Make sure you have a saucer under your bucket to catch the maggots. They fall 24/7 and if allowed to burrow into soil, they pupate and hatch flies. I use a round plastic sled disc and tip the juice out periodically.
Free jars - when you buy food, choose food that comes in a container you can re-use. Mayonnaise jars fit a canning lid. Gallon pickle jars can be used for dry storage. Often, a large jar full of food costs less than buying the new container.
HUNT MUSHROOMS. There are local groups to help you learn and they are easy to air dry and store.
FORAGE WILD FOODS Tons of info on the internet and it gives you a reason to take long nature walks. Plantain leaves are great cooked like spinach, dock seeds are an interesting crunchy grain. Wild garlic, black walnuts, spice bush seeds, pawpaws, grapes - it’s all free!
FERMENT some of your fresh food instead of canning. It is tons easier than canning, uses less energy and creates lots of good bacteria for your gut.
OTHER PEOPLES PROPERTY There are lots of people with fruit trees who just can’t use the whole harvest. It needs to be cleaned up, so ask around.
CHEAP STUFF IN GENERAL- COUNTRY AUCTIONS. Many lots go for $5 or less. A “lot” is often a tray full of items. Some lots are “clean outs” as in you get to take everything in those two cabinets, for example, or the entire attic or that closet. Check out the auctions in your area.
PARAFFIN SEAL My grandmother sealed jam and jelly with paraffin wax and re-used the wax when the jar was opened. The paraffin was washed and saved. The jar got a used lid to go into the fridge. People also used lard to seal some preserved meat. Foie gras is cooked and preserved in goose fat.
Chuck Zinda wrote:All these diagrams and suggestions for an "awesome shower" seem like overkill and not very permies oriented.
We all have our “permies degree”. All the way from “I bathe in a creek” to fancy marble shower in a regular house on a regenerative permaculture farm. The devices we are communicating on to reach permies.com are clearly not permie oriented. Some permies don’t use any electronics. I love this community for helping people figure out how to build great things in a more sustainable permie way. Whatever that “great thing” is. I am finding this thread very helpful because I, too, want a great shower!
Tina Schutte - wash as directed above but at this point you need antibiotics and insecticide from a vet. If a vet bill is out of the question, call Valley Vet and speak to one of their vets about otc products you can use. It’s free and they have good prices.
A new thing I did over the summer was pack my dog’s wound with food grade diatomaceous earth. There was no way to bandage the wound and he wouldn’t sit still for two stitches. The DE dried it out and he didn’t get maggots. The DE killed any, if they were there. It is safe for my dog to eat. I’d try this on your duck. Stitching a wound that was full of maggots is not a good idea, it needs to heal from the inside out.
I’m sorry you lost her. Unfortunately, losing animals for various weird reasons is a big part of farm life. There are so many things to learn about each animal and even specific breeds have their issues. Sitting fowl are very vulnerable and some die doing it or shortly thereafter.
It sounds to me that your goose died from “sitting fly strike”, which occurs when bad eggs start oozing or good eggs break and attract flies, which lay eggs on the egg. Maggots hatch and eat the egg first, if they can get through the shell, then attack the sitting bird. When a bad egg explodes under a sitting bird, the belly of the bird is plastered with sticky, tasty maggot food. There can be many types of flies laying eggs and some maggots eat live flesh, right into the organs.
So what can we do to prevent some deaths?
-If an egg breaks in the nest at any time, for whatever reason, you need to clean all the eggs, the bird and replace nesting material. Wash the bird with Dawn and blow dry. If there are maggots present, wash with shampoo containing permethrin, which is safe for fowl. Check human lice shampoos or dog flea and tick shampoos in your country.
-Write with indelible marker on the eggs you want her to hatch. Other birds may add to the nest, some birds steal and add to their own nest. Any egg that appears three days after she starts sitting, is not going to hatch because she will abandon it 2-3 days after the others start hatching. Remove the newcomers, hatch them yourself or eat them.
