Does anyone have suggestions for protecting a free range flock from hawks?
I have used scare tape and a number of other shiny/spinning things attached to my egg mobile to varying degrees of success, but I've lost several birds recently. I've never really had problems with dogs or other mammals eating on them here, it's always been raptors.
Is a guardian animal the way to go? Geese? Guinea fowl?
I thought there was a reason you wouldn't want to use native seed as a rootstock, difficulty accepting a graft or something like that.
There are tons of trees all over the place in Atlanta, I always identify new ones when I'm visiting my girlfriend there, but I don't know if I have the time to collect many thousands of seeds.
Project is in its infancy right now. I'm working with a gentleman that manages several thousand acres across Georgia, everything from row crops to pasture to hunting land. He's been working with a company that is interested in getting into the pecan game. He knows me through my day job and knows I am obsessed with trees and asked me to help. We have several acres to use, fenced and irrigated and I have access to a plastic layer and a good compost tea brewer. Instead of buying seedlings we are thinking it might be cheaper to produce grafted stock on our own and supply this large scale planting.
I'm looking for a place or places to get southern pecan seed stock. I am starting a 2-3 acre nursery project in the fall and I'll need several thousand nuts. I'd prefer seed from the Southeast, more specifically from GA and if possible from an orchard that is hands-off in terms of chemical inputs.
Not sure if there's an easy answer to this. It seems like this is a case where knowing a grower is very helpful, and unfortunately I don't really have a connection at this point.
I put some new birds out in my egg mobile about a month or so a go and I still have a bunch that refuse to go inside each night. I have an automatic door, and have never had an issue getting new birds to learn when it's time to go to bed. These new ones are underneath the mobile every night, but they just wont climb the ladder and go inside. Does anyone know something I can try to get them to go to bed? Having to corral 50 chickens every night and throw them inside is starting to suck.
I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right place, but here goes. For the past couple of weeks I've been aerating a 3 gallon plastic container full of water and clippings from my comfrey and stinging nettle plants.
I'm not sure exactly what my final product is. Should I dilute it when I use? Should I just dump everything into my backpack sprayer?
I'm looking for suggestions on an easily portable mineral feeder that I can move from paddock to paddock. My current feeder is easy enough to toss in the back of the truck after my animals go to a new salad bar but it doesn't do so great keeping the elements out. I've used a larger feeder on skids before but I wasn't a huge fan of that. If it was wet it tended to make a mess.
I'm not opposed to buying something but would love any feeders that can be cobbled together from any of the random bits of whatnot I have lying around.
I just listened to an earlier episode of PV today, it was a presentation from your workshop last year. Was this the government service you were referring to where I can get some goodies for free? - http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/orders.html
Also, govliquidation.com is my new favorite thing. Yes I do need a 1943 M3 half track.
What's the best way to handle quercus suber seeds? Time of stratification? Also, what's best site for them? I've got plenty of garbage GA clay to choose from but J. Russell Smith reckoned they would grow well for me so I bought some seed from Schumacher's and I'm gonna plant them out and see how they do.
I'm currently shopping for farmland and I think I'd like to live in a yurt once I find the right place. If it was good enough for the Mongolians while they conquered most of the known world then it must be good enough for me and my modest ambitions. I've done a good bit of research on my own but I'm just curious if anyone out there has any advice or can speak to the real cost of these things. Prices quoted on websites are just for the shell of the building and I'm interested in having some creature comforts like a private bedroom, running water and electric. Barely on the grid living I guess. I've been looking at the larger yurts from Pacific and Rainier, 30' or 33' diameter. Also, sorry if this doesn't belong in this category, this is the first time I've posted on the building forum.
I'm in north central GA, zone 8 and looking for cultivars of pecan, black walnut, heartnut, chestnut, hazelnut, mulberry, apple, mayhaw, jujube, honey locust and almond.
Anyone have experience with 'Excel' pecans? It's a newer variety and UGA is all over them for low input and organic plantings. Haven't had any luck finding a budwood source for them though.
I'm growing a handful of Pakistan mulberries right now and was very impressed with the size of the fruit and the amount of growth the trees put on throughout this season but I haven't seen any other cultivars in action.
Have you had any issues with your pigs obeying the fence? I've raised pastured hogs a couple of different places and they've always been generally disinterested in getting outside the poly wire because they got their daily ration of grain plus unlimited access to nuts and acorns from the trees that were in their paddocks as well as the forage we planted for them. Does relying on them to feed themselves also make them more prone to wandering?
I'm currently working on growing several different varieties of fruits and nuts to start myself an animal orchard but I'm looking for things that would be helpful to add that don't necessarily produce human or livestock food.
I've already got osage orange seeds and I'm also thinking alder and black locust. Any others I should think about that would do well in the southeast? Preferably these would benefit the soil and then be cut away after my food trees get up.
