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|[+] goats, sheep and llamas » Starting with Goats....and what else? (Go to)||Nikolai Stepanovitch|
What kind of land are you clearing? Is this brush-y, desert, fallow meadow, old crop land? Wet or dry?
The precursor question to what animals you might want might be "What kind of infrastructure and fencing are you interested in installing and maintaining?" And also "What kind of feed and housing are you willing to handle?"
We have steep forested land and we run a combo of pigs and goats to clear new areas. The goats can clear brush up to 6' tall (standing against the trunks/trees to reach up) and sometimes higher if they can manage to bend a tall sapling or mature brush down. They'll strip the bark, wood, leaves, and needles. We value that for fire mitigation.
The pigs are useful for cutting trails and working the soil. They root and help clear the land, they trample sticks and debris into finer pieces. Their poop mixes with the earth more readily than goat pellets that take a long time to break apart and work in. A large breed pig can easily move several hundred pounds (moving logs and boulders). They can dig huge holes very quickly. Smaller breeds are generally bred to root less and will do less 'land shaping' than the big pigs tend to do.
Fencing for goats and pigs is pretty similar, except that you need fences to come up at least 3-4' to keep the goats in, whereas a pig fence can stop at 2' high. But both animals will readily go under a fence- and also through it. So it needs to be tight and strong. And the best guarantee is to incorporate electric.
As far as predator protection, an adult pig is probably safe than an adult goat? Depends on the pig and its size and temperament I suppose. Miniature goats will be the most prone to predation. My experiences with minis are limited, but in the time I had them, I could not fence them in. They jump high, they fit through absolutely tiny holes, and the ones I had were infinitely more mischievous and bored than any large breed goats I had. They were utterly discontented to stay behind any fence. But maybe it was just the mini's I had.
Both goats and pigs need similar housing. Goats are safer up off the ground, pigs do well in low cave-like structures. Both animals will benefit greatly from fresh, fluffy bedding like hay or straw. Goats need dry conditions for their feet or you'll start seeing hoof rot, whereas pigs can handle constant moisture very well.
A good pasturing breed of pig might grow and sustain acceptably on pure forage, but they will benefit greatly from getting grains and other food supplementation as well. They are omnivores, afterall. Whereas goats can readily sustain themselves in a brushy/woody environment year-round, depending on the size of their territory and the size of the herd. They are browsers and primarily eat leaves, buds, wood, and bark. People often use goats to graze grassy pasture, but honestly it's not their natural diet and you'll need to supplement them with minerals. If the pasture they're on is short and stubbly, you'll probably want to offer a long and fibrous hay as well. They can develop rumen problems when they eat just short, wet grass. They get worms easier that way, too. But goats don't need grain, and IMO shouldn't get grain as they can't digest it properly. It also turns them into screamers.
Which is another point; pigs and goats can both be very quiet, or very noisy. The potential of pigs is happy pigs = minimal noise, upset hungry pigs = screaming noises. Happy well-fed goats = silent goats, hungry goats or goats with cravings = screaming monsters. Pigs are never truly silent, but I'd take pig noises over screaming goats any day!
As far as breeds go, I've become biased against floppy-eared goats and associate them with being overly vocal escape artists. Larger breeds can actually be easier to fence. My big goats are over 200lbs and they can't jump a 4' fence. They could when they were kids, but they're just too big and heavy to get that kind of clearance now. 3' they can manage, but not 4'. They require a much bigger gab in the fence to get through . Then again, they have more power and more ability to destroy wire fencing than a mini does. My minis would take advantage of any gap over 4" and escape. Electric fencing had to be 2-3" off the ground to keep them from going under it, and wires had to be no more than 4" apart to keep them from jumping through it. It was hellish. Way harder for me to contain. It was easy to pick a mini up, sure, but it's also easy to grab one of my big goats by the beard and escort them where they need to go. I've milked minis and big breeds, and I by far prefer the big teats on a large doe, and the satisfaction of watching quart jars zoom up to the full line in just a minute or two of milking. Compared to the tiny little teats of the minis that could only accommodate 2-3 fingers, fingers that were constantly covered in milk, and it took me twice as long just to get a pint of milk out of them. But some people have trouble handling large goats, or have wrist and hand ailments that benefit from the size difference. So there's a goat for every application!
The pain with goats, is if you're going to breed them (you mentioned meat production) they can take 3-5 years to reach their adult size. So a tiny baby goat will be a tiny PITA for a few years until it matures and finished growing. I think of this in terms of the first 3 years of raising my big packers, and how much EASIER they are to live with now that they're 'adults' at 5 years old. Those first few years saw a lot of destroyed fences and goat-damage from small, agile, bored kids spending all day long learning how to break a fence or gate. Whereas pigs (yes I know you didn't mention them, but I figured I'd suggest them since they're good land workers and might fit your needs), grow to adult size and mellow out in the first 6-12 months. For meat production, you can't beat pigs either. A goat will have a potential for 4 kids a year (unless she has triplets or singles, but they usually have twins). Those kids will dress out to just a few pounds of meat unless you get a big meat breed. Which, in this case, something like a boer goat might actually be what you want. You'll get way more meat off them and they might fit your needs better. A pig can produce over 20 piglets in a year. And those piglets can reach several hundred pounds within 6 months, even if they're a mini breed. Our minis grow almost as fast as full sized meat hogs, hitting 150lbs in about 3-4 months, but then they plateau and don't get much bigger, taking another 6-8 months to reach 250-300lbs. Whereas a full size hog might be 150-200lbs in 3-4 months (depends on how you feed em) and in another 8 months could be 800lbs!
