Author Topic: Goats, cows and other domestic animals  (Read 4403 times)

Yowbarb

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Goats, cows and other domestic animals
« on: August 06, 2013, 07:52:23 AM »
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Using Herbs to Maintain a Healthy Goat Herd from GNOWFGLINS.

http://gnowfglins.com/2013/07/22/how-i-use-herbs-to-maintain-a-healthy-goat-herd/#

SocratesR

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animals for a new beginning
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 12:50:32 PM »
'City slickers' usually have uninformed ideas about what animals to keep. They think: cow, horse, pig, and goat. Goat would be the only good choice in that list for a homestead (unless it was a very large one). Smaller breeds and species mean less food requirements. Actually, larger animals are typically part of large communities. But that's obviously not your concern for the first 100 years after TSHTF, if it indeed ever becomes one.
For many reasons, here's a list of animals that's much more appropriate for prepping planning:

- Muscovy ducks
- large type rabbit: Flemish Giant
- small type pig
- small type sheep: Ouessant
- all-round dog: Rhodesian Ridgeback
- bees

There are breeds of animals that are appropriate, while others are not. A chihuahua, for instance, makes the best WATCH dog in the world, whereas it's quite useless as GUARDIAN dog. Since Rhodesian Ridgebacks used to be used for hunting lions [...], you can see how it can matter what breed you take.

There are also very calm bees, like the Italian Carniolan.

A large rabbit can't be whisked away by just any fox. It also can't leap 2 meters into the air to escape your fences.

steedy

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Re: Goats, cows and other domestic animals
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 04:34:39 PM »
I'm sure chickens would be appropriate for a small scale homestead.  I've thought of goats, but I'd first like to try goat milk and goat cheese before I commit to them.

SocratesR

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fowl
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2014, 05:48:32 AM »
ah, the infamous chicken...  ::)
I think chickens can be amazing and that they can also be part of the problem.
There are small breeds and that offers better opportunities, especially for small operations. On the other hand, nothing wrong with quail.
Guinea fowl are also amazing and they are renowned for clearing an area of any ticks there.
Now muscovy ducks also clear away pests, like spiders, but they're obviously not much for eating away seeds, like chickens are known for.

I think the issue with fowl is that there are roles to play on a homestead and there are various choices to make. Say you don't have pigs, then you definitely are going to need muscovy ducks. They do a lot of digging with their strong beaks and large talons. So then you'd have less need for the guinea fowl and also already be getting 200 large good quality eggs per year/hen, so also less need for turkeys or chickens. On the other hand, if you chose to have pigs [permaculture master Stef Holzer says they are the hardest workers on his farm], you'll be wanting to have something that lays eggs, like chickens, which you might wanna keep together with guinea fowl and/or turkeys.

I guess i forego mentioning chickens for a number of reasons:
- like pigs, cows, horses,, they are too commonly associated with homesteading when they are more suited to large scale commercial farming
- it's a much more complicated issue than, say, choosing a grass-eating animal
- too many people falsely assume: "Chicken... eggs; check!", while many fowl with other qualities also lay eggs.

Don't get me wrong; i don't hate chickens. In fact, i find them adorable. Also, there are many permaculturists raving about how valuable they are for digging up a piece of ground one is planning to use for vegetables, eating away undesirable seeds as they go along.
There's just a lot more to fowl than chickens.

SocratesR

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not commonly known roles animals play on the farm
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2014, 06:15:22 AM »
Donkeys (and mules) make great guard animals. It's good to have them with sheep or goats since they will actively attack predators that come knocking. I have a link on my own board (http://b2012overleven.runboard.com/f17) to a video of a donkey killing a mountain lion (who was out to kill the dogs). Awesome!
Llamas do similar work. (Horses just run away.)

Guinea fowl and geese are known to make good watch animals. That is, of course, good and bad news, since that also means that they can make a lot of noise at night, like if a rat walks by...

After years of consideration, i think the Rhodesian Ridgeback makes the best overall dog. It will not bark lightly and can deal intelligently with dangerous situations, taking both care not to get hurt itself as well as being extremely hardy and loyal. If there were many families or a large estate, one might also consider Chihuahuas as watch dogs, or some kind of blood hound for sniff work (since the Ridgeback is a sight hound).

