Planet X Town Hall

Socrates & R.R. Book - PERMACULTURE, and methods for gathering food and water => Animal Husbandry => Topic started by: Socrates on May 01, 2017, 09:16:51 AM

Title: Animal Husbandry
Post by: Socrates on May 01, 2017, 09:16:51 AM
Though there's posts on animals under Divine Feminine (http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?board=219.0)... i am hereby 'hijacking' this topic since i feel it definately belongs with 'agriculture', soil management and farming in all it's glorious variations...


A wonderful vid from Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm on chickens with rabbits (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbmjCN4T19o) here, how one can produce at least 8 dozen eggs a day and 3000 pounds of rabbit meat/year in the space of a 3-car garage. The setup also produces compost for the garden [some people even just keep rabbits for their ability to produce copious amounts of manure].

Joel Salatin is a prime example of a successful farmer who uses any and all sustainable means, as well as any and all animals, to produce profit. His cows on pasture produce 4 times [!] what mainstream farmers do, as an example of how his permaculture tactics put conventional farmers to shame [and that's only talking quantity; forget things like quality of produce, soil creation or security through drought-proof tactics...].

Animal Domestication (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOmjnioNulo) [very entertaining 6 min. YouTube vid]
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: Socrates on May 01, 2017, 09:42:33 AM
In a perfect world... cows produce:
- colostrum
- milk for cheese
- manure for seedlings (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXBgYvhAkvU)
- leather
and one might say: etc. etc. etc. ...

However[!], a cow is a relatively huge animal and keeping one alive during and after TEOTWAWKI could prove to be a humungous challenge. It is certainly a challenge one could probably never face alone...

Genetics; it's worth some cooperation, compromise and sacrifice to be able to save cow DNA [i.e. live specimens] for future enjoyment. This would [and must!] be about community.
Having sought after 'like-minded folk' since 2009 without success, i know how difficult achieving community can be. But if one is to enjoy the benefits of having cows after TEOTWAWKI, certainly it should be obvious that this can only be accomplished as a community.
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: ilinda on May 01, 2017, 02:08:49 PM
I, too, ponder how livestock, especially the larger ones would survive extended chaotic times.  From the reading I've done in search of the "perfect" milk cow, one contender might be the Scottish Highland, or just the Highland.  I always refer to them as the former, but there may be some cross breeding here and there and perhaps that's why some call their cows "Highland".

The Scottish Highland, from articles I read in ACRES, U.S.A., is more able to survive on browse, and does not need as much steady grass as do most cattle.  Plus the Scottish Highland can tolerate some extremes in weather.  And of course those horns can be intimidating to bobcats, coyotes, and especially mountain lions, making these cows a bit harder to take down, and even causing a predator to think twice before going after a newborn calf.
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: R.R. Book on May 01, 2017, 04:27:26 PM
This article in Mother Earth says they're now breeding miniature milk cows that are under 36" high.  Am also surprised to learn how much milk a pygmy goat can produce.  http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/raising-cattle/small-breed-milk-cows. 
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: Socrates on May 01, 2017, 06:46:02 PM
This article in Mother Earth (http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/raising-cattle/small-breed-milk-cows) says they're now breeding miniature milk cows
NOW! we're talkin'!
"Miniature cattle are classified in three categories as measured by height at the hip. These three categories are (1) midsize miniature, 42 to 48 inches; (2) standard miniature, 36 to 42 inches; and (3) micro-miniature, 36 inches and under. Small-breed cattle range in weight from 500 to 800 pounds. In general, a miniature milk cow is a third to half the size of the standard milk cow. "
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: Yowbarb on May 02, 2017, 11:30:18 PM
Though there's posts on animals under Divine Feminine (http://planetxtownhall.com/index.php?board=219.0)... i am hereby 'hijacking' this topic since i feel it definately belongs with 'agriculture', soil management and farming in all it's glorious variations...

Socrates, that's cool. I agree, and will take it a couple steps farther...
Many of the Topics in the Protecting Our Animal Board are really about animal husbandry.
(They actually are more about food sources than other animal Topics.
I am able to set up a board - called "Animal Husbandry."
Your new topics here will go under it.

I am also able to move topics to the new Animal Husbandry board, such as ones already existing, rabbits, chickens, etc. and you can add to them.

