Tag Archives: livestock

Episode-1397- More on Raising Chickens

A Happy Hen Waits for a Treat

A Happy Hen Waits for a Treat

In spite of the fact that yesterday’s show went two hours I realized at the end that many things I wanted to include didn’t get included.  For instance we didn’t cover breeding, incubating, brooding, slaughter and cooking.

Today I am going to take a second pass at this.  I am going to give you some actual numbers about weights when it comes to the slaughter of young, non meat breed cockerels.  Likely it will have you never bothering to pluck one again.

I am also going to provide you with a variety of ways to cook cull birds in order to deal with either their small size or tougher texture for the older birds.

I will also cover the basics of brooding your young birds and my experience thus far with geese that tells me a broody hen is worth more than two incubators!

Join Me Today to Discuss

  • Ordering chickens vs. buying local
  • Setting up a brooder
  • Introduction to an existing flock
  • Incubation of your own eggs
  • What the geese taught me about brooding
  • Keeping roosters from attacking you (sometimes this involves culling)
  • How I slaughter a chicken
  • To pluck or not to pluck, some real numbers
  • Some ways to cook cull chickens
    • Coq au Vin
    • Jacks Chicken Soup
    • Shredded Tex Mex Chicken
    • Chicken Stir Fry – The Key is the “Cut”
    • Making broth/stock from broilers “waste”
  • Some cool ways to use eggs
    • The easy “over easy” egg
    • The “nested egg” (I use sprouted grain bread)
    • Egg drop soup
    • Remember anything can go in an omelet

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Also remember we have an expert council you can address your calls to. If you do this you should email me right after your call at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with expert council call in the subject line. In the body of your email tell me that you just called in a question for the council and what number you called in from. I will then give the call priority when I screen calls.

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Episode-1396- All About Keeping Chickens

Our Rooster Upgrayedd More than Earns His Keep

Our Rooster Upgrayedd More than Earns His Keep

I think perhaps the hottest thing in the modern homesteading trend right now is keeping chickens for both meat and eggs.  It isn’t hard to understand why!  The chicken and mankind go back thousands of years as allies.  I figure the natural fit is mostly that chickens will eat almost anything people will eat and many things we won’t.

Hence you have a bird that lays eggs almost year round that in many places can make its living off your scraps and the surrounding land.  Once trained to a coop, which takes about a day on average it will put itself to bed at night and always come home unless something eats it.

If you want more of them you let a hen do all the work and hatch and raise the babies.  You take older birds and excess males and turn them into surplus meat.  At least that is the philosophy that chickens were raised under for most of history.  Today things are not as simple, in some cases they could be and in others modern reality conflicts with what would be easiest or cheapest.

Join Me Today to Discuss…

  • What is great about chickens
    • Easy to raise
    • Produces eggs
    • Provides some meat
    • Provides entertainment
    • Largely self sufficient
    • Produce fertilizer
  • What is not so great about chickens
    • Poop management
    • Can be destructive
    • Cost of upkeep
    • Housing requirements
    • Winter needs
    • Dealing with culling
  • Ways of raising chickens and my thoughts on them
    • Coop and run
    • Tractoring
    • Free range
    • Restricted free range
    • Paddock shift management
  • How many birds do you want (layers)
    • Most hens lay 5-6 eggs a week in peak
    • My hens tend to lay 3 eggs off peak your mileage may vary
    • Birds will eat about .25 pounds of feed a day, budget for it
    • I don’t consider roosters money sinks, they are guardians
  • Coop Size and Perch Size Requirements
    • 4 sq ft. per bird of floor space
    • 10-12 inches of roost per bird (at highest level)
    • For confined runs minimum 10 sq ft per bird
  • Thoughts on some layer breeds
    • Rhode Island Red
    • White Leghorn and Crosses
    • Production Reds (sex links)
    • Black Australorp
    • Buff Orpington
    • Your Own “Mutts”
  • Raising meat chickens (thoughts on breeds)
    • Cornish Cross
    • Heritage Whites
    • Red “Freedom” Rangers
    • Delaware Chicken
  • Protein Requirements
    • Layer Chick Starter (20% protein)
    • Layer Grower (16-18%) No Calcium Supplementation
    • Layer “Laying Phase”  (16-18%) With Calcium
    • Broiler Starter (20-22% protein)
    • Broiler Growing (18-20%) Be Careful
    • Broiler Finisher (15-18%) Not Required it’s about fat!
  • Feed Options
    • Commercial
    • Organic
    • Non GMO
    • Grocery Waste
    • Brewers/Distillers Grain
    • Fodder
    • Growing Feed
    • Kitchen Wastes
    • Pasture
    • Insects
  • Final Thoughts and Just do It

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Also remember we have an expert council you can address your calls to. If you do this you should email me right after your call at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with expert council call in the subject line. In the body of your email tell me that you just called in a question for the council and what number you called in from. I will then give the call priority when I screen calls.

