Julia Weeks-Bentley

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since Oct 10, 2013
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Recent posts by Julia Weeks-Bentley

They were advertised as feeder pigs and it wasn't until I got home and started researching (think this old lady would have done so beforehand...DUH) that I realized these dang things were too young to be taken from Mama. WHAT the heck do I do? They can't go in the barn it would seem because they'll freeze. I can't let them live in the dang Cats bed forever. So....it will be cold for another two months. Is it safe to keep them indoors? The damage is done....the woman I got them from will not return my emails or calls...I have them...now what? I have just begun homesteading with Chickens, Rabbits and a Goat. But it would seem there is more to raising pigs. Can anyone help me? And should I actually be feeding these poor things can milk and water? Maybe a heating pad? It is pretty warm inside though....help?
7 years ago
Very true. I would just like to be able to harvest in advance for the winter.


Michael Cox wrote:Why bother with cage rearing them if you have an abundant supply in the wild? I'd just hunt/trap them as needed.


Video of setting up box traps and culling rabbits - quick humane dispatch by cervical dislocation - not for the squeemish


Box trap seem to be the most effective and efficient way of controlling rabbits that are damaging crops, and give good rabbits for the pot.

7 years ago
Well that is definitely food for thought...I do remember eating wild rabbits when we were growing up.


McLeod Jeff wrote:

Julia Weeks-Bentley wrote:I was raised in NH but am living in Indiana... I see so many wild rabbits and have been tempted to catch them and just breed them for meat rabbits LOL
I do have cages after all....figured in captivity it would not taste too gamey.



Not sure that I'd be tempted to try and keep em in captivity - but that's just me The only concern that I would have is not knowing what their food source is - whatever they eat ultimately you eat. Rabbits can also carry a fever which can be passed on if you don't handle and cook them correctly.

http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hbtulare.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tularemia

7 years ago
I was raised in NH but am living in Indiana... I see so many wild rabbits and have been tempted to catch them and just breed them for meat rabbits LOL
I do have cages after all....figured in captivity it would not taste too gamey.



McLeod Jeff wrote:Yes - Not sure where you are in the world. We used to eat lots of wild rabbits back in the UK when times were tough. Different taste of course to domesticated meat rabbits. But still good meat.

7 years ago
I have Sooooo many around here and just wondered if they could be trapped and used for breeding and meat? Just a thought.
7 years ago
Wow, you definitely have the land then LOL....mine like the woods too and during the hottest days will stay by the creek and I am assuming because it is cool and they bugs and stuff. -35? Good lord girl, you're my hero!




Isabelle Gendron wrote:Julia, we have a 35 hectars (4 millions square foot) of land...half of it in wood. Pastures had not been used for the last 15 years. ACtually the chickens can free ranges on a big area but I would say that they cover approx. around 2000 square foot maybe more sometimes. But they use a lot the wood beside the barn. They have access to a little stream (don't no if I can call this a stream...a little little frlow of water), but I give them fresh water everyday. I'm in the deep litter method wich I like a lot..I put kitchen scrap in the coop almost everyday and there is a poop compost beside the barn that they scratch all the time. On the field next to the barn there is a lot of reseeding grains ( I think it is something like, wheat, grass) a lot of wild flowers...shrubbs etc...They ¨look¨ very healthy...nice colours (legs and crest and feathers)...no problems at all....hens are laying even a new one today. it is just this thing when I put the feeding at night...they are waiting for this. But since almost all the breed are ow use to this kind of food, and I started with that, I guess the transition is not that simple...

I have 17 chicken in that coop almost only Chantecler....In the small coop, I have Silkies...they forage a lot and don't jump at the grains when I give it to them. The big difference with them it's in the coop. I use the deep litter also but they seems to scratch less....I'm still looking at that.

But still confident that I will be able to have them eat forages only...still the winter season to figure out though,,,,here it can go down to -35 in the coldest days so forget the forages...need to find a way to harvest and keep the grains in the barn...the old way I gues )))

Isabelle

7 years ago
Isabella, if they "look" like they don't get enough then supplement their feed. Mine look huge and healthy. If for a minute I thought they were not looking good, I'd supplement. Keep in mind I give them scraps daily and I have a compost pile that gives them bugs and all sorts of tasty treats. I also think having the creek gives them a lot of extras. How much land are they free ranging on?
If they appear hungry, I'd give them feed.


