I talk a great game about recycling food and adaptive reuse at Mezzacello. I really do feed every scrap I can back to the animals, insects and compost. Some days I do feel like Seymour trying to find enough “food” for Audrey II – especially compost! But the truth is one MUST have a reliable source of nutritional feed on hand if you want healthy animals and ecosystems. That means a quarterly trip to the Rural King in Circleville, OH to buy three 50 lb bags of poultry and three 50 lb bags of rabbit feed. I pour all three bags into a metal 50 gallon trash can with a tight locking lid. One for poultry, one for rabbits, I also store other feed supplements this way. That will last through the rest of winter and into early spring.
In addition to feed I must buy treats (for variety) grit (for digestion and egg production) minerals and salts (for healthy microbiomes) and replace equipment like watering bowls, stall mattes and even a new breeding stud rabbit (I named him Alice Cooper) and six baby chicks. It adds up. The feed and livestock alone was $119.68 and the total bill was $227.54.
If that seems like a lot, your math is off. The value of the fresh food, fertilizer, meat, eggs, insect eating benefits and their impact on my passion, purpose, physical and mental health and mission is so much more. I have friends who spend what I spent on feed on drinks in one night. Reframe costs and benefits and ROI. I love my life here on this farm. I believe in my mission — all of it. And it fills me with pride, Health, and vitality. $227 well spent. Just don’t do the math on the costs of fresh eggs… LOL!
Also, say hello to my Leetle Friend, Alice Cooper!
Rick’s initial reaction to more rabbits was funny: he immediately put out a call on Facebook that “he” was up for adoption. The HE in question was me, Nonetheless we got multiple calls and messages willing to adopt Alice Cooper, but when I told them it was me up for adoption, well no one wants a crazy scientist, artistic farmer with poor impulse control. LOL!