-If the bird kicks an egg out of the nest, candle it before putting it back in. Some birds remove dead eggs, some good eggs may get accidentally moved out. Candle to be sure. Dead eggs make great compost.
-Only leave an appropriate clutch. Extra eggs risk breakage and rot, which attracts flies and predators.
-Candle the eggs on day 12 to make sure they are growing. By day twelve you will be able to see veins clearly. If they have a crack or are not growing, compost or feed them to livestock.
-Protect your bird from predators as best you can.
-Place food and water nearby to encourage intake. Some birds sit and stay, some take breaks. Make it easy for them to care for themselves during this draining process.
Amit Enventres wrote:I'm not raising ducks, but I can tell you some general rules I learned about cows that seem to apply through all animals.
1. Selective breeding. Find your nicest male and breed him - kill any aggressive or overly aggressive male. When you raise young males, find the nicest and use him as your next male. Keep doing this long enough, and you'll have bred a less aggressive variety.
2. Don't breed the sons to the daughters. Not good for genetics. If you save a son, find him some new ladies.
This is the original green eggs with ham. Sam liked them🤷🏽♀️
On a more serious side note, found clutches should go to dogs or the garden as fertilizer. There is no way to tell how old they are. When collecting eggs to incubate, they should ideally be stored at 50F to inhibit growth of this fungi and bacteria that may have entered the shell.
There are many different breeds of ducks and geese. Some do better than others in gardens. In general, they will trample or eat small plants and eat leafy greens, vegetables and fruits. Weeder ducks were developed for cotton and tobacco and older corn, none of which they like to eat, so the young weeds were tasty compared to the crop.
If your fowl are only protected by a five foot fence, it is only a matter of time before predators attack. They need secure housing or a livestock guardian dog 24/7, or both, depending on your predators.
If you try taking eggs from a goose nest, you’ll need two people, one for the goose, one for the gander. Wrap your arms in towels and wear gloves. They will attack you and can break bones with a wing whack and slice you with their claws and beaks. The gander may choose to die before letting you take his goose’s eggs.
The goslings born there will likely return next year. Call your state game warden for options. They probably have articles on their website. You aren’t the only one dealing with this!
I’m generalizing about fowl, brooding and chicks/ducklings. They lay eggs for awhile until they think they have enough, then commence sitting. They can’t count. Some will brood a rock, a golf ball another species eggs or nothing at all. Once they begin to sit, they sit until a baby appears plus two days, at which point, the yolk sac has been absorbed by the first hatchlings and they need food and water. This necessitates leaving the nest, abandoning the late bloomers. If you put chicks under a hen sitting on nothing, she will sit in her nest for two more days waiting for other non-existent eggs to hatch, then leave with her chicks.
Your ducks were too close together. When ducklings appeared, they started their count down. When the ducklings went with A, they started sitting again, but then ducklings came back, so no need to sit. Next year, let the ducks sit near each other if they started sitting the same day. If not, separate the nests and block them off so ducklings from one can’t get to another nest. Large dog crates work with netting hung or cardboard woven at the base to prevent ducklings escaping.
Too many eggs, IMO. Let them sit 12-15 max. Mark them with marker and take out latecomers to eat or hatch yourself. Candling is fun but a bit disruptive. Twice is plenty at day 10 from commencement and day 17, if you must, but not necessary. Take out duds and bury them with a plant as fertilizer.
Be careful letting ducklings on a pond. Large mouth bass and snapping turtles make a quick meal of babies.
Have fun with your babies and take lots of pictures. They grow up so fast!
Reno Husker, geese will not protect anything from a coyote. At best, they sound an alarm when possible predators approach. Certain species may scare off small predators, like skunks, raccoons or possums. They work best as a flock. Ten snake heads coming at you is pretty scary, but a coyote or fox can just ban one and run. Foxes, coyotes and raccoons will also work in packs, which is no match for a small flock. Best protection is a livestock guardian dog and secure night housing.