Isabelle Gendron wrote:Good day everyone,

Here I left my hens free range all summer up until now, but I notice that even if they scratch outside, spent time in the wood (a lot), when I put grains at night in their feeders they eat like hell....Looks like they don't eat enough...maybe they are still in transitions? But like Paul said, I am working on having poultries that will eat only fourrages...the cost of the grains is quite expensive here. Since we have a lot of land for them, I'm sure they will have everything they need to be healthy. working on that.

Isabelle

7 years ago
I agree, everything eats something and it really is chance....lose some, save some. I guess for me it is worth the risk (as most things are) I do have dogs who wonder about my property with the chickens so I am sure it helps with predators. I have yet to lose any...but am always keeping a weary eye out.


Marsha Richardson wrote:In the United States, try to find some American Pit Game chickens, the kind that they fight in cock fights. We get to our property weekly, sometimes every two weeks. The game chickens are wild and free. They fly very well and roost 75 feet up in oak or pine trees and forage for their feed. We do throw scratch grains out for them whenever we are there and they appreciate it. That being said, everything eats chickens - raccoons, opposums, skunks, hawks, owls, feral cats, neighborhood dogs, bears (we have had a problem this year). The game hens hatch out their own broods in the spring and often again in the summer. We keep trapping out coons, possums, etc. but not a lot can be done about owls and hawks. Once they find the birds they will keep coming back until they have caught them all. We also have chickens in fortified brood pens with automatic feeders and waterers. When they hatch a brood, some of them venture into the wild and have a grand time. You must also be aware that chickens will devastate a garden, eating new plants emerging, scratching up young plants, will eat ALL the ripe red tomatoes, berries, cabbages and squash. If they can fly well enough to escape predators, they can fly over your garden fence. In the winter, the young roosters will mature and if you don't eat them (you will have to shoot them since you will not be able to get near them), will begin fighting until there are none left. Old English Bantam chickens are also very self sufficient and not nearly so destructive. Dark colored ones seems to avoid predators better. They also fly like eagles. I keep chickens though because I love them and enjoy watching them - they can be very destructive though.

It is very easy to encourage native wild birds to hang about and eat insects. If they have nesting places they will harvest many insects for their young. We have perches on tall poles in several places in our garden and the birds use them to launch attacks on insects in the garden. Brush piles provide habitat for predatory wasps and wasps are encouraged to help with cabbage loopers and such. They really hunt among the cole veggies for the caterpillars for their nests.

7 years ago
The Chickens did what came natural. I do provide plenty of clean water but your experiment shows what happens when you let things do what comes naturally. I gotta tell you though, I would have shad someone come in daily to check the animals LOL



Adam Klaus wrote:I left my chickens unattended for seven weeks last fall. The door to their house was wide open. They foraged for feed in the garden, after everything was harvested for us. They drank water from the creek.

I didnt know how it would go. Many of my friends expressed their doubts. I came home mid-November and all my hens were perfectly fine. No problems at all.

I knew the cows would be fine, but the success with the chickens was a real confidence boost.

Of course, a lot could have gone wrong. But it didnt. This was just one experiment, but I was pretty pleased. Vacation is a joy.

7 years ago
That is awesome! I did the same thing. I bought a fixer upper located on about 5 acres with some woods, a little creek and some open land with fruit trees. I wanted Goats, Chicken and Rabbits and did just that. I think the hardest part was allowing the chickens to all free range knowing there were critters and other threats out there. But I got dogs who run with them, some barn cats (great at getting rid of snakes lol) and let everything do it's own thing. I only have to feed during colder weather when they free range less. They have a huge pole barn I keep compost going in so they have something to scratch and eat year round plus it keeps the barn warm in the winter. So far it has been a very rewarding experience.
Your home looks just amazing. Mine is still being worked on and the work around here seems endless. But it is what I signed up for and I love it!
7 years ago