Episode-559- TSP Listener Feedback 10-29-10 — 15 Comments

  1. I like the Kool-aid shelving you shared.. I picked up wire metal shelves from Dollar General that were heading for a dumpster when they were changing things up. They are much more heavy-duty than anything you can buy from home improvement stores. I also bought some GREAT kitchen food shelves from a hospital that had built a new facility and had no use for their old stuff. I have my eye on a shelf that a local Exxon sat out this week after they received new wine racks. It is made of plywood and would work perfectly in my barn for storage of heavy items that would normally cause a “sway” in normal shelves.

    Thanks for answering my question today! I just went through a course on snake identification with my son’s 5th grade class. I wouldn’t advocate shooting snakes either.. When I found this neat little gun made in TEXAS, it, of course, had instant appeal. I see your point, though. I think I’d rather have something with more than 2 shots and something that affords me a bit of distance between me and an assailant. Thanks for taking a look at it for me.

    RE: vaccinations- I’m not a big fan of vaccines. While I do not boycott all vaccinations, I have opted my kids out of ones that I found nonsensical such as the varicella (chicken pox)shot boosters and some of the additional booster shots that have recently been added to the school vaccination list. When my children were babies, I did what I thought I was supposed to do– had my kids vaccinated to the fullest extent, but as I have learned more about the subject, I now steer clear of anything that might cause more problems from side effects than the disease itself would cause. It requires special forms in the State of Texas, and must be renewed every 2 years, but it’s worth it in my opinion. In answer to your question– If government began to mandate vaccinations, well.. I guess they’d have to FIND me, then CATCH me before they could vaccinate me. I’m sure they’d realize they had better things to do with their time than chase a crazy woman around trying to give her a shot. 🙂

    OUCH. When I was a child, I burned my hand on my grandparent’s cast iron wood stove. I still have the scars on my fingers and feel a pain sensation whenever I first introduce hot water to it. It’s really weird. My parents did all the WRONG things and I never got medical treatment. Great advice with aloe for relief. Thanks for sharing the info for burn healing with herbs.

    Love to hear stories of folks following their passion and seeing the value in a job they love vs. more money.

  2. RE: Unattended Livestock

    Consider putting in a fish pond. That can be left unattended for long periods, and is largely self sustaining. The fish will give you a meat source on the land. Assuming you don’t have a property with a pond already, digging one is easy, and you can shape it for heat retention in cold areas, ease of harvesting with nets, etc. Unlike a natural pond, you have the opportunity to engineer it for optimal production. It also improves the habitat for birds and other wildlife, which is another valuable food source. The pond is also a viable water source for humans, so it’s good to have anyway.

    With chickens and rabbits, you’ll have issues (like Jack said) with predators. Both can be managed on a few acres, but you’ll need to really plan out the habitat. That means heavy tree cover to shield them from birds of prey. In the case of chickens, when left wild, you want 30-40% of your birds to be roosters. They will alert the hens to danger and fight off things like raccoons and foxes. This leads to heavy casualties among roosters, so you’ll want a healthy stock of them. The best defense for rabbits is their breeding rate. Make sure they have a balanced diet of forage plants and adequate brush cover. This will make them a lot harder to round up for harvest, you’ll need to trap them, so leave areas in your landscape for convenient snaring. The places rabbits like to make their trails aren’t always easy for people to get to, but with a little planning in your paths and plantings you can increase the effectiveness of your trapping.

    Goats are a bad idea if unattended. They will escape. Unless you plan on barricading them in with a 10′ stone wall and a moat, there’s just no fence that they won’t get under, over, or through eventually. You won’t get milk (same for cows too) since they go dry when not milked regularly, and their offspring will only suckle for so long. The meat is the primary product, and it gets pretty tough unless they have a high fat, high protein diet. That’s hard to maintain without supplemental feed, especially in the winter months.

    Cows. This is probably a bad idea. Like Jack mentioned, you need a lot of acreage to support them. In addition, the cattle breeds we’re most familiar with exist nowhere in nature. They are a completely man-made creation after hundreds of years of selective breeding. That leaves them with little in the way of survival instinct. Even ranchers with tens of thousands of acres still keep a close eye on them, either with their physical presence in the pasture, or via electronic tracking and regular fly-overs. There are some of the heritage breeds (the long haired Scottish breeds for example) that are more rugged, keep a smaller range, and can live on less feed. You might get away with one of them on 20 acres, but they tend to be social animals, and without breeding, you only get one harvest.

    Pheasant, Grouse, Quail, Turkey, and Dove. These don’t even need to be fenced in (unless you have neighbors). You’ll need a lot of forage and cover, but they are more rugged than chickens. Again, you’ll be hunting for them, not just taking them from a cage, but it’s doable. Predation is a concern, but with ample stock initially, you should be okay. Hunters may also be a problem, even if the land is posted. You might try one of these birds and see how it goes. It all depends on your land, the climate, neighbors, food sources etc, so no guarantees, but spending $50 on 2 dozen turkeys may be worth a try.

    Pigs. Absolutely not. They can live in the wild, and aren’t the escape artists that goats are, but they do get out on occasion. They destroy the land and need a huge range in the wild since they quickly exhaust the food sources in any area. Pigs don’t stay on the farm because of the fence, they stay because they get fed 3 times a day. Without that, they’ll disappear and you might get into some trouble for letting them escape.

    One major concern is the law in the area you have your land. Check with local municipal and agricultural codes, the forestry department, and state law. Introducing any animal to land with the intention of turning it wild has ramifications, even if you do put up a fence.