I will go ahead and set up an Animal Husbandry Board tonight and move some existing Topics under it.
That other animal Board - it's OK there are other Topics that can stay there.
Send message any time, but I think this will work just fine...

- Barb townsend
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: Yowbarb on May 03, 2017, 01:32:27 AM
So it's done, Socrates this Topic, originally posted in your Permaculture
Board is now located here in your new "Animal Husbandry" Board.

 ;D

I also modified the Food for Survival Board to incorporate all SEEDS Topics I could find. This is a work in progress, but most SEED Topics will be here:
All SEED Topics/Food for Survival

- Yowbarb
Title: 'bug out animal husbandry'
Post by: Socrates on May 03, 2017, 09:02:23 AM
Something one doesn't commonly consider as part of a bug-out-bag is genetic information trapped in creatures... You can't put a goat or dog into your bug-out-bag but maybe they should be right next to it. However, what is possible to carry along is bugs; you might carry a queen and a few bees with you or some silk worms; one supplies carbs in the form of honey, the other proteins/fats as well as silk. Dog and goat don't need to be carried. I'm just sorry carrying around a rabbit or Scobie (http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/Ducks/Musc/ScobieWithBrood.JPEG) isn't feasible, but perhaps one can have a cage ready for the cases in which it's possible to haul extra stuff with you to a safe location.
However you look at it, if you lose this kind of genetic information, you could regret it the rest of your life.
(https://im1.shutterfly.com/ng/services/mediarender/THISLIFE/021002580583/media/82625795208/medium/1488115598507/enhance)
What are we looking at? Only...
- fur / wool / silk
- meat / dairy / survival nutrition [proteins, fats as well as carbs]
- omnivores, herbivores and carnivores
- leather, sweets and resources
- companionship, security and trading
It is complete and you could do much worse. Chickens, pigs, cows or donkeys [let alone horses], now that's what i call luxurious. Though one might fit a rat or guinea pig into a backpack...
Title: carrying DNA...
Post by: Socrates on May 03, 2017, 09:04:20 AM
put yer bugs in this...?
(http://thumbs3.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mFlIXO1-g_qrjvThMagKeJA.jpg)
Ain't he cute like that?
Yeah, i have one... [bag, that is]
Title: miniature Jersey / Hereford
Post by: Socrates on May 03, 2017, 09:08:37 AM
(https://sites.google.com/site/mprrminiaturejerseycattle/_/rsrc/1349055356061/home/Dynamite%2023.jpg?height=368&width=500)

(http://www.chatervalley.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/education-with-herefords.jpg)
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: R.R. Book on May 03, 2017, 11:10:53 AM
Quote
you might carry a queen and a few bees with you

Maybe for a very limited period of time without losing them.  A caged inseminated queen with a few nurse bees can be carried away from a colony for a couple of days only if she is en route to an adoptive functioning hive, and the risk of loss of livestock is high.  When package bees are transported to a new home, they might include a mated queen with a few thousand bees (a pound), which constitutes a very weak colony and places them in danger of dying until they have been hived and babied between a few weeks and a year to build up the colony's strength. 

Better to transport a nuc of between 2 and 5 frames with a laying queen, larvae, eggs, and honey all together as a miniature hive.  It would be a compact box and have a far greater chance of survival.  If carrying a caged queen or a small package of un-hived bees not in a nuc, some 1:1 sugar water in a spray bottle would help them through the trip.

Another option might be to pack an empty hive in the back of a car and bring along some Melissa / Lemon Balm extract as bait, and see if you can attract a swarm.  I reckon bees will know to move into caves and that ferral colonies will come out in the aftertime if they had enough honey and pollen stores in the cave to get them through. 

Am attaching a photo of a lightweight transportation nuc box:

Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: Yowbarb on May 03, 2017, 02:51:36 PM
R.R. Book,
We appreciate your expertise on bees, here in the new animal husbandry board.
 :)
Barb T.
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: ilinda on May 03, 2017, 05:47:20 PM
Quote
you might carry a queen and a few bees with you

Maybe for a very limited period of time without losing them.  A caged inseminated queen with a few nurse bees can be carried away from a colony for a couple of days only if she is en route to an adoptive functioning hive, and the risk of loss of livestock is high.  When package bees are transported to a new home, they might include a mated queen with a few thousand bees (a pound), which constitutes a very weak colony and places them in danger of dying until they have been hived and babied between a few weeks and a year to build up the colony's strength. 