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Episode-1379- The Profitable Small Acre Homestead

Homesteading is a dream for a lot of people, a some day idea.  Generally it is usually this way.  I need a job, so I need to be close to work, so we can’t afford a  huge place close enough, so ONE DAY I will have enough saved to make the move.

This can and does work, but one day has a way of becoming a moving target, a carrot before the horse that keeps the cart moving yet never is tasted for many.  So my view is for some at least, the homestead can at least in time become a significant income source.

Join Me Today As I Discuss…

  • Our basic plan and why it might not be right for you
    • Start with eggs, build a customer base
    • Sell other nice items, meal worms, candles, etc.
    • Begin selling plants, cuttings, fertilizers
    • Sell produce as it comes into production
    • Possibly at some point sell poultry
  • What I think you can learn from our plan and how you should build your design
    • Specialize in something that builds a customer base
    • Expand slowly over time
    • Develop DEEP relationships with your customers
    • Let them guide your development
  • What I would look for in a property
    • Close to a reasonable population center
    • Decent internet access
    • Good drive buy traffic
    • No restrictions (unincorporated if possible)
    • Deep soils with pond sites
    • Flat to relatively flat
    • As always it comes down to water, access, structure
  • Thoughts on different revenue elements
    • Paddock shift silvopasture poultry (eggs, meat)
    • Market gardening
      • raised beds of fixed length
      • heavy weed blocking
      • designed to the sun or shade by climate
      • Develop a CSA around it fast
    • Small nurseries
    • Small “orchards” for produce
    • Specialty craft products
    • Bees and bee products
    • Dairy
    • Other stock, cattle, sheep, goats, etc
    • Focus on value added products
  • Some final thoughts
    • It takes time, how much is based on how much you have
    • You can’t do everything so don’t even try to, do one thing then another
    • It isn’t for everyone, that is great!
    • It isn’t easy, but in reality it is simple
    • It is hard to do on your own, a multi family approach has a lot to offer
    • Making a living is better than working for a living

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Also remember we have an expert council you can address your calls to. If you do this you should email me right after your call at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with expert council call in the subject line. In the body of your email tell me that you just called in a question for the council and what number you called in from. I will then give the call priority when I screen calls.

Our Expert Council is Made Up of…

Join the MSB Today

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Episode-1325- Taking the TSP Homestead Forward in 2014

Charlie and Ralph Nap after a Long Day on the Homestead

Time for a simple old school style TSP that is basically a chat with Jack.  Today we take a look a what 2014 has in store for life at the TSP homestead.  The first year here was mostly an infrastructure establishment phase.  We installed swales and hugul beds.  We also built facilities for our livestock, systems to move they though the land, etc.  We installed garden ponds and many other systems.

The entire first year of establishment is actually available in a 90 minute video we filmed that you can find here.  The key is the first year was like building the roads and bridges, 2014 is going to be more like when the houses, buildings and shops go in, metaphorically of course.

This year is going to be awesome, Josiah will be off building the flagship PermaEthos farm which will require at least one trip by me up there for a major earthworks course and installation.  Other than that though Dorothy and I will be back to it just being the two of us and frankly even though we love Joe like family we are looking forward to it.

We are moving into a new phase, one of tweaking, edge expansion and management.  Shifting from changing the landscape to working with it.  Dorothy is even considering starting a small homestead business or businesses of her own.