Did you go all the way through with getting a real estate license or did you just do the reading? Are there any legal pitfalls you've come across doing things this way? Are there any real estate related resources you can recommend?
Did the property you're on now offer you any other advantages, aside from proximity to town like timber? Your website says it was mostly used for monocropping prior to our arrival, did this present any challenges with getting a perennial cover established?
Most of the available properties I've found that are within my reach have merchantable timber, pine mostly, and since I know a forester who runs a very good timber company I'd say this is an advantage. Even if pines typically acidify the poop out of the soil having a way to defray the cost of purchasing the land is a must for me.
Thanks for your responses, you've given me a lot to think about. Learning how to grow stuff and handle animals calmly has been the easy part I guess, the real work is just beginning.
Mr. Lumley I grew up in Buffalo and yes things get sizzling hot down here, but I think my days of shoveling snow are behind me. Also, GA presents excellent opportunities for year round grazing.
I'm a little confused how the down payment on a $400,000 farm can be as low as $8,000. I talked to a bank rep yesterday about the tract I'm looking at and he said on a piece of property like the one I'm looking at they usually require a 25% down payment which would mean I'd need $40000 right off the bat. I've got a day job but I'm not rich, and interning and apprenticing for the last three years didn't exactly leave me flush with cash either.
The biggest source of frustration for me is the fact that I can operate all the equipment, raise anything with 4 legs or 2 wings, grow anything and build stuff but I can't seem to put that into a focused plunge into the real estate market. Every time I try to figure things out I just walk away more confused and disheartened. Some land is cheap and some is astronomically expensive, some would make a suitable site for a permie animal orchard and some wouldn't and I can't seem to make heads or tails of it all.
Where can I turn to learn about grant writing, or wooing investors, or buying real estate? I'm tired of reading about all this stuff, I'll never stop reading, but I feel like I need to have something to show for all of the learning and hard work I've done these last few years. I know there are young people out there doing this stuff and making a nice living while doing so and I'm ready to be like them, but I can't escape this huge wall called 'real estate' that seems to be in my way.
Do you have any advice for selecting a site? Does it help me out if there's timber to be cut down or am I doing myself a favor by finding something that's open. What attracted you to the property you're working?
I'm currently looking at a 70 acre tract in Greene Co. GA that's mostly planted pine with a handful of oaks and hickories along the creek that runs through the property. It would be a good deal of work to clear everything out and replant with all of the pecans, chestnuts, mulberries, persimmons, mayhaws and other potted stock I've got now, but this spot is also bank owned and its been on the market for almost two years.
I'm starting to collect seeds and stock to start a J. Russell Smith style farm here in central GA, but I'm having a tough time identifying trees that will work specifically for cattle (and possibly sheep at some point) since his book deals a lot with feeding hogs. Already have persimmon, honey locust, mayhaw and mulberry as well as a bunch of nut tree stock to furnish human food. What fruits work best with cows? Which trees provide best foliage and respond to grazing pressure? I'm in zone 7b.
I've fed some alternative stuff to pigs and seen others try to get off the grain. It's definitely possible, but probably difficult.
At my first internship we fed a bunch of beef lamb and chicken organs that we had in the freezer to the hogs, and they friggin' loved it. These were items that were too old to sell and even though myself and the other interns enjoyed eating these things on occasion there was simply too much to eat. The hogs really, really, really, loved lamb liver. Maybe you can find someone with a ton of this stuff laying around. Someone who's raising a bunch of cows or sheep or chickens should have these things in storage since they're hard to sell to the public even though organ meat is the best. We also fed the baby meat birds that didn't make it in the brooder.
I've also seen corn free/soy free feed used. This was some combo of sunflower seeds/millet/barley. The results weren't good, sows had small litters of generally small piglets that didn't grow very quickly with lots of losses in the first couple weeks. The feed was gray in color and it had the effect of graying the meat on finished animals. I'm all for corn free/soy free but whatever this stuff was, it wasn't good.
Nuts/Fruits/Acorns are the wave of the future, or the past I guess too. I firmly believe in the power of a silvopastoral system for pigs and really any species of livestock. Pigs will readily eat any kind of nut - pecan, beech, hickory, walnut...their jaws are powerful and can crush through the hard outer shell of these things. They love persimmons, mulberries and hawthorns and a whole bunch of other fruits and if you've got acorns you'll be sitting pretty. The only drawback of these things is that they all take a fairly long time to grow and start bearing so either buy older trees from a nursery or start propagating yesterday. Honey locust might be something to consider, quick to grow, quick to bear and animals love the foliage and the pods.
Pasture plants to consider would be jerusalem artichokes, groundnuts, chufas, mangels and vetch.
Very confused how this breed was advanced and is now held in high regard when it comes to working livestock when the only meaningful breeding is taking place randomly and being done by a bunch of old, crusty, anti-internet farmers.