Better to transport a nuc of between 2 and 5 frames with a laying queen, larvae, eggs, and honey all together as a miniature hive.  It would be a compact box and have a far greater chance of survival.  If carrying a caged queen or a small package of un-hived bees not in a nuc, some 1:1 sugar water in a spray bottle would help them through the trip.

Another option might be to pack an empty hive in the back of a car and bring along some Melissa / Lemon Balm extract as bait, and see if you can attract a swarm.  I reckon bees will know to move into caves and that ferral colonies will come out in the aftertime if they had enough honey and pollen stores in the cave to get them through. 

Am attaching a photo of a lightweight transportation nuc box:
Thanks for that photo, which tells a thousand words.
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: ilinda on May 03, 2017, 05:52:21 PM
This article in Mother Earth says they're now breeding miniature milk cows that are under 36" high.  Am also surprised to learn how much milk a pygmy goat can produce.  http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/raising-cattle/small-breed-milk-cows.
Another thing to ponder is what to feed herbivores in tight times.  Some goats give huge quantities of milk, but only if grain-fed.  When eating browse and whatever they can find that is green, or hay, milk production will not match that of grained animals.  But that's OK. 

In my view, whatever they give, they give, and grain isn't what they eat in the wild anyway.  People might need to become accustomed to goat milk or cow milk in smaller quantities in hard times, as few owners will have enough stored grain to feed every morning on the milk stand.  But it's not the end of the world.
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: R.R. Book on May 04, 2017, 06:44:50 AM
Am including protein analysis and cultivar disambiguation links for comfrey, which is easy to grow and meets or exceeds protein content of alfalfa and other legumes.  My Amish neighbor, who grows both common and Russian comfrey, says that common comfrey drops seed and is smaller.  Russian comfrey does not produce viable seed, but expands at the base producing larger stands of plants with more biomass for feed.  Both kinds can be used for fodder though.

http://www.fao.org/wairdocs/ilri/x5519b/x5519b12.htm (Amino acid breakdown table)

http://www.coescomfrey.com/use.html (This site says comfrey increases milk production)

http://www.nantahala-farm.com/comfrey-fodder-livestock-dairy-animals-s.shtml

http://www.5acresandadream.com/2012/01/more-thoughts-on-growing-animal-feeds.html

https://permies.com/t/15975/Comfrey-Bocking-Clarification

Title: Re: comfrey
Post by: Socrates on May 04, 2017, 10:44:32 AM
My Amish neighbor, who grows both common and Russian comfrey, says that common comfrey drops seed and is smaller.  Russian comfrey does not produce viable seed, but expands at the base producing larger stands of plants with more biomass for feed.  Both kinds can be used for fodder though.
OMG...
This is the kind of posts that make this message board worth while...

Just to be clear; humans live symbiotically with other species [as all species do!] and flora knowledge of how to have our symbiotic brethren flourish in hard times is truly essential knowledge. No doubt plants like comfrey will help make us through hard times.
Title: not all greens are created equal...
Post by: Socrates on May 05, 2017, 12:30:18 PM
GRASS EATERS
- cow
- guinea pig
- sheep
- geese
- horse

NOT grass eater...
- rabbit
- goat

Chicken, rabbit, goat, hell, even cats will eat grass on occasion, but it's a very different thing to have to live off of grass than to munch on it once in a while.
I say this, as well, because i just saw this extremely interesting vid with Joel Salatin (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwG8MzUDPBw) talking about goats and what they eat; he says goats eat at shoulder height [i.e. not what's on the ground, generally]. Another very interesting thing he said was that it takes people about 5 years to get to love their goats, but then the goats usually have eaten away their food sources and then the trouble starts (i.e. when they're forced to live off of grass and stuff); then diseases start coming up, etc. etc.
Goats are a wonderful permaculture tool in that they will eat away bush that is useless for farming, saving you a whole lot of work clearing it away. But, of course, you have to keep finding new plots for them to clear since that's just the kind of food goats live off of.

Similarly, i've had rabbits but was surprised how little grass they actually ate. They're more leafy greens type eaters.

On the other hand, it can be very healthy to give your (omnivorous) chickens some grass to peck at. It just isn't something a chicken can live off of, contrary to real grass peckers like geese and land ducks.


