Beau Davidson

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since Dec 20, 2015
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Recent posts by Beau Davidson

Wow, I'm really excited about this. While I have a certain range of skills (perhaps similar to Logan), there are areas where my theoretical knowledge exceeds my practical skill by at least an order of magnitude.  This seems like potentially an ideal way to begin the make up for that gap.  

Also, I've been trekking with the development of PEX, and I see the huge potential.  It would be really cool to invest some time and energy into its development.

I need to work out a couple home, family, and farm-care things before I register and pay the gapper fee.  Just wanted to drop a note in here in the meantime.
1 month ago
I'd recommend that if Justin wants to shoot video on-the-run like this, with this lens, he should at least use a monopod and minimize his motion.  Wide angle + motion = distraction + nausea.  He is pro enough to step it up.

Content is wonderful, insightful, delightful, and peachy.

7 months ago
+1 for Hori Hori.  Use it for everything.  I have had three, and used them all extensively.

The Barebones one is by far the best on the market.  best materials, construction, blade shape, ergonomic handle, and hands down the most functional sheath.  Most of them that are available on Amazon are okay, but not high quality.  The tine tends to protrude through the wooden handle, etc.  
9 months ago
Michael, I'm truly sorry for the pain of that experience. But I would define courage as the willingness to sacrifice of your own resources and risk potential loss for the sake of another.

It may be true that the mother identified some irregularities in the lamb she rejected. Maybe not. One bottle lamb at our farm this year returned to his own mother four days later, and by some miracle she hadn't yet dried up, and she gladly accepted him as her own - he just had to be able to stand to nurse first.

Another mom was a yearling - the equivalwnt of a 13 year old mother. Not the best situation, and one I try to avoid, but I am not shocked that this mom needed a bit of coaching and a lot of grace to get the hang of her new roll.

There is a middle ground between letting it die and treating it like a house pet. We have successfully saved 3 last year, and 2 this year that were left for dead in the field. All but one of them were nursed by fosters, in the field, and all of them, even the bottle fed kid, are accepted by the flock. We have lost a handful in the field and 2 in our care in their first week of life. And this is hard - but they were seen, known, and valued, and that counts for something.

Should you try to save every rejected kid and lamb? It can be lot of work, and it doesn't always work out how you hoped - but such is life. You should never regret placing a higher value on the sanctity of life than the old-timers. That's a lesson worth passing on.
10 months ago
So this guy is 3 days old. Born in the middle of the night in a snow storm, and his mom was scared off by our young LGD.  I found him in the morning hunkered down by the heat lamp at the chicken coop, or he would've been frozen stiff like his cousin.  I got him a few shots of colostrum, and have been feeding him a blend of his mom's milk and formula while keeping him warm inside.  Likely fighting off pneumonia,  but he's doing amazingly well. I've been bringing him out to his mom to try to get him to match with her again. Poor buddy thinks I'm his mom though. Mom is more than happy to let him nurse, still baaing after him and calling for him. But he just doesn't know where his milk comes from. Would love more advice on getting him to disassociate with me and associate with his mom's utter.
11 months ago
Ideal would be to attach it to another nurse mom. You can slather the baby in another nursing mom's milk and she may accept her as her own. Otherwise, I've had great success with milk replacer as directed.
11 months ago
Anyone have any luck locating D. Flagrans?  I'd love to add it to my natural medicine cabinet for my critters.
1 year ago
Thanks, Cyndie. Great contribution to the thread. Welcome!
1 year ago
My primary concern with hydroponics and aquaponics, and some of you have touched on this, is the diminishment or complete absence of fungal presence. It is now well accepted, and yet only just beginning to be comprehensively studied, that the mychorizal associations between plant roots and their fungal counterparts  in a healthy soil food web, are CRUCIAL to not only optimum health of the plant, but to produce an adequate presence of countless and many as of yet unkown beneficial compounds, enzymes, and other mystical bits that, just 'cause we're ignorant of their nature and function, does not mean we can thrive in their absence. Please, someone, prove me wrong - but there seems to simply be no way of fostering this extensive mychorizal community without - you guessed it - soil.

I see some possibility of providing some environment with mineral wool or carpet or the like, but I would encourage anyone not to underestimate the industrial processes that go into manufacturing such media - uncountable toxins introduced into your ecosystem and an astronomic carbon footprint.

Again, please prove me wrong, but I simply cannot reconcile aquaponics or hydroponics with any version of permaculture ethics or true sustainability. Give me a system that builds soil and perpetuates without fossil additives and I am all ears.
1 year ago
A standing baby is a good sign, but you've got to get that goat onto milk for it to grow strong and healthy. A few additions to what I've read above:
Long legs and hanging head are signs of

Floppy Goat syndrome, due in large part to mineral difficience in the mother during gestation. Goats need a much broader diet than sheep to fill more diverse nutritional needs. Think scrubby woods over pasture. If there is no access to this you need to supplement with minerals.

Is this a first time mom? First timers, especially young ones, often need help attaching with their young and getting the flow of nursing, so to speak. But you can help:
The above comment about putting mother and babies in a small stall is correct, making sure that Mom has food and water, and there is enough ventilation. The air bound ammonia from their waste is in much higher concentration near the floor where the young are, and it can be harmful or lethal at a high level. Cracking the stable door should be sufficient.
If I encounter a rejected offspring, I milk the mama and slather the baby in the milk. Goats have their "identity" (for lack of a better discriptive) wrapped up in their scent - so when the baby smells like mama, the mama will instinctively treat it like part of herself, letting it nurse.
I'll babysit them as much as possible for the first several days, going so far as to hold mama stationary and placing the baby underneath, brushing its face on the udder. The mama won't let much milk down under this stress, but it can help to get the mechanics down while they're getting used to it.
You'll know if the baby is getting milk because it's tail will flick about. Victory!

Last season, I had 2 goats born with FGS badly, unable even to stand and barely able to lift their heads. Each was utterly rejected by their first-time moms. Moms happened to be sisters. I was able to get them each their mothers' colostrum, which is crucial. One of them I nursed from the bottle for 4 days until it could stand, and then bonded it not with its mom, but with its aunt, using the above method. Worked like a champ, strong to this day. The other took 11 days before it could stand to nurse from the bottle, and there was no lactating mom available for it to bond to at that point. So I gave my four-year-old the responsibility of feeding it from the bottle until it was ready to be weened. This one is also doing well, but not as strong as the other. Also, it doesn't seem to know it's a goat - behaves much more like a dog, following me and my son around , scratching its wee horns on our sides. Both successes and joyful recoveries, but I will take a natural, goat-milk-from-the-udder-fed kid any day over a bottle-nursed, for strength and development.

Also a good not o check the udders. Blackened udders need a antibiotic, herbal or LA-200 if you wanna go that route.

I can add more as I think of it. Hope this helps!