Em Kellner

+ Follow
since Mar 17, 2015
Apples and Likes
Apples
Total received
0
In last 30 days
0
Total given
0
Likes
Total received
3
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 Em Kellner

Kyrt Ryder wrote:

Em Kellner wrote:

Kyrt Ryder wrote:You don't have enough time to hunt... but you want to take up raising meat as an alternative?

Yeah, cage rabbits or cage quail is my suggestion. Quick and simple daily chore that requires very little time investment. Once it's up and running it's practically automatic.



I have 3 children 6 and under, Kyrt. I have plenty of time to spend in my backyard tending animals with the little ones in earshot, and a grand total of zero time to go off alone on hunting trips. We already raise meat, but not in the quantity that would be necessary to achieve a closed loop dog feeding system, so yes, I can confirm that I don't have enough time to hunt, but can raise meat at home as an alternative. Do quail hatch out their own eggs? I think that rabbits would be a good solution too, my husband however will take some convincing. Any breeds that you recommend?


Oh, that makes sense.

My apologies, I was assuming something like a packed work + education schedule rather than raising a family at home.

Quail usually don't hatch their own eggs [though a forum member is experimenting with encouraging them to do so in another thread here] but they aren't difficult to incubate from everything I've read and been told.

I'm actually interested in expanding my own operations to include Quail this year.

EDIT: Here's a link to the thread I mentioned about Broody Quail .



That quail thread is awesome! I don't have a lot of interest in incubating, but I would love to get some quail and experiment like that.
4 years ago

Miranda Converse wrote:I've read that freezing the chicken prior to feeding it takes away the idea that it was a live bird at one point in time. Not sure there is any merit in that but something to look into.

I also agree with everything said on raising chickens for meat. You could even get an incubator (be careful, it's addicting) and raise your own chicks year round. If you get breeds that create sex-links, you could sell the pullets for a bit of extra cash(I never have any trouble selling extra) and keep the roos for the dogs. Keep a couple hens for eggs and future chicks. If you free range them the feed bill isn't too high and selling chicks or eggs basically covers that. Very easy to maintain, I open the coop doors in the morning, give them a scoop of food, close the door at night.

You could also look into meat birds like the Cornish cross. You have to buy these as chicks since they are generally too fat to breed on their own. But for about $3 each, they are ready in 6-9 weeks and dress out at about 4-6lbs. I have never raised these but from what I hear they can be pretty gross (like filthy-gross).



We have chickens now, so adding to that flock would be pretty easy! Someone on a local group here was just posting about a different variety of meat bird, a newer mixed breed that isn't Cornish Cross, that are supposed to be good foragers and much healthier, but also dress out pretty quick. If they can breed they might be a great option to start with for the dogs now that I think about it.
4 years ago

Chris Sargent wrote:A good dual purpose laying flock can provide a fair bit of meat and eggs for the dogs. Get a nice dual purpose flock going. Keep broody hens and let them do the work of raising chicks for you. Feed the males and older hens to the dogs. Don't overlook the value of eggs for the dogs themselves. Mine get eggs when I have extra...or don't want to clean dirty eggs, or find a hidden stash I'm not sure how old they are. I just drop the whole egg, shells and all in their bowl. An egg or two every day would be a nice supplement to your Pyrenees diet. If you're keeping chickens anyway a few more hens so the dogs can get their share isn't really any more work.

I think I'd also do rabbits. A handful of does and a buck will keep you in baby bunnies pretty much year round. I've not raised meat rabbits personally but know several people that do and know that they can produce quite a bit of meat. An advantage of rabbits is you can keep them breeding year round and so could keep them live until its time to feed rather than raising and butchering something like ducks or chickens in a batch or a larger animal that has to be butchered and process in one go and then meat has to be frozen or canned. If you're feeding them to the dogs fresh you wouldn't need to do much for processing, just kill and skin.

If I was trying to feed my dogs entirely I'd likely do a mix. Chickens and ducks. Let the animals raise their own chicks on summer forage, then pick off a handful of the males each week through the fall and early winter. Keep the hens over the winter and feed their eggs. Main winter source of meat I think would be rabbits. Easy to keep in cages and so don't need too much space to keep a breeding batch all winter.

Also consider fish. An aquaponic system with some fast growing fish can be pretty efficient. It's another food source that can be kept live and running year round (if you have a protected area like a greenhouse to set it up in). Plus you can just net a few fish and throw them to the dogs whole...no need for butchering and storing. If you didn't want to keep the system heated and running all winter you could have a few outdoor pools or tanks growing out fish all summer, drain them before winter, and just freeze the fish whole. No need to fillet or even gut. Thaw out and feed the whole fish as needed all winter.

