Episode-1325- Taking the TSP Homestead Forward in 2014 — 51 Comments

  1. WOOHOO! Something to listen to on the road tomorrow, on my way to the TSP Homestead! I feel like the Gerbil on the movie Bolt!

  2. For April fools you should do the video on how to start a fire… with a lighter. 🙂

  3. Hey Everyone,
    Definitely check into the Backwoods Home magazine if you haven’t yet. I have been reading since the magazine inception and it is a tremendous resource.
    Be sure to check out the Anthologies too. Reliable info!

  4. Jack,
    I remember the first time I came across your podcast. There was only a handful of podcasts, and you were just getting started. Admittedly, I thought, “I like this guy’s podcast, but don’t want to listen to something with that sound quality,” and I stopped listening. I was young. Hell, I’m only 29 now. Anyway, time went on, and I grew into the guy I am today. I started listening to some time around episode 780-ish. It took me awhile to realize this was the same guy I so quickly disregarded before. I was happy to re-find your podcast. I was ecstatic to see how prosperous you have become. Now, whenever you make podcasts like this I get excited for you all over again. Keep living your life, and I hope you have many years of left in your calling as a messenger. You keep letting people know to live THEIR life. Inspire, and educate, my friend.

  5. BEES…I’ve had good experience over the years with bees by applying Mark Shepard’s STUN farming method- [Sheer Total Utter Neglect]. Make their hive as natural as possible; keep them from getting too hot/cold; give them plenty of access to pollen and water. Leave them alone and you’ll get lots of honey.

  6. Hey Jack, I’ve got a Automatic chicken door that i’ve developed, been running the prototype for almost 2 years now, has been working great got all the bugs out of it and had over a dozen design changes. Runs on 4AA batteries or 6v solar/feeder/battery setup. Were just in the process of selling our house and moving to a few acres and I was then going to go full ahead with marketing and selling, was planning on contacting you then, and sending you one or more…if you don’t get anything in the mean time. long time listener since the double digits..mxitman on the forum.

  7. Thank you Jack for your comments and commitment to treatment of animals. The “suggestions” you received are 100 + years behind the times of understanding what is good for both us and our animals. They depend on us, but we depend on them as well. If we don’t, then why have them?

    • Damned straight. Be it abuse or neglect, there’s no excuse for it and those who do either need their asses whupped and their animals taken away.

  8. Meal worms are awesome….you can sell them as feed for chickens, backyard bird feeders, small reptiles and as fishing bait.

    The frass (poop) they produce is also a quality fertilizer valued for its chitanase content that can also be highly saleable.

    I know people selling it almost $16 dollars a pound at hydroponic stores.

    Its on my list of things to do myself one day.

    • Also you can sell them to universities as well, if they do any sort of frog or reptile research. I worked in a developmental bio lab that used frogs sometimes. They loved meal worms and crickets like no other. It was always odd to go pick up the packages in our departments mail room though, the boxes would be making noises in the case of the crickets.

  9. Jack, that picture of Charlie & Ralph is priceless. He sure turned into a beautiful grown dog.

  10. You mentioned maybe selling some plants and I have to admit the couple times you’ve mentioned it lately it’s really gotten me interested. As I was reading up a bit on it though it seems (and you probably already know this, but for anyone not in the know) that many plants have patents on them. Which according to the US Patent Office means it ” protects the inventor’s right to exclude others from asexually reproducing, selling, or using the plant so reproduced”. I am not sure how I feel about that yet as it’s such a new concept to me that people actually patent plants. I have some blackberry plants in my yard that I planted a few years ago and figured that to test the water I would try to propagate a couple and see if I could sell them. Well go figure… they are patented once I looked them up online. So I guess I just wanted people to be aware that these patents existed and they can make their own decisions on that.

  11. Yeah, my plans for my small off-grid building are huge for this year. I started building it 2 years ago and didn’t get it finished yet, so I have a lot to catch up.