- Need tight, strong fencing and/or hotwire, but fencing can be very short and they're otherwise fairly easy to fence compared to a lot of livestock.
- If producing meat, need grains offered to them, which are generally more expensive than hay. A robust litter of full size meat hogs can eat through 1 ton of grain in a month during peak growth period, putting on 10-20+ pounds a week.
- Housing needs are simple and rustic
- Fairly predator resistant
- Excellent at fertilizing and tilling the ground
- Will graze on pasture, rip out and eat roots, root up and eat rodents, etc
- One of the more dangerous animals to keep, being omnivores. Gentle loving stock is needed.
- Comes in minis (300-500lbs) and full size breeds (700-1,000lbs)
- Very rapid growth, making them good for meat production at the expense of higher feed costs
- If breeding, you need a boar around. They're not stinky, not excessively noisy or offensive. Our have never gotten aggressive when the girls are in heat, but we've made a point to keep very nice pigs. Boars don't "rut" like goats do, they just love on the ladies when the ladies cycle and sleep most of the rest of the time.
- Need tough, strong, tight, tall, and thorough fencing, ideally incorporating hotwire
- If supplemental feed is needed, grass hay suffices and is one of the cheapest livestock feeds to be had
- Need added minerals to their diets if on pasture, since pasture/grass/hay isn't a natural diet for them
- Housing must be clean and dry, and their safety & enrichment benefits from having places up off the ground (cable spools and such)
- In danger of predation from almost all predators, especially during kidding season, so fences are best built to also keep predators out (foxes, coyotes, dogs, eagles, bobcats, cougars, bears, etc)
- Goats don't really work the ground but they have mild poop that plants love
- Will eat the best of the best and move on. It's hard to force a goat to eat something it doesn't want to eat (they won't mow a lawn for you!)
- Fairly docile, safe, lovable animals unless you have a real stinker on your hands, or an unruly buck in rut
- Comes in minis (30-60lbs) and full size breeds (100-250+lbs)
- Meat turn-around in goats (and sheep) is minimal, but if you have a local market it could be in high demand. Meat breeds like boers are popular for their massive, bulky bodies.
- If breeding, you need a buck. Bucks are noisy and stinky and offensive in rut (pee in their mouths and froth it all over their bodies and get super musty smelling- like you can smell it 1/4 mile away or more). Most folks I know give their bucks a lot of space during the rut, even if they're normally a loving, trustworthy goat. I've only ever had a mini goat and rutting was the only time he's try to headbutt us without instigation or warning, the little pooper.
- Goats can be milked! A mini can produce anywhere from a quart to 1/2 gallon a day, more or less depending on the doe. Most minis have a higher cream/fat content in their milk than any large breed, making them popular for cheese making. Large breed goats can produce 1 gallon or more per day, again depends on the doe. Milking requires equipment and punctual daily schedules that go on for months. But the calories and good food you get are so worth it.
- Goats also come in fiber breeds! If you're into shearing and selling/working mohair or cashmere, fiber goats can do everything the other goats can (graze, meat, milk) + provide one more resource for you. Shearing must be done twice a year for the goats' health.
Sheep are similar to goats in many aspects but are easier to contain. My experiences with them is that they're less intelligent and more panic-prone than most goats. Sheep, if afraid of you or frightened suddenly, can jump and kick you or attack you or ram you. Not that a goat can't, but I've never met a sheep as tame as a goat can be, and have never met a goat as prone to the wild throws of terror like a sheep can be. I've never seen a sheep weasel through a tiny gap in a fence and defect from the herd for fun, like a goat will. But I've had to doctor many sheep that badly damaged themselves panicking and smashing themselves or others into a fence or gate, spraining or breaking limbs, trampling lambs to death, etc. when trying to move them from one pasture to another. I've never had goats damage themselves in flightly brainless terror like I've seen with sheep. But I've only worked with large meat sheep herds, not hand raised pet sheep. Sheep are dedicated grazers, unlike goats, and do best on pure pasture. They don't work the ground much, like goats, they need dry ground, like goats, and they offer the same variety of benefits as goats; fiber, milk, and meat. Lamb meat is often more lucrative than goat meat is. You can also get hair sheep that require no shearing.
Quail usually means domesticated coturnix. Coturnix are meat animals. I've got some in a large aviary and I have to be careful in there so that I don't step on them. They'll just stand there and look at my shoe bearing down on them and they won't move. They're also TINY. And fragile. They will not "home" in a coop like a chicken will and must be contained, not only to keep them in one place, but to keep them alive, as everything wants to eat them. They also won't do anything for you in regards to working the land. I garden in my quail pen. They don't dig, they don't trample earth, they don't destroy plants. They're a delight to keep, but they won't help with this particular task you've mentioned.