Pigs work up the ground like machinery. Leave them to a plot of land for a day and they'll do a lot of good work for you.
Obviously pigs are also good for keeping an area clean, like when too much fruit is falling down for you to deal with (and since trees tend to drop all their fruit at once, this can be invaluable for keep stench and disease at bay).

Rabbits do NOT eat that much grass. They are great for producing both meat and manure. They are nocturnal and should be kept out of the sun.

Goats are great at clearing away bush and small trees. Again, good and bad news. Particularly the goats of other people can be a disaster for this reason. I'm working on a list of plants and bushes that goats don't/can't eat and keep them at bay. Goat milk and cheese is low on fat. In my opinion it tastes great.
Goats are AMAZING climbers and jumpers! They will easily and quickly cover ground you might think impassable. This is good and bad news as well, as it means they can find food anywhere but they are also very hard to fence in.


Jimfarmer

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Re: Goats, cows and other domestic animals
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2014, 01:15:18 PM »
Long article with table of plants vs animals at http://www.survivopedia.com/  titled "50 Toxic Plants: The Silent Slayers Hiding on the Farm".

SocratesR

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more animal ideas
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2014, 09:51:20 AM »
In another article of mine, What i learned from my 5 month trial run, i wrote:
5: other people's animals are a disaster; i built makeshift dams and rerouted water, only to return later to find the dam destroyed. What had happened? The goats that occasionally visited my paradise valley were nubians and quite heavy; the herd of around 20 goats destroyed my work by walking over it and they ate everything i'd planted and nurtured. I hadn't even ever seen a goat there so i thought i was okay! In retrospect, even if that herd only came by once a year, they would destroy everything in minutes. It's not just animals outside, though; it's other people's dogs and roosters that irritated me most. I don't get why anyone would disturb their own peace by having an animal that makes so much noise at night, but apparently almost all of them just don't give a damn if their animals disturb other people every single night either. To me it's just crazy. It's also very common.
6: animals do amazing things: i herded a goat into a corner, i thought, and saw it jump up a 3m steep incline in seconds! I once saw a rabbit on the road that got spooked by my car lights and it shot straight up, jumping at least 2 meters ballistically! I saw goats easily walk along footholds in seconds that took me minutes to traverse. It takes a whole lot to fence animals in or out.
This reminded me of other things about animals i learned in recent years, like:
- not all roosters make noise at ungodly hours. Some breeds make little to no sound and individual roosters can be very different. Have a rooster that starts crowing every morning at 03:00? Chop his head off and give another one a try!
- certain breeds of guardian dogs don't bark much, like the Komondor and the Rhodesian Ridgeback. These are the kind of dogs that have either been bred to deal with problems on their own or are smart enough to realize that barking is useless in most cases. I made a whole list of good dogs that don't bark too much: http://b2012overleven.runboard.com/t620
- I would like to take 3 breeds of rabbit with me; rex and angora for their fur and the Flemish Giant for it's size and temperament.

RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK
It took long consideration and research but i finally believe i found the perfect dog! I saw people in the neighborhood walking around with a good-sized dog and one day i asked a nice looking person what breed her dog was. When i came home and looked it up i instantly fell in love with the breed!
The Ridgeback is a kind of renaissance dog or jack of all trades master of none; it's fast, smart, agile, big, and deals with heat and cold well. The point is that though there are faster, bigger, etc. dogs, the Ridgeback is all of these things at once. It's all-round and very good at it.
- Speed; it's one of the fastest dogs around; it's also famous for being able to run all day, keeping up with horses for 30km at a stretch.
- Intelligence; Ridgebacks are so smart that they often confound regular notions of canine intelligence and training. For instance, they won't blindly follow fake prey in contests but will actually take shortcuts; in training for attacking humans, they'll avoid the padding the trainer's wearing since, hey, that ain't gonna hurt...  ;D
- Climate; they can stand both cold and heat
- They are known for being able to take care of and save themselves as well as being loyal. They're also known for being extremely hardy, recovering from injury and not getting sick.
The Ridgeback is extremely energetic and not the kind of dog to keep stuck in a back yard [but then what kind of dog owner does that?]. As puppies they can wear other puppies down! As adults that do need a daily stretch of the legs but they also enjoy lazing around for hours at a time and they love company.
One of the most amazing things about the Ridgeback is how it stays focused and doesn't get distracted by strangers. I met one in the neighborhood and talked to the person walking her and all the while it just stood there and never looked at me once! I never saw a dog do that before in my life.
Ridgebacks are loyal to you and don't care about strangers. You don't have to worry about them walking off with others or taking food from people who'd like to poison them [thinking about extreme situations].
On top of all of this they don't smell and are easy to groom.
 