I don't know how you personally feel about starches for dogs. I think some types, like potatoes are ok in moderation. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams are pretty easy to grow and store well. Pumpkins and squash are another option. They do need to be cooked but boiling a big pot once or twice a week isn't that much work and could be a supplement to the diet especially in winter.
When I make up my canned dog food I usually add about 10% veggies. Potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas are some I use.




Thanks Chris, this is great info! Do you have any resources to recommend on aquaponics? It's something I'm familiar with in concept, but haven't explored actually implementing. I think that growing our poultry flock will definitely be a big part of the solution! We plan to grow mangelwurzels for the goats (those big old fodder beets), so that might be something to give to the dogs to for starch at the same time.
4 years ago

Kyrt Ryder wrote:You don't have enough time to hunt... but you want to take up raising meat as an alternative?

Yeah, cage rabbits or cage quail is my suggestion. Quick and simple daily chore that requires very little time investment. Once it's up and running it's practically automatic.



I have 3 children 6 and under, Kyrt. I have plenty of time to spend in my backyard tending animals with the little ones in earshot, and a grand total of zero time to go off alone on hunting trips. We already raise meat, but not in the quantity that would be necessary to achieve a closed loop dog feeding system, so yes, I can confirm that I don't have enough time to hunt, but can raise meat at home as an alternative. Do quail hatch out their own eggs? I think that rabbits would be a good solution too, my husband however will take some convincing. Any breeds that you recommend?
4 years ago
Zone 5b, northwest CT. We have good soil, rich woodland, but that 2.5 acres is not all usable grassy space, it is sloping heavily wooded areas interrupted by a long wide driveway and a large house/deck/garage/pool. I like the idea of Soay sheep, and I've thought of getting a couple mostly for their wool, but I can't imagine how I could possibly raise enough, sustainably, in my space to feed several pounds of meat to the dogs every single day. That's a lot sheep and a lot of a) browsing b) supplemental winter feeding c) butchering and processing which is obviously way more involved than say a chicken, even if you're not fully dressing out a carcass for human consumption. I'd love to hear your ideas about how it might be done though!

Hunting is a great idea - we get venison and pheasant and wild goose from some hunters every year, who hunt on my grandparents land in exchange for a portion of the meat. I don't have the time to take it up myself, but there are plenty of people around that I bet I could ask for trimmings. I'll look into that!
4 years ago
Good point. By efficient I'm thinking space constraints/resources used, and also rate of production - makes the most meat the fastest, since they will require quite a bit of it. I definitely don't have space to graze sheep. We have woodland, good for goats, but not near enough grassy area to graze a flock of sheep, even a small one, with that being their sole sustenance. We're pretty rural, and people around are on the same wavelength so neighbors aren't an issue, we have about 2.5 acres (weird layout for traditional pastures though), northeast US climate.
4 years ago
We have two Great Pyrenees LGDs and I'd like to start raising our own "dog food" for a raw diet. Right now we're spending about $90/month on grain-free kibble because I haven't decided on a reliable source of homegrown food for them. What would you say is the most efficient method? Chickens? Quail? Fish? Rabbits? Rate of production and quantity will be important with two very large dogs - for instance with chickens they would need a good sized one every single day. Or I guess I could raise a ton at once and process and freeze? Anyone want to share their best self-sustainable methods for this?
4 years ago
Will, I would be in theory, absolutely - I do have 3 small children though and a lot of projects going on at home, so I'm not sure how available I will be! I would love the info so that I can at least attempt to participate . I am actually in Harwinton every Thursday evening already.

Elle, along the same lines I got to hear about "crow collars" for roosters a few weeks ago, so people can keep their roosters in places where they aren't supposed to have roosters. Oh my word.
5 years ago
I am in Barkhamsted! Northwest region of the state. What about you?
5 years ago
This is so funny - I am on that SAME Facebook group (hello neighbor) and I was just venting about this SAME thing to my husband last night. One lady was basically insinuating that anyone who let their chickens out of a covered run without "supervision" was an awful irresponsible person. I had to take the bait on that one and get into it a little bit. Drives me NUTS. And the huge number of people trying to *sell* their old hens and roosters to "good homes" where they will be pets, give me a break. If I mentioned that I don't even "feed" my chickens I might be literally crucified haha. I would totally join a permaculture chickens group.
5 years ago