In my case, I don't see the point of proving to someone that I can do things. I agree with Amy when she said that she would trust the badges, so I do see the value in that. I think you can WWOOF to get skills or, my preference, just get a job doing what you want to learn. Get paid to learn and get lots of hands-on experience, unless you want to learn soccer.
I agree with many of the issues people have raised. The SKIP idea doesn't appeal to me at all. I think planning to inherit a property from someone you're unrelated to can be a very uncertain prospect in more than a few cases. Personally, I would rather figure out a way to buy or rent land so that I don't have to worry about the rug getting pulled out from under me.
I'm giving serious consideration to aircrete. I'm thinking of doing panel coops and maybe a small cabin down the road. I want to mess with it a bit before doing anything big but I'd like to do a deck, some interlocking panels, and maybe a smallish water container for ducks.
I'm going to see how much collapse I get with a couple of different foam agents, but I think Catie has outlined the issues.
I've dropped it down to about 21% now that they're 3 weeks old.
I've got 30% crumble and 18% pellets and I mix them to get the protein that I want. I ferment it with ACV and baker's yeast. It's a wet slurry that rises but I like that as I can just pour it into troughs. I also add a niacin pill to the bucket first for the ducks. I started fermenting for quail and they never wasted any of it at all. The ducks do as a fair bit of it ends up in the water. Right now I'm draining most of the water and adding the rest with the wasted feed to the worm bins. I'm not sure if feeding them dry food would cut the waste but I suspect not.
I'm in lockdown right now because of Nature's Asshole, the raccoon. I've lost two hens and one of my ducks may have lost an eye. On top of that, last night I awakened and felt as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I felt something terrible had happened and found that it had gotten into my worm bin. The older chicks and ducklings are outside in a brooder with enclosed runs, separate with the ducks having about 10x the space. They run around and swim, so they do alright, but I'm limited to bringing them grass right now. Hopefully soon I'll be able to get them rotating and eventually free-ranging under supervision. At least I'll be collecting bedding for compost.
I'm three weeks in with ducklings. I've cut their feed to 24%, fermented and non-medicated. I've got years of experience with chickens and quail, but the ducks are incroyable. I think my 3 week old ducks are 2.5 to 3 times bigger than the chickens hatched a week earlier. They're eating me out of house and home, but they're growing so fast and they act delicious. I absolutely love quail, but the ducks are my new favourite.
Samantha Morgan wrote:Most of the bottle calves available around here have been with their mother only 1-2 days...and then they are sold (in some cases at least) not directly from the Dairy but from a sort of calf-middleman - so there's not much picking and choosing on our end. I guess by the time we could potentially get them, they are between 2 to 8 weeks old, and there's no point in feeding colostrum from a kit.
If a calf does seem to have pneumonia, do you do anything about it?
If we ever do decide to breed our own cattle, we are definitely interested in Dexters, so good to know about the dexter jersey quality meat...but at this point Im not interested in that. Maybe one day!
One day of colostrum is OK and two is pretty good. Can you find someone local who knows cattle to help you pick them out and explain what he is looking for and ruling out? Even if you have to pay someone it would be well worth it, but I'd imagine most farmers would do it for free or very little. It's also good to have someone local you can get advice from.
I haven't found much difference in taste between breeds; it's mostly come down to diet and finish quality. You can finish any animal but it's a lot easier (and cheaper) to finish small-framed cattle. I think you'll find that you'll love any beef you raise and it'll be healthier by far than feed-lot beef. It will also take time to learn cows and how to finish them properly in your environment.
Hi Samantha, and welcome to Permies! I'm in a similar situation with a small bit of pasture and I've got cheap dairy calves available too. I still haven't decided on where/if these dairy cross bottle calves could fit. I'll leave out a ton of info, but here's what I think I know about the subject:
If proper nutrition and housing is given, the single biggest factor affecting calf health is the amount and quality of colostrum the calf consumes in the first few and 24 hours. Unless the cow dies, all beef calves get lots of colostrum if they nurse. Dairy (Holsteins are probably the most common dairy breed) calves may or may not get any colostrum and usually get it in lesser amounts than nursing calves. Most dairy calves never nurse, so any colostrum is hand-fed. Calves that are nursing benefit from the cow's immunities, which gives them another advantage.
