Alan Patrick

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since Dec 13, 2012
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Recent posts by Alan Patrick

Thanks for the replies. It makes me worry a bit less about my own set up, though I'll keep a close eye during the cooler periods for certain.

Wow, I can only imagine having polar bears as the main chicken trouble! I wonder if an electric fence would be enough to keep them out?
8 years ago
I think in terms of profit, it might be best to apply something of permaculture to capitalism. Money is essentially the mega monocrop of mainstream capitalism. We know that giant monocrops are basically not good. Expect permaculture profits to be spread across multiple 'crops', any of which may be better or worse in any given year. Expect some time spent doing what you feel is right to be doing, some money from things sold, some food, some benefit to the land and wildlife, etc. As you learn more, you'll hopefully find more ways to stack the benefits of one thing with another, but the important thing is to not expect only one kind of profit, just as we shouldn't try to grow only one kind of plant, or eat only one kind of food.
8 years ago

Do any of you have experience with open air coops? I've got a very simple hoop-coop covered by a few tarps, and have been wondering how well or poorly it'll work during the winter. I'm encouraged by some pictures of an open-air coop in Harvey Ussery's book, and by what I've read in this book I stumbled across the other day.

I'm in the Ozarks, and we haven't had a lot of cold yet. The coldest it's gotten here so far is about 18 degrees F or so, and just for one night. I can at least say that so far no frostbite, the chickens are all acting normal and happy, and I'm still getting eggs. (Granted, I've only been getting eggs for about a week in the first place) The book below makes claims of chickens doing well at temps as low as -40 in open-air coops! Especially if you're relying on electronet for predator protection, this could seriously simplify coop design and construction.

http://books.google.com/books?id=o08PAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:%22Prince+Tannat+Woods%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=eWjLUJ6iMZOi8gS9kYG4DQ&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false
8 years ago
I remembered reading about this idea, too. Sad to see that nobody has yet experimented with it. Seeing as a pound of TiO_2 is pretty cheap on ebay, I may give this a shot, myself. For anyone interested, here are some sources I found about it.


http://www.pnas.org/content/80/12/3873.full.pdf

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4113590.html


I might be missing something, but my impression is that you can basically have a panel coated with the TiO_2, exposed to sunlight, and trickle some water down the panel to collect the nitrogen. As explained in one of the links, the catalyst loses some efficiency while exposed to oxygen and other things in air, which could be a reason we haven't seen it used on any kind of industrial scale. It's likely just easier and cheaper (monetarily) to use methods and infrastructure already in place to produce on the scales that industry relies on.

I'm figuring smearing some sort of waterproof adhesive over a board, and liberally applying the TiO_2 before it dries. Then simply wait for a good sunny day, and run some water down the board, collect it in a bucket. Should be easy enough from there to see if it is functional, marginally or otherwise. And cheap and simple enough that it's no biggie if it fails. I'll post results once I get things together (It could be a few weeks to a few months before I get to it, but it IS boldly written down on my to-do board.)
8 years ago