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Dana Jones

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since Aug 13, 2014
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Recent posts by Dana Jones

Have you taken your pigs to slaughter?
3 years ago

Andrew Mayflower wrote: If I had a walk in cooler and was close enough I'd have picked up as many as the cooler could handle, and butcher them for friends and family, and local folks out of work.  I'd only ask enough to get my actual $$ expenses back, so probably $0.50/lb cut/wrapped.  I'd probably ask anyone out of work in the local area that wanted it to come out and help with the processing.  That way A) they'd get a chance to do something productive in exchange for ultra low cost meat, B) possibly learn a new skill and C) reduce my personal workload.

Yeah, I know, it's not "permie" to go pick up a cow from a CAFO under normal circumstances, but if the alternative is to kill and bury it, I see it as a great service to the animal, and the people it would feed to prevent that from happening.

Walk in cooler? LOL LOL LOL We've done neighborhood hog butchering in June and nary a walk in cooler in sight. This is Texas and it is HOT! We quarter the carcass and pack in ice chests. Drain the water every day, add more ice. Do that 3-4 days, then start processing. You missed your chance to procure low cost meat for you and friends. Now you know how to slaughter, Southern Style. LOL Heck, even in winter, it is too hot to hang deer, so we pack 'em in ice chests, drain, ice, repeat.

If you could have gotten a steer, that would have been awesome. Gather up everybody's ice chests and get after it!
3 years ago
I buy a couple of feeder pigs every spring. The first of February, we got 2 at $60 each, they were 4 months old. Hampshire and Yorkshire crosses, they were small for 4 months. I give them free feed in a feed bin. I have a trough that I give them soured corn in, they suck up the juice first. Because I have learned not to wait until the last month to set a slaughter date, I went ahead and set a slaughter date in August. In March, we took some lambs that I had booked a date for months earlier. I tried to set a date for a steer that we bought and was told no, they were booked out through May of 2021 and weren't taking any more. So I called around and found a place booking dates in March of 2021 and got a date for the steer. This was for a steer that we hadn't even taken possession of yet! CRAZY!! The steer is for our own consumption. We keep a pig and sell a pig and that pays for our pig, processing and feed. I sold live lambs and took to slaughter as a courtesy, people paid for the slaughter fees and picked up their meat.

Feeder pigs here are priced from $150-$300!! For a FEEDER pig! Insane! I put the ram with the ewes in September and I won't be taking any lambs to slaughter in 2021. How can I set a date for lambs that aren't even born yet? We will load them all up and take them to auction. Let slaughter be somebody else's problem.

I raise Cornish Cross chickens and sell them, slaughtered. At least we can do those ourselves!

With no meat in the stores earlier this year, all of a sudden, everybody wanted to be a farmer. I'm happy that people took some responsibility for feeding their families, but I bet most go back to buying meat at the store.

Likewise, garden seeds were sold out too. Lucky that I got garden fever and ordered before Covid Crazy struck.
3 years ago
Cherokee Purple is the hands down, grow every year favorite here. The best flavor ever. I can, make sauce, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, salsa, and bar be cue sauce. I also dehydrate them. Fresh eating is awesome, they make mid size to large tomatoes, have green shoulders, sometimes are ugly, but get over it. Do you want exceptional taste or a pretty, red baseball? LOL
I haven't read the whole thread, will come back later to study it in detail. I have to butcher chickens this morning. LOL The question I have is, Has anyone put a metal roof, elevated with walk under room, over their underground house? We pass one on the way to visit friends, been meaning to stop and ask questions, but are always in a hurry. Guess we need to slow down, stop and be nosy. We moved from a comfortable, insulated, roomy brick home to a smallish double wide mobile home. If the power goes off in the summer, it is like sitting in an oven! Not sustainable. Underground homes interest us very much, but the problem of leakage rears its ugly head. The metal roof covering seems to be a good answer, need to study this further.
3 years ago
I'm excited to find this thread. I just got my potato onions from SESE. Varieties? I didn't know, love all the links, I'll have to order more varieties and keep us in onions.
3 years ago
Lots of good ideas here. We live on 8 acres, have chickens, sheep, horses, dogs, the yearly feeder pig and ATM, a steer. The 2 freezers are packed and the canning closet is full. I was raised in hurricane country and lived there most of my life until 6 years ago. Now we live in tornado country. We could live very well on what I have stocked up for probably a year. I have small livestock on purpose, easier to raise and maintain. We are in a good neighborhood of fairly like minded individuals, except for a couple of jerks nobody likes. LOL We raise a garden every year, dehydrate, can and freeze the proceeds, as well as spread the wealth around the neighborhood. I have a large supply of seeds. A neighbor is having a well drilled this weekend and is going to run pipe to our place for the animals and garden. He has benefitted from our garden and meat supply and wants to keep that going! LOL
3 years ago
We have a very small customer base to sell pork and chicken to. We carry a million dollar liability insurance policy, yearly cost is $125. That is in case a customer says our food made them sick and wants to sue us. It does not cover them coming to the farm and hurting themselves.
3 years ago
I recommend common bermuda, it is a short grass, not a "named" variety, which costs more for seed. Common Bermuda is tough, resists drought, once established. You may have to water it to help it through the first summer. DWC would compliment it well and provide nitrogen. Mowing both would add humus to the soil, over time. Berrmuda will frost and stop growing in the winter, but will come back out from the roots in the spring. For winter coverage, plant a perennial rye grass, NOT an annual rye grass. The perennial stays short and will reseed and come back.

Now that I have gathered more information about your property and your situation, plant DWC and perennial rye grass NOW. Buy your common bermuda and be ready to plant it in March. If the rye and DWC is thick or tall, mow it before sowing the bermuda. I have sowed the grass seed I have planted by hand. I load my wagon with the grass seed bag, and use a small bucket to pour the seed in. Then I throw handfuls of seed and get pretty good coverage.
3 years ago
I don't know anything about paw paws, but you have a nice clump of crabgrass. It will grow well in sandy soil.
3 years ago