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Joel Salatin - Christian, Libertarian, Environmentalist, Capitalist Farmer

                                  


Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 12
Wonderful short video. I have notice a few people on these forums seem to have a problem with capitalism so make sure you pay attention to the end!

                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
I bought his 'Salad Bar Beef' book and found it packed with good ideas on rotational grazing, raising cattle with chickens and turkeys, and farm business development/marketing. His political and religious views are not of interest to me.
                                  


Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 12
Jonathan Byron wrote:
His political and religious views are not of interest to me.


While I am not a religious person so I could care less about the religious part, I think what Salatin has to say about Capitalism and a business "running for profit" is very important for many people on this website.

How do think mankind was able to take time away from food production to create things like the internet for us to discuss things like this?  Was it by producing too little and giving it away? No i think eventually someone somewhere figured out how to profit off of farming which allowed others to to learn new skill sets.

Running a profitable business does not make you a greedy nor evil person.  When I see complaints about Sepp Holzer charging for giving tours or Salatin doing speaking engagements for money it baffles me.  Do you think Salatin would have had time to write, let alone find someone to produce his book "Salad Bar Beef" if he gave it all away for free?

If people have issues with Corporatism i.e. Obama and the Republocrats giving special concessions to the Food Companys(S.B. 510), I completely agree. But if you listen to the interview he talks about government regulation being the PROBLEM for small business not the solution.  IN fact these regulations will only help enlarge the corporations!

There is a lot of talk of permaculture changing the world, for this to happen the economy must change first and also people must change their belief of how government should work.  I for one am delighted every time I see a new Sepp Holzer or Joel Salatin, after all for every wealthy permaculturist there is one less wealthy corporatist.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
rckymtnhigh wrote:
Running a profitable business does not make you a greedy nor evil person.  When I see complaints about Sepp Holzer charging for giving tours or Salatin doing speaking engagements for money it baffles me.  Do you think Salatin would have had time to write, let alone find someone to produce his book "Salad Bar Beef" if he gave it all away for free?


I agree - I have no problem with farmers making a profit. In fact, I think it is great.
kent smith


Joined: Sep 05, 2010
Posts: 211
Location: Pennsylvania
I have enjoyed Joel's books and there are some of his articals at acres magizines online archives. We stopped at his farm just before thanksgiving on our drive out to NC. It was nice to see what we have read about.
kent


Kent
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3096
Location: woodland, washington
    
  53
Robert Ray wrote:
You have to make the separation or acknowledge the separations.  It's not that I don't like pizza, it's I don't like anchovies on the pizza.
I see the interconnectedness but I also see that they are separate ingredients.
  Politics and economics are two different things.


I think it's really important to examine our beliefs.  both individual discrete beliefs, and the whole lot together (that's me agreeing with you, Robert).  but in the end, my politics influence and inform my moral, social and economic beliefs.  actually, my politics are largely made up of my moral, social and economic beliefs.  my religious/spiritual beliefs are all mixed up in there as well.  categorizing them might be useful for discussion's sake, but they aren't discrete parts of my cohesive worldview: they're all mixed up together.  it's all politics, it's all social beliefs, it's all economics, it's all moral and ethical, and it's all practical.

but that's me.  I'll assume that other folks are different, partly because I see them doing such wacky things that make exactly no sense when referenced to beliefs they publicly claim to hold.  I won't claim to be totally immune to that sort of thing, because I'm really not the holier-than-thou sort (and because I really and actually do it on occasion).

anyhow, this is largely a cerebral argument, as far as I can tell, without a whole lot of practical ramifications.  except that I wish more folks' whole belief systems would be internally cohesive.


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Robert Ray
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Joined: Jul 06, 2009
Posts: 1327
Location: Cascades of Oregon
    
  12
Your right it is the whole pizza and people should be bold enough to say hold the damn anchovies if they don't like them or agree with their even being on the pie.
Unfortunatley we're all faced with having to pick smelly fish or onions or peppers off what some would consider a perfect pizza.
I like to think my moral and social justice beliefs influence my politics rather than my politics influencing my morals and ethics and I might be twisting your words there.
Your not alone in on ocasion as I do act the beserker and step into the fray knowing I am correct and swing the axe without concern. So far I have been on the winning side of those political forays but in hindsight a litttle less would have sufficed.
It's hard to seperate the economics from the politics  but they are two entirely different guests at the same table.