The Rhodesian Ridgeback was once used for hunting lion, packs of them chasing them into a corner until the hunter arrived. They are fearless, smart, agile, and take care of themselves. There's also a story of someone who got separated from his dog and when he found him weeks later, he looked none the worse for wear and had been able to hunt and feed himself just fine, thank you.
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« Last Edit: July 09, 2014, 03:24:28 PM by SocratesR »

Yowbarb

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Re: Goats, cows and other domestic animals
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2014, 12:06:23 PM »
SocratesR - interesting post and I see, and links to more info. Funny I had zeroed in on the Rhodesian Ridgeback as being a good survival group dog. I posted about this breed. I've not  "owned" a Ridgeback. (Probably no such thing as anyone "owning" one of these guys!.  :) Thank you for sharing with us more about this breed...
- Yowbarb
...
http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?topic=2977.0

Animal Lovers Corner / Re: Good dogs for a survival group
started by Yowbarb

« on: August 20, 2011, 05:25:04 PM »

Watching Dogs 101 right now Animal Planet Ch 130

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is an amazing dog which can chase a lion up atree apparently gentle and loyal with family thick padded pads on feet can run thirty miles keeping up with a horse. Good for treks and all manner of survival activities on the way to the survival site and once there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodesian_Ridgeback  Rhodesian Ridgeback

Just some ideas,
Yowbarb

Yowbarb

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Re: Goats, cows and other domestic animals
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2015, 12:25:06 PM »

ilinda

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Re: Goats, cows and other domestic animals
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2015, 06:10:02 AM »
http://www.americangoatsociety.com/registration/pdf/BeginnersGuidetoDairyGoats.pdf

Beginners Guide to Daity Goats pdf
Thanks for posting this, Barb.  It is a good reminder that our work is cut out for us!

In a situation where many systems are broken, including transportation, shipping, etc., people with animals, whether pets or livestock, might be well advised to ponder how they will keep their animals well.

A major threat to goats is parasites, and while most goat owners resort to synthetic chemicals, the organic crowd prefers to use natural methods such as those discussed in Juliette de Baraicli Levy's excellent book, The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable.  (I notice it is mentioned in an earlier post in this thread, but it is an awesome source of info. so worth repeating).  In her book she talks about how "in the olden days" goat herders moved their goats through areas where many different aromatic herbs grew, and in the process of browsing in these areas, the goats' intestinal tracts were moving enough of these plants through, that parasites would not establish themselves, as the oils from these plants repel, or are repulsive to, many parasites.

I notice the ingredients of Hoegger's Herbal Wormer are:  Wormwood, Gentian, Fennel, Psyllium and Quassia.  A person can plant and grow most or all of these, or the plants from which these ingredients are extracted.  I planted Wormwood a few years ago and although it is touted as invasive, it is actually exactly what I like--it volunteers in the coolest places--right along the fence.  One form of Quassia I believe is also called Cassia, which grows wild around here (Missouri's Ozarks), but is not common, so must be searched out.  A common name is Senna. 

In addition one of the most potent wormer herbs is "wormseed", Chenopodium antihelminthicus and I learned of it from www.botanical.com, a great website for learning about herbs.  There I learned that wormseed was grown decades ago for a commercial operation that would extract the essential oil, package it and sell it as an anti-worming agent.  After studying the pictures and text about this herb, I realized I was "weeding" it out of our garden!  Now that I've been educated a bit, I carefully tend several of the wormseed patches and harvest them later in the season. 

Free medicine!

There is a lot to know about caring for our "captive animals" and if systems break down, then is not the time to start the learning process.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2015, 03:44:12 PM by ilinda »

Socrates

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Dexter cows, guinea hogs and Katahdin
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2017, 09:44:50 AM »
This vid covers some good homestead breeds [cow, pig, sheep].
survival database
location, civilisation reboot, PERMACULTURE, postcataclysmic soil, Growing Soil 1.01

ilinda

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Re: Dexter cows, guinea hogs and Katahdin
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2017, 04:05:17 PM »
This vid covers some good homestead breeds [cow, pig, sheep].
Very interesting video.  Learned a few things, especially about hogs, including the tidbit about snout length and its relationship to rooting.
Thanks for posting.