Episode-1565- Listener Feedback for 4-27-15 — 30 Comments

  1. If I buy land and have it paid off while other kids my age are still in college or just getting out and moving back in with their parents looking for a job to pay off $50k in debt (which is my plan), what the hell am I supposed to do with myself after that?

    Probably take some time to just chill after busting ass for years to buy it. Obviously wouldn’t want the land to be very remote because I’d want to be able to do things like get a job somewhere or have a business. I could just get a 40 hour work week job and save like all of the money. As long as you understand the malicious lifestyle design of the system and use it accordingly it is a pretty useful system to use .

    Problem is, if I skip college to save up the money to buy some land, that might limit my employment earnings potential and I might not be able to get the status of having shiny stuff and a good job and the consumerism which is apparently still ingrained deeply inside my psyche doesn’t like that.

  2. I feel a little spoiled after this show. LOL

    Great show, I love the ones where the segments come together seemingly randomly and in a way I wouldn’t have thought of before.

  3. Was stopping by and got the part about To tractor or to deep litter your chickens, what is gained, what is lost.

    I was showing Josiah Wallingford where my two deep litters and how I move them to make Rain victory Garden. It was just wild that we did that today and you where talking about it.

  4. Jack — so pleased that you brought up the glyphosate testing on this show. I’d gotten that email from the OCA last week, too, and immediately ordered the tests. I’m a small livestock and vegetable grower in the Roundup saturated state of Illinois, get sprayed constantly by my conventional farming neighbors and feel so impotent sometimes. Despite my own clean diet and growing practices, I’m sure my tests will come back showing lots of glyphosate. When I heard about this testing, I thought, well, at least someone is trying to do something here — I’ll support it. Would love for you to do a whole show on Roundup and spray drift. I write a newsletter and you’ve given me the idea to challenge my readers to all do this test, too. THANKS.

  5. Deep litter method. Been there done that NEVER EVER again. That was my take on it. Course I do every thing wrong several times before I get it correct. Deep litter? Oh yeah wrong. Not willing to even try again. How we did it wrong? Chickens are in a coop in the barn. They are free range. All was well and fine until the day we had to clean out the coop / stall. WHEW BABY beyond toxic. Problem the deep litter was not on the bare ground. We had stall mats down. In part to help keep ground rats out (didn’t work) In part to keep rain water run off from seeping into the bedding. (worked so so)

    There was no stink on a day to day basis. But all that first layer that was down several inches maybe even a foot rotted. Not composted. Formed a very hard mat to get out. Even with a pitch fork. Not the most sanitary for the bird either. Also food that gets lost in the deep bedding I feel brought in more rats.

    To do deep litter I think that you really need to have the ground / soil contact so worms can come up and help compost the bedding. IF I was to try it again I would only do so if I had movable housing. Meaning instead of cleaning it out I would rather move the house.

    Having deeper litter in the chicken yard only worked a bit better. Not by much. Even though there was ground/ soil contact. The area didn’t have a roof over it so rain turned it all into goopy mess. Added a roof over the area Works much better but very slow process to make compost.

    Chicken tractors don’t really work for us. 1 electric fencing sucks in our situation Way to much work to maintain. 2 ground is sloped and very uneven so predators can get in as well as chickens can get out. 3 moving the tractor way to time consuming.

    What works best for us Chickens again back in the barn. They sleep with the other animals and this gives them more protection. When having birds in a separate area lost more to predators. Besides I am tired of fighting them on where I want them to go vs where they want to go. They got their own way. So poop boards on the rails solved the problem of droppings on the other animals. They still have nesting area and a small feeding area. We now clean out the stalls and make huge piles that can be covered with a cattle panel and a tarp. This blocks some of the rain. We surround this area with pallets. 2 pallets are on hinges that works like an 8′ gate. When I clean out the stalls I pile every thing in there. The chickens LOVE it. They dig scratch eat. Makes compost very quickly and has cut down on feed. I’d say feed is mostly for a snack. They would rather roam and get their own food. Especially out of the big piles.

    I pile things up in that spot until I just can’t get any more on it. Every so often I throw in a very large branch. Give the chickens a place to sit and gets a bit of air in the pile. Then I make a new pile. That pile was not covered. Rain saturated it Not good. Stinky slimy mess. But has more bugs than the drier pile. I don’t turn my piles until I move them I do use a tractor. If I didn’t have the tractor with loader then most likely I would do this but on a much smaller scale with smaller piles. More like a bin set up with pallets.

