Episode-976- Listener Calls for 9-7-12 — 21 Comments

  1. Just a quick thought, if you want to know if you can harvest an animal, maybe you shouldn’t buy an animal. Maybe you should find a mentor and give them a hand. Lots of things can go wrong. That first time won’t go as expected. Far better if you can learn from an experienced teacher in a hands-on environment.

    Chickens in cones let loose their bowels just before they start kicking, flinging the mess out of the cone. You cut the neck, the bird bleeds then kicks. You shoot the pig then cut the neck before it starts to kick. There is blood. There is mess and smell. It is not pleasant…even beyond just the action of killing the animal. Far better if you have a teacher/mentor. Youtube will show you how but it won’t root for you.

    I have processed a lot of chickens for other people but there is something …different? about processing chickens that I raised. It’s as if I earn the right to take that animal’s life by investing my own life a little at a time over several months. I don’t know if that makes sense.

    • HFS,
      Can you clarify your comment re: killing chickens in cones and the bowels? I have butchered a friends chickens before, and he killed them using the wood block and machete/axe technique. I could do it, but to me it just seemed to introduce a lot of human error and potentially uncessary suffering from a less than clean strike. I though the cones would be a more sure and humane method, but I don’t want poop shooting up in the air and all over the bird. Should I not use a cone, and if I do, what is the best sequence of events?


      • Let me weigh in, when I was a kid and had to take out one or two, I would just hold them upside down for a bit by their feet, it calms them and sends a lot of blood to their head. I would then cut both sides of the neck with a very sharp knife, they wouldn’t even react until they were almost totally bled out. Many times they would release their bowels. I would just hold them and hose them off before scalding, plucking, etc. Of course this was the one off killing method of birds that were mostly for eggs.

        Working with a meat flock you can minimize things a lot by simply not feeding them for say 12 hours minimum before slaughter. The best time is just before first light, get it done early. If you stop them from feeding say at noon the day before they will be MOSTLY but not fully empty. I think a lot of it has to do with the breed of bird, I have never done the hybrid meat birds but to me they are not natural and I won’t do it, ever.

        In NH at Ben Falk’s event we slaughtered some Kosher Kings. He brought a guy in to do it that does it for a living, that guy slaughters hybrids 99.9% of the time and said at some point, “these birds are not bred to be killed”. He was blown away by how healthy the heart and liver were. I think if you raise natural birds, Kings, Orpingtons, etc. a lot of the overall nastiness and stink is minimized. When I have seen hybrids opened up even pastured ones they have congestive heart failure. I really have to question a process that gives an animal congestive heart failure at 38 days of age.

        I think raising real chickens vs. frankenchickens and accepting 90 days or so to grow a flock as reasonable helps with a lot of issues including some at slaughter. I don’t fault people that raise the rock cornish crosses, I just personally won’t do it.

        • CX or not, you won’t keep the lights on raising birds for 90 days. Even the Label Rouge only requires 81 days. You can only put the tractor on the same stretch of ground once each year so keeping birds for an extra 2-3 weeks dramatically increases your land needs. Finally, if you’re in business, you have to sell something the market demands. There just isn’t much of a market for razor-breasted layer-breed cockerels.

          The good news is that Darby raised S&G Heritage Whites to market weight in under 60 days.

          CX, Heritage White, FRs, KKs, Orps or whatever it all comes down to the skill of the person raising the birds and the quality of the forage made available to the birds. I raise CX and I am proud of the health of our birds at butcher time. Livers are bright and solid, gizzards are well developed and hearts are strong. Not so with many of the birds I butcher for others, even non CX birds. There is a lot of skill involved.

      • Cones are the way to go. Absolutely. Chicken goes head first into an inverted cone…like a parking cone. Head sticks out the bottom, you slice each side from the ear to in front of the windpipe (but don’t sever the windpipe!). Cut deep enough that your hand is quickly covered in blood but don’t cut the spine. By keeping the nervous system intact the heart continues pumping and you end up with a very clean bird. The bird dies in seconds then thrashes in the cone for a few more seconds. The cone hugs the bird and prevents it from breaking its wings as it flops.

        As Jack says below, take away the feed the night before, pack the birds up before the sun rises and 90% of the birds will be empty. Don’t worry about mess getting on the birds, you’ll wash them in hot, soapy scald water in the next step. The real help from taking away the feed is when removing the crop. But if you’re killing somebody else’s birds, be aware that they may not have known about taking away the feed and …right in the punim.

        • They really do thrash around for a few seconds. I remember my first few kills I had to do. Some were good, some were sloppy. Having never done it before some went really well. There was one where I did nick the windpipe. He didn’t last long but I felt pretty bad about it. Having no one to teach me in person all I had was youtube. In the end it was the best chicken I have ever eaten.

  2. Jack, what do you think of these .

    Fund NYSE

    ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares SGOL
    ETFS Physical Asian Gold Shares AGOL
    ETFS Physical Platinum Shares PPLT
    ETFS Physical Palladium Shares PALL
    ETFS Physical Precious Metals Basket Shares GLTR
    ETFS Physical White Metals Basket Share WITE

  3. Hi, I have a quick follow up question about the 90% silver in regards to the circulated and uncirculated. My only concern with uncirculated is spending it in a collapse. During a collapse, if you want to trade it to Mr Smith and Mr Smith had his head buried in the sand before everything went down, what is the chance he would think the uncirculated coin was a fake? I would assume many people would say something like “It’s from 1963 but in perfect condition? Nice try” and not take the month. With a coin that actually looks like it’s from the time, people would be more likely to accept it.