Cows (by this I mean all bovines) finish faster if they're smaller framed. There are people who finish beef cattle in 18 months on grass. They mature at about 900lbs. This is what they've always done in Argentina. Dairy cows these days are huge. They have been bred for milk production on an all-ration diet and they need that in order to finish quickly. Many beef herds are ill suited to grass finishing as they have been selecting for large frame size for decades so they can pack as much corn weight on in the feedlot. If you want a carcass to grade well, you want fat and smaller cows can put on fat easier than larger cows and Holsteins are large and bony. Most people I know that do Holstein crosses are selling them as commercial or utility grade beef.
Crosses benefit greatly from hybrid vigor, so it's great if you can get that. When not breeding for replacement, dairy farms cross to beef bulls. This makes for a smaller calf, lessening the need to do a c-section, and the offspring will fill out better. I can see why Christopher would say that the Dexter/Jersey crosses would have great carcasses. They're a hybrid of two small breeds so they can finish out quickly. Holstein crosses can take up to 3 years to properly finish.
Generally, once a cow gets to 4-500lbs, they're pretty bullet-proof. For me, it will come down to the financials and, most importantly, how it'll fit with my life. I wouldn't want to sell a Holstein cross as much more than ground beef and, if it's for me, I'd rather raise a beef animal or a good cross. I see a lot of Holstein bull calves up for sale from day olds right up to 4-6 months. The day olds sell for between $25 and $75 but all the people wanting to sell them at any age shows they don't have much value around here. Milk replacer is very expensive and I'm not sure it pays for non-beef calves.
I'll be away for about 10 hours a day working, so I'm not sure how easily they would work for me. I think I'm going to see if I can find any dairies that use smaller breeds if I want to do it. The flip side of the coin is buying a beef calf on weaning. This will cost more up front, but may not cost more than a bottle calf once the milk replacer is factored in. I would also have a calf that had been raised by the dam, so I'd expect a healthier calf. Raising dairy calves is tricky.
In the end I think it comes down to evaluating the factors and making the call. If you want to make money on the cattle you will benefit from being flexible. I've known guys who made money with bottle dairy calves but the market has to support it. I don't think I'd ever bother with a pure Holstein calf because it wouldn't have the hybrid vigor. If you're selling it, it takes just as much time and effort to sell 1 lb of ground for $5 as it does to sell steak at $20/lb. One other thing to keep in mind is buying cull cows. You can fatten them up over a month or two and then have x-lean ground. Sometimes they're pregnant, so that's a nice bonus.
Here's a post I made in a thread on good cattle books for a book called Man, Cattle and Veld. It's an amazing book about cattle, from diet and management to breeding and genetics. The author is in Africa but he outlines strategies for many different environments.
By the way, great first post, so I'm giving you an apple!
I was thinking of doing it once or twice a year, but I think the closest the tidal waters reach is about 1400 feet from where I am. I think it may be better to fill a tote in my trailer than having that much pipe.
I think that it will help you maintain low insulin levels for longer which, as I understand it, will help decrease insulin insensitivity long-term. If you stop eating at 8 pm and then have a keto breakfast, you're esentially following the 16:8 fast:eat regime as far as blood sugar/insulin go. I had some success with weight loss by going to one meal a day but amazing results with a full keto diet, but I'm diabetic. My opinion is that it would help. I think you just have to try to refine diets to fit your body and lifestyle. If it helps you lose/keep off weight it's working for you and that's all that matters. If you find it doesn't work, hopefully you'll know what to change next.
I did a lot of reading and watching to understand keto and the guy who explains things the best is Dr. Jason Fung who wrote The Obesity Code but you can find most of the info in his blog. He has a real talent for giving fantastic analogies to explain how the body works, a great understanding of statistical analysis and experiment design and provides links to the actual papers.
One of the first paleo/keto books I read was by Dr. Terry Wahls. She has MS and you can find her here. She gives an excellent break-down of our biology as well and has seen incredible results personally in reversing the affects of MS.
So, 371 days later, I'm in a cabin with no insulation and no windows that open, less than 3 weeks after having my last fire to keep the chicks and eggs warm. I've unplugged the brooder heat lamp and I propped the incubator lid open almost 2 hours ago. The chicks are spread out and the light bulb hasn't come on in the brooder yet.
I'm hoping to find broody hens to hatch out my eggs next year.