"There is enough in the world for everyones needs, but not enough for everyones greed"
(Buckman)
tel jetson
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Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3096
Location: woodland, washington
    
  53
Jonathan Byron wrote:
Most of the people who study political science or economics do make such distinctions, and they make sense. The average lay person conflates (and confuses) capitalism with democracy and sometimes Jesus, Elvis, and apple pie. The average person gets a foggy look on their face if one described China today or Chile a decade ago as capitalist-fascist, or the Scandinavian countries as social-democracies.... to most people, those countries can only be understood as 'like the US'  (good) or 'not like the US' (bad). Using independent dimensions for the economy and political system makes sense, IMO.


for what it's worth, I've studied both.  and I don't really disagree with you.  I wasn't suggesting that relatively narrowly defined fields aren't useful.  just that for the folks I'm most familiar with--myself and the people I interact with regularly--there are common motivators for our preferences in each of those categories and many others.


and to Robert: I think this is closer to what I really mean.  not that my politics determine or influence my morals, or the reverse, but that both are determined by my world view.  "world view" isn't really a very good term for what I'm really thinking of, but words to describe it more clearly are escaping me this evening.
                                    


Joined: Nov 08, 2010
Posts: 147
Location: Anoka Sand Plain, MN Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 43
rckymtnhigh wrote:
If people have issues with Corporatism i.e. Obama and the Republocrats giving special concessions to the Food Companys(S.B. 510), I completely agree.


glad we agree mostly.  my little disagreement hinges on the word 'capitalist'.  i don't care for it & it means different things (salatin clearly is using capitalism-1).  see the following three definitions:

"gary chartier" wrote:
capitalism-1
    an economic system that features property rights and voluntary exchanges of goods and services.
capitalism-2
    an economic system that features a symbiotic relationship between big business and government.
capitalism-3
    rule — of workplaces, society, and (if there is one) the state — by capitalists (that is, by a relatively small number of people who control investable wealth and the means of production).[3]


i am an anti-capitalist-2&-3.
                                  


Joined: Jul 30, 2010
Posts: 12
christhamrin wrote:
glad we agree mostly.  my little disagreement hinges on the word 'capitalist'.  i don't care for it & it means different things (salatin clearly is using capitalism-1).  see the following three definitions:

i am an anti-capitalist-2&-3.


Your right we do agree on most things but I would still label your definitions 2&3 Corporatism not Capitalism.
                                    


Joined: Nov 08, 2010
Posts: 147
Location: Anoka Sand Plain, MN Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 43
you can label them as you'd like, but i am am taking about how the words are used not our preferred definitions of them. 
Walter Jeffries


Joined: Nov 21, 2010
Posts: 907
    
  18
christhamrin wrote:i am an anti-capitalist-2&-3.


I would prefer to say it slightly differently.

I am pro-"capitalist-1".

State it in the positive.

"We must become the change we want to see." -Gandhi
                                    


Joined: Nov 08, 2010
Posts: 147
Location: Anoka Sand Plain, MN Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 43
fair enough.

my anti-capitalism was in response to the reference to it earlier in the thread an an acknowledgement that i align myself with that tradition while also being pro-free market ala benjamin tucker, dyer lum, karl hess & etc
Kirk Hutchison


Joined: Feb 05, 2010
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
"And harm ye none, do what ye will,"

  I have no problem with anybody doing whatever they want as long as it doesn't hurt anybody.


Paleo Gardener Blog
                                  


Joined: Sep 27, 2009
Posts: 40
I am glad that Joel Salatin has reversed his perspective on employing women. I have a friend that applied there years ago to apprentice and he refused her and basically told her that he doesn't hire women as apprentices because they can't physically do what men can do. If you look at the photo below you can see how many women apprentices he has had between 1995 and 2005.

http://www.polyfacefarms.com/apprentice.aspx

Now he has some women in positions and I am very glad to see the shift.