    The more I wait the more I feel like I should do a lot of things long time ago. Especially the food forest I have designed, but not implemented yet… 🙁

  12. I think concrete reinforcement panels might be lighter than hog panels but the hole size might be an issue.

  13. Hey Jack, I really enjoyed the podcast. I have an idea for the chicken tractor that may work for you. I have a cheap green hose it is shaped like a quarter hot and has a metal frame I am going to use it with. Heavy duty canvas as a movable chicken house. Mine will be inside electric so I’m not having to add electric. You could add those little extension bars around it and just string what you need directly around the structure. We do this on our woven write fence because the bad sheep like to rub on it. It. Would be lightweight and easy to move. My husband and I move the frame easily by going inside and lifting it from the roof with 2 x 4. Those cheap greenhouses make terrible greenhouses, but I think it will work great for this.

  14. Oh, Charlie! My buddy. Love that dog!

    So as far as ducks and bees go. I don’t have any experience with the issue but here is my hypothesis. I know that some people have had to relocate their bee hives or their guinea hens because they will sit outside the hive and pick off the bees while coming and going. I have heard the about chickens, but I’m not sure since mine don’t eat that many flying insects. I’ve had no issues with bees and my ducks. Last year I had some ground bees, so I routed the temp fence just around the holes in the ground. The ducks went over there, and those bees were pissy, that’s how I found them, and I had no issues. I’m assuming a full size duck would not have an issue with bees.

    I can see a scenario where a week old duck, being so small, could be overcome by the venom of a bee, that was probably not a typical honey bee. In addition, consider this perfect storm. The duck has been swimming, which saps their energy when they are little. Normally this would be fine since you would be getting them back to normal. But an already tired out baby duck pumped full of some funky venom. I can see it not making it. They are durable, but only in the “like the linebacker of poultry” sense.

    On kid pools and swimming water for ducks.

    Not all domestic ducks are created equal. Some will love to swim, some won’t. When you set up your pools, do Dorothy and yourself a favor and make sure they have a means of entering and exiting ALL pools and waterers. I fill my kid pools with rocks when the ducks first go out on their own. I have tried just cinder blocks in the past, and I have come home to drowned ducks. This is one of those rookie mistakes that I make almost every season. I always want to think “These ducks are nice and healthy, they should be fine”. Then, we go to bed, and in the morning, floating duck. And, it’s always either a female or your favorite. So, to recap:

    1. Start with small kid pools.
    2. Fill it with rocks on at least half, so they can litterally stand and not be in water.
    3. provide a way out and in. Ducks are freaked out by stairs btw.
    I pile hay/straw/wood chips around my pools,and fill the inside with rocks on half.
    4. Once they are about 6 months old, they can be trusted with just the cinder blocks. Remember, they are designed to mostly be able to go up a gradual grade on a pond bank.

    I’ve started up a duck and homestead blog. When I get home I will turn this into a more detailed post there. Check it out!


    Jon Dowie

  15. I initially had a chicken tractor (8’x4′) that had a door I’d close and open. I had to leave it open during vacation and realized a door isn’t needed–if the chickens are not visible from the outside at night.

    In fact, I’ve been 5 years without a door and have NEVER lost a single chicken. I also enjoy being able to occasionally sleep in without feeling like I’m neglecting the birds.

    I used a triangle design quite similar to this one* but cheaper and less ‘fancy’:

    I just made the hole in the floor large enough for the chickens to jump down in the morning and fly/hop into in the evening. I only walk out once a day to move, feed, & collect eggs.

    *I’m not affiliated with this site and built a similar one on my own for $115 in materials.

  16. Jack,

    Your rant about people that beat dogs sure touched me. I have a “chicken eater” too; a White German Shepherd. In 2012 (first round of chickens), she’d run them when they were in their coop, but she never bothered them. Then last year in the early spring, two (of five) hens disappeared. I didn’t think it was Layla because she hadn’t killed any the whole year that we had chickens. Then come April, I let her out when the kids were coming home, and she attacked our 3-hen flock. She nearly killed the biggest “guard hen”, so we brought the hen inside to heal (yeah, weird, I know, but given we still have her today and she should have died, she’s one strong bird), and we put our dog on lockdown.

    We lost the other two outside hens within maybe two weeks of my dog attacking them, but we knew it wasn’t our dog because she never had access to them.

