Sk Patel

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since Apr 18, 2016
Austin, Texas (Zone 8b)
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Recent posts by Sk Patel

Bill Erickson wrote:Go to about 7:20 on the below video from Justin Rhodes. He shows you the spot to clip them, and he did it for the same reason you are.

Wow...that is WAY higher than we clipped.  Good golly, I can see why they are just laughing off the clipping we gave them.  

They are getting another clip tomorrow.  Thanks!!

What's the next step if that doesn't work?
4 years ago

John Polk wrote:

Clip on both sides instead of one?

No.  Only clip ONE wing.
If you clip both, it will handicap them some, but they can just flap faster/harder and still fly.
Clipping ONE makes them lop-sided when they try to fly.
Kind of like trying to run if one leg was a foot shorter than the other.

You can probably clip back further...they don't really need to fly unless you have predator problems. wing only.  Thanks!!

How far back is okay to clip?  Halfway?  Three-quarters?
4 years ago
So we're new to chickens and using a mobile coop and electric netting to keep the chickens enclosed.  We're on 7.5 acres, so we've got plenty of room to move them around and stuff.

The problem is, just as they've started laying, they have gotten into the habit of flying out of the electric fence area around mid-morning and wandering around all over, including recently over to underneath the neighbor's bird feeder.  Even after we've just moved the coop to a new path of area.  

We haven't gotten eggs in a while because they've been laying somewhere else.  And today, apparently 6 chickens went out and only 5 came back.  

I clipped about an inch or two of wing feathers last weekend, but it hasn't helped.  I only clipped on one side.

What should we do?  Can I clip the wings back more?  Clip on both sides instead of one?  Or will that even help?  
4 years ago
Thanks Becky!! Once you have root growth, do you do anything special when planting out the rooted cuttings?

Casie: If it works out, you can have one for free. I'll try rooting more than I need, and hopefully there will be some extras that "make it."
4 years ago
We've got a mature mulberry tree in our front yard that is obviously doing very well in our local environment/conditions. Its really tall, and gives tons of fruit.

I'd love to propagate it with cuttings or grafts or whatever, but a lot of what I've read on the web talks about people's failures in making it work. Ours has black fruit, which is apparently even harder to get going.

Has anyone here been successful with growing mulberry trees from cuttings or grafts? If so, how did you go about doing it?
4 years ago

Tyler Ludens wrote:I've not tried paddocks yet but plan to this year. The main threat I see with paddocks is from hawks, but with the Chickshaw inside the paddock, the chickens can run underneath if a hawk appears.

Regarding the seed mixes, if you can afford to plant more than the suggested amounts you'll have better success, in my experience. I wish the seeds weren't so painfully expensive! Make sure you seed after a patch of ground has been cleared by the chickens, because the natives start much more successfully on bare soil. And yes, I'd go with a 50/50 combination of those two mixes. If I get my paddocks up and running by Fall (the best planting time) maybe I'll try seeding those mixes myself. Up to now we've mostly planted wildflowers (success!) and some grasses (not so much success). The secret seems to be to have a nice bare patch of dirt, a lot of seeds, make sure they are raked and pressed into the soil surface, and plant in Fall. And if possible protect from deer (and sheep, in my case).

Wow, those seed mixes are expensive. They might end up going in strategic places in paddocks at first, with a yearly budget to put down a little more each fall.
4 years ago

Tyler Ludens wrote:Howdy, neighbor!

Personally I'd go with natives, if possible. I've tried growing alfalfa and clover with no success.

For bees:

For nitrogen and forage:

If you haven't tried raising chickens in the Hill Country before, you should be aware of the massive predator pressure we have here with raccoons, foxes, ringtails,bobcats, enormous snakes, and raptors all eager for a chicken dinner. Housing needs to be super tight, and you might need to keep an eye out for hawks if you do pasture paddocks.

Well hey, neighbor!!

Those Native American seed mixes sure are convenient. Ask and ye shall receive!! There is a decent amount of overlap between the two mixes, but I'm guessing a 50/50 mix of both would be a good way to go. That way anything that is beneficial to both is doubled up. Does that sound about right?

I'm planning on an electric fence and building the "chicksaw" coop from Abundant Permaculture. I think the coop design is tight enough (or can be made tight enough), but I do wonder if the electric fence will be enough. All of the neighbors I've met so far have their chickens locked up in the chicken version of Ft Knox and never let them out to roam for fear of predators. I'm thinking I might as well give pastured paddocks a try and see what adjustments need to be made as it goes. Have you tried chickens on pastured paddocks out here?
4 years ago
We just moved to 7.5 acres in the Texas Hill Country (zone 8b), and looking to get started with sustainable agriculture. This used to be a horse property, so most of the area is already cleared.

We're starting out with bees and chickens, and longer term will be putting in swales and planting a food forest. Maybe even graduating to larger livestock at some point.

We'll be doing rotating paddocks with the chickens, and over time I'll be planting bee- and chicken-friendly trees and shrubs. But I'm also thinking about scattering a seed mixture of some sort on the paddocks as the chickens rotate out and leave freshly tilled and manured ground behind. And maybe I'll even let the chickens take a paddock down to almost dirt in the beginning to give the seeds a competitive advantage over the existing stuff.

So, what would make a good seed mix to scatter? I was thinking about seed mixes that would consist of as many dual-purpose plants that would provide forage the chickens and pollination for the bees. And ideally stack other functions like N-fixing and nutrient accumulation.

Alfalfa and clover come to mind immediately. What else would be good for this purpose? Its Texas, so are there any drought-tolerant perennial cereals that would be a good fit?

4 years ago