As a life long cyclist (mountain biker), who moved to my current city just to be close to great mountain bike trails, I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I don't use a bike to get around for errands. What's worse, is that my city caters to cyclists. I just googled it, and there are sixty miles of multi use asphalt paved trails that go to key areas of the city. Most of the roads are really wide and have a good amount of shoulder space for cyclists.
It's also super safe here. Not much theft, although a lock(s) would be a must.
and the climate is pretty much year round ideal for cycling.
So yes, I'm coming around to the idea of an electric cargo bike. I can't say I'd use it to commute to work (30 miles one way), but for groceries/errands it probably makes a lot of sense. I also like the idea of a solar set-up specifically to charge the bike. I'm keeping an eye out in the classified ads for a used one.
Thanks for inspiring me to look into it a little deeper!
Finally got around to burying most of the dog food. 120lbs of dry dog food went into the wood chips.
I dug down into the water (my compost pile is an in ground swimming pool that collect rain water). I figure it'll decompose quicker if it's contact with the water, not to mention it'll probably get distributed? around the pile better? That's just a guess.
Dug about 12 trenches all around the pool and buried it so that it was kind of evenly distributed.
Saved two bags for when I top off my raised beds this fall/spring. I'll just sprinkle a layer of dog food on top of the existing compost, and then bury that with new sifted compost from the swimming pool wood chip compost.
I'll throw in a couple of "bonus" pictures of my sweet potatoes and crazy big sunflower bush/tree. I measured it two months ago and it was almost twelve feet tall. A month ago it got pushed on its side in a windstorm. It's pushing out sunflowers like crazy now.
I only include it because the beds that all of it is growing in is wood chip compost from the pool that I put in this last spring. Next year I'm guessing it'll grow a stalk the size of a five gallon bucket! :) j/k
I think I'm going to bury most of it in the compost pile. That being said, I am totally going to try putting some in the raised beds before planting in the spring. I just found out about alfalfa feed pellets last year, so it seems like the same kind of idea. Thanks for the idea. It makes sense.
I love Lorrine's idea about letting a local pig farmer have the food and then trade me a pig when it's ready to harvest! That seems like a decent trade offer. I'll have to think more about that. I don't eat a lot of pork, nor do I know how to process a pig. It'd be a great learning experience though. I like it.
The bucket of maggots has me intrigued too. Of course my chickens would love the treats. I might try to rig something up. It's so hot and dry here is the problem. I wonder if I could rig up a drip line from the garden beds (my beds get watered multiple times every day) run it to the bucket of dog food and let the flies go to town on it. Hmmm? Not too much effort since I already have drip lines installed in the coop to water the chickens anyway.
I'm in an urban like backyard surrounded by concrete walls. There are zero predators I have ever seen come back here in eleven years. I used to let my chickens roam the yard day and night unprotected and never lost one to a predator, so really it's not an issue. All of my neighbors and myself have really vocal dogs that pretty much bark anytime anything unusual goes on, so it's going to deter pretty much every predator from attempting to get a free meal. That being said, there are tons of fox, coyote, and mountain lion around here. I just don't think it's worth the hassle for them to deal with the dogs.
I'll snap some pictures today when I bury about half of it in the compost pile.
Thanks again for confirming the idea, and suggesting other viable options.
The thing is, I'm not allowed to donate, sell, or give away anything I get from work. They've already declared it a loss, and I think they're worried about things being double tax written off if that makes sense? So I could theoretically get a write off from the shelter if I were to donate it, and the company I work for already wrote it off as a loss. They tell us all the time they'll stop giving the stuff away if they find we're not using it for self use. Do I think I'd get caught? No, but there's no reason to break the rules either.
I thought about wetting it and giving it to the chickens, but I have so much of it, and it would take so much time to wet it, and then give it to the birds. Not to mention it's 105'ish every day here with humidity in the teens. It wouldn't stay wet very long. It's a good idea, and if I had more time I'd do it if they liked it. Unfortunately it's just me, and I work 12 hour days, so I just don't have the time/energy to deal with another "chore".
