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Jared Blankenship

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since Feb 10, 2014
Glasgow, KY zone 6b
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Recent posts by Jared Blankenship

Kris schulenburg wrote:Baking soda is for bloat. Grass hay helps to keep from bloating as well.
I don't know about the selenium other than we live in a low selenium area and feeding kelp and the higher selenium Redmond salt, we have not experienced problems associated with low selenium. Yet anyway.

Kris, I think we spoke at the lambing school at UK several months back. I've still not bought the book but had a couple of quick questions.

How do your minerals compare in price per head to Burkmann/Southern States complete minerals?

How many separate minerals are you feeding in total? I mob graze and am just thinking about a feeder large enough to hold everything and can still be moved easily.  
Thanks everybody! I'm interested in the hoops for economic reasons. I think it would be the quickest, easiest, and most cost efficient method of framing a roof.
Bonnie and Michael, do you know what size you tubing is? I can buy 1 3/8" and 1 5/8" at a local supplier in two different wall thicknesses.
1 year ago
Thanks, Wayne! I bought the ewes from a neighbor for $150 ea and should be able to get that much out of my ewe lambs. So my plan is to but ewes from him and sell my lambs so that I don't have to sell my ram anytime soon. There's a huge buyer and producer about 100 miles from me that supplies several Whole Foods locations. I was going to raise them to his specifications anyway, so I'll probably sell to him. He pays a pretty fair price year-round.

I just have to get my management plan together so that I can streamline the operation a little better.
1 year ago
I'm new to livestock and decided to do something with my land besides bush hog it. I bought 12 Katahdin ewes in the fall and added a ram in January. I have around 10 acres of pasture, so I'd like to add another 15 ewes or so in the next year. Obviously, portable systems are the best for pasture and parasite management. I'd love to have at least one freeze proof waterer to use during the winter when lows can get into the single digits. Also, cool water from one of these will encourage more consumption.

My shed is currently in the southern part of the second picture and this is where I've been rotating my Katahdins this winter. I chose this spot because my Gallagher smart fences will barely reach the corners by the road. Eventually, I'd like to build a 24x36ish barn for winter feeding, hay storage, etc. and also handling facilities. West and north of the house are steep, so the main barn couldn't go there.

I'm new to livestock and don't want to make anything permanent without some advice from you all. Do my proposed sites for the sheds and waterers(three pink boxes) make any sense at all? I've had trouble with only 13 sheep getting the paddocks small enough for them to travel in and out of the shed area because it's so tight. Hopefully, when my numbers go up, it will help to widen the paddocks.

Anyway, if this was your farm how would you arrange waterers, paddocks, main barn, sheds, etc? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
1 year ago
Here's the guy that I've talked to. He has no website and only uses facebook.

The smallest building that he can get is 32'wide. a 32x72 or shorter is $2.75 per square foot just for the hoop kit and I provide the lumber for the walls. Larger that is $2.40 per sq ft. 32'x48'=1536'x$2.75 per sqft=$4224. Then I've still got to put it up and provide all of the lumber. Also, the replacement tarps are $.75 per sq ft right now, which is higher than #1 metal.

But his pictures will give you an idea of what I'm looking to build, I just need something closer to 20'x30'. I would like to have a metal roof so that it's pretty much worry free. I've seen it done with cattle panels but it wouldn't be large enough to suit my needs. My simple mind tells me that there's got to be a way of using top rail for hoops and screw the metal off to them.

Wayne-Thank you for the idea. I've seen this type of truss a long time ago and forgotten about them. I'll do some investigating and see what I come up with.  

1 year ago
I have a crazy question. Has anyone ever known of a hoop house being built with a metal roof? I'm looking for cheap square footage for a little hay storage but mainly as a barn for my sheep.1 3/8" fencing top rail is easy to find from local suppliers. Obviously, the hoops would need to be closer together(2' centers maybe?) but I would really love to hear from someone who has done it.

We're in southcentral Kentucky where I've only seen 12" of snow twice in my life. So, when we do get a big snow it wouldn't be a big deal to go out and sweep it off.  
1 year ago
Someone posted this one on a Kathadin Facebook group. I've considered it for my ram and a wether, but I'm afraid it would need to be moved multiple times per day. The lady that built the pen said the group of lambs in the pen needed to be moved more than once and I don't have time for that. But it would give you great control over what's getting grazed and rest periods. It's 16'x16'.
I'm with you guys on the energy/resources that would go into making a special trip for a couple dozen eggs. We only live 4 miles from one city and 20 or so from the other. I personally wouldn't drive 8 miles if I were a customer either. I was thinking about a route that would allow me to drop off enough to make it worthwhile in close proximity. Recently, I dropped my kids off at cross country practice and walked 4 miles round trip to deliver 2 dozen eggs.

I'd never really thought about a CSA before. More than likely, there would have to be a flat fee for the chickens. John Suscovich on Youtube guarantees a 4 pound bird once per week for 20 weeks, but he gets close to $30 each for his. My 4.00lb birds are $15.16. Obviously, my profit margins are pretty thin and I have a hard time getting into the processor. One of my biggest challenges has been to hit my target weight and processing date. One batch will be 3.25-4.25 lbs and the next will be 4.00+. I'll study on the CSA thing though and see if that will work for me. THanks again.  
1 year ago
Sorry for the delay and thanks to everyone for the help?

We're just seeing hurdles getting the chickens sold, not the eggs. We missed one week and my wife sold 17 dozen eggs at $4, while I sold 7 dozen. What I'm trying to figure out is how we get from selling so many impulse sales(at the market)to a handful of loyal customers who are willing to meet with us outside of the market. It would take a very small percentage of the population of the two towns I mentioned(.01-.03%) to get this done. I'm pretty sure that this is how Joel Salatin started out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think most of his customers came to the farm to pick their items up and he eventually moved toward "buying clubs" and selling to restaurants and retail. I don't want to be Joel, but I enjoy raising them and would like to do a few more meat birds.

Most of the folks reading this would benefit from knowing how to get this done. Do you all think that door to door handshakes and handing out flyers would turn anything up or do you think most folks will tune me out because they see me as a salesman?
1 year ago
I've searched and haven't had much luck. My wife, kids and I raise pastured broilers on Salatin-style pens and have 55 layers in a Wheaton-style paddock rotation system.

We sell at two different local farmers markets and have had dismal success. We just started this year though. We have less than five customers who have bought chickens from us more than once.

Everyone here has eggs. We have friends that beg their Facebook friends to buy eggs for $1 per dozen. But most folks here either raise them in a dungeon with a tiny run that hasn't had a sprig of grass in it for years, or totally free range them and they hang out in the same spots year after year.

A few people appreciate our extra work and are willing to pay for it but the farmers markets aren't working out. I work a full time job and Saturdays are the best time for us to go have fun, instead we're spending them at a market. We drive 10 miles and 50 miles round trip and have sold as little as 1 chicken and 5 dozen eggs. The most has been $150. We're only $3.79 per pound and $3.50 on eggs. So we're priced right and we are the only ones selling chickens st either market. The two towns that we're selling in have a population of 200k combined.

How do I establish customers who come to me(the farm, meet in town, etc.)? I've thought about mailers(too expensive), email lists(nobody will sign up), referral incentives for existing customers, knocking on doors in the right parts of town, etc. We should sell out of our 125 broilers for this year. I'd love to have 20 families who would buy one chicken per month and eggs every now and then. That shouldn't be hard to do in two counties.

What works for those of you who are doing this type of farming for profit?
1 year ago