Lion Gladden

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since Jun 10, 2015
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Recent posts by Lion Gladden

All excellent points. Beyond that, most school lunch isn't healthy for either children or pigs.
5 years ago
Well not the most healthy idea, but I knew a farmer who picked up the leftovers from the local elementary school and fed them that. Pretty funny, he used to keep a calendar of the school lunch in the hog pen.

For a much more natural/healthy diet, consider asking your local organic restaurant if you can haul away their slop.

Another food that I don't think was mentioned. I often make homemade tofu, one of the byproducts of which is "okara:" (basically the soybean leftovers). Besides many other ways to utilize it for humans, it's a good animal feed.
5 years ago
Ours are 3 pit mixes - a Boxer, an Aussie shepherd or something (?) and a Dane. Of the three, the Aussie is the most inclined to herd/guard animals, while the Boxer is most inclined to herd/guard people. The Boxer is the only one we raised from a pup, so that may have a factor in his human centric ways.

I think it's important to honor our dogs with a proper retirement where nothing is expected of them other than to enjoy treats, pets and cuddles near the fireplace. If you need a new working dog, by all means introduce one, I'm sure your elder dog won't resent it so long as s/he gets time for special loving.

I understand Pyrs are great dogs and I also adore most molosser breeds, but more than anything I believe in getting rescues whether purebred or not.
5 years ago
We kept our yaks specifically for dairy and wool ($16/oz last I checked!). I can't eat anything I name. (Future chickens and hogs will NOT get names with the possible exception of breeding stock.) But yes, our girls were badass at protecting themselves. (Sometime I'll tell the story of the dog/yak fight that ended in a draw.

But ultimately I think keeping horns on a critter is a good idea,

Despite the fact that yaks are possibly the oldest domesticated cattle species, they do tend to be slightly feral and highly protective of their herd. (On the other hand, I've heard tales of yak bulls so tame that they cuddle up, protect their owners and even shake "hands."

Super intelligent critters too. I've had "normal" cows (Jerseys and Guernseys) and they weren't near as smart.
5 years ago
Apologies for necroing an older thread, but here's something that hasn't been mentioned.

If you give chickens raw eggs (especially with the shells still on) they will quite possibly start pecking at/eating their own eggs right in the nest. (Which also becomes messy and a breeding ground for disease. This is generally NOT considered a good habit for chickens. Especially if you're considering re-homing the chickens at some point, I would not do this, and only give them cooked eggs. (You could potentially grind the dried eggshells and sneak that into their feed/oyster mash so that they don't associate it with their eggs.)

I also second (or fifth or whatever) the ideas of feeding the eggs to cats/dogs or giving them to food pantries.
5 years ago
I used a combination of double-dig, close-spacing my plants (I'm sure there's a technical term) and mycorrhizal infused soil (and of course lots of compost.

In the middle of a CO drought, my garden (planted about a month later than it should have been) was thriving. Plants were about twice as large and much happier looking than my neighbors. Fungi may not have been the only reason, but I'd guess it played a good part.
5 years ago

Jay Grace wrote:I wish I had a problem with dandelions.



Yup! I'd love to have the same "problem."

I'm thinking salads and dandelion wine.

My pony ate dandelions all the time (our lawn/pasture had PLENTY) and they were never a problem for him.
5 years ago
We had yaks in an area (S.E. CO) with plenty of bear, puma, bobcat and coyotes. All three adult yaks had horns

On the challenging side, these particular yaks hadn't been well socialized to humans, and the lead cow (dri) once slammed my roommate in the stomach, resulting in some spectacular bruising when he got too close/confident. She also once gored a neighbor right in his butt. The guy had banged her over the head with an iron pipe while trying to herd her, and had been nasty to her in the past, so IMO he totally deserved it.

At the same time, my hubby actually fell asleep in the yak corral buck naked and the worst damage they did was to sniff around and nose him and stand over him in a protective manner. It pays to make friends with your critters.

A few times the yaks escaped their corral and went on walkabout (for an entire month in the last case). Despite the fact that on the last occasion they had a couple month old calf with them, all four returned home safe and sound, with apparently no scuffles with predators.

So yeah, I'd say that as long as you're cautious and gentle in your own interactions, having cattle with horns to protect themselves is a major plus.
5 years ago
As Tracy suggested, it's important to understand that coyotes tend to attack in packs. Although only one coyote will generally show itself at a time to lure the dogs.

Back in CO, our land had a decent sized coyote pack. Actually there may have been more than one pack. Probably an alpha pair, 2-3 older pups and the new year's crop of pups. By the voices we heard at night, I'd say we had about 6-15 coyotes at any one time. (On 40 acres.)

At the time we had 2 dogs (the third dog came around just before we moved back to disgusting FL). Between the 2 dogs we never really worried about the coyotes. On the one occasion we actually saw one (I believe it was the male alpha) a few shotgun blasts in the air sent it scurrying.

One thing we did encourage was a strong pack mentality between our dogs, so that they wouldn't try to take a predator alone. Our dogs were also inclined to stay near us as possible, which helped. The third dog was actually a meditated choice to allow the dogs to triangulate attacks, especially in the case of puma, bobcat and bear, which were also a problem in the area.

More than how many dogs you have, I'd say that age, breed inclinations (are they hunters or guarders, etc) and personality factors play a big part.

I'd also say that your own personal preparation is important. My husband didn't want me out in the woods without a gun or at least a machete. A compressed air horn is also a great tool both for signalling that you're in danger and for chasing away predators.
5 years ago
How sad. If it continues, I'd have a farm vet look at one of the dead birds and see if they can figure it out.
5 years ago