I wasn't thinking it'd be a "waste" to put it in the compost pile. From what I read on google, it's an awesome fertilizer once it's broken down. I was actually thinking it was a really good way to put it to use so it wasn't wasted. The chickens and I would be eating it eventually, just in a different form.
I googled it. It seems to be a reasonable thing to add to a compost pile. Just curious if anyone had any input about it.
I have more than 200 lbs. of dry dog kibble. It's a brand called "Hunter's Special", and there are three different types. They're all about 20% protein and about 12% fat. I get them for free where I work on occasion. I was considering feeding some to my dogs, but the online reviews that I googled only gave it one or so stars.
I have a very deep compost pile that is partially submerged in water. The top stays completely dry, but several inches down is moist, a few more inches is water. There are worms, cockroaches, ants, tons of different bugs, and my chickens live on top of all of it. In the ten or so years I've had chickens in my urban backyard, I've never had a predator problem. No raccoons, no possums, no rats that I know of, etc. There might be rats? I've never seen one, though. I live in the Mojave Desert.
I figure I'll dig several holes all around the 30' X 12' pile of mainly wood chips, bury the dog food in the holes, then cover it all back up with several inches of the wood chips.
Any reasons why not to?
Better use for the dog food? I tried giving some to the chickens, but they had zero interest in it.
Here's a list of ingredients off one of the bags.
Meat and bone meal, ground yellow corn, ground wheat, corn distillers dried grains, chicken fat preserved with bha, rice bran, corn gluten meal beet pulp, natural chicken flavor, flaxseed, SALT, potassium chloride, chlorine chloride, vitamin a supplement, vitamin d3 supplement, vitamin e supplement, niacin, zinc sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin b12 supplement, calcium iodate, sodium selenite.
Yeah, some of those things seem ugly. Just curious about any thoghts?
Yeah, that's weird about them not liking that stuff. I see Shawn sprinkle sunflower seeds all over the ground in front of his setups to get the rats in a comfortable eating mode, and then he does use the usual stuff like peanut butter on the actual trap. He also sprinkles the sunflower seeds behind the traps so the rat has to climb over the trigger to get more.
Maybe whatever the chickens are eating for their food since the rats probably are used to eating some of that?
I've watched most of Shawn Woods videos. He is a heck of a skilled craftsman as well as an interesting youtuber.
Here's the best trap I've seen him use for rats. It's just a bunch of old school spring rat traps (which I read are hard for you to set, but there are modern traps that are easier to set and I'm sure could be used in place of these.). This method prevents the rat from coming in from some weird angle and pretty much guarantees a snapped neck.
To keep the chickens from sticking their heads in, another box could be used and placed on top of it with a hole in it big enough for a rat, but too small for a chicken.
To hear Shawn say this is his best trapping system is pretty much a guarantee to be the best system.
Like Jay said, and like he mentions in the video, bait the traps for a while but don't set them. Let the rats get used to the setup, and then load it up.
Or, if you want to go totally natural route (and I'm going to say this is about the most permie possible way to catch rats), call this guy! He TRAINS! mink from fur farms to hunt side by side with his dogs to hunt rats and chase them out of holes. It's quite entertaining. I heard Shawn say sometime he might collaborate with Joseph (the Mink Man) and do some kind of hunting episode together.
I have basically the same setup, only difference is I ran poly tubing from my already existing drip lines for the garden to feed the water bucket. Since I water several times a day here, the bucket is constantly being topped off, but there's never a constant pressure to it. Super simple especially for someone already running drip in their garden.
I'm probably not as good a steward to my chickens as I should or could be, but I'm getting eggs every day right now. My oldest bird is nine years old and still laying. My youngest two are now three years old and everybody else is in between. Nine total.
It was 114 here on Wednesday 110-112 most of the rest of the week. It's unusual for spring, but we get days like this in summer. It'll be 105+/- everyday with few exceptions until the middle of September. Humidity in the low teens most of the time.