Having said all that, it should be understood that 'good grass' usually consists of many different species of grasses and other herbs. At Fordhall they have over 40 different kinds of grass and Joel Salatin is talking about 15 species he finds in every square meter of field. The variety is both important as food source as it is for the health and resilience of the soil.
Title: Re: Russian comfrey
Post by: Socrates on May 06, 2017, 10:59:27 PM
My Amish neighbor, who grows both common and Russian comfrey, says Russian comfrey does not produce viable seed, but expands at the base producing larger stands of plants with more biomass for feed.
I've read just a piece of root will grow into a new plant. Checking on Ebay, i'm looking at some 20 bucks [including shipping].
Could someone send me a piece in the mail? I'll pay for the stamp.  :-*
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: R.R. Book on May 07, 2017, 06:51:38 AM
Hi Socrates

I could try sending you some root cuttings if they could be kept moist in shipping.  Can you message me your mailing address?

Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: ilinda on May 08, 2017, 05:47:22 PM
Hi Socrates

I could try sending you some root cuttings if they could be kept moist in shipping.  Can you message me your mailing address?
Wrap them in many layers of well-moistened paper towels or even old and thread-bare washclothes, anything that is clean and will hold moisture, but not be sopping wet.  Then after all those layers, carefully place it in a ziplok bag, and zip it ALMOST all the way, but let it "breathe".  I kept some cuttings of an unusual mulberry tree in my fridge for weeks that way, and would check them periodically to make sure the paper towels had not dried out, and if so, I'd spray mist them a bit and re-wrap them.  Surely Priority Mail will be fast enough that it will arrive long before it dries much.
Good luck!
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: R.R. Book on May 09, 2017, 04:06:38 AM
Done.  Thanks Ilinda!
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: R.R. Book on June 09, 2017, 05:33:03 PM
Posting a photo of comfrey feed beds from my garden.  Am thinking of getting a non-electronic scale to weigh harvested leaves until I get a good feel for how much constitutes an adequate substitute meal for our critters, as we're still in the experimental stage of using comfrey here.

Title: Re: Animal Husbandry: Hay
Post by: R.R. Book on July 06, 2017, 01:36:24 PM
If the Px sequence of events is to happen in the next several months and be the worst case scenario, then the window is narrowing on stocking hay for those who are hoping to bring livestock forward into the Aftertime.  In our area, hay is often sold out for the entire winter by Thanksgiving, unless one is willing to search further for it. With cheaper grass hay selling for $5 per bale here, it is still a bargain.

Would love ideas on storing both baled and composting hay in such a way as not to create a tinderbox during "transiting the tail" phase, especially for those who don't have a large barn.  Perhaps not keeping it all in one place might be a good hedge? 

For the Aftertime, might want to watch a film or two on scything.  Examples:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sYyGwc9sas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46Zn7pfNVCo

I have not tried it yet, but it looks like good exercise, and in some villages constitutes a community sporting event.

The implement, plus a whetstone for sharpening it, can be bought inexpensively.  May also want to stock tall fescue, timothy or alfalfa seed for re-seeding ground to be used for growing hay.  Rohrer's in Smoketown PA sells "Pasture Perfect Hay Diversion" seed, for example. 

With earth settling back down into an unknowable seasonal pattern in the Aftertime, might want to plan on stocking at least 2 years' worth of hay, which will not be good confinement grazing after a while but would at least remain viable bedding, and eventually compost and mulch. 

I add hay as the 6th staple crop to Carol Deppe's list of the 5 essential North American crops to grow for self-sufficiency.
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: Yowbarb on July 06, 2017, 01:55:44 PM
I am not an expert in these areas... the only thing I have been suggesting for years is, creating underground storage areas.  Food, building supplies, seeds animal supplies and foods...
Reinforced concrete or whatever can be created in a hurry. Lots of supplies need to go underground or they might burn. concrete with a proper lid might possibly keep out water.
I know there are probably ways to store hay and other natural materials with out it getting ruined...
Title: Re: Hay
Post by: ilinda on July 06, 2017, 04:02:08 PM
If the Px sequence of events is to happen in the next several months and be the worst case scenario, then the window is narrowing on stocking hay for those who are hoping to bring livestock forward into the Aftertime.  In our area, hay is often sold out for the entire winter by Thanksgiving, unless one is willing to search further for it. With cheaper grass hay selling for $5 per bale here, it is still a bargain.

Would love ideas on storing both baled and composting hay in such a way as not to create a tinderbox during "transiting the tail" phase, especially for those who don't have a large barn.  Perhaps not keeping it all in one place might be a good hedge? 

