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Podcast 025 - Animal harvest, Mason Bees, and Livestock Guardian Dogs

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Location: Kingston, Canada (USDA zone 5a)
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Credit:Landon Sunrich

The Podcast begins with much lament about the loss of great video footage in the Pacific Northwest and they go on to talk about taking an animal harvest class with Alexia Allen of Hawthorn Farm. This was a new experience for Jocelyn and largely a new one for Paul who had previously slaughter birds on production scale only. Paul compares the methods he has used previously, including the use of cones and loppers with Alexia's methods of slitting the jugular. They discuss scalding, hand plucking, and gutting, and remembering to slice out the oil gland in the tail.

Jocelyn was struck by the vividness of the organ color and the rich yellowness of the fat, particularly in comparison to the pallid white grey of the chicken general found in the super market. There is a brief discussion on the merits of harvesting meat as one needs it vs. havingbatch harvest days coupled with freezing or preserving it otherwise. They agree that both are viable and depending on particular circumstance. They also both agree that they felt comfortable with the chicken harvest as taught by Alexa in which the animal was unstressed and even give a simple recipe for battered dandelions fried in rendered chicken fat.

For those interested in learning more here is part one of Paul's
videos of Alexia teaching her method of harvest.

Next they talk about their visit to Port Angeles to meet Greg and Deedee and their northwest farm terriers and livestock guardian dogs in general. The Northwest Farm Terrier is a mix of Border Collie, Corgi, Airedale, and Jack Russel and is a smaller watch dog with a instinct to sound the alarm with ferocity and vigor whenever something unusual comes onto its turf. Paul can see the small size being a great advantage in the feed department and posits that the terrier might allow them to supplement their meals with rats reducing the need for feed further. Paul talks about how guard dogs can make the difference between a pest proofing poultry moat and a fast food joint for predators. They both stress the difference between dogs bred to guard with the majority of dogs who's instincts are to chase and remind us, hopefully unnecessarily, that a dog should never be staked or tethered as it often increases aggression and is dangerous both for the dog and people.

They finished by discussing their visit with Forest Shomer,, who is a seed saver, native plant expert, and habitat restorer in Port Townsend. He has restored an area of prairie to its pre-colonial state as indigenous agricultural land which acts among other things as a living museum and camas preserve. Paul and Jocelyn think what he does is amazing, though Paul notes the difference between a restoration mentality of removing all invasives vs an adaptive strategy of including any useful plants which have already become established. In the time since this was recorded Paul has gone on to make an entire podcast with Forest which can be found here:Podcast 176.The podcast closes with a brief discussion of the Nitrogen fixing Scotch Broom, invasive pioneers, and things the government doesn't like.
They also briefly mention Dave Hunter who can be found talking about bees in Podcast 021.


Mason Bees for the Backyard Gardener by Sherian A. Wright

Managing Blue Orchard Bees for Pollinating Almonds in Fresno County, CA

The Whole Beast: Nose To Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson

Relevant Links


Best Small Livestock Guard Dog Thread at Permies
Livestock Guardian Dog Thread at Permies
Chicken Predators Thread at Permies
Killing and butchering Thread at Permies
Nose to tail eating Thread at Permies

Paul's Video on Respectful Chicken Harvest Part 1
Paul's Video on Respectful Chicken Harvest Part 2

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