    So now I am taking the wet goopy pile and putting a few scoops on the dry pile. Not sure how that will work but the birds come running for good eats every time I do it.

    Currently I don’t have a yard garden / kitchen garden. All the piles are getting put on the hugle beds and am using it to fill in the swales or level some of the ground out. Which means the chickens now spend a lot of time in these areas scratching and eating. Less time in the barn, shop, & yard pooping on every thing. Before I plant the areas I cover with just a bit of fresh soil. Then seed and mulch. So far the chickens prefer the old stuff and don’t bother the fresh planted areas.

    Keeping chickens / birds in a confined area on bare soil eventually that soil will become sour. It will need to be dug out set aside for a long time and replaced with new soil. So putting deep bedding down for that reason can prevent that. Long as it’s cleaned out. The confided chicken / bird runs that I do have. I put sand in there. Then I can scoop out like a cat box. In the bird / coop house I have shavings and am slowly switching to sand. The sand is easy to clean stays dry or at least dries out fast. It keeps their nails trimmed and gives them a dry spot to have a dust bath in. Some times the birds do have to be locked up. Easier to catch. Protection from sever weather. They become obnoxious and wont leave me alone so I can work.

    I also have hens that are pushing 3. They are still laying about every other day. They are the first to slow down with the dark days. The last to start up laying again. One of them is only laying about 1-2 eggs a week. That is fine with me. Those old hens teach the new little ones about life. They are quick to keep them in line if their mom wont. So they help teach the new moms how to be a mom. Some this fall will go to the freezer. If nothing else dog food. But I think Iggy will just live out her days. She was one of the first chicks hatched here. Has been a good mom. So we have a soft spot for her. ( all our chicks are hen hatched and raised) Same goes for the turkeys.

    Can’t wait till the apples are in then they will all but live in the apple tree. If I could start over I would do a wagon wheel design surrounding a stationary coop and yard. Attached to a bigger hub that can move animals all different directions with me just going to one spot. Hubby laughs at me because I say when I’m done I want to just push a button from the house and be able to open and close paddock runs as I need. I am to lazy? old? hobbled up? just don’t want to? to efficient minded? to spend my time moving fencing houses and running around to feed and water. I would rather have the animals move themselves and come back to me in one spot. One spot to clean all chores can be done in one spot. I tried the other and it just didn’t work well for us.

    just my story take what you will throw out the rest.

    • In the end we all find what works best for us. That said the deep litter here isn’t so much for the coop but for the run.

      This is a lot less of a chore! Since the litter contacts the ground you have a constant break down cycle going. If you do remove some for compost you don’t even need to try to remove it all, just lay more on top.

      This way it is outside, it goes wet in rain, dry in sun, dung beetles come, eat dung get eaten, etc.

      I agree on deep litter in a coop, works great until clean out day! Much easier to remove two bails of slightly nasty straw and replace them then to remove 6 months of straw, about 14 bails at that point of layered poop and rotted food.

      • Most absolutely only on soil never on hard surface in an enclosed or mostly enclosed space. Which would be contrary to what I read repeatedly in life BP before permaculture. Kinda had a bad feeling but so many swore by it.

        Course using those animals to improve soil if you can works so very well. Our yard grass has never been greener or thicker.

        Every thing is also changing from season to season. When animal numbers change it’s always back to the drawing board. 2 yrs ago we had animal explosion ended up with 107 critters running around. Mostly all free range in and out of the yard, since fencing and paddocks had not been installed. Critters multiplied faster than we could build.

        High numbers of a few species is not so bad. High number of different species good lord can make you crazy. We had 9 different species at one time. Won’t make that mistake again either. Oh yeah Queen of doing it wrong. Sucks sometimes to be a slow learner. LOL Good think I am stubborn and don’t give up or I would have thrown in the towel several years ago

    • “In part to help keep ground rats out (didn’t work) In part to keep rain water run off from seeping into the bedding. (worked so so) ”

      I built a coop a couple of years ago and it was on a spot that would get pretty wet during big rains. At first, I had to add bedding pretty frequently to keep it from getting mucky. But after a few months to a year, something happened and it never gets wet inside now. I recently added on to it and now I’m going through the same thing on that side – wet at first and then less and less.

      So, what happened was that the bottom layer became really compact to the point of being water resistant and I never shovel beyond that layer. There’s still worms, and beetles and everything (in fact they seem to love it) but no water. I still have to clean it out from time to time but it’s no where near as bad once the rain stops seeping up to the dry bedding.

      Just thought it was worth mentioning.