Btw, my friend definitely did not fit the stereotype of women not being as strong as men. She played college rugby and could have trashed me at anytime if she felt like it. She could work harder and longer than anyone else on the farm that I worked at.
David Galloway


Joined: Jan 09, 2011
Posts: 76
Location: Greenville, SC
I'm a big fan of Salatin's writings and speeches, but he does have a few rough edges.  But, to be honest, most brilliant people do.


"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
Luke Townsley


Joined: Apr 17, 2010
Posts: 114
Location: Dugger, IN Zone 6a
    
    1
This video wasn't Mr. Salatin at his best, but yes, he is my Favorite Farmer. I love to hear him speak.


www.unCommonHeritage.com
John Polk
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Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6563
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
135
In its original context, Capitalism meant letting your surplus capital generate more capital for you.  (Why should I work if my money can work for me?)
                                


Joined: Feb 07, 2011
Posts: 30
Location: Ontario, Canada
RustysDog wrote:
In its original context, Capitalism meant letting your surplus capital generate more capital for you.  (Why should I work if my money can work for me?)


  Yes.   

  And just to get a little more quibbly Capitalism is not defined as something that makes profits.  Where other systems aren't 'no profit'.  It's more about ownership structure and how it's used.    In Capiltalisms case private ownership of the capital that makes that makes the profit (any money above and beyond costs)    A publicaly owned business still can make a profit it's just used differently.    A business, like a farm, that is owned by all the people (a collective or a cooperative)  that work in it still has to generate a profit in order to survive long term just like a farm that is owned by someone who uses employed labor to get the job done.    In either structure no surplus beyond costs means no business long term.

  I've worked in businesses that are set up under a non-profit structure.  The descriptor is a bit of misnomer.  It's not that they don't nesscessarily generate any profit (surplus) it's just that the way it is used and distributed is different.  The employees receive their wages or salary's and any surplus is used for the business or org in whatever way the regulations of that specific business says they will be and usually under the direction of whatever the governing structure is, usually some sort of board of directors.  The business itself 'owns' the profit.

  In an exact same business running under a sole proprietor or partnership structure whether incorporated or not the owners 'own' the surplus(profit)  and decide what to do with it.  Whether that's taking whatever amount for themselves or investing it back into that business.

  In the same business that is worker owned, surplus is owned by everyone equally and the collective decides how to distributed. 

  In the same business that is owned by a State the state owns the profit and decides how it is distributed. 
paul wheaton
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Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15213
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I deleted a bunch of posts from this thread.

The farm income forum has a strong focus on earning money.  So this forum really is not a place to discuss alternate economies.

In fact, any discussion of capitalism on any part of permies.com needs to have a powerful respect for my philosophies, or else it will be deleted.


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Joined: Nov 08, 2010
Posts: 147
Location: Anoka Sand Plain, MN Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 43
It is interesting to read this thread.  I don't remember what all got deleted from it. Of course I do support 'making a profit' with some footnotes that can be set aside.  The reason I popped in here is that I was wondering if it'd be kosher to even start talking about Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal.  In it from the bits that I've read Salatin illustrates how difficult it is to earn $$$ @ polyface when slaughtering and. Meatpacking laws are stacked against him.  He understands that laws are not morally or economically correct just because they are on the books.  The distinction is an important one.
paul wheaton
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Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15213
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
christhamrin wrote:
I was wondering if it'd be kosher to even start talking about Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal. 


I don't want to get into politics here, but i do think it is good to make is clear where the lines are drawn and how to make the best of it.




John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6563
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
135
If you cannot return a small profit on your farm, then it is just a matter of time before the bank takes it back, or somebody else takes it over.

At the end of the year, there should be at least as much money in your bank account as there was at the beginning.  The exception to this is if you have made a long term capital investment in your property to make it even more successful in years to come.