- Need 3-dimensional fencing
- Need specialized pasture and seed crops, with supplemented high protein feed grains
- Can live outside with little or no shelter year-round, very hardy in that respect. If in a large enclosure, have high ceilings to prevent them from spooking and hitting the roof.
- In danger of predation from almost all predators, including tiny predators like house cats, rats, and weasels
- They don't work the land much and are very gentle on the environment around them
- Utterly harmless to keep and incapable of hurting a person
- Quail weigh just a few ounces, usually (there might be some jumbo specialty breed out there)
- Meat turn around is excellent if you have a way to hatch their eggs
- If breeding, you need a rooster. A quail rooster is just like the ladies except he makes cool "warning chirps" sometimes and other cute little noises.
- Coturnix quail tend to lay almost daily and can produce over 300 eggs a year. Semi-wild quail varieties are seasonal layers.
Chickens are definitely turn a field of pasture into a field of dirt and poop if you graze enough of them on it for long enough. They will eat plants down to stubble and then dig until the roots are ripped out; IF they are grazed intensively in one spot. Chickens are harder to contain though (they dont' care about fences and can end up in the neighbor's field or your backyard garden if not given incentive to stay in one location). They are heavily predated on by all sorts of mammals and birds of prey. They are easy to raise though, all things considered.
- Need fencing to keep predators out more than to keep them in, but are prone to roaming if they get a wild hair or don't have enough food near their coop
- If pasture is lean, they need supplemented grain/feed. But a beautiful pasture can sustain them just fine as long as its available.
- Conventional ideas of coops are safe, dry, and strong. I've kept birds coopless though; they will nest in trees, in rafter of a barn, or wherever. The safer they are, the better, obviously. To me the safest factor is the roosts. Roosts 5-8' off the ground keep them the safest at night, with a roof over their head to keep nocturnal predators from plucking them off the perch. Whether those are indoors or outdoors, whether they're rafters or branches, the biddies won't be too picky.
- In danger of predation from almost all predators, including tiny predators like house cats, rats, and weasels
- They will graze, dig, hunt bugs, and poop with enthusiasm and help to work the ground. Their feces will NOT pass viable seeds like pigs and goats and rabbits.
- Obviously a pretty safe animal to keep unless you have an unruly rooster
- Comes in minis (1-2lbs) and full size breeds (3-8+lbs)
- Meat turn-around is decent, especially if you let hens sit their own eggs and raise their own babies on pasture. You'll have meat chickens in 3-6 months (breed dependent) that you spent no money or time on if you let them do it naturally
- If breeding, you need a rooster. A good rooster will watch over the hens, warn them of danger, and offer himself up/fight off a predator. A good rooster will respect you. A bad rooster will feed himself an no one else, run from danger, and/or attack you. All roosters crow and it can be quite loud, traveling 1/4-1/2 mile and waking out out of a dead sleep at 2am.
- Chickens also provide eggs, which is awesome, obviously! A good hen can lay 250-300 eggs a year.
- Chickens are very easily/cheaply replaced (by comparison to other animals) if butchered or predated on.
Turkeys are like chickens except they're far more prone to roaming (at least heritage are), are seasonal layers (usually), and they don't dig like chickens do. They graze very well though and can produce a lot of offspring and meat in a season, as they tend to be enthusiastic mothers. Double breasted meat birds are different. The meat turkeys I've helped raise lived next to their feeder and barely roamed 50' from it from chick-hood to butcher time. They could turn any patch of ground into a mat of feces very quickly, trampling the ground with huge heavy feet and laying in one spot all day. They generally don't lay eggs well and don't raise babies well.
Rabbits are a good choice for target grazing or tractoring, but won't work for free ranging. Generally, a free-ranging population gets predated to extinction. If not, they absolutely take over and become a pest. Pregnant does will dig burrows for their kits, and communities of rabbits will dig many kinds of tunnels; "oh s**t tunnels", as I call them; prolific small, shallow tunnels they dig everywhere to dart into quickly if a predator shows up, as well as cooling tunnels for the hot summer (they find get ground and dig special tunnels, almost like P-traps, that will trap moisture below them at the deepest point in the tunnel, with a smooth upper tunnel that stays moist and cool, but never "wet"), and they dig shelter and sleeping warrens, which are often separate from the others. So their tunneling might not be what you want in a field like this. Rabbits do not "home" to one place and will roam as food and predation directs them. But they are a rewarding animal to keep and can prime soil for you if needed.
- Need 3-dimensional fencing to contain and protect them- yes rabbits can just up to 4' high and simultaneously propel themselves through a 2x4" gap to escape.
- Will graze on brush and grasses alike, but will not do much digging or tearing up the ground if in a wired pen
- Can live outside with little or no shelter year-round, as long as they have escape from heat and rain/snow.
- In danger of predation from almost all predators, including tiny predators like house cats, and weasels
- Pleasant and peaceful animals to keep, but can inflict a lot of damage if you pick them up and they don't like it
- Rabbits come in miniatures (1-2lbs) and larger breeds (4-10lbs+)
- Meat turn around is excellent, with 1 doe producing 5-10 kits per month. They take 3-5 months to grow out, depending on your breed and preferred eating size/age.
