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Stephen Cummings

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since Feb 17, 2019
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Recent posts by Stephen Cummings

I have four lazy 3 year olds and 8, 16 week old chicks. With the sudden surge of feed needs, I have started growing fodder for my chickens. I use a mix of barley and winter wheat seed. I also throw in a few flax seeds and some chia. The young ones tear it apart quickly. The older hens dont pay it any mind. I am trying to decide if it would be worth while to add in some herb seeds. I have read that many herbs have great health advantages for chickens. For example I have read that oregano is great for the immune system. My question is, if these plants really do help, is it worth it to add a few seeds into the fodder seed? It won't cost much up front so I dont see harm in adding them anyway. I'm just curious whether i would be wasting my time.
3 weeks ago
Thanks for the response. I figured that was the case but wanted to double check. One more question tho. Should I run the electric inside the fence to keep goats from pushing out, or outside to keep predators from pushing in? I have coyotes, fox, bear,  and rumor has it mountain lion in my area. I also have some concern about deer (mostly the parasites they will leave). I plan on a 6 inch, 14 inch, 32 inch, and then one on top maybe 55 inch or so electric line. Should I add a 5th row?
I am finally ready to start fencing my paddocks for goats. I have about half an acre that will be where the the shelter is and open to them at all times. I want a run out of it that will lead to about 6 acres of open wooded hillside. I haven't completely decided if I will do 4 or 6 paddocks out of that. I dont see myself ever having more than 6 or 8 at a time. My question is what is the best fencing? I initially thought field fencing with 4 strands of electric. I will run the electric and field fence around the whole perimeter and plan on using just the field fence to section off the paddocks. How many paddocks should I use? And is there a better option than field fence? Is welded wire better since I can get taller fence?
I have done 100s of hours of research, started prepping my land, and already built a shelter. Now I cant find goats. I have approximately 5 acres of wooded hillside and one acre of flat pasture ready for some goats to call home. I will work on fencing over the winter( I have help ready and willing) and finalize the shelter with bedding and benches around the perimiter also. I am hoping to aquire some angora goats next spring and start out small. I am interested in starting with 2 or 3. Where do you find goats to buy? The online classifieds ( FB and craigslist are loaded with 5th generation mutts and hillbilly bred goats) and all the angora goat breeders pages within 300 miles webpage are 5 years out of date. I have no interest in the meat or the milk from goats. I could possibly use dairy for the sake of making soap, but I really love the idea of angoras. They will be pets more than anything at first and maybe over time accumulate enough of them to make some mo eye off of mohair. I have owned them before so I understand the commitment they require. Any ideas of where to find them? I am in northern WV and see goats everywhere but none ever sells them.
I dont collect rainwater yet, but I do use mini barley bales that I found online in their water troughs. They keep algae down pretty well. I have found them several places. This is just the first one I found right now to show you.
I have a trail camera setup to see what deer are eating all my trees instead of walking their normal trail in the woods( where I planted food plots for them). I have caught pics at all times of day and nearly everyday of a fox wandering through my yard. The trees I am watching line my chicken run. I have an electric net fence surrounding my run and have caught 3 pics of fox testing that fence. In the last three months I have 4 pics of the fox (possibly at least 2 different ones) just looking at my chickens and not testing the fence again. I never close the door of my coop. My chickens are rescues that were housed in awful conditions and not treated well. I had no interest in chickens, but they have made me love them. Two of them are 5 years old and still give me 3 eggs a week. The other 4 give me 5 a week as reward for putting up with them. The electric net fence is worth its weight in gold. I dont want to advertise, but premier 1 has the net fence and a Energizer for less than 300 bucks. I had a battery and set it up to run off the battery that I charge every other week. You could add a solar charger for less than 100 dollars and it would be maintenance free. The beauty of the electric net is that my coop stays in one spot and I move the net every few weeks. They do an awesome job of clearing my garden area and I can just rotate the net to let them clean up each area before I plant again.

P.s. I dont even have a door on my coop. I didnt know anything about chickens and just made a makeshift little coop with a few roosting bars and some nest boxes.
2 months ago
Thank you so much for all the information. I do have chickens that I can rotate with the goats. One last question about parasites. How do I control them in the shelter and small pasture near the barn? I use DE in the chicken coops and add a little to their feed every so often. Is that safe for goats as well?
One more question. Do goats ever dig for food? Would they benefit from something like sugar beets or maybe carrots? Just curious as to how I could add some special treats here or there and possibly keep them occupied
Thank you for the feedback. I have fairly sandy soil and get alot of rainfall every year. There are some areas that receive plenty of light in the woods for me to plant. I currently have clover, perennial rye grass, and turnips growing in those areas to keep deer moving through. I plan on cutting quite a few older dead trees off that hill this winter to open up the canopy for some of the smaller trees. How often is rotation suggested. They will probably have access to the hillside 5 days a week. I plan on only using four, 1 acre  plots to rotate them through. Hopefully before long my budget will allow me to get additional fencing and could expand that to 1.5 acre areas. Should they be allowed access for 1 month at a time? Or 2 weeks at a time?  Whatever I plant, I need to keep erosion control in mind. It is a fairly steep hillside and I worry about them wearing paths that will start to erode. I am only planning on 4 goats for now, but hope to add if all goes well with these.
Sorry I left that out. I am in zone 5. North central West Virginia. What i plan to use as pasture has been planted for the last three years with a deer attractant food plot. Brassicas, red and white clover, and a high sugar perennial rye grass. I understand that goats probably wont eat much of that. I do have the wooded hill that I plan to rotate them thru 4 small parcels. My question is what types of browse can I plant in the pasture for when they are stuck in the pasture (Probably 2 days a week). I was wondering about willows, brambles, and other heavier browse for them. I know they will destroy much of it, so I was thinking of welded wire fencing around the plants to protect trunks and just let branch tips work through the fence for them.