For the Aftertime, might want to watch a film or two on scything.  Examples:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sYyGwc9sas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46Zn7pfNVCo

I have not tried it yet, but it looks like good exercise, and in some villages constitutes a community sporting event.

The implement, plus a whetstone for sharpening it, can be bought inexpensively.  May also want to stock tall fescue, timothy or alfalfa seed for re-seeding ground to be used for growing hay.  Rohrer's in Smoketown PA sells "Pasture Perfect Hay Diversion" seed, for example. 

With earth settling back down into an unknowable seasonal pattern in the Aftertime, might want to plan on stocking at least 2 years' worth of hay, which will not be good confinement grazing after a while but would at least remain viable bedding, and eventually compost and mulch. 

I add hay as the 6th staple crop to Carol Deppe's list of the 5 essential North American crops to grow for self-sufficiency.
Feeding the animals is also something I ponder and actually worry about.  I haven't viewed the videos yet, but definitely will. I did buy a good scythe to go with our farm auction scythes.  So now we have two "Austrian" scythes and one American scythe.  The Austrian scythe has a snath (handle) that is approximately straight and is much easier to use than the curved and heavy American one. 

I do use a "stone" to sharpen my scythe--the one that gets used the most is the one I bought new through ScytheSupply.com (http://www.scythesupply.com).  Also bought the peening kit.  They make the snath according to your height, so each one is custom made, so to speak.  And yes, scything can be done and might be about the best way to get grass or browse for your animals.  I do this every year to get Lespedeza serecea, an invasive legume, that has turned out to be a godsend, as it's high in nitrogen/protein, and is an anti-worming plant, and its hay is even sold as something to combat Barberpole Worm in goats.  I feel in spite of its origin, Lespedeza is a better bet than alfalfa, and maybe even better, as alfalfa has been found to often be contaminated by GM.  But I'm not an expert.

I probably would not want to stock fescue, as it's an exotic from Africa, and the native plants IMHO are better suited and more nutritious for livestock.  Some natives around here are  Gamma grass, Little Bluestem, Big Bluestem, Timothy, Orchard grass, and others.  Your Extension agent may know the native plants, but then they work hand in hand with industry, so they may steer you to something like fescue.  We had mostly fescue when we bought this place, and ove the years of not reseeding it, it has gradually reduced itself to a mere shadow of its former self.

Plus, if you can grow peanuts, peanut hay is very valuable--high in nitrogen/protein, and the goats, plus presumably cattle will love it.  The thing about "supplemental feed" is that they do not need it if they are not nursing babies, and their pastures are adequate.  They do LIKE it, but can survive without it.  If I were not able to feed my animals supplemental feed (usually grated carrots, beets, parsnips, etc.) I would at least give them a little treat every day such as Honey Locust pods (16% protein) and a bit of peanut hay.  And by all means, do store your hay in various places here and there.

In addition to all of this, I just read (ACRES?) about someone who is gathering tree leaves for/instead of winter hay.  It is a rather involved article about how he evolved his practice of it, but I think any of us can start small.  For example Autumn Olive, another exotic invasive, now spreading like wildlife in MO, and probably other places, is something the goats love, and possibly cattle might like it also.  I'm thinking about asking our neighbor who has tons of it on his driveway and other places, if I can cut it for him to thin it.  This will be my first experiment in tree leaves, even though this particular tree is more shrub like. 

If I can find a pic of myself scything a few years ago, will post it. 
Title: Re: scythes
Post by: Socrates on July 06, 2017, 10:28:17 PM
ScytheSupply.com (http://www.scythesupply.com)
Awesome link!
"Oh! This is good. (You guys always bring me the very best violence!)"
Serenity (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHo78pqvgFs) reference.
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: R.R. Book on July 07, 2017, 12:23:14 PM
Thanks for the link, Ilinda!  Yes, as Socrates indirectly suggested, one of their scythes would double as a great Halloween costume ;) 

Do you recommend having one of each coarseness of whetstone?  Is peening necessary if the whetstone is used?

I did not know that fescue was not a native plant here!  Wonderful that you have a wild legume that is nutritious for your critters - makes me think of all the coronilla growing along the roads around here. 

Am looking forward to the pic of you scything!
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: R.R. Book on July 07, 2017, 01:07:39 PM
Quote
Lots of supplies need to go underground or they might burn.

