C Wilkes

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since Feb 09, 2014
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Recent posts by C Wilkes

Hi, all! Two years ago, I completed a yearlong internship on a Polyface model farm and loved it! I'm trying to get into farming full time now. I'm also trying to move back to OR where most of my family lives. I am looking for another internship, work trade, or any farming opportunity. Preferably, I'd like to be somewhere between Eugene and Salem. Narrow parameters, I'm sure, but it's where my relations are and the market I'd like to serve in the future. If anyone knows of farmers looking for an intern, on-farm hand, or a work trade opportunity, I am all ears!

Briefly about me, I am 23, able bodied, hard working, determined to farm! I don't feel comfortable putting too much out on the web. Thank you in advance for any help!
Claire W.
4 years ago
I've been hatching and raising quail for a few months now and am probably on my 6th hatch. But a few days ago, I found one of my mature quail with a split scalp. I couldn't account for the wound. But today, three of my 3 week old quail had similar but worse wounds on their heads. Is this a result of quail bullying or a mark of a predator? My quail are in hanging cages of 1/2 in square hardware cloth. I see no signs of entry to suggest a predator and if it was something like a rat, why would it only scalp them and not eat them? The quail have more than adequate space, feed, and water and have no reason to abuse each other. I'm at a loss!
4 years ago
My first batch of chicks began hatching yesterday and are still hatching today. But this morning, I had two chicks out of the eggs but have what I guess is a blood vessel still connecting them to the egg. They have been walking around for 4 hrs now with the egg still dragging behind them. Should I cut the egg away or is there still danger of them bleeding out or being otherwise harmed? Any insight would be appreciated.
4 years ago
I like the idea about guard birds! If I lived a little farther from nosey neighbors I could probably get away with it. But I doubt that I can convince them that the sounds in my yard are from native birds....
4 years ago
Can anyone recommend a good guard dog for a small backyard operation? The yard itself is maybe 1/2 an acre so a big dog that likes to roam won't be content. I currently have rabbits and will be adding quail in a month. The main predators in suburban SC are hawks, snakes, rats, raccoons, opossums, and coyotes. In the 2 years I have had my rabbits, I have never been troubled with predators even though my neighborhood has lost most of its cats and one poodle to coyotes. But now that my operation is expanding and I plan to make a profit, I want to assure the safety of my animals.

Mainly, I want a guard dog to deter smaller predators and alert me to bigger ones. Guarding the house itself would be a plus.

Do certain breeds fit this criteria or am I looking for almost any dog that barks?

Thanks
4 years ago
Like Craig said, stakes remove the slack and keep the pesky chickens corralled. Step on stakes are easy to use. Just make sure to use the stake to pull the bottom wire tight.
5 years ago
At the farm in VA where I worked last year, they had a hoop house not unlike a greenhouse where they wintered the chickens. Even in the snow, it was warm enough to unbutton your coat and the chickens seemed more than comfortable. Another idea I have heard concerning heating a greenhouse is to compost inside it. If you had enough space, you could create a large pile of compost and either fence it off from the chickens or let them have at it.
5 years ago
I inquired at Polyface last year about purchasing rabbits and they do not sell their stock. Their rabbits are very healthy as they cull heavily. For instance, rabbits that routinely get ear mites are culled in favor of rabbits with better resistance. The breeders live in hanging cages above the chickens and litter while the fryers range in "rabbit tractors" with wood slatted bottoms. In my little bit of experience, rabbit litter collects very quickly and it is difficult to keep a cage on or close to the ground. Either raise them or move them to keep their cages clean.

And in reply to Rosemary Schmidt, I live in Charleston and have raised rabbits for a year now. My New Zealand/California crosses did find the heat difficult but none of them died as a result. My buck did go sterile during the summer as a result of the heat. All summer I gave them frozen liters of water which was a chore but it helped. And in the extreme heat, I hosed them down which they hated as much as a cat would. With your access to the woods, it would be easy to construct large wire cage in the shade. If you could run electricity to it, fans would not be a bad idea. My rabbits just adore being on grass and prefer it to their grain ration. Their rabbit tractor has wire mesh on it and I never had any problems with digging until winter when the grass stopped growing.
5 years ago
Thank you, everyone! It seemed right that bunnies can eat greens but I didn't want to take any chances. The resources are a big help, thanks again!
6 years ago
I began my first rabbitry just a few weeks ago and am expecting my first litter in around 10 days. The does will raise their litters in hanging cages until the young are big enough for a rabbit tractor. So far, in all of my research, I haven't seen much addressing feeding grass to rabbits until yesterday. The author of the book said that feeding greens to rabbits under the age of 4-5 months can be harmful and even kill babies. Polyface and many others raise their rabbits on grass and they don't seem to have any problems. But I would love someone else's input. When is the appropriate age to introduce bunnies to grasses and vegetables? And what about feeding hay vs fresh cut greens?
6 years ago