H Warner

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since Dec 10, 2012
I moved from Ohio to my little bit of raw land in the great desert in northern NM in 2011. I quit my job, gave the house back to the bank and decided to change my life totally. I live 100% off grid, raise meat rabbits and am starting the greenhouse. Lots to do yet!
northern New Mexico
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Recent posts by H Warner

thanks, everyone for their helpful comments! I think I found the problem; the poor things were hungry! I had not noticed before because I was in the yard or next to their fence watching just the chickens. However, I noticed all of the local wild birds coming over and eating all the scratch/pellets I laid down for them as I was walking by one day. Many, many wild birds flew out of the chicken yard as I approached. I have moved things around, started feeding them under the shade cloth (which many wild birds wont go under) and instead of feeding them a large meal in the early am, I switched to several smaller feedings throughout the day. It seems to have worked and I see feathers coming back in on the girls.

I never thought of wild birds eating the chicken food but being in the desert where not much is blooming now, I can realize the error of my ways...
7 years ago
My girlfriend gave me the birds from her coop, which had a total of about 20 birds in it that was 10x20, which is what these girls now have only with 5 hens. She gave them to me about 2 months ago fully feathered. I will try the salt in the water. I see them all plucking each other, not just bald spots. Their diet is layer pellets from Purina, hen scratch and assorted greens/fruit/veggies as I find leftovers in the fridge. I plan to give them more greens as the garden starts to produce. The layer pellet instructions say this is the only feed they should be given but I don't like that idea either. Unfortunately, there is no way I can increase the size of the run; we have wild dogs/coyotes here that will get the birds and I cant afford more fencing to expand at this time. They are Americana's and lay very well for me.

I will try to add more areas for them to "play" in such as perches higher up in the run. I don't see a noticeable pecking order; it seems everyone is "hen pecked". LOL I'm wondering if, because of the new surroundings and missing "sister hens" they have to re-establish a pecking order. I know horses are like this, perhaps chickens are as well? The Purina food says it's complete, should I add some extra grit/calcium in it as well?

Thanks all, for your replies!
7 years ago
I have received a small flock of 5 Americana hens that are about 3 years old. They have been together since my friend bought them from the pet store as chicks. They eat well, lay well and have a varied diet of scratch, layer pellets by Purina and assorted greens, fruit cores, etc. I've noticed that they are plucking each others tails and between each others legs. Why are they doing this and what do I do to stop it? They are housed in a chain link dog run that is 10 foot by 20 foot with a coop that I admit is too small for all 5 to roost comfortably but they all fit in there and they have 2 nest boxes, one of which doesn't get used.
7 years ago
Thanks for all the helpful information, guys! I'm looking at getting the small 5 cu ft Sundanzer freezer and using 2 ice chests I now have for the "fridge" portion. I like the idea of freezing gallon jugs to keep the coolers cold. Plus, it sounds like the Sundanzer is one of the best brands I can get. they offer a 12v model as well, so that will be very helpful in saving solar juice. I have also posted a question about water pressure tanks! Since I'm new to off grid life, this is a great way to have questions answered with all sorts of helpful comments from great like minded folks!
7 years ago
Hey y'all! Being off grid, I'm looking at building a small cabin. Within the walls of this cabin, I'd like to have a little bathroom with a shower and a sink as well as a kitchen sink. I don't think I'll need any other fixtures except for the possibility of adding a clothes washer to the mix. I'm wanting an on-demand propane hot water heater as well. I've been told that I'd need a pressure tank for this set up instead of just a large RV type 12v water pump. how would I go about figuring out what size of water pressure tank to get and what pump would work? I would use less than 5 gallons a day unless I showered and used the washer. I have a 1200 gallon above ground water container that I would manually fill from a community well. Any information would be appreciated.
7 years ago
hey Bill, I dont know if methane would work here in the winter because it gets so cold. I would understand that methane has to "cook" like composting. With it being as cold as -30 in winter, that's way too cold to "cook" anything, cheaply. It is something to consider, however, and before I discount it, I will look into it further. Thanks for the idea!
7 years ago
@Jeff, Wow, I wish I had that much power! We're just starting out and we have about 400w of solar right now, with 6 golf cart batteries. We poor folk here and cant upgrade for a few years yet, which is why I need a better fridge with no more panels! good thing is that we live in the desert sw and we have lots of sun... Once the cost of panels goes down, hopefully, we'll be able to afford a nice upgrade.
7 years ago
Thanks, guys! I've done some research and am looking at doing some more before I buy. I really like the idea of the solar freezer with their solar panel, will have to search for that! I know the chest type is more effiecient but I'm used to the uprights. Will look at both and see what pans out! I'd rather pay more for a better unit and less solar power than less for one now and have to buy another two panels!!
7 years ago
I'm living off grid now in an RV with a propane stove/fridge. I'm planning on building the "main cabin" shortly and am wanting to know about off grid appliances, especially fridges. I want an electric one because i dont want to be dependant on propane for that; it's bad enough for our stove. What is a good brand? I found Danby online and saw Lowes sells them, are they good? The price is right so I'm wondering if purchase price is reflecting quality or energy consumption (the website doesnt say how much energy they use).
7 years ago
I live in northern New Mexico where winters are very cold and brutal. I'm off grid also and heating our 30x30 greenhouse with wood (very costly) just to maintain it above freezing. Our aquaponics system is on hold until the weather lets up or we can get a rocket stove made. We have so far a 250 gallon tank with 20 of the blue 55 gallon barrels cut in 1/2. solar power will work for the water and air pumps. We are a small homestead with prepper like attitudes but none of the big bucks. We cant import talapia into NM (trust me, I've looked into it) and that leaves trout/catfish. Not many people will deal with NM for "pond fish" and the local fisheries only release fish to state/federal owned lakes/streams, etc. Because time is so short and we need something now, I'm looking at koi. Not edible, really, but they get big after a while and are cheap and legal. Once spring hits, we can look at trout fingerlings or something else. duckweed will be grown and fed and I hear rabbits love the stuff also!
7 years ago