Lyvia Dequincey

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since Aug 04, 2013
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Recent posts by Lyvia Dequincey

You might consider a pair of small donkeys. But, not unless you want to.

I'm just thinking that a lot of the carting dogs seem to have too much fur for hot/humid weather. You/they would have to carry a lot of drinking water. Some say heavy fur insulates from the heat, but when the dogs trot with a cart, their muscles will generate heat that has to dissipate through the coat. But this is speculation on my part, just because I find it interesting. Let us know if you find something that works.
4 years ago
To me, the way to improve this is to allow rain water to replenish it somehow.
5 years ago
It's a tricky distinction - something that grows fast enough to withstand grazing and be coppiced for wood is generally fast enough that somebody will call it weedy. But it depends on conditions, too.

For me the word weedy depends on the roots - if you decide to take it out, do you have to get every last piece of root? If you want to keep it behind a line, can you just trim it back annually? Or will it sprout from nearby all season?

And then there are some things like dandelions that just pop up everywhere. I would imagine that since it is forage, that deer and horses might like that.
5 years ago
Try an english shepherd. The english shepherds are not AKC registered, but they have working lines.

The problem with breeders is that so many are AKC breeders, which promotes dogs of a certain look, not behavior. The AKC model of pretty breed standards, with no performance testing, is a darn crazy way to pick a dog.
AKC Show dogs need to welcome strangers like judges, which is not protective.

I was looking at a newfoundland komondor hybrid, a newfkom. While this is not the best dog for everybody, there is a lot of AKC backlash against it that mostly comes from people who have not met the dogs. I feel like breeding to reduce drooling and shedding and allergens is a wonderful thing.

Right now I have one dog that would go through fire for food, one who would do it to chase a ball, and one who do it to be with me; these characteristics were inborn. The second will never be safe with chickens. Spend some time with puppies, and teach yourself to see the difference. Chances are you won't know your breeder very well, so you have to rely on your own evaluation of the puppies.
5 years ago
Hmm. You have several variables here. You need strong healthy dogs with good training and good harness. If your team is underpowered, you could use more/stronger dogs, pull less weight, get out and push on the uphill parts, find a more level trail, slow down/rest, have enough dogs that two are generally resting each mile (leashed but not harnessed?.)

To me it sounds like a job for a horse/mule/donkeys. The advantages being 1. they are herbivores, cheaper to feed and their manure is easier to use. 2. Every individual animal has a lifespan, training needs, vet needs etc. Just consider the time difference in training two mules that live twenty-five years, vice training twenty or thirty dogs in that time. Or the difference in vet checkups alone.

What is the cargo? you and a twenty pound pack?

What is the trail? Will a cart roll or is it too rough? Hilly or flat? muddy? Are there animal hazards?

What is the weather?
5 years ago
Hm. I have a pasture with poor drainage, and no livestock yet. So I was thinking to expand one edge and then divide the area with a ten foot wide drainage thingie, that leads downhill. Then plant the drianage thingie with willow or alder. Alder would provide nontoxic fodder, firewood, and fix nitrogen for the grass. Willow and bush clover would work too.
5 years ago
Excellent! You are ahead of me. Starting small is a wise thing.
5 years ago
I hear you. I have pines on top of a knoll, and I need to use that area, but how? It is erosion prone with thin acid soil and windfalls. Here's my plan - collect dead wood and manure and soil to put some hugelkulturish piles in the low spots, and build soil first with green manure. Then eventually put more productive trees in those spots, like apple or hazelnut.
This might hold water better than a pond. Maybe a masonry cistern to supplement.
5 years ago
I would look at aquaponics and hydroponics or even bog gardens to find crops that tolerate lots of water. Myself, I was trying to imagine a system for growing rice or wild rice, or something like that. Duckweed and watercress are marvelous for feeding animals. You can also grow willow in a bog garden, for summer fodder and kindling and basket-making.
5 years ago
So how does one "discover" a clay layer like that? Just years of digging projects on the same land, or are there clues I might find on my land? We have lots of clay around, and I can find out the name of the soil type, but I don't know how to get from that to finding usable features.

5 years ago