Join Me Today As We Discuss…

  • Once we plant 300 plus trees this week then what
  • Plans for more mobile chicken fencing and a mobile coops
  • Charly’s progress and the BS that a dog that kills a chicken must be beaten, etc.
  • The geese “herd” is being expanded
  • Ducks into the system
  • A new “pond” near the big hen house how it will add to our system
  • A new crop in the garden ponds, Chinese water chestnut
  • This year we go big on perennial medicinal herbs
  • Bees are coming, I have no idea what to do with them but I will figure it out
  • Dorothy is considering an egg business, perhaps a plant business too
  • Pasture restoration 2.0, one horse equals a LOT of poop and hay
  • Final decision on the west pasture has yet to be made
  • Plans for our future abundance

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Also remember we have an expert council you can address your calls to. If you do this you should email me right after your call at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with expert council call in the subject line. In the body of your email tell me that you just called in a question for the council and what number you called in from. I will then give the call priority when I screen calls.

Our Expert Council is Made Up of…

Join the MSB Today

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Want Every Episode of TSP Ever Produced?

Remember in addition to discounts to over 40 vendors who supply stuff you are likely buying anyway, tons of free ebooks and video content, MSB Members also get every edition of The Survival Podcast ever produced in convenient zip files in blocks of 24. More info on the MSB can be found here.

 

Episode-1321- Bitcoin, PermaEthos, Homestead Updates and Matt Miller on Vehicle Maintenance

Three of out 12 New Baby Ducks

Three of our 12 New Baby Ducks

Time for a four parter, as I said I am making it up to you guys for lost time during recent travel and I suspect at least one show will not happen next week as well with the workshop and all. So today here is what we have on hand.

First I am going to talk about why the “big news” about bitcoin is not big news in any negative way.  Of course I mean the IRS ruling that BTC is property and not currency.  Anyone running a business publicly collecting BTC should have greeted this announcement with a resounding duh, frankly, no shit is more accurate.

Let me break it to you bluntly, the IRS guidance is actually factual, accurate and consistent with all existing code and treatment of property and assets by the IRS.

Note I am not saying the IRS is fair, that taxes are fair or that taxes are okay and not theft.  What I am saying is based on current IRS code, historical treatment of barter and the trade of goods and the treatment of commodities, the new IRS guidance is fair and consistent in relation to historical IRS guidelines.

Here are several reason this ruling is meaningless…

  • Anyone with a brain taking in lots of bitcoin into a business was likely already doing the accounting as the guidelines state.
  • The IRS still can’t track person to person bitcoin, they don’t have that ability, if they ever acquire it, the system will take it away from them in an “update”.
  • New software to maximize tax advantages of this ruling is likely being coded RIGHT NOW.
  • Likely the IRS is going to have to change their guidance when BTC becomes a recognized currency anyway, it will then function like any currency on the FOREX, this is going to happen.

Second we move one to a bit more on PermaEthos and a few questions that have come up since my big announcement yesterday.  I will also again explain that YES the MSB will get a discount code for Geoff Lawton’s PDC and the code will be in the MSB likely today or tomorrow but definitely before the PDC goes on sale.

The new Ethos model has been extremely well received!  I want to talk just a bit more about it.  I will be updating the PermaEthos site soon to reflect the new model and start creating a true virtual community around it.  It will be important that Ethos function both as an extension of the TSP community and yet function on its own merits to those who have no clue what or who a TSP is.

Then I have some “homestead updates” for you guys.  Yes an MSB only video will come out this week by the way, showing a lot of what I am going to talk about.  There is some cool stuff though, today our homestead population grew by yet another dozen with 12 ridiculously cute ducklings!  I’ll tell you also how they and the geese are going to get some “ponds” that will almost be actual ponds.

Then I am joined by Matthew Miller who is a long time listener to TSP and an MSB member.  . In an effort to continue building resiliency and self-sufficiency in his life he wanted to learn how to maintain his own vehicles. Inheriting his late grandfather’s 94 Ranger was the final push needed. A 20 year old truck with 80k miles on it was a great starter project to get his feet wet.

He has documented all of his repairs and progress on the TSP forums for others to learn and gain encouragement from. Since starting he has gained a basic working knowledge of autos and has no fear when he hears a knock or rattle. Through his desire to do things himself he has inspired friends and family members to do their own work and offers to help when he can.

Matthew loves watching his kids play in and on his truck or car when he’s working on them. They’ll jump in with tools and ‘help’ daddy out. Knowing that he is teaching them positive values, resiliency, and self-reliance is the greatest reward he’s gotten since learning this new skill-set.

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Also remember we have an expert council you can address your calls to. If you do this you should email me right after your call at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with expert council call in the subject line. In the body of your email tell me that you just called in a question for the council and what number you called in from. I will then give the call priority when I screen calls.