    True or false?


  4. Ben,
    You are overthinking this. K.I.S.S. Get the most amount of silver/gold/copper you can for the best price you can. Trust in human nature… only the saints weren’t atleast a little greedy.

  5. Jack,
    A couple more to check out:
    Sprott Physical Silver Trust ET (PSLV)
    Central Fund of Canada Limited (CEF)

  6. Seed Saving:

    A few things I have observed saving my own hot pepper seeds and others

    1) My Turkish Cayenne germination this year from 2007 saved seed was less than 13%. So I restarted 2008 seed and it was a tad better, and of course 2011 seed was almost 100%

    2) I have a bar fridge that is used to save seed. I put them in paper envelopes and then in a mylar bag.

    3) The larger the seed, generally, the longer it remains viable. My onion seed rarely makes it past 2 years.

    My 2c

  7. Hi jack, a quick comment on the angry landlord coming to steel my rental property: Don’t know if you guys in the US of A have something similar, but here in Holland the government started building a lot of rentals after world war 2, known here as ‘social rentals’. Families with a certain max anual income can get such a rental. In the town I live in, about 50% of all houses are this kind of rental, owned by one or two semi-government companies. When the s*** hits the fan, and i can’t pay my rent anymore, so can’t everybody else. Don’t think the semi-government is gonna throw half of all people in Holland out of their houses

  8. Great show, Jack. Caution x2 on heavily used coins. A roll of smooth-faced dimes with no score marks can be like an inch shorter than a legit roll. Vintage Mercury dimes anyone?

    It’s hard to justify selling gold when they’re just about to launch QE3, money printing with no set limit. Might gold double in price as in the next couple years? I dunno, but I’d rather use half my gold (or less) to pay off the mortgage unless some urgent matter comes up.

    I’m not a big investor but PSLV has done quite well for me recently. Sprott stores physical silver, and you can walk out of a building in Toronto with some if you’d like a withdrawal. I’ve also liked owning mining stocks AUY and CDE – their assets go up and down with spot prices, not bad, however I think the cost of extraction and refining could be a wicked wildcard at some point.

    Another thought for the young lady who called in: the revolution is you! Just think if a young TSP listener somewhere began their own podcast about youth preparedness. Jack just laid the foundation.

    • @Norcal Mike
      Yes, newer coins yield more weight.
      My actual comparison of smooth mercs vs. nice shape roosevelts.
      Each coin weighed. Two rolls each as sample.
      Mercs lose by average 1.68% by weight per roll of 50.
      $5×0.715=3.575 ozt.
      $119.834×1.68%=$2.0132112 per roll loss, comparitavely.
      An inch? Really? On a ~2.5 inch roll?

      • Ok, maybe not an inch, the roll is just noticeably shorter. I do not have a scale but I will sell you 50 mercs for the coinflation melt value for 50 merc dimes, and I’ll pay the shipping. Just PM me on the forum if you’re interested.

  9. Re. Earthships, I visited a community in northern New Mexico that had several earthships. I was amazed at the integrative design elements of them but realized that their thermal efficiency is best suited for that dry high desert climate given that they use thermal mass to average out the daily temp. swings and enough glazing to capture sufficient heat during the winter. They work just like traditional adobe with extra glazing. Any place with cold cloudy winters like mine need more insulation than thermal mass. I did try pounding soil into a tire (once!) and actually drew up plans for a tractor mounted tire compactor but moved on to more climate appropriate building methods. I ended up building our house from a combination of Rastra (Google it) and double stick framed walls. The Rastra walls are 10 in. thick and the double stick framed walls are 2×4 walls with 14 in separation. The wall cavity is stuffed with loose straw and cellulose insulation. I found this combo to work very well. I insulate from the inside once the outer sheathing is on. I start with one course of 5/8 sheetrock laid horizontally, blow cellulose into cavity while shaking loose straw from a bale on sawhorses into the mix, and compact by hand as I go. When the top sheet is on, I continue into the attic space. My trusses have a 20in. heel so the insulation wraps continuously from wall to attic without a thermal break. I’m now building a pole building that will be insulated the same way. It only costs a little more to build two 2×4 walls rather than one 2×6 wall and you can adjust the separation distance for whatever R value you want. Another benefit to using a double wall like this is the ability to use a combination of cheap, free, salvaged, dumpster-dived, insulation materials like styrofoam packing peanuts (R 3.5), pieces of bubble wrap, sawdust (like icehouses), etc.. I will be using all this stuff on my shop building and adding the blow in cellulose to fill any voids and add it’s anti-fungal, anti-insect,and flame retardant qualities to the mix.

  10. Hey Jack,

    Any palette building sites that you know of as reference, off the top of your head, you can pass along? My wife is into strawbale and bamboo building (natural building as a whole), and has thought about the palette thing for a while.

    Thanks for the good thoughts, as always!