They require water deep enough to dunk their heads to clean their nares, not a pond, but they do love them. Certain breeds need ponds to breed, as they mate in water. They do well with chickens and tend to rule the roost. They will eat your veggies. Only certain types of crops can be weeded by geese and only certain types of geese will do this for you.
I just spoke with someone who’s goose was doing this. The only thing I could think of was a seizure type disorder. You can try adding liquid b vitamins to support the nervous system. If he is pulling feathers from his chest, take a closer look. They will pull feathers from abnormal growths on the skin.
Eggs have a lot of reasons they don’t always produce viable chicks. One not mentioned here is bacteria. Bacteria can enter the shell and start to grow, killing the chick in shell or shortly after hatch. The ideal temp for storing eggs to prevent this from happening, is 50F . In a nest, in June and July, it is quite a bit warmer than 50F and gives the bacteria ample time to start growing before the hen even starts sitting.
I see people plant all these plants under fruit trees and it used to drive me nuts. Now I just raise my eyebrows and sigh. How do you harvest the fruit without damaging all those plants? I can see having a low carpet of herb but dodging plants I’m nurturing, just seems tricky. Also, picking up the “drops” will be a challenge under all that foliage and the drops may even damage those plants.
I see people get so excited about guilds around fruit trees and I just don’t get it. I know what they are for, but have only read about one woman who planted a guild that cured a bug problem - and the plants weren’t even listed! So no copying! Are there more combos that really work?
Which way does the wind blow? I am now taking note of which direction the winds blows things. Rain. Do I need to plan multiple doors in livestock sheds so the wind blown rain can be blocked from different directions in different seasons? Seeds. Where can I expect to find seedlings from wind blown seeds? Are the seeds going some place I don’t need to worry about, like milkweed into a forest? Or will those blow onto my livestock forage pasture? Fallen branches. Are there places I usually find them? Is the tree healthy? Are there branches that need to be trimmed?
What is my water carrying after it rains? Is it clear? Cloudy? There is likely an issue that needs addressing. I need to harvest that cloudy water by redirecting it or capturing in place. Seedy? If I leave those dock seed heads on top of my hill, will that be too much dock being planted by run off, all the way down the hill?
When do weeds set seed? If I catch mares tail before it blooms, I can pull and drop. If it has seeds, it becomes a disposal problem because I can’t rely on my compost killing the seeds.
Which plants do pests prefer? Japanese beetles love my volunteer evening primrose, so they pretty much leave my roses alone. I collect the beetles by tapping them into a container with an inch of water in the bottom, then feed them to my chickens by pouring them into one of their water pans.
Bird houses. Which birds are using them? How many times were they used last season? Did the birds fledge or did a predator get them?
It helps to have bird houses with hinged fronts that can be lifted to observe without disturbing.
Another but... it gets really hot here during the dry season... am afraid if I use the rocks to ring garden beds or trees, or as mulch, I might be creating a little oven. Maybe there is something I am not understanding about the thermo dynamics of rock-mulching... ?
Careful placement of flatish stones abutting one another will retain moisture under the stones, creating a cooling effect and encouraging plants to grow between them. This method is effectively used in desert restoration projects to slow and disperse water events and has the added benefit of creating swaths of great fertility where the rocks live.
I’m planning something less stacked but similar.
Geese need separate breeding pens to bond and they mate in water. There will be a long, narrow trough pond, gravity fed from my large embankment pond, which drains 24/7 to a small creek. Each pen will have a section of the trough. There will be a drain pipe at the far end of the trough which leads to my future garden site, above but along side the creek. This was all to be gravity fed, basically diverting the embankment drain to have it run across a small hill above the creek. Now, after watching Jack Spirko’s videos above, I’m thinking about adding a solar pump and planting an orchard, berry bushes, food forest type area above the trough pond. Ideally, small water fowl ponds need to be refreshed daily, so there will be plenty of nutritious water to spread around. Now I’m wondering if I could grow water hyacinths in the trough, right where geese could eat them?