Our Expert Council is Made Up of…

Join the MSB Today

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Want Every Episode of TSP Ever Produced?

Remember in addition to discounts to over 40 vendors who supply stuff you are likely buying anyway, tons of free ebooks and video content, MSB Members also get every edition of The Survival Podcast ever produced in convenient zip files in blocks of 24. More info on the MSB can be found here.

A Dead Simple Fodder System

5 Day Fodder from a 5 Gallon Bucket

5 Day Fodder from a 5 Gallon Bucket

I have had a lot of info on the show about fodder systems, including DIY and commercial systems.  The cost has run from a few hundred to many thousands of dollars.

I wanted to start feeding fodder to my birds but could not see making a large investment to essentially sprout seeds.  People all over the nation spout seeds for their own use with a jar that simply has holes in the lid.  I have done this and it works just fine, I figured a 5 gallon bucket is just a big jar right?

So I made my own system based on the vaulted 5 gallon bucket, it would cost you at max 30 bucks.  Honestly I have less than 20 dollars in mine by using stuff we already had on site.  I just wrote an article about it that also has a ton of pictures and a great video.  You can find it at BrinkOfFreedom.net.

http://brinkoffreedom.net/homesteading/dead-simple-fodder-system/

Episode-1236- Plans for the TSP Homestead and Upcoming Workshops

I am going to continue with some fun stuff that is informative and not so deep into the world of politics, economics, etc.  Today I am going to line out the planned projects for our 3 acre property and what they will be doing for us long term.

The first principle of permaculture in my mind is “observe and interact” and while interact is part of it, to me on a new property about a year of observation is really ideal for the planning process.  At this point I have been on my property for about 10 months.  I now know it intimately.  I know where the winds blow including when they don’t line up with the “official information” from the weather service.

I know where my soils are a foot deep and where they are only a few inches above the limestone reef that is under this part of north Texas.  I know where water flows and where it pools.  I know the species that do well here on their own in all seasons.  I  have seen the results of my work with my animals an I know it works.  Islands of deep green now exist in pastures that are tired and mostly brown.

I have had the great fortune to have my intern Josiah Wallingford of Bring of Freedom on property now for 3 months to aid in my planning.  We now have a much deeper understanding of many of our subtle contours.  Then we did an urban design workshop.  30 students received certification in Urban Design and we got amazing ideas for a small space design on the property.  Josiah and I have expanded these plans and it is all coming together.  Today I will do my best to explain our future plans and how this homestead is going to be transformed over the next year into a holistic system that is self supporting and will generate its own fertility.

Join Me Today As We Discuss…

  • The tactical greenhouse with a “climate battery”
  • 6000-7500 gallons of catchment tanks are going in, just for starters
  • Why we will use some pumps in our systems, yet we will not “need” them
  • Taking swales to an extreme level even on land anyone would call flat
  • Road catchment diversion, more water then we could ever need
  • Cell grazing of geese and chickens in our system, perhaps sheep next year
  • Building a 60,000 gallon pond where you can’t go below grade and making it self sustaining
  • Making hugul swales where we can only dig about 2 inches into the soil
  • Building top soil at a massive rate in the interswales
  • Berms, berms and more berms
  • A food forest going in this spring, 40 productive trees, 280 support trees
  • The contour beds are due to become a massive “micro food forest”
  • This is just the beginning!

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Also remember we have an expert council you can address your calls to. If you do this you should email me right after your call at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with expert council call in the subject line. In the body of your email tell me that you just called in a question for the council and what number you called in from. I will then give the call priority when I screen calls.

Our Expert Council is Made Up of…

Join the MSB Today

Join the MSB Today

Want Every Episode of TSP Ever Produced?

Remember in addition to discounts to over 40 vendors who supply stuff you are likely buying anyway, tons of free ebooks and video content, MSB Members also get every edition of The Survival Podcast ever produced in convenient zip files in blocks of 24. More info on the MSB can be found here.

 

Episode-1195- Ben Falk on The Resilient Farm and Homestead

Ben Falk of WholeSystemsDesign.com

Ben Falk of WholeSystemsDesign.com

Ben developed Whole Systems Design, LLC as a land-based response to biological and cultural extinction and the increasing separation between people and elemental things.

Life as a designer, builder, ecologist, tree-tender, and backcountry traveler continually informs Ben’s integrative approach to developing landscapes and buildings. His home landscape and the WSD studio site in Vermont’s Mad River Valley serve as a proving ground for the regenerative land developments featured in the projects of Whole Systems Design.

