Kurt Stailey

+ Follow
since Jan 21, 2015
Indiana, zone 6
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
1
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
23
Received in last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Given in last 30 days
0
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Kurt Stailey

Great! We stay nearby when we move the goats to a new paddock if they seem overwhelmed. Once they get used to the new area, they don't seem to need us anymore Hope that works out for you!

--Kurt

Very cool Jeremy, just to offer some encouragement, our 5-year land contract ends this October when we will own free and clear our 15 acre homestead. We made the purchase with another like minded couple and my only regret is that I am 46 instead of 26 because I could probably get more manual labor done in a day were I younger. I should have started sooner and jumped out of the IT field decades ago

Don't worry about building to last 100 years, build to get it done in a manner that lets you re-use your materials. Our home has wood that was used in at least four different structures over the last 5 years. Hope things have gotten better for you.

Best of luck, 5 years goes by VERY VERY fast!

--Kurt

3 years ago
Thanks Aaron!

Jonathan; Not sure why Mollison would list goats as incompatible in permaculture. I certainly would not put them in a young forest area because they would wreck the smaller trees. But we run them often in established forest areas and they do nothing but good that I have seen. I don't want to make it sound like I haven't wanted to shoot them in the past, but since we got our fencing lined out they very rarely escape and cause havoc.

--Kurt

Hi Carmella, They are cute as could be at that age. We still have a few goats that were dehorned before we bought them, they are awesome and they will be living out their retirement here eating brush for us. With the rotation method we use it is easy for us to keep the 4 hornless goats separate from the rest of the horned goats. During the winter we move everyone to a shared area to simplify hay feeding and for the last couple of years they have all gotten along fine, if a horned goat begins to try and change the order of dominance or becomes aggressive we will put up another fence and move the older hornless goats off by themselves.

There are many reasons people speculate they need their horns; defense, temperature regulation, a tool attached to their head to manipulate their environment, etc... All I know is they weren't put there by mistake and I just can't remove them


--Kurt

Thanks! Can't wait to read it. And thank you Deborah for being willing to share your knowledge with everyone! And thank you to everyone else who was willing to share their experiences, it's only through the open exchange of ideas that we can make change happen. Lots of brains are WAY better than one

--Kurt

Try putting the two jumpers in alone without the third non-jumper, then try sitting in the pen with them and see if they still bolt.

--Kurt

Hello Rafael, I can offer my experience with a couple of your questions:

1 - We have both goats and Llamas. From reading, the Llama manure seems best by the numbers, and is certainly easiest to collect as our Llama always goes to one of a few spots in the pasture to deposit it.(very easy to shovel into buckets) For years we used it directly into the soil without any composting with no negative issues. We currently have a certification that requires us to compost it for 120 days, so thats what we do. We also use our goat droppings but in a much more indirect method of just letting them graze our food forest areas and deposit them everywhere.

3 - We eat animals because I prefer knowing where my meat comes from, this is of course a personal decision.

4 - We shave our llamas for health/heat purposes but have yet to spin yarn out of it, but that is on our to-do list! We shear every year just so he doesn't get too hot, we are in zone 6 and have a few 90F+ degree summer days.

5 - Hard question to answer, would vary by animal species, plant growth rates etc... Im probably the wrong person to comment on this because we load our land very lightly. (we have a dozen or so goats, a llama, ducks and chickens on 15 acres) But we practice paddock rotation so they never spend much time in one place.

6 - Goats will browse a variety of plants, for ours anyway grass is not on the top of their list, they seem to prefer bushes/trees, but they certainly eat grass too. Our llama eats almost exclusively grass/herbacious plants. Im so glad you asked about Llama packing, our male can carry 80-ish pounds all day long, anywhere we can walk he can walk, in fact he walks many places we would rather not (up steep hills, etc...) Our llama has a personality sort of like a cat, he doesn't dislike people but he really does care if we worked with him or not. He is content to just walk around an eat, not as affectionate as our goats.

Hope this helps some!

--Kurt

edited for spelling
Very true Jonathan, more than once I have grabbed a horn handle and led goats around, especially when I didn't have a collar available.

--Kurt
You are correct, everything comes full circle. A few years ago giant bag phones were cool, then everyone wanted a cell phone that fit in your pinky nail, now everyone lugs around suitcase size sheets of glass and talks into them.

From what I have seen, even when they have free choice wheat plants available, goats do not eat pounds of wheat berries per week.

--Kurt

We grained for years because it was fast and easy. We ditched the convenience and now on the stand we feed sunflower heads, comfrey, lambs quarters, miners lettuce, dandelion, turnip/beet greens, siberian pea shrub, berry vine, black walnut leaves and/or whatever else I can grab a little of one my way through the garden. Takes longer but again serves two purposes, I thin the garden a tad/prune some plants and give the goats a wide range of nutrients/trace minerals. If/when our wheat/buckwheat/vetch/<insert cover crop here> is up I will also cut some of it, plant and all, for them. It sounds like a lot of work, but we only milk seasonally so its only for a couple months a year we are messing with the milk stand, and I would be playing in the garden at this time of year anyway. In my experience feeding grains is tricky because they will eat way more than what they would eat in the wild, parts of it are missing, and its kinda flat nutritionally. (see the milking through post for a better explanation). Just my thoughts, YMMV.

--Kurt

PS: Im not surprised the forest is where you notice a difference in milk production, as counter intuitive as it sounds, ours increased when we laid off the wheat/sweet feed and added the variety we use now. Plus getting them off just pasture and into a forest gives them a huge variety of plants to choose from. We are in the process now of planting all of the above goodies in each paddock so they can browse as they feel the need. The paddock areas we planted last season mostly all self seeded this year so it will also become maintenance free.(hopefully)


edit: added PS