- If breeding, you need a buck. Most rabbit bucks are the same as does. A few rare bucks will "tag" territory and spray it with a skunk-like smell. They're generally not mean or violent unless in with another buck.
- Rabbits also produce fur/hides and fiber. Picking breeds/individuals with luscious fur can make for good hide production. Or raise angoras for fiber! Though angoras are a whole 'nother beast and can't quite be kept the same as the standard meat rabbit.
|[+] solar » Battery Balancing w/6, 12v 75aH agm in parallel (Go to)||David Baillie|
Never thought about balanced charging before. How does that work with a series/parallel setup?
|[+] ducks and geese » Where did our duck eggs go!? (Go to)||Jen Fan|
For what it's worth, I've caught my turkey hens CARRYING eggs before. They nudge the eggs up into their elbows, the 'scoops' of their wings, and hold the eggs against their bodies. I had a turkey hen who was raiding my chicken lay boxes and somehow transporting the eggs to her nest. I would find occasional broken eggs along the way. I was perplexed until I picked her up one day, moved her aside, and when I set her down nearby, eggs tumbled out of her wings! I've also watched them pick their babies up and carrying them that way, too. Maybe if a hen doesn't feel safe, or finds a better nest, she will transport her eggs to a new location. That's my most hopeful guess
|[+] homestead » Hacking commercial cleaning product recipes (Go to)||Jen Fan|
I made a soap last year that I'm in love with. We use it for laundry, house cleaning, dishes, and tough messes. It cuts grease with no waters or cold water. I made it out of necessity when we had no hot water last summer and 'eco friendly' dish soap couldn't hope to contend with our greasy dishes.
I've made it into bars, which are nice for cleaning very gross farm hands, and it's also decent at dish work, just rubbing the bar into a lightly wetted greasy pan and it's like a grease eraser. Mostly though I make big 5 gallon bucket fulls of it in liquid form. It can be as thick as guacamole or as thin as kefir. It's super satisfying when it's thick, but I try to run it on the kefir side because it's so strong and, really, a little goes a long way. So having it super runny helps stretch it farther when we over-use it.
The recipe is lard (or other oils), water, lye, and borax. That's it. The borax is the detergent agent there. The soft/liquid soap is also insanely easy to make. The first time I ever made it I did this recipe:
(I also like to add about 20 drops of eucalyptus and 20 drops of lavender EOs, it leaves a very subtle scent that's simply 'fresh')
Put 3 gallons of water in your 5 gallon bucket and slowly add lye, stirring and incorporating it. Monitor temp with metal meat thermometer, meanwhile heat oil up gently on stove. When the lye water cools to about 120º and the oil heats up to about 120º, gently and slowly mix the oil into the lye water. Once oil is added and the mix begins to trace (firm up and leave streaks from stirring) add the borax and stir fitfully. Add fragrances at same time as borax. Add more water until the bucket is close to full. Once the borax is in I generally just keep the bucket nearby and stir it as frequently as I think about it, every hour or so maybe. It might take 2-3 days, but the liquidy soap will turn into yogurt.
We now use a paint mixer with a drill to quickly mix and incorporate our setting soap bucket, since it's hard to really mix it fully with a stick or whisk in that volume. Once it turns into yogurt, even if it's still 'hot' and hasn't settled, it can be used promptly on dishes and greasy messes.
This recipe is pretty powerful. It doesn't bug my skin at all, but some folks I've given it to have said it makes their skin tingle or is generally harsh on their skin. The ingredients could be toned down quite a bit to reduce its intensity. But like I said, we made this to cut grease in ice cold water and wash grimy farm clothing in cold water. Less borax would help tone it down if desired.
You can store the bucket with a lid on it. I like to keep a 1 gallon bucket full for laundry and dish use and keep the rest in a big bucket. If the bucket(s) are left open you'll need to add a bit of water now and again as it evaporates and thickens. We use this soap for virtually everything and 5 gallons lasts us about 6 months.
We've observed no adverse affects using it in our laundry on a wide assortment of garments, blankets, etc. It keeps sponges alive FOREVER. It strips blood out of fabric (as long as the blood hasn't been 'set' with hot water yet). We run the dish water into a compost heap and the worms in there don't complain one bit. It has not yet adversely affected our compost soil. The only thing you want to avoid (maybe besides getting it in your eyes or open wounds) is leaving a blob sitting out to dry. It will crust and leave a white residue you have to scrub off. We use about 1/4 cup of runny soap in out miniature washing machine. And honestly we could probably go with half that and be fine.