Ben has studied architecture and landscape architecture at the graduate level and holds a master’s degree in land-use planning and design. He has conducted nearly 200 site development consultations across New England and facilitated dozens of courses on permaculture design, property selection, microclimate design, and design for climate change.

Today he joins us to discuss his new book “The Resilient Farm and Homestead” along with subjects like  wood heat, property evaluation, integrating grazing animals with perennials, permaculture design course, drought and flood proofing, cold climate strategies, ponds and swales.

Resources for today’s show…

Ben’s Links

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK (866-658-4465) and you might hear yourself on the air.

Episode-1165- Marjory Wildcraft on Using 100% of Slaughtered Livestock

Marjory WIldcraft of Grow Your Own Groceries

One of my favorite people on planet earth, Marjory Wildcraft of Growing Your Groceries and Back Yard Food production joins us once again on TSP.  Today Marjory joins us to discuss how we can get best utilization of our livestock when the time for slaughter comes around.

As someone that eats a lot of meat I know where my meat comes from.  I try to grow at least some of my own and while I never enjoy taking a life it is the only way meat becomes that wonderful nourishment most of us consume.

The thing is though if you are going to kill an animal that you have raised it makes a lot of sense to honor it by fully utilizing all of the resources it contains.

While a few of Marjory’s ideas are beyond even what I or for that matter she does it is good to know every use for every part of a slaughtered animal, the abundance we take for granted today of course may not be quite so abundant tomorrow.

Join Marjory and I today as we discuss the following list of uses for animal parts after slaughter…

  • Meats
  • Fats
  • Organs
  • Feathers
  • Down
  • Hides and furs
  • Brains (yep)
  • Bones
  • Hooves and skins
  • Adrenal glands
  • Guts
  • Tendons and sinew
  • Eyes (not me but some do it)
  • Stomachs
  • And lucky rabbits feet, LOL

Resources for Today’s Show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show.

 

Egyptian Fayoumi Chickens Become Delicious Dinner Items

Our 6 Egyptian Fayoumi roosters had gone absolutely mental on us.  They were terrorizing the flock and making all the pullets a nervous wreck.  We simply had too many roosters on the roost, which is what we get for buying birds “strait run”.

Additionally one of the supposed “sex link red pullets” is neither sex linked nor a pullet but a now maturing Road Island Red Rooster.  The gang of six attacked him to the point where he actually had gone into the floor of the chicken coop and disappeared for a few days, we thought he had been taken by a hawk.

But Dorothy was sure she heard something in the coop.  In the end we did hear him and pulled up the floor to get him out.  He is now my buddy and literally clings to my leg when we take a walk.  Well, that means I have a nice big old gentle rooster and didn’t need any of these psychopaths.

I really wanted to grow them out a bit more but I have to go to out of town for a bit and leaving Dorothy with yet another chore (moving their heavy chicken tractor twice a day) didn’t seem like the right thing to do.  So I got up at 0600 and slaughtered and dressed these guys.

They are about the size of a nice dressed out pheasant.  They all weighed only between 2 to 2.4 pounds and averaged right at 2.2.  So when we cook them we will do them in pairs which should feed Dorothy and I well and leave enough for a small pot of soup from the left overs.

If you are considering Fayoumis all I can say is don’t unless you have a shit ton of land and basically want feral birds that come back to roost at night and DON’T buy them strait run.  The cockerals were crowing by 3 weeks and fighting at 5 weeks, trying to harem up the hens at only 6-7 weeks and had turned into complete psychopaths by 90 days of age.

At that point they are really way to small for slaughter.    They just seem like a breed that isn’t really very useful on the small homestead.  I do think a large block of land with them going 100% free range and only Fayoumis would work with a rooster to hen ratio of say 8 to 1.

They don’t care about heat, they eat bugs and forage like mad, they don’t eat much commercial feed at all, etc.  That is one reason they mature fast but don’t grow fast is you can’t keep them on commercial feed as soon as they have the option for grasshoppers and field weeds they just have no further interest.

I know some wanted to have me film this, well, Dorothy wants no part in the slaughter of our animals so doing so would have made this a lot more of a chore.  We are going to bring in 25-50 meat birds for the fall, we will run a butchering workshop on those and that will be filmed.