    I was sad, but we’ve had Layla since 2010, and beating her, yelling at her, and certainly shooting her wouldn’t keep her from being a dog. We just know now that she can’t go outside with the chickens. (She’s killed 2 more since then, but that was the chickens’ fault ’cause they hadn’t roosted in their coop when it was closed up for the night, and the dog found them before sun-up when she was doing her business.)

    Fast forward to a couple weeks ago. My flock of 15 chickens (14 from last year and the loan survivor from 2012) was roaming the property and the neighbor’s dog happened to get out of his fence. The kids saw her running the chickens, so we all ran outside to keep her from killing them. My son managed to get the dog and herd her back to her yard. When the neighbor got hands on her, he proceeded to start beating her. I could hear the smacking from probably 100 feet away. It upset me a great deal. The whole time, he was yelling at her, and he just kept smacking her.

    Then, he apologized as we were trying to find all the birds to make sure nobody was injured, and he said, “Don’t you worry. She’s not done being in trouble with me.”

    I said, “Please, that’s not necessary. She was just being a dog, we were able to stop it before anything bad happened, and everything’s OK.” I should have been more assertive, and I regret not doing so, because this guy completely over-reacted.

    Yes, it was scary to see a dog running my flock. Yes, we were worried when we didn’t know everyone was OK. But she was just being a dog, doing what dogs do, and I see it as up to us humans to intervene there. What’s more, I was thinking, “You were calling and calling your dog, and she wouldn’t come back to you. Then when my kid got her back to you, you beat her. What does that teach her? When she gets away, she should stay away because she’s going to get beaten when she comes back. Seems counterintuitive to me.

    And after this spring, we too considered a shock collar, but since I’m blind, I wouldn’t be able to get the timing right to both make it effective AND protect the lives of my chickens, so we just take her out on a leash whenever the chickens are roaming.

    • Not weird bringing a chicken in to heal. More times than I can count our bathroom has served as a chicken recovery room. Saved some of our favorite birds this way.

      • I thought I was prepared for the possibility of having to kill an animal to put it “out of its misery”. Thing was, Turkey (a huge Black Australorp that my daughter named ‘Turkey’ because she was the biggest chick on the block) has such a sweet and gentle personality. I cried and cried while I watched her and pondered what to do. My dog got her BAD; you could see bone on her shoulder.

        My husband came home and suggested that we bring her in (since a coworker of his had done the same thing with a chicken who’d been attacked by something), so I filled a dog crate with bedding and clean water, and we brought her in. I didn’t expect she’d make it through the night, so imagine my surprise when she was still alive the next day and had laid an egg too!

        I started putting chicken electrolyte in her water, and we just fed and watered her and let her heal. We didn’t touch the wound; we let nature do her thing. Within probably 3 weeks, she was growing feathers back AND laying eggs again. She still has a scar where her feathers didn’t grow in quite right, but I STILL can’t believe she lived! And all we did was put her in a dog crate with some food and let her be.

        Given what that girl lived through, I’m happy to “waste” food on her when she doesn’t lay as well. It’s different with all the other chickens, but Turkey’s special. (And here I thought people who liked chickens were just weird. Then I turned into one of those people who cried over one and couldn’t kill her. Go figure. :D)

  17. hey Jack,
    one of the great things about top bar hhives in your climate is that they are very low maintenance. Dont worry about not knowing enough. You can learn all you need as you go along.

  18. THANK YOU Jack, for your comments on not hitting an animal! The same goes for cats. I have had cats for 50 years and they are highly sensitive to your emotions and tone of voice and they understand very well what you try to teach them. The more gentle you can be in training animals, the more receptive they are and the deeper the bond you have with them. Hitting and yelling only destroys any trust they have in you, not to mention taking away their natural spirit.

    • Just to be clear I have and will continue to use “manual correction” on animals because it works but this isn’t “beating” or even really hitting.

      I will grab a dog and put him in line. I will spray a cat scratching a couch with a spray bottle of water. Animals by and large simply need to understand what is expected and MOST actually want to do what you want them too, it is up to us to help them understand.

      My dogs are generally easy to control with a simple, “aht” best way I can spell the sound I make. They hear that and know, don’t do what ever you are about to do, Jack doesn’t want you to.

