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The Country Enterprise Handbook
Analysing your assets|Land use|Vegetables|Soft fruit|Flower & herb growing|Orchard & vineyard|Woodlands Sheep|Beef|Pigs|Rabbits|Hens|Ducks|Geese|Dairying|Kitchen|Bees|Wool|Water|Home|Contact us

Analysing your assets

...Your abilities

...Your space

>..Livestock or jam?

...Your work pattern

...Your environment

...Your selling skills

...Your marketplace

...Your packaging

...Your books

If you decide to carry on an enterprise in a property in which you already live, go outside on a rainy day, look around you and decide quite truthfully what you would like to be doing. If the answer is honestly that you would be happy out there working then your choice remains open. If the answer is that you would much rather be indoors reading the paper then under no circumstance be tempted into keeping livestock.

Things that can escape, and anything that can walk, fly or swim will escape on wet days. Wet, windy or the most awkward day that you can imagine. That is when the sheep 'go walkies' or the fox gets in with the geese and they start flapping all over the county. Almost everybody with livestock has had somebody let something out, whether accidentally or deliberately. We have had ponies let out on Christmas night by over-merry revellers. We have had sheep escape through gaps forced through hedges by over-enthusiastic walkers. It is all part of life's rich tapestry but if the thought of an unexpected interruption in a working day fills you with horror, then it is a part of the tapestry you would be better without. Keeping livestock means that seven days a week are working days. Even if you are not having to feed the animal or bird concerned, you must still keep a constant eye on it. Sheep happily grazing in an immaculately fenced field may look as if they can be left for a week or two. Apart from the fact that the law requires you to check on your animals daily, there is the sad fact that animals do become sick or injured and if left to their own devices die remarkably quickly.