Leora Laforge

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since Nov 26, 2015
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Recent posts by Leora Laforge

It basically is a deep bedding system, except that every weekend I have been going in with a pitch fork, throwing most of the bedding under the roosts, and then adding another wagon load of straw/wood chips. Of course every time I add more bedding the chickens go crazy scratching it up so there is a very even mixture of manure and bedding.

The ammonia has been mostly ok, it froze for a couple weeks in January, after it thawed it smelled for a bit so I added a few scoops of wood pellets. (Compressed saw dust used in pellet wood stoves, they are great at absorbing ammonia). Since then, it smells like healthy compost, not offensive to those used to being in a barn.
3 months ago
I have about 3 cubic meters of hot compost sitting right under the roosts in my chicken coop, it's about equal parts chicken poop, straw and wood chips. It's managed to keep my chicken coop above freezing for much of this winter, which has been amazing because I have had very few frozen eggs. Despite being limited to only collecting eggs between 2pm and 3:30pm for the last 6 weeks. This is in Saskatchewan and we did have a 2 week period in here with storming and regularly hitting -20C recently.
3 months ago
Wild oats, they are an annual weed, they grow quick and produce a good amount of biomass that quickly dries into straw. It grows densely enough to compete with weeds like canada thistle and dandelions, but then has shallow roots, so it's easy to pull out of the garden, unlike the deeper rooted weeds. I like to let it grow and mature in between rows in the garden, then stomp it down to cover the soil.
6 months ago
Hi Ben.

I am in Saskatchewan, east of Regina. So in the area you are looking for land. I am on the family farm with my gardens, chickens, and goats. So I have everything I need and I don't leave.

I'm probably not your girl; not interested in being a mom, and I am an atheist, although I could get behind nature worship.

Anyhow if you end up doing a road trip, or looking at land at some point out this way, you should definitely message me. I have been doing tours for the public and u-pick raspberries and eggs. I love showing off the place and discussing growing food in harmony with nature.

I also know a few permie people in the area if you do end up finding a place out here, I could provide a few introductions.
9 months ago
I have goats and chickens, I can tell you from experience that chickens will not break up the goat berries. Too small and dry to break up by scratching. Cow pies can be broken up and spread out, which will at least dry them out and does not help parasites that need a moist environment .

Sheep and goats can share some parasites, but cattle will be a dead end host for the parasites that affect sheep and goats, and vice versa, so alternating between grazing large and small ruminants will help a lot with parasite problems. A lot of internal parasites have a 3 week cycle. Recovery time for your pasture should be longer than that.

I keep chickens to cut down the number of ticks in the area.
10 months ago
I have found that young growing chickens will eat ticks, but adult layers are mediocre at eating ticks. So I hatch out a bunch in the spring and free range them from chicken tractors to get the ticks. I have never had guinea fowl but they are supposed to be the best for eating ticks. I don't have roaches, but they are likely big enough that adult layers would find them worth catching. I think it would be worth trying chickens just because they they are fun and easy to take care of.
1 year ago
Young chickens of any breed will lay when they are at the age to start no matter the day length. If they hatch in the spring, most common layer or dual purpose breeds will start laying around 6 months in the fall, and lay fairly well until the next fall when they molt. Commercial breeds will lay well in short days, they tend to just lay no matter what, make sure their nutrition is up to par, they can make themselves sick by laying too much if nutrition is wrong. Heritage breeds will slow down laying if their nutrition is off to compensate.
1 year ago
Here is the last 1/3 of my pumkin harvest this year. These are all sugar pumpkins. Keep those recipes coming please?
1 year ago
There might be a some plants that stop growing with short daylight hours, but most will just grow really slowly, and with long, thin stems. Some plants might have trouble supporting themselves. So you can decide if you want to limit yourself to plants that can grow in these conditions, or spend the money and get grow lights to be able to grow whatever you want.

The other thing to consider is that chickens like to kick up a lot of dust, which will coat the inside of your greenhouse, you will need to plan to have it easy to clean the inside walls and ceiling if you have chickens in there.
1 year ago

Judson Carroll wrote: You can make an excellent lasagna-type casserole, using squash/pumpkin slices in place of noodles, with cheeses, marinara, spinach and (optional) meat.

A pumpkin lasagne casserole sounds fantastic. Would you put raw pumpkin slices in to cook in the casserole, or roast the pumpkin before putting it into a lasagna?
1 year ago