The bar version of this was very similar in recipe, but must be made more "properly" like finicky bar soaps do, and had way less water in it. The bar version was a soft bar, but I think I used olive oil in mine because I actually wanted a softer bar that I could smoosh into a greasy plate a little bit. Versus a pure lard bar that sets up super hard and resists melting with water. The liquid soap is REALLY satisfying to me. Pure white and super creamy. Fun to throw down a blob onto a greasy pan with a "splat" and scrub it all around, watch the grease disappear. Woohooo!
|[+] gardening for beginners » Grub worms eating beets! (Go to)||Jen Fan|
Don't know for sure about root grubs, but I've gotten to a point where I will not plant beets without planting marigolds with them. Everything eats beets! And they eat beets before anything else in the garden! Leaf borers are the worst on my beets, usually. But when I have marigolds right in there with em, my beets generally do very well and are bug-free. I scatter marigold seed wantonly around my gardens every year and encourage them to go bonkers.
|[+] gardening for beginners » Problems with Propagation of Persnickety Peppers (Go to)||Catie George|
Alliteration absolutely approved! And also- super relieved to know I'm not the only one. I give the seed at least a month before passing judgement. Sometimes I get an early popper at 2 weeks and I get my hopes up about the rest. I'm about to mass germinate a bunch of varieties and hop I come out with a few dozen for planting! Hang in there, one of em's gotta sprout one of these days!
|[+] dogs and cats » My best friend got poisoned, now has broken shoulder/ribs. Home health care input welcome. (Go to)||Jen Fan|
Her shoulder is now back to 100%, it would seem. It will probably be awhile before I see her run and jump, but she's no longer having issues getting around on it.
Her impairments at the moment are intense nerve pain throughout her limbs (doing lots of pain control to keep her sane), and her vision changes. The right eye is slowly coming back and the left is slowing going out. Her right eye, the one that went "blind" first, got super bloodshot for awhile and started eliminating thick mucus. I've been flushing it with usnea and holy basil tea and it's cleared up wonderfully. I don't think the eye washes are encouraging the return of normal sight, I think that's a time-thing, since it happened like this last time. She can see light changes in it now and isn't totally 'blind' on that side anymore.
I decided to insist on her taking the lion's mane since the nerve pain has started up and it's supposed to be specific to nerve repair. Systemic nerve pain is also an observed stage of recovery from aldicarb poisoning. I'm certainly not against the possibility of it being something else, but so far both cases have totally fit the signs of this poison. This time around it's been way easier on her though, if it was poison she didn't get much of it.
Doing powdered dock leaf for liver support, small amounts of holy basil in her food for pancreatic health and over immune support, a few other herbs, MSM dosing per the container's dog guidelines, and lots of raw eggs, good fats, bone broth, bone, meat, and organs.
A hawk tried to snatch and grab one of the puppies yesterday! AH! Now I've got 2 patients in the infirmary... The pup will be fine, but she'll need a few days. It hooked a talon inside her ear and she has a deep puncture in the folds of her cartilage (ooooouuuuch), a slice/puncture across her scalp, and some minor cuts on her face. Super relieved the puncture in her ear wasn't INSIDE the ear canal itself, that would've been really bad.
When it rains, it pours.
|[+] turkeys » Broody turkey (Go to)||Jay Angler|
How long has she been sitting the eggs?
There are 2 ways to find out if the eggs are okay. 1, you wait it out and see if any hatch. Or 2, go out after dark (or bring a heavy blanket or something to make some darkness) with a small but bright flashlight and, one at a time, place the flashlight to the fat end of each egg to inspect it. If it's not viable, it'll be bright and clear, and you may be able to see the yolk as a little blurry round shadow. If it's developing, depending on how long it's been incubating, you may see a network of veins, and a tiny little peanut (fetal chick) or a larger black peanut (bigger fetal chick), and possibly a pulse and some movement. If it's close to hatching (within 5-7 days or so), the majority of the egg will be black and you probably won't see much definition or movement. If the eggs started incubating and died you'll see mushy yellow goo with no definition, "blood rings" or dark bands that do not resemble veins, or a displaced/enlarged air pocket that is not confined to the fat end of the egg, accompanied by cloudy, milky, or yellow contents without definition. If a chick died very close to hatching it's much harder to tell if it's dead or alive, you generally need to sit and be patient and watch for movement. But if they're that close to hatching you should just leave them and see what happens.
First timers sometimes wreck the clutch. But usually they learn. Then their first successful brood of babies sometimes don't make it. Also sometimes the second.
I personally have a saying with turkeys "If you want more than just 1 or 2 poults to survive, DON'T let the mama hen take care of them". Baby turkeys (poults) are super fragile and incredibly "not-smart" compared to chicks. Poults excel at dying. They're frighteningly good at it. And mama turkeys don't often fuss over their babes studiously, so it's a bad combo.
Anyway. I hope the eggs are all kickin' strong and you have a great hatch Turkey eggs take 28 days to incubate, so if you know when she started sitting, you can figure out how far along they are.
|[+] dogs and cats » My best friend got poisoned, now has broken shoulder/ribs. Home health care input welcome. (Go to)||Jen Fan|
I'm sorry to hear about your dog as well :( I'm glad she had 2 happy, healthy years after the incident! I initially ruled out poisoning because she never vomited. Almost all poison issues I read about involve vomiting. That's one other thing about nerve-agents like aldicarb; they don't generally induce gastric distress and they're not often thrown up. She also seemed fine going to bed but woke up with issues. I've read timelines on aldicarb range can range from 2 to 20 hours post-exposure before major symptoms arise.
We don't have any composting food items, all of our kitchen mics. goes to the pigs. The only compost we have around here is old poopy hay. She's also an ultra picky eater and not food motivated at all, I would think if it was eating bad food one of the other ravenous food hounds would be the victims. That's very interested to read about though, and a good thing to bear in mind!