I am not investing my money and long days to feed a hungry world.
Robert Ray
volunteer

Joined: Jul 06, 2009
Posts: 1327
Location: Cascades of Oregon
    
  12
Same as a garden, need to produce a few extra seed potatoes for next year. My garden is  a simple form of capatalism in action.
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3096
Location: woodland, washington
    
  53
paul wheaton wrote:
In fact, any discussion of capitalism on any part of permies.com needs to have a powerful respect for my philosophies, or else it will be deleted.


care to elaborate on those philosophies a bit so we know what to respect (powerfully)?
                                    


Joined: Nov 08, 2010
Posts: 147
Location: Anoka Sand Plain, MN Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 43
yeah that was kind of my question.  we are going to bump into this topic from time to time. 

i think it is best to stay away from generalities and theorizing about ethics & politics.  if someone is talking specifically about their situation or their plot of land and how it is driven by their ethics or profit motives is relevant then i would think that would be ok as long as they aren't telling other people what to do.  the more specific posts are the more interesting they are anyway imo.
paul wheaton
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Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15213
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Since I think it is good to respect everybody on permies, I'm gonna go with the devious plot of not explaining my philosophies.  So, folks then need to show respect to all philosophies.
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3096
Location: woodland, washington
    
  53
paul wheaton wrote:
Since I think it is good to respect everybody on permies, I'm gonna go with the devious plot of not explaining my philosophies.  So, folks then need to show respect to all philosophies.


I think respecting folks' ideas is a good idea.  and the "be nice" policy covers that.  but regarding discussion about capitalism, you've got some preferences that go beyond just respecting differing ideas and philosophies.

I read through this thread both before and after your excisions, and I don't think anything you removed was disrespectful of anyone else.  seemed like there were a number of viewpoints being expressed without getting bogged down in argument.  so there must be some criterion that you used other than respect.  which is fine, though it would be nice to know what it was.

if it's "don't talk about the downsides of capitalism", then great.  that's a pretty simple rule to follow.  if it's "don't talk about alternatives to capitalism", that's also simple.  if it's "don't talk about ways that capitalism could be improved", that's still easy.  "don't talk about capitalism at all": easy.  "try to guess what paul would like based on intentionally vague statements": that's rather more difficult and I would guess that it creates more work for you and the admins.

this particular thread started with what amounts to an ideological statement affirming capitalism.  that would seem to invite further discussion of capitalism.  personally, Salatin's brief statements about his own style of Christianity, libertarianism, and environmentalism were far more interesting to me.  his treatment of capitalism was basically stating that a business has to earn a profit to survive.  that isn't a particularly profound idea and it isn't a defense of capitalism.  it also isn't a way to earn farm income.

RustysDog wrote:
I am not investing my money and long days to feed a hungry world.


and I'm not investing my money or long days at all, because my life is not an investment.  my life is it's own end.  I hope that my actions make the world healthier and more enjoyable for myself and others, but not for economic reasons.  I'll participate in that system only as much as I need to to get by.  to that end, I would prefer that my minimal participation be as effective as possible so that less of my time and energy are involved in meeting those minimum requirements.
                                    


Joined: Nov 08, 2010
Posts: 147
Location: Anoka Sand Plain, MN Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 43
Tel had some good points I hope I'm not stepping over w/my massive post:

Yeah I am treading lightly here - hopefully lightly enough to have this post stick.  

I see a tension between actually existing capitalism - if that is how we are to describe our economic system as it currently exists - and the practice of permaculture which has really radical implications IMO.  

Some of this has been covered by folks writing about small family farms & industrial vs organic farming like wendell berry and michael pollan falously of late.  And then there are David Holmgren's talks on retrofitting suburbia and preparing for peak oil, & sepp holzer & salatin's enlightened views on the harmful effects of regulation that purports to protect the environment or our health.  

None of these folks are against earning a living through farming. They are all very much for it.  But their work, whether explicitly or not, points out contradictions between the free market we are told exists and the mixed economy or state capitalism which is the political economy we are subjected to.  