      • Excellant point Chad. Also I have found that compaction in soil can cause a real problem. Leaving the bottom layer to amend the soil. Well the worms and beetles do a fantastic job at aerating it or building drain holes. Saw that out in another out building. Not sure if that is what was happening with you?

        Ground rats on the other hand turn things into a canals. Those things are huge (the rats and the tunnels they build). Dang near lost our barn as they dug under the foundation so badly. At the surface didn’t really notice much. A hose was left on and a trough was over flowing. I was worried that the hay would get ruined, Then I saw all the water running down this huge hole. upon more inspection 6′ lengths of cement were crumbling.

        • I know what your talking about because I saw the same thing in our barn when I was growing up. We lived near open fields with tons of mice and rats and there was a massive layer of mice just under the surface and I would go out at night with a headlight and pop them with 22 birdshot.

          I have a small, very basic coop now and as far as I can tell, that’s not happening. I think because it’s an open coop, basically a frame with a roof and all wire sides, so maybe it’s a little too open for the mice. But I could be wrong, I haven’t dug down that far in a long time.

          I haven’t heard the podcast yet, so I don’t know the full context, but I plan on building a tractor or 2 at some point and trying that out. I can’t really compare yet since I haven’t done it. I still think a basic coop is very handy in a lot of ways though. Does a good job of keeping the predators out until I get home to let the chickens out.

  6. On the glyphosate testing: I’m one of the ones that doesn’t think conventional ag is as bad as Jack says (although I think permaculture sounds like a WAY better system). I live in the middle of a corn field basically and I would honestly be interested in seeing if my well (shallow well btw) gets contaminated. Maybe do a sample a few days after it rains after the field around me is sprayed. Right now I don’t have $120 to do the test, but I would agree it’s worth looking into.

    I think it would also be worth sending them a sample of distilled water or some other water source known to be clean as a kind of honesty check.

  7. We built small version of the woods house. Since plan A was to have the chickens close to the house. (haha another case of wrong) I love the design however the chickens did not like it very much. The turkeys liked it a bit better. So we added a bird run / yard Chickens and turkeys still didn’t like it as much as the barn. Used it to do rabbit colony. (wrong) Thinking I would turn it into a tool shed / green house/ processing room/ smoke house/ storage/ doggie grooming/ ER medical pen/ quarantine housing/ Guest house/ hubby dog house lol. Can’t let a building go unused and I really didn’t want to tear it down and move it. Well this spring the ducks have found it. They love it in there. Every night they put themselves to bed. Early morning they sit on the little deck and sun them selves. Then go out to forage. The chickens and turkeys will come to get a snack and lay the occasional egg. but it’s an in and out thing. The ducks don’t tolerated long term guests

    Now the pigs and sheep love this house but I say nope you can’t live here.

    First link is the book Second link is not mine but ours is very similar

  8. Tractor of Deep Litter? There is another method. Check this by the infamous RobBob on youtube:
    Amazingly simple.
    I wonder if you could do this with the whole floor of the coop in sections. The birds would fertilize their food as it grew and because they can’t pick it to the dirt would continue to grow if a perennial is used.

  9. I would be hesitant sending Organic Consumers Association ANY money’s after looking at their financials (link below). Their overhead (salaries) is >50% of the money they take in.

    I’m not saying they are doing anything illegal, but if u look at how they spend the nearly $3m taken in, I sure as heck wouldn’t send them money. They may claim a $99k salary for the chairman (not excessive), but there is also $883k in “other” salaries that isn’t earmarked for phone bank employees.

    • I never said to send them any money. That means you give them your money to do shit with as that being the only condition.

      As to the price of the test, show me where I can get one that is reliable for less and I will recommend it.

  10. The Invention of the Pencil:
    Very Interesting Jack. This brings me to the great essay by Leonard Read called I’ Pencil. This is a great libertarian work on how no one person know exactly how to make a pencil. And how such a simple device is really so complicated that only the free market could come up with it.

    I Pencil from

  11. @1:38 in the show this segment really hit home to me. It made me realize how grateful I am for my life and that I don’t have to do the 9-5.

    Starting in 2000 I went out and started a business, now after 15 years I have the time freedom this gentleman talks about. During that time we’ve also tried reducing the things in our life that suck our time and fortunes away. We don’t watch TV, we don’t go out to eat much, We don’t buy worthless crap etc. Our lives are more fulfilled, we are working on our dream farmstead and enjoying life.

    BTW, I’m 45, while I still work I do it because I truly enjoy helping others, I want everyone to experience the life without 9-5.

