Chris Kott wrote:Anyone who is offended by your posts is looking to be. I, too, like to hear differing points of view when having a discussion. It makes for more dialogue and less preachy back-patting. I hadn't considered a duck flock for eggs as a way around culling roosters. That's really clever if it will work. Would it work with geese, I wonder (I have heard that geese are herbivorous, whereas ducks eat everything)?
Learning works so much better when we're exposed to ideas other than our own! It took me forever to come up with the plan for ducks instead of chickens. If a large number of eggs are wanted I believe khaki campbell ducks can almost match a chicken. I'm probably either going to go for a breed that's in danger of extinction, or try to rescue some local ducks from a fate in a stew pot. I wonder if duck breeds can be mixed together? I never thought to look that up.
As far as ducks being omnivores, I was under the impression that they could feed themselves here in TN, and I'm ok with that. I don't want to purchase feed, or at least not on a regular basis. Insects are a huge problem here. Most of the year they make going outside miserable, and then they attract frogs which attract copperheads (we are overrun with these!) and timber rattles snakes. So I'm trying to get animals that make the land less attractive to venomous snakes. Guinea Fowl are supposed to help as well, but I've heard they can have some aggression issues. I need to do more research. I dislike killing insects, but it's like a war zone here.
One other solution for the chicken rooster issue is to keep the male and females separate all the time. I've met people that do this. One coop for females, one out of sight for males, and then separate times outside. The roosters won't fight if there are never any females, but I will add that the people that did this were keeping non aggressive breeds. Silkies for one, and the other had Brahmins. I'm afraid to try this because I'm afraid all the roosters will crow all the time anyway (the silky owner says they don't, but I have horrible luck). Turning the roosters into capons when young is another fix, but I have yet to here of a way to do this while safely putting the rooster under anesthesia to avoid suffering.
Geese are awesome though! I want a few of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Buff_Goose
Supposedly they are extremely friendly, and not like most geese at all. Which might help my near-five year old get over his fear of them =D Their eggs have a ton of b12, but also a ton of cholesterol. I mainly want a few because they are almost extinct, and they remind me of dinosaurs when they walk (not that I've ever seen a dinosaur, of course, lol).
Anyway, I'm trying to have a plan for a small number of animal species that can live in harmony (possibly with the aid of a few fences), and not destroy me economically.
Wyll Greenewood wrote:
Although I am a recent addition to the 'flock' i wish to welcome you here. I really liked your intro and overview of your life style and proposed near-future, really kind of echoes my own (probably the REASON I liked it methinks).
It's nice to meet you too! It's not often that I find people that have similar view as mine with animals and ethics. I'm almost always the odd one out. Every animal I've ever had as "pets" growing up (mostly cats, and dogs) were always considered full family members. My parents were not vegetarians, but they did treat animals respectfully, taking their feelings into account and such. I have memories of having to apologize to the cat for upsetting her until she scratched me, versus in some households where the cat would have been blamed. I want to have the same kind of relationship with farm animals.
Paul: I missed the deleted comment. I just wanted to point out that I mentioned not trying to upset anyone not because of that, but because I accidentally put my foot in my mouth all the time. I'm awful about talking too much and accidentally stepping on toes! I just wanted to post a disclaimer so that people would know that I mean well, and if I offend it wasn't on purpose =]