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Freddie Orcut

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since Jan 25, 2015
Army Veteran. Late 20's. Injuries slow me down but my drive is of a workhorse.
Trying to escape the chaos. I lived in Guatemala and it is so awesome that I now have a Guatemalan fiance here in the States. Going through the LEGAL Visa process and it is hell and back.
Rabbits, aquaponics. I am focused on becoming an expert with these things at the meantime.
I have battled mites and won! Olive oil works great with the Rabbits.
New England
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Recent posts by Freddie Orcut

How has everything gone for you guys?
I am deep in the rat race currently, and sad about it!
Rabbits, Chickens, Ducks, Worms.. that is as far as I have gotten.
5 years ago
In case anyone looks at this, I have secured a job and am not looking for room at this time.
5 years ago
I recently joined the WCBA (oldest beekeeping assoc in the US, I found that very cool) and boy did we get political last night.
A few bills are at the house concerning pesticides. Neonicotines ( I know I am not saying that right) are apparently now the most prevalent pesticide and they are not good for bee's and their hives!
Increased amounts of hives are being found with dangerous amounts of pesticides in the wax each year. In my area I haven't seen many bee's lately and the numbers definitely go down each year.
An interesting part of the discussion was about talking to your neighbors. To ask them if they could not use harmful chemicals and let them know you are getting into beekeeping. I spoke with my grandfather today and we talked about using pesticides in the safest manner possible. To me it is easy, don't use them! If you need protective gear to handle a product then you shouldn't be putting that product near the food sources of organisms as important as bee's!
Also among the discussion at the meeting was the fact that it is confirmed reps have received donations from both Bayer and Monsanto. I hope that doesn't mean an impossible fight for the WCBA and the bee bills here in MA.

How active is your community in politics? Have you made any headway against pesticides and big companies?
I am new to beekeeping so I haven't acted yet, however I will be digging in and researching!
5 years ago
Alex, Sorry for not getting back to your post sooner. The sprouts weren't great but were good enough to do it every once in a while. I will sprout again this weekend and see what happens come Tuesday. I was watering lightly every day. This time I will try and place a specific amount of water to seed and let it do it's thing. The 50lb bag was 13 dollars I believe but the store is in NH. Next run I can make sure to get 2 extra bags if all goes well with my new experiment and you are interested.
I lost my Tilapia due to pump issues and being out of the home I had little to no control. I was bent out of shape for a while.
Something I also found is Tilapia is not on the list of approved fish in Massachusetts. Next time I do aquaponics I will have to go with catfish.
Meghan, I actually purchased a couple American Blue's from a nice guy in Pittsfield a year back. He has a great garden and rabbitry set up. His Flemish Doe was gorgeous, I wanted her more than the blue's I bought!!!
5 years ago
In April 2015 I will begin an internship program for my Small Engine Mechanics course. I am flexible on location as I am still contacting various business'. I will need only a small space.
I would like to be within 15 minutes of a downtown area and within 1 hour of Portland or Augusta.
I can trade a few hours of work after the internship hours (Thursday, Friday) or on a Saturday in exchange for 2-3 nights of sleep. Hotels will be far too expensive for me since I am already commuting from Central MA. Renting doesn't make sense because I will have just 2 to 2 and a half days a week in Maine.
The reason I am interning in Maine is because I intend to move there directly following the class. Hopefully the location I intern for will be able to employ me directly after.
For a work trade I could work on any 2 or 4 stroke engine that you have. If you have a lawnmower, weed wacker, chainsaw, snowblower, or motorcycle I can do basic maintenance right at your home labor free.
If you need help with animals I would love to help. I have raised ducks, chickens, rabbits and house cats and dogs in the past. I currently have 8 chickens 2 ducks 4 rabbits and a dog.
I am a 28 y/o Male, former Military Police Sergeant and 3 tour Veteran. I worked in Security and a brief time in the Automotive sector(parts/Service advisor/sales). I am trustworthy, honest, I do not use drugs nor do I drink at the moment. I am completely focused on my education and future.

If anyone has the ability to help please let me know!
Thank you!
5 years ago
Hey Robert,

I am at a dead slow crawl here and it is killing me! Problems with my Tilapia tank are killing me the worst right now. My pump and filter are shot and as of tonight the water is so dark I can't see my fish. No idea what to do since my schedule is up at 5.30 am, gone by 6.30 and back at 9pm. I don't have a back up tank nor a net so I will have to get my father over the house since my wife isn't up for tasks like this. He has a way of being able to fix everything!
I still have the rabbits and chickens going great though!
I have been trying to rehome a Muskovy Drake, NH Red hen, and a Copper Maran barn mix hen. If you know anyone who would want them let me know! I don't have a winter shelter for them because my Rhode Islands wont let them in the chicken coop. It is like a deathmatch when anything tries to get in with the RI's! They are the Queen layers though so I they won't be going anywhere until someone outlays them!

