Wyatt Smith

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since Feb 19, 2010
Midwest zone 6
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Recent posts by Wyatt Smith

I wonder if its possible to teach the birds to use a door 3' above the water level, with a small gangplank. Ducks are able to lift off from the surface of water better than any of their predators. The hard part will be teaching the ducks to use it. So maybe have an easier door where you can herd them in at night, but keep closed once the ducks have figured out the program.

I haven't tried this exactly. But I have noticed that teaching chickens to jump to a high door to get inside a coop is not easy.
5 years ago
I'm looking for a farm lease near Nashville, TN.
Mark Shepard points out that a Savanna has more photosynthesizing surface area than any other landscape. A jungle only gets light in the canopy. On a Savanna overstory trees are stacked with understory trees bushes and grass. Mark's farm in Wisconsin is ripped following keylines and planted to trees on the same lines. He works hard to get new things going. But perennial plants will only survive on his farm if they can tolerate STUNG - sheer total utter neglect.
5 years ago

A woman named Anny is selling one of the most advanced one row cultivators I have ever seen. It has a chisel plow, and several other interchangeable implements.

http://siriholmberg.weebly.com/horse-and-draft-animal-drawn-all-in-one.html



When draft animals are not available, these type of devices could be pulled with a cable. Perhaps using a hand powered winch, or pedal power. Or any ATV, car, etc can provide the power, if cables and pulleys give it a place to drive.

I think it might be practical to build a simpler (though perhaps heavier) all in one cultivator using off the shelf parts. Such a device could be assembled on vacation and given to villagers in a poor country for beta testing. The material that enables strong machines to be built by a novice is telescoping steel tubing.
5 years ago
http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2011/12/the-chinese-wheelbarrow.html

The wheel being nearly centered carries the entire load. Unlike a front wheel wheelbarrow where the operator carries half. This allows the Chinese wheelbarrow to handle 6 times more weight. Using animals and sails to help pull wheelbarrows long distances is extremely practical.

Wheelbarrows sometimes have landing gear in the front or back. Some require the user to push down on the handles, rather than lift up.

5 years ago
Trample a new perimeter in the snow with your boots and reset the fence.
5 years ago
Pour a bucket of water on your grounding rod.
5 years ago

I recently got to meet Jim Adkins of the Sustainable Poultry Network at the 2012 Acres conference. His talk blew me away. Good breeding of poultry is an urgent need (it is degenerating much like the bee buisiness). I would highly recommend hiring Jim as a consultant or going to one of his workshops.
http://www.sustainablepoultrynetwork.com/

I strongly agree that chicks raised by their mothers will outperform motherless chicks every time.
5 years ago
There is a lot of variability in the toughness of corn's seed coat. Conventional US field corn is not selected for digestibility. Cultivars intended for human consumption will work better. Bloody Butcher is a variety of corn I like. Mature birds with a gizzard can grind corn. Pullets might require a milled ration.

You say you want to feed whole ears. My question is how do you avoid the chickens wasting half of it?

It's kinda fun to shell corn with your bare hands if you're spending a lot of time sitting indoors anyway.
5 years ago