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Keeping Livestock in Bulgaria

Updated on September 26, 2012
Honey comb
Honey comb

It is quite common in rural Bulgaria to keep livestock at home. Most houses have a decent sized garden and barns for housing animals. Donkey's and horses are still used daily as transport and if you drive through any village you will see them pulling carts. In fact animals are everywhere, dogs, cats, farm animals and wildlife all play an important part in Bulgaria.

Traveling through the country you will notice there aren't many fences around, larger animals are either tethered or accompanied by a shepherd. There are huge amounts of open land and agriculture is a large part of daily life in rural areas. The fields of sunflowers are stunning to see when in bloom, but even better is the first day the young lambs come out to play.

Many people keep a few sheep or goats for milking, and they are usually out with a local shepherd through the day. Each evening they head home and it's quite a sight to see. The Bulgarians also raise pigs for the table, rabbits, chickens and turkeys also. You can find livestock markets in most areas, where animals of all shapes and sizes are sold. Bee keeping (apiary) and raising snails as food are also popular in rural areas and can provide you with an additional income.

Some types of commercially produced livestock feeds are available to buy in Bulgaria, but can work out expensive. Locally sourced grains are much more readily available and cheaper, the downside is you often have to bag, weigh and collect them yourself at harvest time and then find a place to store large amounts of corn, barley, oats etc. Lucerne (alfalfa) is fed, along with hay and these 2 will often need transported by yourself and stored for the winter to avoid paying a higher price during bad weather.

Storing winter feed isn't a huge problem as most properties have large barns and outhouses. But beware of storing anything too close to your home as vermin will appear. Large plastic barrels are found in local hardware type shops and will keep some of the rats and mice out. An old chest freezer is also a good way to keep pests and moisture out of animal feeds. You will see sign of vermin though as you would in any other rural setting.

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