Greetings, and welcome to the Mighty Menagerie!
Ten months ago my wife and I embarked on a new adventure. We bought a house on twenty acres in a tiny rural town on the coast of Oregon. Previously, we had lived on just over an acre in a larger community, although still a bit rural. On that acre, we had dogs and cats, fish, the occasional turtle. Then one spring day, we took the kids to the farm store and got six baby chicks. I heard somewhere that they are a gateway livestock (see this hilarious youtube video: https://youtu.be/Ll187f27Pxg). Boy, isn’t that the truth!
We were happy with our six chicks. So happy, in fact, that we decided a few ducks would be fun, too. They all grew up and by September the hens were laying some fine, tasty, farm-fresh eggs for us. The ducks started a little later. Then Christmas rolled around and my mother-in-law, in all of her wisdom, bought me a baby goat as a Christmas gift. She was adorable. The goat, not my mother-in-law. Although, at 4’11’’, she is pretty adorable, as well.
Fast forward to the following spring. Back to the farm store we went, where we purchased another couple of ducks. By this time, we have eight chickens, eight ducks, two dogs, two cats, and a goat. That seems like enough, right? Nope. The wife decides that what we really need are a couple of pigs; American Guinea Hogs to be exact. “They’re a pasture pig,” she says… “They’ll be fun,” she says.
In the meantime, my wife got a new job 63 miles south of where we lived, 50 miles south of where I work. It was a terrible commute. So we started looking for a house closer to the middle. As chance would have it, not long into our search, days really, we found a house exactly halfway between her job and mine. It was the perfect location. When we talked to the realtor we found out that it was on twenty acres. It was kismet; like it was meant to be.
This is where the menagerie part comes in… Since the move we are now up to two dogs, two cats, one goat, two pigs, four horses, forty-two chickens (for eggs), forty-three Cornish Cross chickens (for meat), one duck (that’s a story for another post), and five rabbits. To that number I add my two kids still at home and the two that are out of the nest, the two nieces, two nephews, and various other family members that are bound to drop by anytime. We are truly a strange or diverse collection of people or things.