Barb, you're absolutely right.  We're in an odd situation here, both an advantage and a disadvantage.  We're on a stone outcropping - very rocky soil, and digging is so arduous that dynamite was nearly used to blast the hole for our foundation.  On the plus side, the lower level of our house is built into the hillside, and there is a naturally cold root cellar room (formerly a partially-underground garage) that I'm now calling "the Ark."  It does have room for some hay, and so does the underside of the deck, just not 2 or 3 years' worth of it. 

So I'm tinkering with the idea of making a fire-proof hay shed in a clearing in the woods.   I found some inexpensive sections of black steel fence, and plan to lay those flat across cinder blocks, tied securely to them.  Hay bales double-bagged in contractor bags against moisture can be stacked on the flat fence sections, keeping them out of snow.  Galvanized metal roofing sheets can be tied down over that or fastened to a wooden frame.  Will get the base done this weekend and see how it works.  :)
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: ilinda on July 07, 2017, 05:48:29 PM
Thanks for the link, Ilinda!  Yes, as Socrates indirectly suggested, one of their scythes would double as a great Halloween costume ;) 

Do you recommend having one of each coarseness of whetstone?  Is peening necessary if the whetstone is used?

I did not know that fescue was not a native plant here!  Wonderful that you have a wild legume that is nutritious for your critters - makes me think of all the coronilla growing along the roads around here. 

Am looking forward to the pic of you scything!
I'm fairly ignorant about the "coarseness" level of whetstones, as I only have one--it seems somewhat fine, although I haven't seen a "medium" or "coarse" stone.  I need to check into this matter.  Also, I clicked on the scythesupply.com link and watched their video on sharpening a bush blade.  What a surprise.  It looks easier and faster than what is shown (on youtube videos) for grass blades. 

I do feel peening is necessary, although I haven't done it yet.  It's to remove burrs and make the blade a bit thinner, as over time it wears, gets nicks, cuts, burrs, etc.  I've watched peening videos and it looks actually fun and easy, so maybe when it happens, I can give my opinion. 

Will probably practice peening on one of the farm auction scythe blades before touching my precious ScytheSupply blades.  I do also have a bush/brush blade, but bought it without the snath, as I had this bright idea I'd just go find snath material from the woods
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: Socrates on July 07, 2017, 11:26:52 PM
I'm fairly ignorant about the "coarseness" level of whetstones, as I only have one--it seems somewhat fine, although I haven't seen a "medium" or "coarse" stone.  I need to check into this matter.
I got a bunch of wetstones from China [Ebay] for a few bucks, several different levels of coarseness. I think such things might prove very useful when international trade dissolves...
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: ilinda on July 10, 2017, 03:19:58 PM
I'm fairly ignorant about the "coarseness" level of whetstones, as I only have one--it seems somewhat fine, although I haven't seen a "medium" or "coarse" stone.  I need to check into this matter.
I got a bunch of wetstones from China [Ebay] for a few bucks, several different levels of coarseness. I think such things might prove very useful when international trade dissolves...
And if those are lost or stolen, maybe people can find sandstone that can be fashioned into a sharpening stone.  Worth a try on an oudated blade to be used for practice.
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: Socrates on July 10, 2017, 08:03:35 PM
people can find sandstone that can be fashioned into a sharpening stone.  Worth a try on an oudated blade to be used for practice.
Any stone be used for sharpening a knife with, including concrete. Professional wetstones today, however, are of very specific grades. Once you lose those, it'll probably be some centuries or millennia before such quality can be achieved again.
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: ilinda on July 11, 2017, 03:45:12 PM
people can find sandstone that can be fashioned into a sharpening stone.  Worth a try on an oudated blade to be used for practice.
Any stone be used for sharpening a knife with, including concrete. Professional wetstones today, however, are of very specific grades. Once you lose those, it'll probably be some centuries or millennia before such quality can be achieved again.
But sandstone is rather easy to work with, so that would be my first choice.  Before the IR, many who sharpened tools used native stone(s) rather than manufactured, mass-produced ones.  Where there's a will, there's a way.
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: ilinda on August 27, 2017, 05:29:30 PM
Not sure if this is exactly animal husbandry, but by stretching the definition a bit, it is.

