Skjoldr Draugarson

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since Mar 07, 2015
Family of 10 returning to our roots and homesteading our way to freedom!
Western PA
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Recent posts by Skjoldr Draugarson

Perhaps this is the damp spot on Monsanto...
5 years ago

Bianca Morton wrote:

Pigs, sheep or goats, which one do you prefer and why?
Which ones are easier to take care of?
Which ones are most profitable (i will not kill them myself. id prolly sell byproducts and later sell to a butcher, maybe)?
What are some average care costs for each, food, medicine, supplements ... (im in northern CA)?
How many should I get? Was thinking maybe 4?
Average purchase price for babies to teenagers (this is a hard one because of location)?

1] I own both pigs and goats, but have no experience with sheep. In my opinion your best bet would be pigs. Though both goats and pigs would clean-up your blackberries I am not sure that the goats would give you the desired gleying effect you are searching for. Pigs are certainly experts in such a situation as sealing ponds [and as I have found even making their own].

2] I think both are easy enough to care for though there is definitely a greater concern for supplementation of goats depending on your area. As far as fencing them [knock on wood] I have not experienced the issues that many have speak of in regards to keeping them in a certain area. I rotate them around depending on where I want them to go and how the land is holding up, what I wanted them to do, etc. I have raised them all from a young age or birth so perhaps that is why? I use pallet fencing for both animals and haven't spent any time chasing either. I haven't had health issues with them either and have delivered kids and piglet. I keep them all natural without the use of any meds or antibiotics - treating with herbs if anything arises. I have heard about goats having issues with worming, etc. and can suffer quickly from illness. We dust them with DE and haven't had any issues.

3] I would guess pigs would be most profitable in that most folks enjoy pork, bacon, hams, etc. where as goat meat is mainly still an ethnic market from what I understand. Truly it would depend on what you want to profit from I suppose depending on how this animal will fit into your long term plans. If it is a once and done then definitely pigs. If you go further into dairy goats or fur goats they could prove more profitable depending on your market.

4] Rough costs in our area from feed mill: Pigs 100# meal about $22.00 Goats 50# pellet 16% protein $18.00 Goat mineral 25# $20.00 Hay ranged by season. Unless you are planning on planting feed crop and preparing the land first you may get stuck with a feed bill. Pigs are definitely the more versatile eaters with more unique chances of gathering scraps, extras and such.

5]Four sounds like a nice number and that is what I usually split my herds into so as not to overuse the land they roam.

6] Not sure what pricing would be like in your area but here goats cost quite a bit more than pigs a that age. I have seen piglets go from $20.00 and up were kids going from $60.00 and up. [Though I have not had to buy them in recent years.]

Hope this gives you a bit of help!

DISCLAIMER: I only raise my animals for our own family consumption and keep them for breeding to sustain our meat/dairy supply. I have not dabbled in the 'market' or modern circles.
5 years ago
We have also taken an interest in finding some Icelandics and haven't had any luck. We would be interested as well.
5 years ago
Nice article. I like how they deal with one of the biggest issues - the mindset. Even with concrete evidence, it still boils down to peer pressure [and $$$ of course]. Instead of taking the time needed to do something the right way which will bring increase in the future, that desire for instant gratification and to hell with the damage that is done reigns supreme.

This makes me remember the time I went to a certain feed & seed store to explore what options they had available - the old timers working their literally laughed in my face when I asked about non treated non GMO seed. I was blatantly told that I had no idea what I was doing, that I had to treat the land with this chemical and that, then till in another four additives plus some other garbage then plant treated seed or I would get no crop. They lost my business right quick!
5 years ago
Thank you for sharing your tour through your friends home. It was very interesting seeing the pictures and the beauty and simplicity that abounds there. I am very interested in the 'Tree of Life' tradition she embroidered as well. I have not heard of this before, but it definitely resonates on a deeper level.
5 years ago
Orland, we will keep you in our thoughts. Unfortunately I cannot offer you any information that you are seeking. It truly is a shame that those people want to be fed, but have no desire to be anywhere near the ones who provide for them. Tis a strange world that has been built around us, one I seem to lose more and more understanding of every day that passes.
5 years ago
Some very interesting styles and 'art' in the posts above!

I must say Morgan that I love your idea! Serves several purposes all at once and keeping the wee ones happy is a big added bonus. Mine are jealous already and now want to try out the same.
5 years ago
We obtained some guinea keets because we also heard of their skills at feeding themselves and in reducing insect population [specifically ticks] and thought their surveillance skills would also be a nice addition. We raised them together with our chickens and had no issues at all. All of our poultry free range and roost in their coops at night. I did build a different coop for the guineas because of reading about their preference for a taller, more closet like coop. So the only time they were separated was at night and that was by their choice. They would range with the chickens at times, but normally would prefer to range in their own little group. They did not use the nest boxes and preferred to lay them behind the coop or in a hole near the coop. They were definitely bolder than the chickens and would range a lot further than the chickens ever went. Many nights would involve ranging the property and 'calling' them back. One night half of them did not come back to the coop and were never seen again.

But as I said above, no we never had an issue raising them with the chickens. Even with multiple roosters and multiple male guinea cocks there was never any fighting versus each other. They are definitely an interesting bird and nice for diversity, but I am not sure we will replace them once they are all gone. I think their bold ranging issues and our predator concerns make it an unfair situation for them.
5 years ago
I agree with Stephanie! You have to come up with some creative ideas to break up the boredom. Hanging just about anything edible will give them plenty of joy and excitement. Tossing treats at random times like BOSS, fruit scraps, toasted egg shells, etc. in random places is also a great idea. Laying down straw and tossing feed/treats with it gives them something to scratch for and we all know how chickens like to search for things. You can also make your own 'flock blocks' or seed treats to hang/place in the run - my kids love making these.

*grins* Also with the 2 1/2 feet of snow you can make fun tunnels through the run which will give them lots of exercise and keep them warm and out of the wind.

I remember when our first chickens went through their first winter, I swear they refused to walk on snow. It was really confusing for them and a bit funny, as they would peek out of the coop and every once in a while one would run out and then right back in. Once they got used to it, it was no big deal and they found plenty of ways to amuse themselves.
5 years ago
Thanks for the welcome Su Ba! I am honored to be here.
5 years ago