      With pups this takes a LOT of time and work. The reward is a dog that loves you, will defend you with his/her own life and respects you but doesn’t fear you. When you create fear you break trust, when you break trust you don’t have a relationship with the animal you have ownership.

      I own my animals from a legal sense, that protects them from idiots (the state mostly) but I don’t consider them my property. I consider them my friends. I also don’t consider them my kids or me to be “daddy”, I have a son, I am his dad, not Max and Charlie’s daddy.

      The relationship is simple, they are dogs that I consider family and they see me as pack leader.

      Cats now, take a lot more or should I say different work. Cats in my experience want to get away with things rather than learn to obey. You have to reach the level of them believing they are going to get caught before they comply. Alice knows that she has a scratching place and she knows the chair isn’t it. Yet the spay bottle is back out! Sooner or later she will get tired of being wet.

      But if I hit her, specifically hard enough to hurt her, what I have I taught her. Not that I don’t want my chair scratched, but that I am mean and to be feared. A far as she knows water just hits her when she scratches the chair.

      • Understood and agree – you are right, it does take a lot of work and patience upfront and using a spray bottle or a little manual correction isn’t the same as beating or screaming at pets, IMHO. And it is good that dogs see you as leader of the pack, because their ability to obey when necessary protects them and their people.

        I think with cats, domination really does not work with them – in fact, the opposite, it puts them in survival mode. But if they trust and love you, they do want to make you happy and really do understand what you would like them to do/not to do.

        I do the same little noise, kind of a “doot” when I want to let them know not to do something and they know right away – that works much better than trying to force them to do anything – they just see that as an attack on their sense of security. Kind of how you have to respect their boundaries. Once they know you do, the trust comes and after that, the love.

        At the risk of sounding like a crazy cat lady, I’ve had neighbors’ cats that try to come and live with me instead of with their own families. I think so few people understand them and know how to relate to them, which is sad.

        I really appreciate all you do, Jack, and love it when you talk about your pets and your farm! 🙂

        • P.S. The spray bottle is a good option and also making that “no” noise and clapping my hands at them works with mine too.

      • Cats scratch for reasons other than for maintenance of their claws.

        They also use scratching as a territorial thing. Not only is it a visual marker but they actually have scent glands in their paws.

        Alice is probably scratching up your chair because it sits prominently in the middle of the room and is a excellent location for a marker.

        You might wanna try putting a scratching post next to the chair.

      • I trained our “certified” (witnessed) cat-killing dogs to not only refrain from killing cats, but are now buddies with them and can approach strange cats in a friendly non-threatening way.
        How? I had started Cesar “The Dog Whisperer” Milan’s methods with them. His basic tenants with them through EXERCISE, non-harsh, but firm and consistent DICIPLINE and an equal amount of regular AFFECTION. Then just like in nature humanely affirms to the dogs that he is “pack leader” where the dogs are to follow his ques and mind him.
        In training dogs not to kill cats (chickens or whatever) he begins with the basics I mentioned above, puts the dog in a calm and submissive state, usually lying down (Note: this will NOT make your dog a wuss, wolves do it to one another all the time and when it comes to ferocity, I doubt there any wusses there). Then get the subject of the dogs’ bad killing habit close in a safe and cooperative way – such as in a cage at first. Closely observe the dog for any sign that he/she is focusing on the subject in any possibly aggressive way – ear twitch or movement, eye narrowing, lip movement, etc. then immediately give a sharp, firm snap on the lead (but not trying to yank his head off) and/or make a “chit” sound like Cesar and I do.
        Also, with the lead on the dog, you have better control over the dog if it was to lunge for the critter, particularly when you get to the point when they do not need to be caged for their own protection.
        With both my former cat killers, it took me thirty minutes a day for thirty days (yes, like most worthwhile things in life it DOES take the investment in time) but now they accept cats and even interact with them daily.
        You can find tons of this on Cesar Milan’s website which will lead you to all kinds of answers to working with dog behaviour through direct answers there, TV series, DVD’s, his books etc. He even has a way to rattlesnake-proof your dog – which is a time he does us a shock collar.
        Yes, Jack, I love my buddies too.