We always welcome garden spiders in our garden as they are beneficial to us all, well, except to their prey.  So far, I can only find two different garden spiders in our main garden this year, and they are only a few feet apart.  The larger of the two had been wrapping up a Japanese Beetle this morning, so hurray for Ms. Garden Spider.

 Because Japanese Beetles are so destructive to just about all vegetation, they're not welcome in the garden, so I send the message out to the Universe to all birds and others who eat Japanese Beetles to "come one, come all".  I like to think of pampering, and caring for garden spiders as Spider Husbandry.
Here is the beautiful one.
Title: Re: Animal Husbandry
Post by: R.R. Book on August 27, 2017, 06:02:42 PM
What a great late summer theme Ilinda!  She is a beauty.  Normally I hate all spiders except Grandaddy Longlegs.  In the woods we have some real oddballs.  Will try and snap some photos.  I do hope not to see any trapdoor spiders this year, but they have always signaled colder weather is on the way. :)
Title: breeds
Post by: Socrates on October 26, 2017, 05:33:31 PM
Here i'm watching this vid on this guy in the desert raising chickens (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-75_YgTDKQ&feature=youtu.be) and he's talking about his breed of pigs that don't dig and live mainly off of grass... I had no idea.
I guess animals can be kinda like flora in that there are all kind of variations with all kind of preferences and needs. He's also talking about his sheep that are heat-tolerant and don't need to be sheared.
This kind of information brings up solutions that make all kind of situations successful (that might otherwise fail).
[Thank god for the information age...]
Title: choosing animals
Post by: Socrates on November 15, 2017, 11:53:52 PM
Modern 'agriculture' and animal husbandry practices have conditioned society, culture and people to certain trains of thought concerning keeping animals. Such thoughts can totally lead one astray from practices that are sustainable or that serve survival interests.

For one, the modern mindset is about conquering nature, not achieving a balance with her. And even so-called preppers or survivalists can fall into this trap; your skills, knowledge or training, do you use them to work with nature or to overcome her? When confronted with hard times, it's expected that one suspend certain ideals in order to make it through them, but what if sticking to your guns actually offers the best options for survival?
And what do such matters have to do with keeping animals?


I say animals can best be viewed from a point of resources. Nature in general is about utilizing what resources you have in tune / balance / harmony with nature. And animals are a great resource [particularly as source of calories], but mainly they are because they themselves source the environment in ways humans cannot or cannot do as efficiently.
One can view animals from various viewpoints, like guardian / meat / ruminant / fowl / dairy / leather / etc. etc. etc. But where do they source whatever they offer?
I mean, a guardian dog is wonderful, but donkeys and mules also make good guardian animals, like geese and llamas. Dogs are carnivores whereas geese, llamas and donkeys are herbivorous. Which can you feed?

In the end your choice of what animals to keep has more to do with whether or not you can feed them than it has to do with what they may offer, for if you can't keep your goose laying golden eggs alive, you'd be better off with an option (you may initially feel is second choice) that is sustainable and feasible.
Therefore, there are really only 4 kinds of animals:
- canivores
- herbivores
- omnivores
- grass eaters

Now, there are common misconceptions concerning such things, like people keeping goats on grass when goats should be eating from greens, say, above shoulder height. Yes, animals like goats and rabbits do eat grass, but they are not grass eaters like sheep, geese, certain ducks or cattle are.
What can you source? Can you only stock up on hay? Then you need a grass eater. (And maybe you should stock up on grass seed, as well...)

Within such restraints / options there are choices to make. For instance, there are pigs that mainly live off of grass and are not like truly omnivorous pig breeds that dig and forage and eat anything. There are cattle, but there are also miniature breeds. The same goes for many species.

A pig is omnivorous, but so are muscovy 'ducks', chickens and some goats.
It depends on what you can source. And maybe you can get insects to source what you have to offer and your chickens can (in part) live off of those...


There are other considerations, like pack animals; a donkey is wonderful, but let's say you get yourself some alaskan malamutes; these live for pulling stuff around. So as long as the terrain you're at isn't too rugged for that kind of thing, they are an option. But both also make good guardian animals. There are pros and cons to each species but in the end the question is whether or not you can feed them.

Ultimately, i dare say it all again comes down to location, for what do your surroundings offer in the way of resourcing food? Mountain or plain? Snow or desert? Dry or wet?
Once you have determined your best option for survival location, you should choose livestock accordingly. (And stock up for if conditions temporarily change drastically.)