    • Bring in Fish
    • Build a habitat for wildlife you can hunt
    • Check with local laws

  3. I have long and extensive experience with stock keeping. I agree that its a terrible idea with most livestock. The stocking density would have to be VERY low. Fences VERY secure. Natural water, and climate enabling year round grazing. The Cattle would become very spooky and hard to handle. Sheep would all die as would goats if there are dogs or coyotes about. ILW above is right about pigs. It would be cheaper to hire a local person part time for daily tending than build such a facility. Maybe the best solution is to make local friend and hire him to go out and tend the stock (maybe share the meat?) Other absentee landowners do this.

    BTW There used to be wild chickens on Chestnut Ridge in Southwestern Pa. They were all game stock let loose by coal miners who got religion and quit cockfighting. They were stringy and lean. I would rather eat pheasant or squirrel any day.

    ILW is right, The fish pond idea above and habitat improvement are the best bet. Another option might be Buffalo, that refuse shelter, but stocking density and fencing difficulties would still apply.

  4. Regarding burn question: check out a product called Water Jel Burn jel. It is basically aloe with lidocaine (pain killer) and tea tree oil for antibacterial. It is available in small single use 1/8 oz packets and larger burn dressings treated with the same solution.

    Used it many times. Great product. We keep the little 1/8 oz packets in the kitchen, bug out bags, each vehicle, etc. Used it just last week before Thanksgiving. Highly suggested.

  5. Agreed on the Burn Jel. It’s a fantastic product. The nice bonus: it doesn’t have to be “cleaned” from the burn wound if you must head to the hospital. Trust me, you’d prefer to avoid that if you possibly can 🙂

  6. What’s my line in the sand? I have already taken a stand on companies that discriminate if you have tattoos. I have 3/4 sleeves, work in health care and there are many companies that have policies against showing your tattoos (none of my tattoos are offensive). I have passed on job offers because of their policies and told them to their face why I won’t take the job. There has also been companies that have given me a pass on the rule so I would come work for them. This country has become more open with some things but closed on others. Anything that pushes against my morals I will push back against, my body is my own and I will defend it to my death.

  7. Speaking as a person who burnt his hands on a franklin stove as a child.. there is good news

    your child won’t be touching that hot stove again, so you won’t have to worry about that anymore

  8. Hey Jack,

    Thank you for taking replying to my email about taking a planned pay cut. Taking that extra money and putting it into a separate account, and living off of what I think I might be forced to live with is an excellent idea. I’m going to start working the math and making that change.

    As far as the flying goes. The reason why the job market for pilots is expected to rally within five years has less to do with economic reasons and more to do with mandatory retirement. Mandatory retirement for a commercial pilot is 65. Many of the airlines have as much as 3/4 of their pilots over 55 years of age. As of right now, there are not enough pilots to fill their place as they leave. This includes pilots in the military, pilots working jobs not in the airlines, and students in training. Last statistic I read, 9/10 students drop out of flight training. The few that continue are not all on a path for professional flying.

    The rally has already started showing signs of beginning. A few legacy carriers are hiring pilots, and airlines ordering new planes. Most of the rally is taking place in Asia right now.

    Thank you again for responding to my email.

  9. @Derek

    Thank you for teaching me that little internal dynamic. I am positive it will improve my analysis of some things that appear to be unrelated. Really cool to know, kind of the baby boomer effect on Airline pilots, I wonder where else that will rear its head.


    There have been several studies showing the beneficial of topical honey for wound care, and specifically, burns. Topical honey appears to work as good or better than topic antibiotics or silvadene cream.

    For second degree burns on places like the hands, face, genitals, or second degree burns that go around an extremity or are larger than the palm of a hand should really be looked at by a physician. Some second degree burns can progress to third degree.

  11. Jack,
    Very good question. What is your limit. Let me just say I’m not NWO FEMA Camp believer, but it will be a cold day in hell before I submit to government mandatory vaccines. I don’t have polite language to elaborate on how I feel about that.
    Frankly I am increasingly of the opinion that now is the time for a slow, graduated bug out. This TSA thing is just out of control, and its just one of the more obvious signs of what I see as our government rapidly turning totalitarian fascist, and worse, the peoples eager compliance.

    I am contented to keep a “toe in the pool” of what we call civilization, but the less the better IMO. The “climate” out there looks like were rapidly headed toward being the bad guys in WW3.
    Who would have thought that we would be selling 60 billion in arms to Saudi, the country that provides the main funding for Al Qaeda, all while blaming terrorism on Iran?

    In short, they crossed the line with me a long time ago. The less I can participate the better.

  12. Livestock.
    I live out far enough that a lot of people do what this guy is suggesting.
    Goats; Baaaad idea. Goats live for one purpose only; to break out of whatever you put them in. I’ve had goats on rotational grazing. A friend of mine once said,and I’ve come to agree. “The optimal number of goats is zero” Also they can be killed by cougars. I’ve heard a llama will protect them from this, but I wouldnt bet on it.

    Cows; My wife works in range management. It depends on what your browse quality is like. (redwood forest or plains?) But I would say that your estimate of 1 cow an acre is off by about a factor of 10. One cow for 10 acres is pushing it, hard. Horses even more so. Also grass is generally thought of as seasonal, in a lot of places, so you have to import food = $$$

    I would advise; Whatever you do, do your homework to find out the real carrying capacity of your land, especially if you leave animals unattended. This is because they will break out when browse starts to deteriorate. (the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence.) And, yes. Cows can jump a fence.

  13. Jack,
    Build or buy a small solar back up system? Build!

    I believe in the podcast you talked about putting some links in the show notes about building a solar backup system. where can I find them?

  14. @shannon moore,

    Actually I said that one cow to an acre sounds like a lot but it isn’t close to being enough. That you could do that density but only if you were on premise and did a lot of supplemental feeding and water, and that it would still be very hard on the land.

    @greg, here is a good video series on it.