  19. Orphingtons are awesome. My favorite of our layers. We have standard field fencing 2×4 bottom and 4×4 top, and they don’t get out of that at all.

    I’ve started to like 1/2″ conduit for homestead stuff. Uber cheap and light, easy to cut and bend. Which is why I was thinking about it for a chicken run, then we decided to try free ranging first and liked that better. You can weave the chicken wire or 2×4 fencing through it for chickens if you are only worried about keeping them somewhere and not something heavy coming in. With a bender you can shape it, or you can get the angle brackets to build a base and top. Reconfiguring would take a bit though versus the panels and if you had something aggressive it might not to be sturdy enough. Just a thought, you might be able to expand on it.

    Hmm another idea, maybe you can cement the bottom of a post or get a good wide base on it since you can’t pound it into the ground. Then slip the fence over the posts and just move it around.

  20. Huh. I was one of the people who brought up killing a dog who had killed a livestock animal, not as a suggestion, but questioning whether what I’d heard from old timers was still considered the thing to do. I had no idea so many people had actually suggested doing so as well.

    • Also, for anyone who doesn’t like the idea of a shock collar: I tried one on myself, at a middle setting, before I first started using them. It was unpleasant, but was by no means extremely painful. And I am certainly no super tough guy with an amazing pain threshold. So If I can take it, I really think dogs can take it no problem, ESPECIALLY on the lower settings.

      If you can train your dog without them, by all means please do. But for a hard to train dog, or for training that is very vital (like preventing the death or injury of livestock) you really do yourself a disservice by taking an extremely effective tool entirely off the table.

    • I meant to comment about this but forgot.

      I think it definitely depends on the situation completely. I think in Jacks, a super young pup and losing a chicken or two (I think that’s what happened) isn’t nearly a big deal. Also Jack isn’t using his dog to be a livestock guardian dog where he has to trust 100% the dog to do its duties.

      The people we bought our goats from bought 2 Great Pyrenees. They started losing baby goat after baby goat without having any idea how it was possible. The dogs had learned their schedule so that one of them (the naughty one) never did anything while they were home. Well one day the guy didn’t leave for work as usual so he saw the dog up to its no good. Turns out that dog (their livestock guardian dog) had killed like 7 of the goat babies.

      What he did (maybe the right thing to do, who knows) was he called the person he bought it from and got his money back, but I’m not so sure I’d be quite so uhm… cool about it. He was clearly as pissed as I would have been. I’m not so sure I think giving the dog back to a person who was selling the dog as a live stock guardian dog is a good situation either. (What happens when that dog is sold to somebody else?)

      From that situation, its quite clear to me, I wouldn’t waste two seconds training that dog, but regardless it would definitely “have to go”. I mean I’m looking at getting a great pyrnees myself, and if it killed something like 7 baby goats, I’d be out… what… 5000 dollars plus 5 months of time (for each baby goat)?

      • Well I see multiple issues there.

        I don’t think anyone should buy a supposedly “trained” LGD. You buy a pup and YOU TRAIN HIM. Some dogs are not going to make good LGDs no matter the breed. Just because it is a Pyrenees, Akabash or Anatolian, etc. doesn’t mean it will make a good LGD, just it is likely to. Some dogs are great dogs but can’t just be left with livestock, these dogs must serve another purpose. When you buy a dog for the function of being a LGD and it doesn’t work out YOU GET THE RESPONSIBILITY to see to the dogs future. Most would make wonderful pets and overall watch dogs. Most would be outstanding on a farm or ranch where they are perimeter dogs not left in with the stock unsupervised. But you got the dog by your own choice so it is YOUR responsibility to deal with it.

        Nick Ferguson is bringing up three Pyrenees and Anatolian crosses right now. Two will be good LGDs, one won’t, she will be a good guard dog, great family pet, fine dog with stock but supervised only. This doesn’t fit his homestead, so that dog will likely be sold as a pet/guard dog with full disclosure. Why, it is Nick that bred the dog and it is his responsibility to see to it’s future. Whoever gets it next assumes not just OWNERSHIP but RESPONSIBILITY.