She just pestered me into taking her out to pee. Even sedated, she's finally had enough of peeing herself and is refusing to continue peeing her bedding (that's getting changed as needed). She's been holding it since last night >_> The booger. So I caved. She walked (virtually dragged me around she was going so fast...) like a champ on her shoulder and was well coordinated. She's 'blind' in her left eye still and is having navigation issues as such. She's weak and her limbs are stiff and she's still hurting quite a bit. But it was heartening to see... I'm always reserving a small readiness for it to go south on me, but I am hopeful, once again, that she can pull through this a second time.
|[+] cottage industry » rebuilding my etsy shop during the "new normal" (Go to)||Devon Olsen|
Having a successful shop myself, I would say a few things;
1. Pricing; I stick to my guns. I say [how much did it cost to produce] + [how many hours of my time went into it * a living wage] = my price.
If it's above market value, people buy from me because they want to support me and they understand I don't buy/resell crap. They are paying me for my time and work and I make that known. If it's below market value, SWEET. I get to wreck an entire corporate market and still get paid a living wage. That's my fav.
2. Etsy in general; Etsy's screwing sellers right now. Doesn't matter how awesome your item is, or how much people will like it. In my experience there are only 2 ways to get people to find your product:
First, pay Etsy to advertise your stuff (at the cost of most of your gross income...).
Second, wait until buyers find it and start buying. The REALLY CRAPPY thing about this is that it only works for listings of multiple quantity. So listings that have x50 available, for example, once purchased, suddenly start getting way more views. Purchased again, even more views. Next thing you know you're sold out on that one item (hopefully!). But then the crumby thing, again, is that if you re-list/refresh that sold out listing, it starts at the 'bottom' again and must be re-discovered. Listings that are OOAK are rougher to market because Etsy's search engine thing can't push it as a 'popular' listing to buyers. Because it only sells once. Obviously.
The work around is to have a couple best sellers, a few REALLY popular items of relatively unlimited quantity that bring buyers to your shop to see all the little things that aren't popping up in their searches.
Another work-around is social media advertising. Push your goods to your clientele digitally so they know it's there. Unless you have a super niche market, you're just gonna sit at the bottom, as most mom-and-pop businesses are now discovering. Etsy now panders to factory outlets and wholesalers, not small business owners. Woohoo! That's what happens when the richest man in the world takes over.
On a side note, your shop looks neat and tidy, very lovely
Exposure or Advertising. Those are the two ways to get noticed on Etsy these days. Alas.
|[+] dogs and cats » My best friend got poisoned, now has broken shoulder/ribs. Home health care input welcome. (Go to)||Jen Fan|
Thank you, Carla, I will. I don't think I mentioned any other mushrooms, but I can look into others. The friend who recommended lions mane said it's indicated for nerve repair and detoxing the blood. I haven't researched it in depth but will continue to read on it, as well as Reishi.
I'd be intensely interested in anyone's first hand knowledge about these symptoms, about aldicarb poisoning, etc. It's REALLY hard to read in-depth information about pesticide poisoning.
I found one great resource, a rogue study of a collection of agricultural workers who got exposed and were monitored. Studies in animals only give basic info and are limited to observation (versus first hand descriptions of what's happening from a human victim). For instance, in animals you read "appears drunk", as the symptom observation. From humans, you read "dizziness, extremely blurred vision, head pain, etc". Which is the 'reason' for the observed 'drunkenness' in the animal. Learning that extreme blurred vision was part of the experience helped me understand the confusing "sometimes seems blind, sometimes doesn't" observation I had in her during round 1. When she went paralyzed back in early March, I thought she was dying. When I read about survivors (human study) experiencing peripheral nervous system failure 1-3 weeks post-exposure, it completely changed my mentality about her tribulation and I was able to definitively start treating her as though she was recovering from poison, rather than as though her body was dying and thinking of her as 'being on hospice'.
I have a hard time believing that she could go through these kinds of tribulations, with no medical intervention, and make an almost-full recovery in just a few weeks if it were an escalating brain tumor? Paying for an MRI is not feasible, I can't rule that out via imaging. Would a tumor cause liver failure (and/or possible pancreatic failure; whichever of the two would result in the body halting fluid processing, abdominal swelling, and subsequent yellow sludge poo after recovery)? Would a tumor cause her lymph nodes to swell to the size of soft golf balls? Would a tumor, or its interferences, cause her feces to have a ghastly sickly-sweet fungus aroma? Would it cause a fever? I honestly don't know. But it feels less likely to me, with what limited knowledge I have.
She's doing much better all things considered. If this is anything like it was last time it'll be a constant 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Only I'm not on the edge of my seat about her dying this time, which is making it much easier. I feel like if she hadn't buster her shoulder region up, she'd be back on her feet right now. She's still having neurological symptoms, particularly in her eyes, but she can stand up and walk and is quite balanced and coordinated. Her break hurts her though, she can't go far (and I don't want her trying). She's not knuckling under or crossing her legs right now. Her lack of mobility seems to be limited to her injury at this moment in time. I've been keeping her sedated and on total bed confinement. I can totally see her trying to navigate outside and falling off the porch or stumbling and whacking her bad side on a boulder. >_< Not happening on my watch! She's an intensely active and high strung dog, bed rest is nigh impossible for her without some herbal aid. Another day or two and I think she'll be back to where she was before the seizure, in terms of her shoulder.
