--then the football finale is on(what we call it as snakes are WORTH more than gold to OUR chickens!

No panic by the way...the animals will be fine...

Humble wife said...

Tweell- my advice? Buy several bags of generic cheapy kind and the same of good and mix in a new garbage can with lid. THen it stretches more. Dogs are like us and will eat anything- if hungry enough(well heck they lick their bottoms so even if not hungry-lol)!!

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