        Breeders do not intentionally sell a dog like the one you mention or they go out of business fast. The breeder should have taken the dog back and now should eat his losses selling the dog off or rehoming it in an environment that suits the dog.

        Let me put it to you this way, if I saw someone shoot a healthy dog that they had willing taken responsibility for, a dog that was no threat to people and simply needs the right home, I would be highly tempted to make that person disappear at a later date. I feel that strongly about it.

        You choose to take in a dog, you get the good and bad that comes with it. The dog didn’t ask you to take it on, you chose to do that, so you get the responsibility to care for it or find someone that can. There are literally THOUSANDS of groups that will help with this. Every breed it seems has a “rescue society”.

        I understand being “pissed” but the focus of that man’s anger should not be the dog, it should be the seller.

        • While I agree with most of the analysis you’ve provided, it seems you’re making quite the argument for this particular animal compared to others.

          “You choose to take in a dog, you get the good and bad that comes with it. The dog didn’t ask you to take it on, you chose to do that, so you get the responsibility to care for it or find someone that can.”

          You could say the same thing for any animal you take on, or plant, etc. So where is the line drawn? If you’re breeding rabbits and one doesn’t fit the bill, you’d cull them. If a chicken doesn’t lay enough eggs (and that’s what you want it for on the farm), you’d cull that. If a pecan tree doesn’t grow as well and as fast as you’d want it to, (a tree that lives hundreds of years old, and is quite quite young by relational standards), you’d cull that out. What about a horse than has a broken leg and with little chance of a recovery for working? How is a dog being raised for a purpose not fall into that same category? Just because its a dog? Is it because there more options for dealing with this life form rather than culling? Obviously there is quite an intense closeness between man and dog that is worth noting, but you’re argument about taking it on and responsibility, really hinges on everything else on a homestead somehow working differently than this particular case.

          Dogs are as close as they are because we’ve bred them for hundreds/thousands of years to be the most domesticated animal, and because of societal standards. Most places outside of the US (in particular), and definitely the “West” views dogs very differently, and at least for this discussion, I’d say much more on the end of livestock rather than a “part of the family”.

          Saying that you’d make somebody disappear because they killed a dog is kind of eye rolling at best. So you you’re willing to give a dog a second chance (or 8th in this case), but a person kills (or culls) one protected animal and they’re out? At least in my opinion, vengeance is the least satisfying and reasonable form of justice. Should we then declare war against Vietnam or China because they eat dogs? I’m intentionally making these strawman arguments to provide a bit of logic and, un-irrational look at the EXTREMELY moral gray situation (that you’re clearly delineating as black and white).

        • Every animal you mention is raised for food in this nation and frankly by most civilized people. Again you got the dog with the intent of having a dog, if it doesn’t work you solve the problem. Roll your eyes if you want. Do people in China and Vietnam eat dogs, yes. Is it anywhere near as common as the stories lead you to believe, absolutely not.

          And frankly this is total nonsense Mike, “So you you’re willing to give a dog a second chance (or 8th in this case)”. The guy you mention is an idiot, one dead goat while his dog is on duty should have been enough to examine the situation more clearly. And no I don’t give such a dog even a second chance, TO BE ALONE WITH A GOAT. Once and done especially when I paid for a trained dog.

          It really isn’t black and white it is multi colored as it gets. I now have a dog that won’t be a good LGD.

          A – Red – re home the dog, to a place that suits him
          B – Green – take the dog to a rescue society etc. explain my issues and let them handle it
          C – Orange – keep the dog and don’t use it as a LGD, use it for another purpose
          D – Purple – advertise that I have a ________ breed dog that was for LGD purposes and the dog now needs a home or an experienced trainer that can deal with the issues and give the dog away

          There would be a LOT more options, (colors), to consider. Again you can roll your eyes, doesn’t change the fact that I am as serious as a heart attack. As to China and Vietnam and eating dogs, out of my circle of influence.

          The point is there is NO GOOD REASON to kill such a dog unless it represents a danger to humans, neuter it if you are concerned with bad genes and find it a place to go, there are plenty of places for it to go.