Carla Burke wrote: Hi, Eric! Well.... I suppose you could plant sorghum, in the spring, harvest it, make your own blackstrap, and go from there. It would take another year, but it could absolutely be done.
If you grow your own sorghum solely for this purpose, couldn’t you just chop it up and add it to the compost pile? Skip the extraction? It might take longer to decompose than sorghum, but saves the labor of harvest, extraction, boiling and bottling.
I find examining the soil to be more helpful than weed placement. I’ve got broom grass all over five hills, which should indicate acidic soil. But there are 20-30 other grasses, wild flowers and weeds mixed in. The soil is bare in some places between plants. Sandy Loam that has had practically every iota of organic matter washed out of it in the top few inches. There are areas where lush grass carpets the soil - water drains there. Also, 100 year flood plains that exploded this spring after they were flooded last fall. I look for good soil. Planting where there are bare spots around healthy tufts of grass is going to require more amendments. I’m blanketing a parcel of the floodplain in cardboard, smothering all the plants and covering with manure. I can grow practically anything in that and won’t need to add much for a few years.
Paul has asked for input on how to do this better. I think it is important to add a chapter on the legal realities of inheriting. IT COSTS MONEY. The federal government taxes inheritance and so do many states. Many family members who love their family farm and want to keep it, are forced to sell because they don’t have the cash to pay inheritance taxes. Entering into a legal Partnership before the person dies can help. The owner could also sell their property to a permie for a reduced rate, retain life tenancy and “payments” could be made in labor. There are many legal vehicles/structures that can help reduce the tax burden of inheritance. This is a critical section I see lacking. I’m sure there are permie interested lawyers out there who would be willing to help write options for a chapter.
I collect road kill to feed vultures, which attracts crows, which have successfully harassed all the falcons and a bald eagle away from my chickens. In addition, I save the skull if it’s not crushed and prepare it for display and if it is in fur season and fresh, I skin it to tan the hide. Working on a fur rug of raccoon and possum. My husband surprised me with a “road kill pick up kit” for Christmas after I told him my plans. 12 Extra heavy duty rubber gloves, filet knife, roll of extra large plastic bags, bone shears, skinning knife, lockable, handled tote and expanding mesh bags to put the skulls in the pond for their initial cleaning by tadpoles and fish. I decapitate road killed deer to process their skulls. Will wait until I have a pick up to take the body to my vultures.
His embrace of my crazy brought me to tears. It is an extraordinary good feeling to have my partner totally support what I do.
We currently have four goslings in a baby pool in our living room. Our alarm went off when my hearing aids were off, sheriff came by, geese told me there was a stranger, I answered door in my robe with a hand full of goose poo because I had been picking it out of their pine shavings.
I bought a POS horse trailer for $200 at auction to make into a movable chicken coop. Old timers just shook their head at the new city transplant.
Pictures of my vultures roosting in a dead tree in our pond that I purposely left there to benefit wildlife, and on their feeding field.
When I didn’t know much about chickens, I had this fun idea too. It would be exciting to see what hatched. Fortunately, I’ve done a lot of reading, studying and figuring since then. Chicken genetics have been improved a great deal by domestic chicken keepers. The jungle fowl, from which all chickens are derived, is a scrawny bird with a short laying season of smallish eggs. Like all dogs bred out of a wolf, all chickens from the one bird. There are chickens that thrive in hot weather, others love the cold. Some for meat, some for eggs, some are dual purpose. Some are just for lawn ornaments. Many purebred lines have few ill tempered Roos. To say that Swedish flowers weren’t bred because they are a landrace discredits every keeper who selected their best hens to reproduce and culled mean Roos. I seriously doubt the first Viking chickens laid as many eggs as Swedish flowers, had as much meat on them and had such great temperament. All of these improvements are due to selective breeding. It wasn’t recorded and the only prize they got was more eggs to feed their family, more meat, Roos that didn’t attack their kids and pretty birds. Humans have been selectively breeding chickens for many hundreds of years - it just wasn’t recorded. There are 3000 egg hatching chambers in Egypt from the time of the pharaohs.