    I’m going to share this part of the show with everyone I know, maybe it will help wake them up.

    Thanks Jack for everything you do!

  12. The more I hear about how I’m a slave, the more pissed, sad and inspired I get. My old belief was “Well, ya gotta make a living. Even though you may not LIKE your job, it’s better than hunting and gathering, right?” My beliefs are changing rapidly.

  13. 40 hour work week:

    I think that the whole 40 hour work week culture is what has also made the “t-cup/China plate” children. After working all day, gathering up the kids and finally getting home to mow and make dinner there is hardly time to make for them. Leading to guilt when I am strict or try to teach them resilience. There is less time to teach and when I am doing something that could be a learning exsperiance there isn’t time to slow the process when they are included (it’s also the reason as a carpenter it’s hard to train someone because the margines are so thin).

  14. Thanks for dragging up the Dr’s Nutrition interviews. I hadn’t heard them before. I have a feeling we will be contacting them.

  15. 40 hour work week. Primarily about why we stay and what is said about my peers that don’t rock the boat toward the end. It’s referred to as the Million Dollar Muzzel (specifically Army). In the military, there is currently an all-or-nothing approach toward retirement. An IRA is being discussed, but that will not address the 20+ years of damage and knowledge displacement that a Soldier’s body has undergone and cover him until he is able to draw that money out to support himself and his family.

    If you do 20+ years, you get it. If not, then you don’t. There are some minor benefits for any length of Service. Although the actually number varies greatly based on rank and years completed, a million dollars got the attention of the servicemembers. Unlike most professions, the largest groups (Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery) in the Army do not leave the Service with easily transferable skills without a lot of personal effort that is difficult to do in a combat zone and nearly impossible the last 15 years. The fear to rock the boat, point out a corrupt leader, or just flat out say no to a demand (not the same as an order that must be ethical, moral, and legal) can result in a proficiency report that results in failing to be promoted. The end result is not reaching retirement and having spent 15-18 years in a job learning a skill that does nothing to find another occupation that will support a family without starting completely over as if I had just left high school or college – with an education credential that is outdated for the current work environment.

  16. Jack, the last segment you did on the 40-hour work week was completely spot-on. I have to say it resonated with me a bit more than I would like. I think this may have something to do with the fact that I already spend a good portion of my spare time engaged in productive activities (gardening, starting chicks this year, doing free permaculture designs for friends in hopes of launching it as a business after I complete Geoff’s PDC in a month). But then I’m also commonly hit by my wife frequently wanting to do “fun” things in our time off instead of just staying around home. Just like you said numerous times, what are you going to do when your wife asks, you, “Why do you have to WORK all the time?”

    Regarding the part about the woman from the movie “The Corporation” who developed the nag factor: an important thing from that segment that wasn’t mentioned in the excellent piece you read was that she was asked if she felt any remorse over manipulating children for economic gain. She laughed and said she felt none at all — that she delivered a valuable service to her clients. Pure sociopathy, and the worst thing is that that kind of behavior is actually rewarded by the system we currently find ourselves in.

    The idea that the solution to many of our problems is the crashing of the consumer-based economy is not really that new. Here’s a link to a piece from John Michael Greer from 2008. The title of the piece was “Rx: Depression.” Well worth the read.

    Thanks again for another great show.

  17. Stafdtler HB 2. I have about two hundred of them. I prefer a pencil over a pen. Since I can’t seem to find my nice 1970’s era Medium Point Bic pens anymore…
    I hate all this gel pen crap..

    /end rant

  18. As a software developer, pattern recognition is an area I am familiar with..

  19. Laughing about the Louisiana law quoted. Never heard of it, and I’m sure nobody I know has heard of it.

    So much more context is necessary in the REAL world and yet people in far away places from where something is “happening” there is never any real understanding of how things work there. Nobody here follows random arbitrary bullshit laws. Period.

  20. On topics for Dr. Steven & Janet Lewis, I’d be curious to hear about their take on kidney stones. Considering something that can put you in the ER by surprise, and require follow up x-rays and an incredibly expensive lithotripsy procedure that, all said and done, can wreak havoc on ones finances; might be worth preparing or rather protecting oneself from.

  21. When you read the article about the 40 hour work week I felt like a train hit me! It was like I understood something that has bothered me for years.. I’m already working toward my freedom (6 months away from paying off 60k in student loans and starting a compost tea spraying business on the side) but it still bothered me .. why 40 employee is productive for 40 hours… It’s to keep us busy and miserable! Which I must say works quite well. Thank you so much for sharing