Wes Hunter

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since Dec 04, 2013
Missouri Ozarks
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Recent posts by Wes Hunter

In my estimation, despite being "dual purpose" most Dexters you find will be of a beef type.  How many people even keep a family milk cow anymore?  And how many of those keep something other than a Jersey, Holstein, or Swiss?  Dexter dairy genetics are pretty few and far between.

Here in Southern Missouri, at least, it seems that everyone and their uncle raises Dexters.  They aren't as numerous as traditional beef breeds and their crosses, of course, but they're far from rare.  Don't make the mistake of automatically equating "heritage breed" with "rare."

As for traits, it all depends.  On the whole, Dexters are quite maternal, but there is also a certain amount of individual variation.  I've got one cow that's about as maternal as is possible, I think, and others that are less so.  I've never had one that I'd consider in any way inattentive.  As for how that works with your coyote population, that probably has as much to do with the coyotes as the cows.

Marbling of meat is partially breed-dependent, but probably more management-dependent.  You can take a steer with great genetic potential and graze it on poor, coarse forage, and it may not marble a dime, or take a steer whose genetic potential is moderate at best but graze him well and get beautiful beef.  And there is individual variation here, too.
8 hours ago
I'd be inclined to fry it, though scrambled in butter would suffice.

This advice probably comes too late, but I'd think your odds of successfully hatching it would be pretty slim, whereas your odds of successfully eating it would be pret' near 100%.  (Of course, I'd suggest candling it first.)
1 month ago
This spring has been a terrible one for ticks here; our sheep were covered in them.  Looking through a book on organic veterinary treatment for dairy cattle, one oft-repeated treatment for external parasites (such as ticks and lice) was sublimed (powdered) sulfur.  I think we ended up feeding something like 1/4 tsp per head, mixed into alfalfa pellets and molasses, and it has done wonders with just a one-time treatment.  I think a topical treatment would work as well. 
As the dog owner, it is certainly your responsibility to keep your dogs contained, whether or not they have behaved aggressively toward stock.  There are plenty of supposedly mild-mannered dogs that, it turns out, are great secret stock worriers and/or killers.

As one with dogs and livestock, I see both sides.  I don't want to shoot any dog just because it's on my farm; I want to be sure it's dangerous before I make such a final decision.  (For instance, there is a small pack of beagles that roams the neighborhood.  As near as I can tell, all they do on my farm is tree squirrels.)  But if one of my dogs were on a neighboring farm and got shot, I wouldn't feel right to complain.  Even if they were innocent, I cannot really fault the livestock owner for protecting his animals.
2 months ago
This topic came to mind today while I was scything a beautiful patch of winter rye and red clover and considering the benefits of removing it all as hay versus leaving it as mulch for a crop of beans as originally intended.

Anyway, my thought was this: why not agree to the farmer seeding the hay fields, on the condition that the hay be fed only in the field?  This could well be a win-win, as you retain the field's fertility--indeed, improve it with the addition of copious amounts of cattle manure--while the farmer (presumably) saves money by hauling his stock to and from your farm once versus hauling load after load of hay.

If you went this route, and expect to put some stock of your own on soon, I'd just work it out such that he gets to cut the entire field this year, then less five acres the next, then less ten acres the next (or whatever numbers make sense) and so on.  It would probably be beneficial to establish, in the contract, a dollar amount for a buyout in the event that you want use of the entire acreage before the contract is up.  Surely between the two of you you can come to terms that are mutually agreeable.

All that said, I'll repeat that it's certainly an option to just seed the field(s) yourself and forego the whole contract hassle.  What's more, you might opt to fallow it all this year, mowing as necessary, and lease it out for some farmer to house his stock over the winter.  Then you get the addition of all that manure, coming with the importation of someone else's hay.  Some might not consider this "permie" or "sustainable," but keep in mind there is such a thing as a fertility cycle.  Fertility has been leaving your farm for years to go elsewhere, and it's probably time to start bringing it back in.
2 months ago

scott porteous wrote:yah its ridiculous that the repear almost cost the same as the aplience

Maybe.  Or maybe it's ridiculous that a new $100 appliance costs ONLY $25 more than having the old one repaired.  It's worth noting that, more likely than not, the person repairing the appliance is being paid a reasonable wage, whereas the person/people making the new appliance aren't.

It's also worth noting that, assuming a repair renders the appliance fully functional, $75 is less than $100.  Maybe the useful life of a new one would be longer, but that's not necessarily a given.
2 months ago
I don't have a photo, but I've used empty bottles as candle holders for taper candles.  It usually requires slightly sharpening the bottom end of the candle (like you would a pencil) to get it narrow enough to jam into the bottle opening.  I suppose you could use any old bottle, but I'm partial to green wine bottles, either full of half size.

For us, though, the biggest issue isn't alternatives to recycling glass per se, but alternatives to recycling broken glass.  Using glass necessarily results in broken glass.  And it's a little difficult to merely reuse a broken empty beer bottle.
2 months ago

Nathanael Szobody wrote:So what's the difference between multi-functional and "stacking functions"?

On the one hand I think the difference is mainly semantic, but on the other I think that difference is significant.  If one aims for "multi-functional," one has succeeded as soon as two functions are noted.  But if one aims for "stacking functions," one never fully succeeds as such.  "Stacking" is an active verb, and so it is (or can be) continuous; one can always continue stacking function upon function, in theory at least.

I think this is probably most important when designing a system, versus when evaluating an existing system.  If your goal in a design is multiple functions, you might likely check out much sooner than if your goal is stacking functions.  If "stacking functions," then, results in more (or more acknowledged) functions, this positively affects other issues, such as designing for redundancy.
2 months ago
I'm assuming the "contract" implies he will be cutting and taking the hay.  If that's the case, I would suggest against it.  Removing hay is a great way of removing fertility from a farm, which I'd assume you don't want to do.

It would take time, but seeding 25 acres with an over-the-shoulder broadcast seeder is certainly doable.  Or you could rent a pull-behind model for quicker seeding.
2 months ago
You might consider a scoped .22 for a little extra reach, though of course that comes with additional concerns about taking shots in the air.  In Missouri, at least, crows are the only birds allowed to be taken with any kind of rifle, so there must be some precedent for shooting them thus, and some testament as to its likelihood of success.

I'd wager a guess that you don't even need to wage war on crows; you just need to eliminate the specific problem animals you're dealing with.
2 months ago