        • My rolling of the eyes is related to the fact non-aggression goes out the window when it comes to a dog. All of those things you’ve said could be said the same about any other life form that is taking under a homesteads wing. I could dig up a tree and give it to a friend, if I have a rabbit that doesn’t produce good offspring I could sell it as a pet on craigslist. I don’t disagree whatsoever about the alternatives to death that you provide, but my problem with the argument is that the same could be said about every single other thing on a homestead. But for some reason, a dog is worth getting aggressive over.

          In my opinion you’re emotionalizing and combining a pet, with a working animal. In my example, the guy I know, would never have known what killed his 7 baby goats if it wasn’t for the fact that he just happened to catch it in the act while he SHOULD have been away. In my opinion, this is as back stabbing of a trusted animal as it gets. This is fox guarding the hen house. Without him having been there to observe it, how on earth would he know if the dog was a good livestock guardian dog or not? I’m not willing to lay nearly the kind of blame on the guy for his woes as you are. You can train a dog till you’re blue in the face, but if it does stuff behind your back, what then? I can sympathize with the guy, quite easily actually. I’m not talking about family dogs that you grow old and close with, but an element on a working homestead.

          “And frankly this is total nonsense Mike.” Its really not, you said you would kill a person if they killed an animal, but if an animal killed another animal when doing the role it was bred to do, you’d just pass the animal to somebody else. What happened to non-aggression? I brought up the vietnam and china thing because, hell they’re committing genocide right now it seems by these standards. So is Peru (another place I’ve been). Nearly every other place in the world does not put dogs nearly on the pedestal as we do.

          What about the millions of dogs that are murdered by animal shelters the country and world over? This is the dark secret of pet ownership that just nobody is even willing to look at. There are already, way, way too many dogs out there, especially that have no purpose other than additional companionship.

          It’s not silly to rebound your argument about killing a human being for killing (or culling based on one’s view point) an animal, especially out of some sort of vengeance for justice. Sorry, just when people start talking about violence against people, my ears perk up and I get a little sensitive about it.

          And so we’re clear, no I don’t hate dogs, no I haven’t killed a dog, and no do I plan on just offing a dog because it does something stupid. Unlike what my dad thinks, no I don’t “beat my dog” either. I have a fuzzy Scottish Terrier named Jazz who is 6 years old, and could easily fall into the category of “part of the family”. But when I get a LGD (which I will be doing), the dog will not be part of MY family or pack, he/she will be part of the livestock’s pack.

        • Keep in mind the meaning of words, what I said, “I would be highly tempted” I didn’t say I would do it. I am highly temped to do a lot of things, I was highly temped recently to pull a guy out of his car and beat the shit out of him. Instead I told him to have a nice day.

          I’ll also say this, if you continue with this view, “But when I get a LGD (which I will be doing), the dog will not be part of MY family or pack, he/she will be part of the livestock’s pack.” you are setting yourself up for both failure and misery. The dog may live with your stock, but it is you who MUST be the pack leader, the trainer, the one in charge. The dog must also see your family as part of his pack, anything else at best will yield poor results or more likely a tragedy.

          The purpose of an LGD is to defend with its life if necessary its “pack”. It is never to be “pack leader” it is a solider at the direction of its pack leader. If you don’t fully get that, don’t bring an animal that can crush the skull of a mountain lion onto your property around your family and your “pets”. Frankly I’d get out to see Nick and spend a day with him before you make this decision.

  21. Jack loved the show as always.

    I have tried a number of chicken breeds so far and nearly everyone has been a dual purpose bird.

    My two buff orps have been great layers. They are not a year yet and have great size as well. One negative is in an especially cold winter they had the tiniest bit of frost bite on their combs. They still lay no problem.

    I also got ten ten light brahmas. I got them for their laying ability plus size and that some of them can still get broody and you can stick a ton of eggs under them(so the plan goes).

    I found the brahmas to be just as good as buffs. A slight drawback on egg production compared to buffs but very slight. That counter balances their larger stature as a meat bird. These birds are big and they get big quick. The roo is over ten pounds and a gentle roo he is.

    One of the best dual purpose types that is a bit smaller has got to be the black australorps. They are tremendous all the way around though certainly not the size of orps or brahmas.