This eye thing happened last time around. It started in one eye and I thought she went blind in that eye. Then it spread to both and I prepared myself to have a blind dog (if she pulled through). Then the first one got better, then they both cleared up over 2 weeks. The eye is unfocused and non-responsive to visual stimulus, and the pupil response to light is entirely inappropriate. It will remain tightly contracted most of the time, but occasionally be inappropriately dilated and, either way, will not change with light changes. Right now it's her right eye. Her left is still servicing her. These are also classic symptoms of aldicarb poisoning, from what I read. I'm sure the apparent "blindness" is a mix of tightly contracted pupil (so her vision is darkened) and extremely blurred vision (part of the 'drunk driving' and lack of coordination and finesse).
Anyway... I got her MSM and lion's mane. She absolutely will NOT eat anything I put even the tiniest bit of lion's mane powder in :/ I'm yet undecided if I should force it on her or take that as her own wisdom about not ingesting it. I intended to get the oysters/sardines but lost my list during our all-day town run and I KNEW I was forgetting something for her, darn it! I need to whack some more rabbits, I'll save all the liver for her. We'll have some packages arrive in town, possibly end of the week, maybe I can swing by the grocery store one more time. We're trying not to run a muck all over town right now, of course.
Edit/side note, we had to jump through some weird hoops to get the MSM. They keep it under lock and key and you need ID to purchase it and they keep track of who's buying it. I had to research it because it seemed silly. Apparently it's used to cut meth with? You learn something new every day in the most unexpected ways!
|[+] goats, sheep and llamas » Goat Fencing in the Woods (Go to)||Artie Scott|
We mostly attach our fences right to the trees. Sometimes we staple or screw things in, other times we repurpose twine. Twine is nicer to the tree in the short term. For a temporary fence it won't hurt the trees one bit. But if you leave it on and the tree has to grow into it, you could hurt the tree. Whereas staples and screws and nails wound it in one spot, but they can often times cope with it well enough. We've used a lot of manufactured insulators as well as home made insulators out of scrap black irrigation pipe.
|[+] goats, sheep and llamas » Goat Fencing in the Woods (Go to)||Artie Scott|
Tethering works if you're willing to pay attention and trouble shoot. Actually... Goats in general only work if you're willing to pay attention and troubleshoot xD Anyway. I like to suspend the run lines between trees and use the short lead to help prevent tangling. If you just clip a 50' lead to a goat's halter you're going to have a giant mess on your hands. Their run line must be suspended off the ground unless they're just in open pasture (but even then they excel in tangling a lead on clumps of grass....). Definitely don't want to put tethered goat near one another, they will absolutely make it their first priority to tie themselves together....
Someone has recommended lion's mane for her. Some quick searching indicates it's likely safe for dogs. Any thoughts on that?
|[+] goats, sheep and llamas » Goat Fencing in the Woods (Go to)||Artie Scott|
Take a chainsaw to your brushy fence line and clear it if you want to go with electric. Goats can be hard to contain with electric though, you gotta make sure they respect the hot wire.
We've found that field fencing is the cheapest wire fence per foot; it's around $175 for 150 feet last I checked. This is the fencing that has 6x6" holes tapering down to 2x6" holes near the bottom. It's heavy gauge and usually 4' tall. In some ways it's way more durable than welded wire, and in some ways it's not. Welded wire will start coming apart if a goat or other animal works it too much. My goats have mastered tearing welded wire apart. So woven wire, like the field fencing, is the solution for them. Except the field fencing has such big holes that it's not vertically sturdy. It's easily crushed and warped if it's not fixed tightly to posts.
The solution we use for both goat and pigs is field fencing with 2 strands of hot wire. One down low and one at chest height for the goats. The field fence then doesn't have to endure abuse from the animals, but you're not relying solely on a hot wire to contain everyone. You can even add a hot line on the exterior of the fence to fry curious predators!
As mentioned above, you could also create 50 or 100' run lines through the forest; they're pretty cheap at a hardware store. Lash the line between two trees and have one goat per line. Clip their halter to the runline's pulley with a 3' lead (that they can't chew through) and the goat can now run that length of the runline, and also a few feet on either side of it. I like to do this with my goats in unfenced areas that need the brush taken back. Then in the evening I can put them back in their secure goat yard. This method is portable and doesn't hurt the trees you hook the runlines to.
You gotta make sure that their lead is short so it can't get tangled up in the brush. And only 1 goat per run line! They will readily hog tie themselves together if you run them too close to one another.
