Daniel Bowman

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since Jan 24, 2013
Sandy Mush, NC
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Recent posts by Daniel Bowman

Hi, does anyone know where I can still watch this? I've already seen it but I remember the content being really well formulated and accessible for others and I want to locate the original 40min video again. GL's revamped site doesn't have it even after joining his new inner circle thing. And the internet seems to have just lost this video entirely. Halp.
3 months ago
Hi Patrick, thanks for the input.

You are right that 6 days cumulative grazing (3 days lead with sheep and cows plus 3 days follow with broilers) will cause overgrazing during the warm growing season. I should have clarified on that point..

We are planning on starting the broilers in April on the neighbor's degraded pasture where the flerd will be grazing paddocks carpeted with hay rolls. I am hoping the chickens will scratch and manure into the remaining hay mulch and help promote good spring growth while still leaving some decent ground cover. I will also do some diverse cover seeding before laying down the hay.

This should keep everyone busy into mid-June, at which time our better established pasture will be quite high and the first batch of broilers will be in the freezer or hopefully sold. Usually June through July I will make more frequent moves of 1-2 days with the flerd. I will just have to see how much time it takes and how sustainable it is of a work flow with broilers. If the broilers are causing too much disturbance, we will skip them during the main warm season and maybe do a second round in September. But the early spring batch should really help jumpstart the "new to us" tired pasture and beat the broomsedge and other weeds.

I think the real pasture management advantage of broilers is high disturbance targeted usage. If I can turn many tons of organic feed into a powerful, balanced soil amendment and distribute it with a bucket and a 4wheeler instead of a tractor, that is a big win for me.. not to mention raising a thousand broiler chickens as a result! All considered, that is a tremendous amount of input and disturbance, so it needs to be used mindfully.

This is my main point of contention with Salatin and the "salad bar" grazing model and his original Pastured Poultry Profits book.. I suspect that it burns up OM and ruins the soil if used regularly, multiple times throughout the growing season every year in perpetuity. This seems obvious if you look at the aerial photos of his farm.

Anyway, thanks for the encouragement and comments. I will update this thread as things take shape.
2 years ago
You could fabricate a crimper/roller out of water-filled steel drums or get the version made for the BCS two-wheeled tractors and modify it. You could pull either of these versions with a donkey or you could likely pull a compact tractor variety with some mules or pair of oxen without too much difficulty. But the seed drill is modern tech and so is the trendiness of "no-till". The only option would be the ATV-ready box that powers the drill mechanism with a 12V battery. They are expensive ($6k), you would have to modify it somewhat to harness and it would ultimately look a little silly attached to a draft animal, but hey that's what you want, that's how ya get it.
There is some good advice in here, mixed with some questionable opinions. We have had sheep for several years and have come to really appreciate them. They are not stupid. They are just different than you. One advantage to sheep (especially over goats and even more especially over Nubian goats) is they are *quiet*! If you are keeping noisy sheep, they likely have nutrient deficiencies and this should be addressed before it gets worse. Another thing to consider, which I don't think anyone has mentioned yet, is in the PNW (where I used to live when I had a goat dairy CSA) or other areas with high rainfall and leached soils (also where I live now in WNC, with sheep and cows and only occasionally goats)-- the soils are deficient in the trace mineral selenium and this can be a major concern for reproductive complications in goats and sheep. It is easy to resolve, though-- just give them free access to a mineral high in selenium and keep injectible selenium on hand in case of a weak lamb or kid.
Why not replace the floor under the roosts with 1"x2" wire and let it all pass through onto the ground, since that's where you are trying to get it anyway?
2 years ago
Well.. I have pretty much resolved myself that we will have to build a new house to solve this problem. I love our ramshackle little cottage, built from rough lumber milled from our own trees, but it leaks like a sieve, the live edge siding is all cupped and carpernter bees get under it every year, the windows are all recycled and poorly framed, etc etc. It still is cozy, aesthetically beautiful and I prefer it over any prefab house. But the lady bugs do really suck for about a 3 week period. We are planning to build something new in the spring at a second house site we have graded. Then in a couple years once we move out, we will more or less gut this place to a frame and roof and seal it up a lot better, likely using hempcrete for a monolithic wall construction.
2 years ago
The first filter I posted, a lot of folks will cut the mesh out of the cone and use it in their dairy strainers in place of the disposable ones. It actually will probably last longer than the mesh inserts that come with the various available milk strainers. It is called a gold filter because "The filter is made of surgical grade stainless steel mesh which is heat treated to obtain the golden color." And it is only $5 with a 5 year warranty (obviously not valid if you cut it up, but nice to know it is durable)
2 years ago
Actually that style of filter is a double mesh and is probably harder to clean and a lot slower for straining milk. A lot of folks like the "gold" strainer like this one-
Another option is buying an actual milking strainer. This one is cheap and has a reusable screen-
2 years ago
Is it 3/4" minus? You could try adding a top layer of fines. We have crushed granite gravel in our barn and I hated walking on it, so I tried putting down a few inches of pulverized fines on top ("granite dust"). It helped make it more comfortable on the feet and much less noisy. So, you could try that.. it won't help with the moisture issue, though. Ultimately, I wouldn't worry too much about gravel in your compost unless you are making a fine potting soil or something.