Part of our dream when coming to Bulgaria was to raise animals as food. Now I know some people don't want to know where the meat on their sunday lunch comes from but we did and still do.
Raising livestock for meat isn't for everyone........like most ex-pats we used to buy our meat all nicely presented and usually wrapped in clingfilm with cooking instructions.
But how has the animal been raised? Did it have a good life? Was it's ending sympathetic or stressful? Just some of the questions we'd had.
We'd kept horses back in the UK and a goat plus the usual dogs and cats etc but that doesn't even come close to preparing you to raise animals that you'll eat. Plus there's the fact that I class myself as an animal lover and just a trip to the local market means I usually get suckered into buying something sorry looking!
It was decided we'd start with chickens, not just for eating but for eggs too. So off I went to the local animal market with a friend in tow to help translate. Returning home a couple of hours later I'd bought a foal! Ooops
Back to the market the following week and this time I did buy 10 young chickens - Yay! Oh and a horse....LOL
Another horse was bought the week I went to help some ex-pat friends find a donkey! So now I try and stay away from markets if I can, otherwise we'll run out of space!
So we have a few small, scraggly chickens......a neighbour calls round to ask if we want to buy some birds, at this point I'm unsure if they're turkey's or geese - damn must improve my Bulgarian! David is off to the UK for a few days and while he's away I manage to buy 10 birds hoping they're turkeys. Luckily for me they are.
Next comes a pig, brought home from a friend of a friends house in the boot of our car. Lovely little thing he was too. We decide that's enough to start with, the kids are impressed and we're feeling good about things. We've talked to the kids about eating meat and that we're going to raise these animals as food (apart from the horses and donkey), they're ok with it and old enough to understand what's being said fortunately.