Putting money into a mutt flock seems like a waste of feed to me. After a few years you won’t be able to rely on them for roasters, high egg production, temperament and maybe even health.
Choosing a breed that does well in your weather and performing a bit of selective breeding each year seems like a stronger permie option.
I have not followed this progression and am a new set of eyes on this project. I hope you find my comments helpful.
The cover makes or breaks a book. Who is your audience? If this is written organically for your existing fan base, a few tweaks already mentioned, will be all that is needed. Your fan base will instantly judge your cover in a knowing and forgiving fashion. If you’re hoping to sell to strangers outside your existing fan base, the cover needs more work and maybe a new direction.
There are many home grown permie books being published with high quality drawings, photos, graphics, long term studies and professional looking covers, layout and writing. Homesteading Skills as well. This is the competition. Why would this group want to volunteer the cumulative thousands of hours work to produce a book that will basically be skipped over by most all but your insular fan base? I am assuming you are hoping to sell to a broad base.
As an outsider, my impression of the cover is that it is disjointed and in many instances, makes no sense and or is confusing. The artwork reminds me of a Richard Scary children’s book, which is great, but many of the skills need re-orienting and or grounded in space that makes sense. The cover confusion leads me to believe that disjointed, stand alone skills will be presented by some people who aren’t very good at what they do, in a confusing jumble inside.
I suggest taking a look at a Richard Scary book. They are all about skills for children. A child brushes their teeth in the bathroom. A mother strolls on a sidewalk. A police officer directs cars on a road. There is a lot going on on every page and it all makes sense. Each person’s activity is taking place surrounded by a scene that makes sense.
What I see on this cover, among other things, is an underground house with a happy guy in the window looking out over a blacksmith with no fire (how is it hot?), an open cooking device with no attendant (bad housekeeping) a guy taking a ball to a girl who sits on a wood sled (is she disabled?), a meager garden (must not be able to grow much food) with poles over it?, a guy stripping bark (for what?) who narrowly missed being struck by a tree an idiot unsafely chopped down into the middle of several active people, one of only two trees (bad forestry), a beek looking rather lost, a chicken (who keeps one chicken?) with no legs, or is perched on the ramp in the middle of the day (must be sick), the largest apple tree I’ve ever seen still in production (not a skilled orchardist) with the oddest spacing of apples and a dude perched in the crotch while a girl picks (women do the work while guy has fun), while a bull dozer operator sits waiting, with dirt in the bucket, for what? Where’d he get it? Where’s he taking it? Around all those people! Unsafe. All of this info and judgement happens in a split second at first glance of a picture.
It is extremely difficult to draw all of these activities into one small picture, as I’m sure you already know. Having them grounded and make sense makes even more demands on the artist. You have taken on an extremely complicated task that takes years of work to hone into a publishable piece.
I see from the title, this book is about skills. The acronym is forced and shouldn’t be emphasized. The picture shows me several permaculture fails. Why would I want to learn skills from poor examples? Gardening, I want to see a full, robust, thriving garden. Blacksmithing, I want to see the fire pit, with the anvil. Bark stripping, I want to see stacks of stripped logs in a place that makes sense. Orchard trees, I want to see healthy, realistic examples.
What about drawing icons for these many skills and placing them in a grid? An icon doesn’t demand grounding. They speak simply on their own. Or drawing the subjects as if they are organized and posed for a photo? Posed for a photo, they don’t need to be grounded.
I know there is a tremendous amount of knowledge going into this book. This cover won’t help much to get that knowledge disseminated to new permaculture enthusiasts, if that is the goal.
If your audience is pre-existing fans and future converts, the cover needs to be worked over. As it is, I don’t think it will help to convert many people because it will be skipped over for more professional looking permie and homesteading skills books.