In the 70s the "get big or get out" us ag policy was accelerating the destruction of family farms. Years before wendell berry wrote about all that, tucked away in an obscure history book, the triumph of conservatism by gabriel kolko, is a chapter on slaughterhouses which tells the story of how the regulations Salatin complains about came to be early in the last century.  Kolko's story, very dry and heavily footnoted, is completely contrary to what we were all taught in school. It made the case, with meatpacking as one example, that progressivism and the new deal were conservative in the sense that they acted to keep the economic status quo by allowing monied interests to cartelize industry to assure steady profits. The goal being to both effectively crush the small businessperson and coopt unions.  I'd also urge people who are interested to read about Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States.

I don't bring this up in order to debate economics, but to illustrate that public policy has real life consequences, that certain myths that are perpetuated fall apart on close examination & that history repeats itself.  And finally because while I don't need to talk about it on permies stuff like this is part of why I want to do what I want to do.
paul wheaton
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Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15213
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZQfNmwq6LQ
Patrick Freeburger


Joined: Nov 09, 2009
Posts: 57
Chickens from Space!!!  - a good satellite image of Joel's chicken pens as they move down the hillside - it's clear as the pasture goes from light green to yellow to dark green.



[Thumbnail for Salatin chicken tractors.jpg]

Lee Einer


Joined: May 08, 2011
Posts: 169
Kind of funny how people interpret the word "capitalism."

Some defend it with the argument that "hey, I'm not doing all this work for nothing, I deserve to make a profit." Meaning that their efforts are valuable and they should receive recompense.

Getting paid for your labor is not a feature exclusive to a capitalist economic system.
          


Joined: Jul 12, 2011
Posts: 4
PatJFree wrote:
Chickens from Space!!!  - a good satellite image of Joel's chicken pens as they move down the hillside - it's clear as the pasture goes from light green to yellow to dark green.




PatJfree, that is AWESOME!  Did you simply grab that off Google using Salatin's farm address?  What a great idea.  That is pretty darn illustrative of his technique and it's effects.  You ought to forward that on to him, he would get a kick out of it.

I came to this thread via the YouTube video "Joel Salatin vs. Sepp Holzer" (also embedded a few posts above).  Paul pointed to this and another thread for further discussion on Sepp's disagreements with Joel's practices.   After reading both referenced threads, I still have not seen any details, aside from opinions that the mobile chicken runs are not tall enough.  I'm all for getting a complete survey of various opinions.  What exactly was Paul referring to in the YouTube video when talking about disadvantages with the methods Salatin uses?


paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15213
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Have you seen my article about raising chickens?  Less work, less feed costs, more trees and shrubs than salatin's systems. 

          


Joined: Jul 12, 2011
Posts: 4
Paul, no I haven't but I'd like to.  Those advantages you mention are certainly noteworthy.  Where can I access the article?  I've watched quite a few of those YouTube segments, and liked them a lot. 

paul wheaton wrote:
Have you seen my article about raising chickens?  Less work, less feed costs, more trees and shrubs than salatin's systems. 



Kirk Hutchison


Joined: Feb 05, 2010
Posts: 418
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Well, if I had a farm, I would want it to make a profit, but only in the sense that growing enough food to get you through the winter seems like a profit when you harvest it in the summer. Make enough money to buy stuff you can't make yourself and to take care of you when things go wrong. Nobody needs millions of dollars, but everybody needs enough to buy a new bike if theirs gets hit by a car. If I owned plenty of land that had all the stuff I wanted on it, I would use my money for charitable things. No need to hang on to more than I need. So, I don't know if you could really call that capitalism or not. More like "fairshare"?
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6563
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
135
Am I the only one to notice?...but once those birds are ready for harvest, their tractors will be parked right in front of the processing shed.
          


Joined: Jul 12, 2011
Posts: 4
MaBo wrote:
Paul, no I haven't but I'd like to.  Those advantages you mention are certainly noteworthy.  Where can I access the article?  I've watched quite a few of those YouTube segments, and liked them a lot. 