    These birds got to be even better foragers thanks in part to white leghorns and especially the wellsummers who thus far have been the greatest foraging breed I have yet seen. If only they laid a bit more. But they are about the size of leg horns and also flighty.

    I cannot wait to breed them all up and see what happens.

    I will trying a couple of different breeds this summer as well–jersey giant for one. I’ll let you know how they go.

    So far I have only had a single bird lost to predation as well. It was a good laying light brahma. These birds free range over three acres no problem. I can prove it as well.

    • Our first flock (2012) was all BAs. We only have one from that flock now (predation), but we loved them so much that we got a load more last spring. We also got 5 Barred Rocks (thinking we might eat them or keep them if we suffered predation.)

      One of last year’s BAs pullets turned out to be a ‘he’, and I don’t like him at all. He’s agressive with my kids, and my 6yo is downright terrified of him. All the girls are sweet though, and they lay amazingly. Even now in the early spring, we’re getting 13 eggs a day. (We have 14 girls — 4 BRs and 10 BAs.)

      We free-range our birds over our 3.5-acre place, but they maybe stick to an acre and a half of the space that’s avail. The rooster’s really great at protecting them, and that’s the only reason he’s still around.

      We had a BRUTAL winter in IN and many of the BAs ended up with frostbite. Our rooster actually lost part of his comb. I felt really bad because my kids weren’t observant enough to notice when it happened and I couldn’t see it, but it hasn’t phased them. They’re all still really great birds.

      We’re brooding 7 RIR pullets right now. And I think we’re going to take the plunge and get a few ducks. We’ll see how THAT one goes. 🙂

  22. I love the idea of the 9’x2′ tank. Have you thought of a windmill to move water from the tank to where it’s needed? I saw a YouTube video where a guy makes a vertical wind mill with two 55g barrels. He hooked it to an alternator, you could use an auto water pump instead.
    Just sayin, keep up the good work.

  23. 4 dollars for a dozen of pastured, non GMO, non Soy eggs? I’d buy those all day! On our local online famers market (Athens Locally Grown), those eggs would fetch 6-7 bucks a dozen and sell out fast.

    • Farm fresh egg prices are very regional. I get $5 per dozen on farm for Jumbo Duck eggs. My family in West Texas wouldn’t think of paying that for eggs. My familyu in upstate NY wouldn’t either. My wife’s family near NYC would pay almost $10. I know a lady in an affluent neighborhood about 30 miles from me that gets $7 a dozen at a farmers market. There is another VERY affluent neighborhood that has a store that gets $7 for a half dozen. I can sell in MA for $7, but I don’t bother. $5 is fair, and I make money. That’s how it should be in my opinion. The stores I sell to for $5 re-sell for $7.99. That’s fair as I see it, they have to make money too. I stopped selling to new on-farm customers recently to be fair to my stores. It’s also much more convenient to me to be able to just make deliveries one day a week, instead of trying to schedule pick-up times with 15 different people. Plus, I don’t like random strangers showing up for eggs when I am away and it’s just the wife home. Showing up at a small “boutique” style store, with a free dozen or two of QUALITY eggs, labled and marketed well will make life much easier. I usually offer an introductory price, and I am clear on that. I also guarantee sale for the first month, or I take the eggs back. I have never taken eggs back, and I haven’t had a store I approached say no yet either. It’s all in the pitch, and being as up front and honest as possible.

  24. Great show. Don’t think I heard the term “permaculture” more than two times.

  25. I would love a show on meal worms or at least a small segment of a show. I am going to be getting chickens (4) it is all we can have. I wanted ducks (my dd is allergic to chicken eggs but not duck) but they have not been addressed so they are not allowed. Maybe addressing that at the township will be my fall project but we just don’t have the time in the spring with seed starting, maple syrup, and kid stuff. Anyway, I have an Urban ‘farm’ (about 1/3 acre) without animals. Meal worms would be one way to feed my chickens in the winter with other things besides grain and commercial feed. We live where we have snow coverage 5-6 mos of the year.

    Also, and more importantly, I LOVE your podcast. I spent a lot of time whining about my small lot and how we were stuck where we were. But with your encouragement and great guests I have decided to ‘grow where we are planted’ and turn the small yard into a forest garden. Thanks and keep it up!