Most of the time those who are the most vocal about how a thing won't work are the ones who would never try that thing, because they've already convinced themselves it can't be done, and what really drives me crazy is the excuse-making. When I was in the military we had some rather crude ways of saying things. One of the best was excuses are like assholes; everyone has one, and they all stink. I hate excuses. I hate making them, and I hate hearing them. I hate getting sucked into those conversations, because at the beginning of the conversation, I will believe that the person is genuinely interested in trying this thing we're discussing, but just in a quandry as to how to manage it, but then, for every possible solution, he/she will give me a reason why it wouldn't work, and really, some of the reasons why are kind of lame.
Those excuses are just euphemisms for "I'm not really interested", because if that person REALLY wanted to do whatever is being proposed (growing food, raising animals), he/she would find a way to do it.
I've had rabbits on my homestead almost since we bought our house. We've had chickens for the past five years, and we added ducks two years ago. When I talk about my livestock, especially in those early days, there were always those who would say, "well, that's good for you, but I can't have chickens."
And my response is that it doesn't have to be chickens. There are other options for egg-laying, meat producing birds for a small homestead. The problem is that most people can't think beyond the obvious. Chickens are against the rules for wherever they live and if they can't have chickens, there's nothing else.
... but there is ... something else.
How about quail?
Quail are much smaller than chickens, which means they take up considerably less space. In fact, six quail will fit in the space necessary for one laying hen. Likewise, their eggs are tiny, and three eggs is roughly equivalent to one chicken egg.
But they are prolific layers, and one could easily get overwhelmed in a very short time by the number of eggs provided by a dozen birds.
Quail are also very quiet. They don't cluck or crow. They coo and tweet, and it's actually quite a beautiful sound - a bit like wild bird song.
Unlike chickens, both male and female quail are needed for egg production, and a female quail will only lay for about nine months. But unlike the typical non-roostered suburban chicken flock, the quail flock can be self-propagating. I have to buy new chicks whenever I want new laying hens. If I had quail, I would only need to purchase the first set, and they would provide off-spring for me.
The bottom line is that the only thing that's truly impossible is that which we won't try. I won't go as far as to claim that there is some sort of potential food animal or food producing animal that can be kept no matter where one lives, but ... but, yes I will, because there is. It's just a matter of thinking beyond the usual choices.
For those who might be able to consider some traditional farm animals, I have two great books to giveaway:
The first is Barbra Kilarski's Keep Chickens! Tending Small Flocks in Cities, Suburbs, and Other Small Spaces. It's the book that started it all for me, and after reading this book, I just knew that I was getting chickens.
The second is Gail Damerow's Your Goats. I got this book because I wanted to raise goats, but I've since decided that goats aren't a good choice for me right now, and I'd like to pass this book along to someone who will actually use it.
Since there are two books (two winners), I'd like to make it a bit more interesting. You still only need to leave a comment for a chance to win (and if you have a preference of one book or the other, be sure to say so), but this time, if you send a friend over here and that person comments and gives your name, you'll be entered in the drawing twice.
AND THE WINNER IS ...The winner of the book The Solar Food Dryer is Ain't For City Gals. Congratulations :!. Please leave a comment with the address to which you would like your book mailed. Comments are moderated, and I won't post your address. Be sure to leave your full name :).
Greta, please leave a comment with your full name. I have your address, but don't have a name to mail it to, and want to be sure it gets to the correct person :).