Dan Johanson

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since Oct 03, 2018
Southern Oregon
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Recent posts by Dan Johanson

Hi Aaron, I recently went through quitting after smoking for many years. It's tough. I still have a cigarette every now and then, but we have a hard rule about not bringing a pack of cigarettes home any more (my girlfriend quit at the same time as me). If one of us is really needing a smoke that bad, we drive to the store, buy a pack, take one or two out, and leave the pack outside of the store. This keeps us from smoking out of habit—especially because it's a 30 minute round trip to the store—and also imposes a financial penalty as now a cigarette or two will cost us $7.

The other thing that helped me tremendously was vaping. The vape liquid comes in a whole range of nicotine content, so you can wean yourself off of the nicotine while still being able to get the lung hit that gums, patches, etc don't provide. I bought two bottles each of the 12mg, 6mg, 3mg, and 0mg liquid, and by the time I finished up the 3mg liquid I didn't even care enough to smoke the stuff with no nicotine in it. You can get tobacco flavored liquid, if like me you aren't into the gross fruity flavors that everyone else uses. If you wanted to try it out, I'd be glad to send you my vaporizer for free since I no longer use it. Just send me a message on here if you're interested, and good luck either way!
2 days ago
I meant green in the sense that hay is probably more equivalent to freshly cut green material, rather than straw, in terms of its place in decomposition. It has a higher nitrogen content than straw.

As for woodchips, I'm not worried about making the bedding "last" intact a long time. With straw as bedding, it absorbs the urine and its high carbon content balances the nitrogen in the urine. It doesn't smell as long as fresh bedding is added as needed, because the nitrogen doesn't volatilize and escape as ammonia gas. My concern whether or not there was too much nitrogen in hay to keep a good balance, and to a lesser extent whether the reduced absorptive capacity of hay (vs straw) would make a difference.

I'm going to pick some up and give it a shot, I'll post an update in a few weeks once I've got a feel for how it's working.
I'm not worried about seeds in the hay, just wondering whether or not it will throw the carbon:nitrogen balance off too much in the manure pack if I use a more "green" material as bedding.

Do you do long term deep litter, or are you cleaning out your sheep's area frequently and either composting it or applying fresh?
Hi Victoria, congrats on your land. Before you burn the pasture, you may want to give the goats the run of it—they'll eat up whatever they're interested in, and you'll get some food value out of what's already there.

Are you planning on doing rotational grazing with them? I'd recommend reading up on management intensive rotational grazing (Voisin method) if it's not something you're already planning on doing. Goats are very picky eaters, and if you give them free run of a large pasture, they'll decimate it. They'll walk around the entire area eating whatever is most palatable to them first, and they'll eat all of it. Then they'll start going for their second choice, and so on. In the meantime, their first choice will begin regrowing its foliage, and they'll eat that regrowth as soon as it appears. Within a few months, they'll have worn out the energy reserves of the plants they prefer, while whatever they aren't fond of will proliferate. In a very short amount of time, you'll end up with a pasture full of things they don't care for, regardless of what you planted to begin with. It seems like you already know that grass isn't their preferred diet, which is what makes managing them different than cows or even sheep. Grass, and to a lesser extent legumes, are adapted for grazing. Goats prefer plants that are generally not adapted for grazing (forbs and browse), so the more recovery time you can give an area between grazings the better.

We're currently setting up a few areas of goat pasture, and here's what we're planning on doing. The pastures will be planted with the goat pasture mix from NaturesSeed. It's 40% grass, 45% legume, and 15% chicory. We are also adding dandelion, narrow leaf plantain, and Queen Anne's Lace (our goats LOVE the QAL the grows rampant on our property, so we harvested the seed to mix in). The pasture will have permanent perimeter fencing, and will be subdivided with 6' wide alleys run long ways, also with permanent fencing. Instead of using the alleys as a walkway though, we are planting them with trees and other browse and forbs that the goats enjoy. The goats will be in the long strips of pasture, and they'll get a new paddock each day sectioned off with polywire. So in addition to what they get from the pasture mix, they'll also have two edges of their paddock where they can access browse. But since it's fenced off, they won't be able to kill the plants—they'll just eat as far back as they can reach through the fencing, and those plants won't be completely defoliated.

If you set up silvopasture and give the goats free run of it though, they'll kill off whatever nice things you plant for them much quicker than you'd think.

Hope this helps!
Hi all, first post on here.

We've been using straw as bedding in the goat shed, and adding new layers on top as needed, letting the goats compact what's below and cleaning it out only occasionallyas it just composts in place. Does anyone have thoughts regarding using hay, rather than straw, for this purpose? Hay can be had cheaper than straw around here, and our neighbor down the road has certified organic orchardgrass hay that I can pick up for $1 less per bale than the straw bales at the feed store that have probably been sprayed in the field. I tried feeding a bale to them yesterday, and they aren't interested—they're very picky eaters. I'm considering buying a trailer load anyway to use as bedding, since it's cheaper and organic, but I don't know how well it'll work in a manure pack since it's got a higher nitrogen content than cereal straw. This particular hay isn't the best quality, so it's not bright green, but I don't want to end up with a rancid mat of material on the floor. We currently mix their wasted hay in with the bedding without issue, but there's a lot of straw in there as well.

Any thoughts?