Hi Daniel, I'd go ahead and get everything ready now. When you first make a bed with bagged 'soils' or other things it takes awhile for the microlife to totally inoculate the bed and getting worms. Also, if you have them built and ready this summer, you can start to improve the soil in the beds by adding wood chips inoculated with mushrooms or growing growing cover crops.
You would also have the option of building a cover on one to extend your growing season this fall or next spring.
It's an incredibly beautiful morning here in New Brunswick. Pockets of intense fog rolling in off the ocean with the morning sun lighting it up like a warm flame. It's June tenth and there's fucking frost and I've started a fire for the third time this week. Sorry, what's wrong with tropical areas again?
You aren't allowed to bring worms into Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada for just that reason. I don't know if the Red Wigglers (they're the Cadillac of worms) would be allowed but I'm sure you'd have to fight if it you got caught with them. I don't know if that restriction exists in other provincial parks there, but I would be surprised if it didn't. That part of Ontario is known as the Canadian Shield, a large area with very shallow soil over rock with much of the landscape exposed rock, courtesy of glaciers so any organic matter is jealously guarded.
Stacy Witscher wrote:
French onion soup is the prime example. It's just onions and beef stock and butter, but if you don't know how to follow the right process, it won't be French onion soup.
I've got one of Julia Child's cookbooks, which I got when I was in university. The first thing I made from it was French onion soup. Took 3 days, start to finish from making beef stock to the soup, but it was absolutely the best FO soup I've ever had.
I try to stay away from carbs as much as possible, so that makes it harder to eat for cheap. I think it's going to cost me about $3.00/lb for quail, probably the same for chicken, and I'm guessing $4/lb for the ducks. I'm raising all of these. I've raised rabbit before, purchasing all the feed, and they came out to about $2/lb. I also got all the guts for free. Cheapest way to get great meat, if you can do it.
Just saw this, Paul, and all I can say is Wow! From where I stand that seems like a hell of a deal. I think you can drill 70' pretty easily with a home-made rig. Hopefully someone can make this work for them.
I'm in the same boat as Dan; When I go shopping I've looked at the flyer, so I know what's a really good price (that I will use) and I'll stock up. Other than that, I never go in with an idea of what to buy. I just look for great deals and expiring stuff. Frozen veggies can be much, much cheaper than fresh, expiring bacon is always a winner and they'll blow stuff out if it's discontinued.
I used to shop at farmer's markets almost every week. I'd haggle and I bought enough over the years as a regular to get better deals. The best, though, was to show up at 1-1:30 when they closed at 2. The meat was always packed back up, but produce would be dirt cheap. 18 lbs of grapes for $5, a box of mangos for $3-5, etc. I'd also ask if they had anything not good enough for humans but fine for my animals and I'd get lots.
If you went just after 2, there was always a pile of produce that didn't sell. I could get that for free but there were some people who needed it more, so I'd leave it and go pick up the dregs of the dregs later for the chickens.
I buy large quantities when things are on sale, especially if they're not perishable. I try to buy TP when it's 66% off, once or twice a year. 3 or 4 years ago they were selling women's pads for 75% off and they were the ones my daughter uses. I say 'uses' because she's still got some left. Maybe a little overboard, but 75% savings for 4 years, lol. Storage is my issue now.
A couple of years ago I had one of my daughter's friends move in as he wasn't in a good spot. He was 23 and I took him shopping. I was stunned that I had to explain cost/unit to him. No one had ever taught him how to save money when shopping and it's one of the most useful life skills.
Hi Joy! I think you've got a great post and I like the picture. It's good to know that you can shave a dog whilst squatting a cat. Because of the time of year, Permies seems to be less active than normal, so you may just have to be patient until some people get the time to get back here. If I was American I'd have sent you a PM by now, though I'm not in my 50s, but don't let that discourage you...
I don't know anything about keets except that I've got one in the incubator. I think it's going to depend a lot on where you are and how warm it is there. I take chickens off the lamp by 5 weeks and quail by 3 weeks, weather dependent. I'm also pretty aggressive in encouraging them to feather out. My guess is that, unless it's hot where you are, you should leave it on for a while yet.
You should also check the temp under the lamp if you haven't already. It may be too hot.
So, I guess the amount of additional time they needed to start foraging was one day. When I let them out this morning they still had food, but I filled the trough up anyway. 10 minutes later they were scattered, eating grass and weeds and scratching like they've been doing it all their lives.