Po White

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since Aug 29, 2014
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Recent posts by Po White

I'd like to add guineas to my homestead, primarily for bug control. As such, I'm don't care that much if some fly off or get eaten, and I don't plan to harvest eggs for now. I would Luke to encourage them to come "home" at night.

I'm in zone 5a in northern Illinois. I have springs on and aroundy land, so I don't worry about water, but perhaps about how they'll survive the winter weather and dearth of forage.

What thoughts do you have for simple night housing and the necessity of winter feed?

Thanks all
7 years ago
Built a simple version recently to do the bulk of the evaporation for syruping. Works OK, but I need some tips on lighting it effectively.
8 years ago
My only other thought is that the relatively small volume area below the grate may clog with ashes after a bit, reducing airflow. What do you think?
8 years ago
Hi Mike,

Very much appreciate the pictures and description. Where did you source the tubing? Welding supply shop? How thick is it?

What sort of grate did you use?

You just notched it to make the top "burner, where the pan sits? The filing cabinet steel is holding up to the heat? The 2" note of your drawing signifies the distance above the cabinet top that the tubing rises?
8 years ago
Not sure if this belongs here or in critters, but I'd rather solicit the input of plant fanatics first.

I just moved onto a beautiful 5 ac parcel with lots of mature wild cherry trees, but is otherwise mown grass in the understory. I'd like to keep goats and am considering how to best develop palatable pasture. Leadplant is a very appealing option, but I worry that if I start with that the deer will destroy it before it gets well established.

Do you recommend I start with something else first for a year or two? What are your recommendations?
8 years ago
The 11 continued to refuse to go into their house. They slept outside, huddled up, in a large cleared. None were harmed by predators surprisingly. They got to be very proficient foragers. Perhaps as they depended on us less and less, they did fly off after about 5 days. One remained. Not sure why he didn't go. Sad... We'll try again in the spring.
8 years ago
At dark, as the beautiful full moon rose in the northeast, I walked down to close up the duck house. Every time previous, they have already been inside and I just replace the door and walk away.

Tonight, I think they hear the call of the wild or something. I absolutely cannot coerce them to go inside. They insist on sleeping right in the middle of a large clearing of mucky grass, where the coyotes like to frolick to start their night's work. I have noticed recently that they have eaten way less feed, like maybe only 10% of what they ate before I moved them. I assumed it had gradually been decreasing as they learn to forage better. In the last few days also, they haven't even gone back down to their house during the day, for neither food now water, preferring to eat snow instead.

I wonder, if they survive the night, if this is temporary or if they'll just decide to go feral.

The full moon brings out all sorts of strangeness.

8 years ago
Excellent suggestion Kris! Design inspired by squirrel nests. Total cost, $10 worth of welded wire fencing. Roof is mostly just tangled brush and leaves. Walls are remnant steel siding.

Thanks again.
8 years ago
I have a ~10 week old flock of 11 muscovies, my first. They seem happy enough, but very skiddish.

I am fortunate enough to have a spring on my land. No ponds, though. We have seen temps into the mid teens already, and I expect to get weary of dragging fresh water to their house a couple hundred yards from the mine in the cold and snow, particularly when I know I have naturally occuring freeze-free water available.

I'd love to build predator-proof housing that doesn't rely on me letting them in and out. Some sort of elevated structure with a narrow walkway? I suspect they're too big for racoons at this point(?). They are really wimps, and I doubt I could coerce them to perch on anything. Hopefully the next generation.

Any ideas/proven designs/suggestions?

8 years ago