nancy sutton

pollinator
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since Feb 22, 2010
Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Recent posts by nancy sutton

Thanks, Dale!  You've reignited my interest in black strap molasses.  I did research awhile back and discovered that 'Plantation' brand had the highest levels of some nutrients... I was looking for the iron... I can only find it at the natural food store, but it's also online.  BTW, I think cinnamon would also be good in that drink... and it is extremely helpful in maintaining steady blood sugar levels : )   (Wish I raw garlic and turmeric could be added.... but don't think that would be very tasty :)
1 month ago
I've found that 'buried wood' works great as it turns into soil 'carbon', but regarding the initial results, I think the base soil has a major effect.  A clay soil will benefit from just the improved drainage aspect of the 'raised bed'.  However, with my very sandy soil, a classic hugel would not be beneficial.  I need to (and do) bury wood at ground level, to capture as much water as possible. 

Also, I've seen some great initial results that might be mostly due to the layers of 'enrichment', i.e., manure, compost, etc. that top up the hugel.  I think that material would have the same effect on a non-hugel bed, assuming it had decent drainage.  So.... I've learned to give any hugel a couple of years to assess the affect of the 'rotting wood' itself... which is definitely a benefit ... eventually : ) 

I'm hoping others who pile up wood (not necessarily 'old'), and cover with 'plain' soil, and are disappointed with the results, will not give up.   Make sure the wood stays wet, and has plenty of nitrogen (clover, urine, etc)... and expect to see the results... in good time ;)
3 months ago
Thanks a bunch, Skandi and Gail... nothing like a variety of options that have been 'proven' to work!   I like your report, Kelly, on lay vs no-lay.  Sounds like the genes determine the laying rate.... as they've been manipulated (or not) by breeding.  And, also, perhaps, the total gross caloric intake, per Bryant and yourself.  The 'tiny night light' effect is also intriguing.  Soooo much to learn.... and we're all so full of unique experiences.

Oh... another question... do you suppose the heritage, ala Icelandic, etc., chickens are born with the same number of ovas as the hybrids?  and would, therefore, lay steadily for more years?   Wonder if anyone has counted and compared  
3 months ago
Thanks all for the info!  I'm putting the various pieces together to get a general idea about how diet affects laying.... it's still a little hazy...probably need more info! ; )
4 months ago
Thanks Nicole for that fascinating, farmer tested, info on how to time feeding for pooping!!  And how you manage the head-dunking requirements... confirms my consideration of some plastic mixing tubs.  And the possibiity of raising a tad, to attach a hose to the bottom for draining... did I say I am in suburbia?   (btw, my research turned up your older duck comments, that I 'saved'.... lovely! : )

And Marcus, for your extensive experience with many chickens... seems protein might be irrelevant, and it is the level of general adequate macronutrients (fat, protein carb) that might dictate level of egg production.  It does lead to the question whether less highly 'hybridized' (i.e., more primitive) chickens would have slower rates of laying....which is leading me back to... ducks   (After all, I think our 'modern' layer chicken breeding has had one goal...maximum # of immediate eggs.... maybe not even over all poultry health.)

Thanks again!
4 months ago
William, thanks for the info... and how large is your chickens' foraging area?  and how many chickens do you ha
4 months ago
I'm thinking in terms of a very small home flock, the possibility of growing all of their feed, and avoiding the inconvenient gluts of concentrated maximum production.   I'm not considering the monetary savings on purchased feed, nor selling the eggs.  I'm also considering their utility when not laying.... weeding, debugging, 'tilling', manure production.... and general good company : )
4 months ago
Hans, that's a great idea for general use.  I know my cat... and all the neighborhood ones, etc!... really enjoy all the dry soil under our decks.  I really can't get under there to do anything with it, but at least they're not using the garden :)
4 months ago
When kids were older, and in bed by 8 (or 9?), I loved the late, quiet hours that were all mine...another reason why I hated to go to bed when I should have

Yes, rollypollys, pillbugs, woodlice (in UK), etc.  I use a lot of wood mulch, etc., and they're supposed to limit themselves to eating up rotting material.  But in spring, they find teeny seedlings very tasty... like carrots.  (I think I would, too!)

Love all your info about ducks.... I think they'd figure out that pillbugs are tasty.  (I originally got 3 chickens as my pillbug exterminators... but they had to learn to eat them, too!)  And they are really lovely, quiet.... yes, quiet!! I forgot their #1 advantage for me!  I live in a suburb  

If I can figure out how to 'easily manage' their very valuable manure.... hmmmm. 
4 months ago