Lori Marton

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since Mar 09, 2017
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Recent posts by Lori Marton

Having finally gotten my land clearer and some of my earthworks in place to deal with water flow as well as my pond in I am now turning some of my attention to growing food and plan to get chickens. As I have been planning and laying out my garden I've been looking into what I'll need to feed my chickens so that I can plant that as well as food for my family. I have found tons of information on what grown chickens like to eat but all my attempts to find out what to feed the chicks I will be getting have ended in chick starter. I was amazed to see that even here on permies that is what was recommended on the search I did! Perhaps I just didn't use the right search terms? idk. So my question is  - What natural food can I feed my chicks and how should it be prepared? I am open to suggestions from knowledgeable people who raise chickens themselves regardless of if you have actually tried the method (though if you haven't actually done it please say so ). I really want to use a method that is sustainable without outside foods and supplements if at all possible. I will have to buy feed this first year or hold off getting chickens due to growing times and seasons because I am just now preparing my garden beds. I have already looked into getting only whole grains though so there won't be an issue with a food change. There will be a portion of the garden that the chickens will have exclusively for supplementing their feed the first year as well. They will have a HUGE supply of bugs of all types and sizes also, even field mice if they like them lol.

I know that many if not all animals usually can eat what the adults do once weaned (weaning doesn't apply to chickens obviously but the point is still valid) though often they must start out on it caught by the parent or "preprocessed" by them in some way. I'm thinking maybe chia, flax, millet, milo, and quinoa? Perhaps sprouted, fermented and/or processed in a food processor? I know oats and barley will likely be too tough unless cooked right? Maybe worms, crickets, grubs and ants either whole or processed? Would they need to be alive or dead? I know chickens peck at things too small for us to see as well so would a bedding of fertile earth from a forest floor covered in shavings help? I'm aware that whatever I put under the chicks must be very warm already before adding them. While I remember my grandfathers chicks being out and about at a very small size I have no idea how old they were when their mom brought them out of the little nest she hatched them in... I'm willing to either feed the first batch chick starter or get young adults but I do plan to breed chickens as well so will still need this info. We are very excited and looking forward to our new additions. Oh, they will be Buff Orpingtons btw, we were thinking 20-25 of the straight run and hoping to cull that down to 12 hens and a rooster. Thanks ahead of time to anyone with suggestions on the chick feed and feel free to offer up info you wish you had when you started as well lol!
1 year ago
Thanks Mike I think I will try your trick in my garden this year! I don't have an over run of slugs but the beetles are a different story. I am hoping this helps

I'm not sure if this has been said in this thread as I couldn't read it all. I saw someone saying more than once though that DE (Diatomaceous Earth) kills worms and in my experience that is simply not true. I raise two types of earthworms as well as red wigglers and routinely feed them FOOD GRADE DE. I am not sure about the non food grade sort but that isn't something I would put in my worm bins or garden. I have repeatedly seen on forums (not just here) that DE kills worms but I use it both alone sprinkled on the top of the bin as well as mixed in their food scraps as a grit and soil amendment with no issues at all and at the levels I use it if it was harmful I would notice for sure. All my worms are fat and happily reproducing at expected levels. In case anyone is wondering the earthworms are African and European night crawlers.
1 year ago
I have an area of yard that is similar in slope and was covered with thorny vines. In the process of clearing an area near it we ended up covering it in the tops of trees we were taking down. They ended up staying there a couple weeks and when we went to move them we realized that the vines had become completely covered in leaves and pine needles as well as small branches deep enough (6 inches to a foot or 15 to 30 cm) that even though it was summer and there was plenty of light and water to the area they had not broken through and resumed growing. Also that slope was eroding prior to tree trash being thrown there and the erosion had stopped even with 4 straight days of heavy rains. We decided at that point it looked like the perfect slope for a form of hugelkulture and buried it in compost followed by wood chips held in place with branches pegged by forked tree... erm pegs (you know like they do to the tall hugelkulture mounds?) This all worked much better than I had ever expected and I went on to plant comfrey and vetch into it along with the pokeweed that somehow made its way in. Wasn't what I had planned for the area but as I wasn't planning on addressing that part of my acreage for a while I figure burying it all once a year in wood chips and letting them cook can't hurt lol.
1 year ago
I don't have wind problems so can't really recommend anything on design.
I can however speak to the ability of mature bamboo groves to slow or completely stop wind without having to take up huge amounts of space. Something you might want to look into but I offer it with a caution! Prior to buying or planting bamboo be VERY sure you understand its properties, its pros and cons, and how to mitigate or eliminate the potential problems. Bamboo is not a plant and forget thing like a tree. It is a grass that grows fast (as in impenetrable in as little as 5 years) and in the case of running bamboo can get out of control if you take your eyes off it. On the other hand it is an awesome carbon sequester, stabilizes soil, new shoots are human eatable, makes great animal feed, bio char, lumber, mulch and as tall as a 90 foot wind break as well as so much more if grown responsibly. Just remember - no matter the precautions one day it WILL break out. Be sure you understand and are prepared to deal with it when it happens. The sheer pressure of the root balls will overwhelm anything eventually though eventually might be 1 year or 100. For 100% assurance it won't get out of control the only thing I know of is to surround it with water - it needs soil to spread and doesn't like wet feet. If you ever need to kill it you can cut it to the ground, water heavily and cover with a clear plastic to drown/steam it in sunny areas or black plastic to drown/cut off light anywhere. The only other option I know of is to dig out about 3 feet deep of dirt to get ALL roots.
Please understand I issue that warning not to discourage its use - I grow bamboo and love it. It provides so much for my family, but I have seen what it can do as well. Hope this helps
2 years ago
I agree with Chris on the no signs of water being great. I live in North Georgia so can really sympathize with you on the red clay. The whole purpose of swales is to pacify water. Even in a worst case scenario you can always make something like a Tesla one way valve shape in the ground to slow the water some before it hits the swale. I used two opposite each other and offset just prior to the main swale in an area that had run off with a 1/4 mile straight head on concrete when the swale kept blowing out due to the water's impact. One or two division points would really be all you would need to use the rushing water to slow itself down - just be sure to place them where small amounts of water splashing out of the swale doesn't negatively effect things around it (shouldn't be too hard   ).  I unfortunately don't have pics of it and have since switched it to a homemade water ram pump that lets me slow it, move it and collect it all in one operation. Just remember the problem is often the solution. Best of luck!
2 years ago