southwest florida 5+ acre property to have a couple horses, chickens, cats and dog. Modest home and barn. I"m a 100% disabled military veteran looking for a place to buy for my animals and husband ...
Nothing wrong with having a few acres around you. If you have really good grazing you can herd 2-3 Black Angus/acre. Usually you can run 4-5 smaller breed horses or 2-3 draft horses/acre. Don't go past that.
If you like smaller and more profitable animals, you can usually run 15-18 sheep/acre. Sheep and cattle get along all right, contrary to what you may have heard. We raise sheep for money and cattle for respectability.
Have enough shelter for all your animals to stay the nights. Cleaning stalls can be a lot of work, but if you have a small enough tractor and a low boy dump trailer cleaning a horse bay makes fast work of stall maintenance.
Make sure your barn has two doors so you can pull your tractor through with a trailer loaded with hay. You will need 25' of straight road to get in and out. Never try to back a trailer with a farm tractor: they don't back like they do behind a truck.
Have a good composter well downwind of your house and barn if you plan to slaughter at home. Cattle will give you 700-800 pounds of meat and 125 pounds of guts you can't sell. The composter for your place should be four chambers, each chamber 10' X 10' and 10' high, made out of strong poured and reinforced concrete.
Before you slaughter have the vet out to make sure the animal is healty. Never slaughter a sick animal. To deal with offal, layer in a foot of subsoil unto the chamber, and level it out. Process the animal as usual, save the heart, liver, and intestines, and rinse them out very well. They make great sausage casing for such as bologna. Nervous system tissue and the like have to be buried: USDA says so just to control Mad Cow disease.
Have a pit to drag diseased animals into and bury them whole: make sure you are down 12' at least and at least 200' away from your well.
Use the tractor to spread the offal in the composter, treat with Compomax, and layer on 3' of soil. Mark the date on the composter and let it sit 4-5 months.
Turn the compost then and hope you can keep your cookies, it smells really rank but it is necessary. Another 4-5 months and you will have good compost. Mix 1 bucket full of compost with 3 buckets full of topsoil and you will have enough nitrogen to grow corn and not have the ammonia smell you usually get.
Always breed your best animals, not the worst ones: you want to constantly improve your herd.
Rocmike what happened you are starting your posting marathon late today with Terrance Hill. I hope you still have time to get your 16 hours of posting in going to old questions and answers repeating the same thing over and over under many aliases.