I am interested in hearing your plans for the homestead! My set up takes up a grand total of 264 sq ft so I would be in heaven with 3 acres to play with!
What is your overall goal for the homestead?
Do you have a 1 year, 5 year, 10 year plan?

I decided to scrap my 10 year plan and just go with the flow for the next 2 years and re assess.
I am in training for small engine, motorcycle, snowmobile and marine Mechanics. I just want my rabbits, chickens, tilapia and the 9x9 garden for now!
If you need any work done to lawnmowers, weed wackers, snow blowers I can take them in next month or so and do everything for parts costs.

Stay dry! I heard the rain is coming down hard the rest of the week!
5 years ago
Great stuff Craig! You can never, ever, ever have too much bacon!
I also want to get a bee hive eventually. My plan is to figure out how to build the new hive that can drain honey without disturbing the bee's. Once I do I will get a few of the towering sunflowers to put in each garden bed.
I will be excited to get into pigs as well some day. The composting/fertilizing factor alone is amazing if you can do a 4+ pen rotation.
I plan to build a small shed for my rabbits with an automatic watering system as well. Possibly hang a 55 gallon drum with small pvc piping and nipples to each cage. I want to experiment with a small solar panel to power a fish tank heater in the drum to maintain water above freezing for the winter months. A challenge to say the least.
I think doing a V-log would be a great idea for you. I would love to see your set up and thought process put into images and random babbling on youtube. For me it seems the best video's often veer off course when talking about homesteading and permaculture.

Do you do any special winterizing for the ducks and chickens? My plan is to just block the wind and have a bunch of hay for them to cuddle up into. I have 1 duck who lost his 2 girls this summer and he will be moving in with the chickens come winter.
5 years ago
Any good updates?
I personally got into rabbitry and when they say brown gold they weren't kidding! My garden is looking great. I even had a bag of poo that started growing grass in it. No idea how that happened?!?!

Hope all is well!
5 years ago
I forgot to mention on the hardiness topic.
I use olive oil and diatomaceous earth to prevent sickness. I had one ear mite incident at the beginning of my rabbitry and nothing since with all three of the breeds.
As far as fur, my New Zealand/Flemish cross buck feels nicer than my Flemish doe. Not sure if that is across the board but the Flemish does have a little rougher fur.
I am dying to get my hands on a Red New Zealand, but I will wait until next spring when I expand more. Another local rabbitry is on the look out for one as well. We are going to be breeding our American Blue's to each others to see if we can get some whites to come out. I guess they fetch a few pennies more since they are even more rare than the endangered blue is.
5 years ago
Above 85F you are asking for trouble if you don't have 100% shade at peak temps and you don't want to swap frozen bottles regularly throughout the day. Most will survive 85F but it isn't comfortable for the animal which I assume you don't want to force undue stress on them.
If memory serves me correct, angora's have a ton of fur. So they would probably be the worst warm climate rabbit.
I currently have New Zealand, Flemish Giant, and American Blues. If you don't mind white rabbits stick with New Zealand and Californians. That way you don't have to play with crossing, those are popular for a reason.
Me on the other hand, I like hybrid vigor. That is my goal in each rabbit, make it better than the parents. My favorite is the Flemish NewZ cross.
The meat to bone ratio of Flemish being significantly different at 10-12 weeks is a myth in my eyes. A few people I know who have raised FG crosses feel the same. I haven't seen a Cali's bones (I hear they are the best) but they would have to be microscopic to make me give up Flemish in my lines.
My current meat stock is 75% FG and 25% New Zealand. At 11 weeks I am at 5lb and 9oz (average) and they dress out around 3lb 5oz (average). I cook bone in so I can't get the weight broken down further than that. I do know that one rabbit feeds my fiance and I almost 2 meals. Depending on how carried away I get on the first meal I add potatoes, rice or what not to the second meal to make up for my greediness.
Pardon the language but being an animal lover and raising rabbits sucks big time! My heart breaks a little every harvest even though I have rationalized the process completely several times. If chickens weren't such a process and I had the equipment I would stick with them.
Good luck, and for the sake of the rabbits have full shade or if you can find an old truck cap, bury that, partition it off and fill it with dirt so they can burrow into cool dirt.
5 years ago