In preparedness, as well as in our normal lives, my family has adopted a strategy of self-sufficiency on the homesteading model. While food storage, arms and ammunition, communications gear and generalized survival equipment and skills remain important to us, the ability to sustain ourselves long-term is the heart and soul of our preps.
These are strategies which serve us well in these “normal” times and will keep us going well into TEOTWAWKI days.
Is Raising Livestock for You?
We have previously discussed the basics of gardening for survival and self-sufficiency, but what about your meat, poultry, egg, and dairy needs in a long term crisis? Livestock is an option that all serious preppers should consider, but the keeping of animals should not be entered into lightly. Before you buy your first animal, you have to be fully aware that this is a responsibility and a commitment.
Your livestock need food and water regardless of the weather, they don’t go into stasis when your vacation comes along, and their needs don’t get put on hold when you get sick. Livestock ties you to the land 24/7/365. If you can’t live this commitment, then keeping livestock is probably not for you. Remember that these are living creatures, and even if they are bound for the cook pot they deserve your care and respect, and the best life you can provide for them.
With carefully selected livestock, a great deal of security can be achieved. I know that my chickens and turkeys will provide me with eggs and meat. I know my goats will provide a steady supply of milk and cheese.
My pigs will give me a periodic influx of bacon, ham, steaks and chops. I know my horses will get me where I need to go long after the gas pumps are dry.
However, I also know that I will have to run goats out of the orchard from time to time, that there will occasionally be chickens in the vegetable garden at the worst possible time, that vacations will be tough, and that I will have to find the funds to buy feed even when money is tight.