Nevermind Paul, I found your articles, read them, and liked them!   Thanks for the great ideas for the chickens.  I definitely see the advantages to the paddock approach.  That's actually what I was originally envisioning before I saw Salatin's 10x12's.  I have more scrub oak type woodland area than I do bare open pasture, so I can definitely take advantage of the diversity of trees and shrubs and their benefits for the birds.  I probably have enough ticks alone to feed an army of birds.  The main drawback I see is the predator vulnerability.  I'll have to look into a LGD.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15213
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
MaBo wrote:
Paul, no I haven't but I'd like to.  Those advantages you mention are certainly noteworthy.  Where can I access the article?  I've watched quite a few of those YouTube segments, and liked them a lot. 



http://www.richsoil.com/raising-chickens.jsp

kent smith


Joined: Sep 05, 2010
Posts: 211
Location: Pennsylvania
Just to make a comment on the Salatin's poultry and cow grazing. We do not raise our animals for profit, but to feed ourselves and extended family. I will sell some of the animals to friends  to recoup some of the costs of our portion. I built a 4'x 5' brooder to start the chicks and typically get 50 chicks for our use. If I were to redo the brooder I would make it a little larger. I started this years chicks a little later than I wanted they arived the first Tuesday of August. Out of the 51 chicks we received in the mail one died the first day, it looked bad when they arrived and one died just before they left the brooder. The second mortality was from being buried in a corner. This was my fault! One of the waterers was leaking in the evening and the bedding was wet in the morning and the chicks piled up in the corner. I think that it is critical that fresh bedding is added daily for both cleanliness and dampnes control. It is also important that the watering troughts and feed troughts are raised as they grow. This keeps the water and feed spilling out and helps with the bedding. I also like starting them in the middle of the summer when the temps are warm so that they can be put out on the grass as early as possible. I should have put this batch out when they were two weeks old, but we had several days of cooler wet weather so they went out on day 20. Next time I would start the pen close to my shop and run a cord out and a heat lamp the first day if it was rainy or cool, next time. Once out on grass their behavior does improve. They are still not as chicken-y as our layers, but they do walk around, eat some grass. The other thing I see is that they slow down their eating once on the pasture. It is the first time out of the brooder that they have a night, with out the light on for heat at night. Oh yea, I made a 8'x 10' pen for the 50 birds, if I did it again I would go a little larger for when the birds are closer to full size. I also start turkeys with the chicks in the brooder, but section off a corner for the turkeys. The chicks grow so fast that I do not like having the smaller turkeys with them. When the turkeys were with the chicks the last time I lost 2 from having the larger chicks smoother them. I really love the turkeys, they are smarter than the cornish crosses, and have great instincts. The turkeys love to fly and roost as soon as they have feathers on their wings. They leave the brooder after 2-3 weeks to a seperate pen out in the pasture. I realy feel that the brooder is the key to reducing mortality. I keep ours outside in the yard up against the outside wall of my shop. I check it several times a day as I come and go from the house or shop. I do like the deep bedding and think that anytime it looks too wet in particular or dirty I add more. I just use a bale of wood shavings. I also add chick grit to the feeders every other day to help with digestion. I have heard of another breed for meat bird called "freedom rangers" that I want to try. My understanding is that they are somewhere between the cornish x and your average heavier breeds.  I also raise 2 calves each year and two year old feeders. We keep them behind portable electric fence. Because our land is still over grown, I tend to keep the calves on the rougher areas and keep the pasture for baling. I need to clear some more area for grazing. The pasture and the surrounding land had not been grazed or cut for several decades and the trees have crowded in along with the brambles.

As far as growing for profit, this is my thought. For every dollar we do not spend by what we raise for food or heat for our home is the same as not needing $1.25 - $1.50 in additional income. Money not spent is free from taxes, overhead, and the costs of going to work. So our garden, animals, wood lot, and herbs are more profitable than working away from the house. I also have a small bussiness we run from my shop here at home. Part of our success is that we have been very frugal for years before we started this life. It is important to start the habits that you will need in this style of life before you get there. We love where we live, the life it gives us and where we see the future heading. In addition to learning about permiculture, animal care and rural skills; learn the skills to set goals, plan, organize your time and set priorities. In addition to Salatin's books you might want to study books like "Your Money or Your Life" and one of my recent reads, Surviving Off Off Grid by Michael Bunker. Bunker is a little out there, but hey that is Ok with me.
kent
 
 
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