My birds definitely get to panting, and holding their wings out a bit to keep cool. I've never put a fan on them, but I do occasionally douse the whole floor of the coop with water from the hose. I only do that a couple of times a week, though. I have a very unique setup currently which I think is almost ideal given the climate, but that being said, out of the nine years I've had chickens here, for about seven of them they were either directly on the ground, or on a mound of deep wood chips. I've only ever had four chickens pass away, and two of them happened in winter from ?. One died from heat exhaustion when it escaped from the coop in summer and couldn't find its way back in. The other had a prolapse, so I terminated it.
My current setup I think is much better, and it just happened by coincidence. Their coop is actually an in ground swimming pool filled with several feet of wood chips. The pool collects rain water (which is pretty rare these days here) and that filters to the bottom of the wood chips. The chickens can dig down several inches and there is a layer of very moist worm infested compost they can push against which I think cools them down a bit. I see them do it all the time.
I think Jay mentioned moist soil as being a good thing, and Jen mentioned having a plastic pool. Maybe fill the pool with compost, then add a bunch of water to the pool so that the top layer was dry, but if they dig down a bit they can get to the really moist part. This would be easy to maintain, they wouldn't be drinking the gross poopy water, mosquitoes wouldn't be a problem, there'd be less evaporation (I think) and at the end of the year that would be awesome compost to use in the garden due to the inevitable fertilization.
It works here on a much larger scale, not so sure about it working in the kiddie pool.
Edit. I'd recommend some kind of fence, or keeping the pool only half full (or half empty) to keep the birds from kicking the compost out of the pool, and maybe suspend their water source or food source above the pool to get them to use it. I find that my chickens favourite place to dig is right under the five gallon bucket with poultry nipples on it. It's more moist there due to the water that drips off the nipples when they drink.
I like to weed using my weed flame thrower attached to a 20lb propane tank. It's non toxic, and it satiates the pyro in me. :) The areas I weed with it are landscaped with rock for the most part.
I like salsa, and peppers. I grow a lot of peppers. My peppers are going crazy this year. Mostly mild. I'm a wimp when it comes to heat.
Anyhow, fire roasting peppers seems like a thing. Along with fire roasting tomatoes. Both are perfect for salsa.
So, I just busted out my weed torch, put a bunch of fresh picked tomatoes and peppers on a steel welding table, and went to town scorching them. Less than five minutes and they were cooked/scorched well.
Way easier than doing it on the stove, maybe comparable to doing it on a grill. I don't have a grill.
Listened to this because I got into Chan Thomas and his CIA classified fictional book called "The Adam and Eve Story". Yes, the CIA classified a fictional book which goes into crustal displacement. He also reads that book on his podcast.
Not sure I believe any of it, but it's plausible.
Make sure your tinfoil hat is nearby.....
So I posted above about this not being from a dumpster, but rather free stuff from work. I put a bunch of it in a pile (the bird seed and at least 50 other bags of potting mix have been used up and are not in the pictures below). A lot of toxic stuff that I can use and most people would definitely consider valuable.
I've been told many times that anything I take is for personal use only. I'm a stickler for the rules, and am not donating or selling any of it. I don't want to lose this awesome perk from my job.
Again it's stuff that is damaged, so if a bag of potting soil gets a hole in it, they don't ship it out. If one can out of a package of six gets damaged, they can't sell it so they give it to the employees. The warehouse I work at receives one million dollars worth of product every day, and they ship out an equal one million dollars worth of product per day. Last month I was told there were $30k dollars in damaged goods. It's mind boggling, but they are booming, and doubling the size of the warehouse next year. Crazy.
I also have a ton of paint and stuff I need to organize that isn't in the pictures below.
Any suggestions about the Alaska fish fertilizer BLOOM? I was thinking it would be good for the tomatoes, etc, but reading online I saw it should only be used on flowers and that it's not organic? I picked up three gallons of it last week and was really happy, now I'm not sure I want to use it.
As a life long mountain biker I am a little saddened I haven't actually carried much on my bicycle. I'll have to see if I can remedy that one of these days.
Not sure if this counts, but it is me hauling my bicycle on my motorcycle. Built a rack out of scrap ladder rack (used for low voltage wiring), and attached it to my motorcycle. Used it a couple of dozen times. It was pretty squirrely at freeway speed, but got lots of thumbs up.