Bev Huth

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since Feb 17, 2014
AR, USA
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Recent posts by Bev Huth

I have rabbits as well as chickens. I didn't believe it at first, but to minimize feed costs and, make for easy clean up, I fed the rabbit droppings to the chickens after reading they would eat them and, get nutrition form them.

It works, nice orange yolks year round. I take enough rabbit manure for the garden and, the rest goes to the chickens for their winter time grass. Free chicken feed and great eggs.

I have a neighbor that feeds horse manure for winter chicken grass, that works too and, that's free around here too so, you might give it a try.
4 years ago
I've never had any trouble getting my hens to brood, did have two of them over mother and kill 4 chicks on me last spring. (One would move to let them out of the nest, the other would jump in and keep them in the nest.)

Mine are Buff Orpingtons, Black Jersey Giants and, the resulting cross bred chickens. I don't separate nests, just leave one box I don't gather from and the hens brood those just fine.

What I do is pull the rooster to a separate pen once they go to sitting the eggs. Moving the hens is not a good idea, mine will quit laying for 1-3 days if I move them but, the rooster constantly wants to ride them so, once I have the fertile eggs I need for the year, I move him away from the hens to give them some peace from him.

You have the rooster and, good laying hens. If they won't brood, why not get an incubator and hatch them yourself? Not hard to do. I do that too, to get more chicks and, it works well.
4 years ago
If you don't want to do the Tabasco egg, put bitter lime spray on a few and leave them where the hens laid them, that will teach the dog that eggs are not to be touched and, are foul, bitter tasting things. Or reward her for bringing the undamaged eggs to you, teach her to gather eggs for you.

Ild place a container she could put eggs in near the door, have her fetch eggs and, give her a treat for each one she delivered undamaged. You may be able to get the dog to gather eggs safely.
4 years ago
I don't use shell, I do pressure cook bones to soften them and, crush those for the chickens and, I parch and give the egg shells back to them in the feed. That seems to be enough.

I do make sure they have access to grit (small gravel and the like) as well.
4 years ago
I HAD one like that form last years chicks that got so aggressive he was jumping at me (and making contact.) I cured him, at least he hasn't tried again since he knocked himself ringy. I wen in there with a metal trash can lid as a shield against him, intending to catch him for the stew pot. He jumped at me, hit that lid hard enough to knock himself dizzy.

Well, me being a softie, I felt sorry for the now possibly injured rooster so, I picked him up and put him in a nest box, deciding to see how he was in a couple of hours.

He hasn't been aggressive since at all. He isn't afraid of me, but he keeps a respectful distance and moves when I shoo him. He's fine now and can stay here.
4 years ago
If you want chicks, you have two choices to avoid a pile of rotten eggs that get abandoned. Separate the hens and, collect from all but the brood hen that is kept separately or, collect all of the eggs and get an incubator, build a small brooder for the chicks and rear them yourself.

4 years ago
In that small a space, I'd got with quail or chuckar (partridge). Both are smaller and relatively quiet, you would have to incubate the eggs with either but, you could hatch them and brood the chicks. Quail are faster growing and, more prolific egg layers but, chuckar are larger and live longer.

I have both, in cages suspended above my meat chickens. Any feed the smaller birds scatter out is eaten by the chickens so, no wasted feed. I would not keep the in the same pen w/o some kind of separation for fear of the larger chickens injuring the smaller birds.
4 years ago
Soups, smoothies, even a vegetable puree dip for pita chips or a bit added to sour cream on the baked potato are good ways to use it.

It is also good feed for chickens, rabbits, even a goat or pig and, you could then eat the animal that ate the chard. Any excess is good for compose or mulch.
4 years ago
Well, I am more smart than cult but really neither. Common sense, proven methods and learned form other goes a long way but, intuition has a place too. I do live in a rural location and, we are as self sufficient as is practical given the land we have and the location.

Our food does fine with minimal care, the animals of course need at least a daily check and some more attention than that but, that takes less than 30 minutes a day.

I didn't start out intending on going to permaculture, I started out wanting to be a self sufficient as possible and, wanting to get the various chemicals and other garbage out of my food. Being lazy at heart, I simply found the least labor intensive ways of doing that, and being a cheap skate, chose native and heirloom or, at the least no hybrid plants so I could replant them as needed. I chose animals that required minimal to no vet care, could eat what I could grow, hunt or, fish for to save money.

Of course everything had to be suitable for my zone, and thrive here. Pretty useless if I have to go to extremes to keep it alive or get anything useful from it.

Yes it turned out to be permaculture but, I did not have even the term in my head when I started, I just wanted as natural and self sufficient a life as I could create for myself and my family with the minimum cost and work involved - I don't want to have things that need doing and I can't do as far as day to day living and getting my food when I'm 80 or 90 and, I'm not going to spend a small fortune doing it.
4 years ago
I have a wolfdog so, he does best on a RMB (Raw meat and bone) diet. I do give him a little high quality kibble so he will eat it if he ever has to live on that but mostly he gets raw meat and bone.

The base of his diet is chicken since those are easy for me to raise for him but he also gets rabbit, quail, venison and, occasionally beef and rodents from around our small farm as well (either he catches them or we catch them in live traps.)

I wouldn't feed him only rodents, or only any one food and, he does nibble on blackberries, pumpkin and sweet peas when they are growing or I give it to him in the case of pumpkin. He likes sweet potatoes as well so gets a little when I get them from the farm that grows them near us.

Were we in a more populated area, I'd hesitate to feed wild rodents but, here there is little change they ate poison and, wild canines certainly eat them and are fine so, I let my wolfdog have them. He's 3.5 now and never had a single health problem and, I have had him since he was 8 weeks old.
4 years ago