Edit on the run line idea: We've used conventional dog run line wires with pulleys, as well as dog tie out leads. Tie out leads are cheap online, like ebay. You can pick up a 50' 120lb rated lead for under $20. Sometimes what I do is clip one end of one lead around a tree about 5-6' up, then on the open end, clip it to a 10' lead. Then the open end of the 10' lead gets clipped to another 50' lead, and the open end of that lead to another tree. So what I have is 2 lengths of 50'~ run line, and a 10' barrier space between them. This allows me to put the goats on the same path and same setup, but it keeps them far enough apart that they don't get tangled, if that makes sense. Short 3-5' leads are hard to find but can be made for less than $5 at the hardware store. Just get some rubber coated security cable by the foot, some wire clasps and some fastener clips, like the lobster clips. Mount a clip to either end of the 3' cable and pinch the wire clasps closed. Boof! A short cable lead! You clasp the lead to the coated dog tie out lead and the goats can zip up and down the length of the lead the same as a dog tie out lead/pulley setup. Hope that makes sense
|[+] chickens » Chicken Saddles - Worth it just for the pictures! (Go to)||Ashley Cottonwood|
Basically you can tell how high a hen's sex drive is by how barren her back and scalp are There are always a couple hens in the flock that stay with their favorite rooster and pester him for favors all day long. Then there are the hens who stay FFFAAAAARRRR away because, well, they're just not that into it. I'd blame the hens before you blame the rooster in the case of your 39:1 flock It's a different story with "too many roosters", of course, but that's not the case here!
Now those happy hens have some lovely chicken lingerie... xD
She's gotten lots of deer liver, that's her main source. We collect permitted roadkill deer and use 95% of the animal. She's also gotten chicken, turkey, pigeon, pig, and rabbit liver, which we raise here. I prioritized her on the rabbit organs last night, saved all the liver and hearts for her to eat. I'll keep doing so. But I'll also get some sardines n such just to be sure. Thank you.
Last night she had a seizure. It was scary. I've never dealt with a seizure before. I thought she was having a heart attack... She started swallowing and chomping really hard and fast and it escalated over about 10 minutes. She started panicking and I knew something bad was going to happen. We determined she wasn't choking. She drank like 1-2 quarts of water, it's like she felt that something was stuck in her throat even though it wasn't. I stayed with her and kept her in one place since she was panicking and trying to get up. Then she convulsed and threw herself backward and started thrashing. I held her, her heart was slamming around in her chest and I thought "this is it". Then she went rigid and started shaking all over and drooling and frothing and I realized maybe it was a seizure, not a heart attack. We got a piece of kindling into her mouth to keep it open and I scooped the froth out of her throat to clear her airways, held her head at a decline and let the drool pour out. She relaxed somewhat, legs out rigid, and layed there staring off, rhythmically chomping the wood. Then after a time she came around, spat the kindling out and laid upright.
She was in terrible pain. I'm sure thrashing undid all the healing progress her body had made on her shoulder area. I tried to help her stay calm but the pain was driving her mad. I gave her more wood to chew up and she desperately chrunched it to bits and started panicking again, trying to scoot around and get away from the pain. I was afraid she's work herself into another seizure (not sure if that's how seizures actually work, but I was worried about it regardless). So I dosed her with some herb-infused oils to sedate her, as well as more electrolytes, and stayed up with her until she was fitfully asleep and relaxed. It was a long, tiring night...
She's doing very well today, all things considered. She's calm and relaxed and I'm going to keep her sedated more studiously because her ribs and shoulder need to re-heal now. We'll be going to town soon as we can and I'll also get her some MSM powder. Her coordination is actually much better today, she's tried twice to stand up and walk, and she's not knuckling under or criss-crossing her legs. But her shoulder's so sore that she can't put any weight on it. That's a huge step backward -_-'
But the shoulder is not the scary beast to me. Bones heal. I know what happened to it. What I don't know is what's happened to her nervous system and brain. Seizures ARE a part of aldicarb poisoning. I'm now wondering if she did get re-exposed. Both these incidents of possible poisoning happened after the dogs were off the property and not in our sight (chasing us a few miles down the mountain when we snowmobile out). Last Sunday was the day before her symptoms came back and the first and only day we let the dogs run without us keeping pace with them and monitoring them (since we feared someone leaving coyote bait near the road). We chose to relax that day and let them run at their own pace and just catch up with us down the road...
I spoke with a friend who used to be a vet tech (who helped me through round 1) and her opinion was that if the symptoms are poison related, there's no way they'd be residual from the initial incident 6 weeks ago. It would either have to be re-exposure, or something like a brain tumor interfering with her functionality. Unfortunately with aldicarb poisoning, unless you collect urine in the first 24 hours and test it, there's no way to know if that's what it was.
|[+] permaculture » Raised beds with chickens--some advice please? (Go to)||John Kestell|
If you're not intending to plant much this year that might work fine, though the chickens will kick out A LOT of stuff, so you'll be cleaning up all around your beds. Things like tomatoes and zucchinis will love fresh manure. A lot of other plants might not appreciate that. But again, if you're not planting ASAP, then it might do fine. The only thing that stands out to me is that wood kind of sucks nitrogen from the soil until it's thoroughly decomposed into humus. You might do better to work on a "wood rotting heap" somewhere nearby and amend your beds with rotten wood as it becomes available in future years.
We find that taking all of our soiled bedding from all the critters and composting it makes gorgeous, rich soils. It's just sloppy hay with poop and urine in the mix. Keep it wet and heap it up to stew. Bust into the bottom a year later and it's the most beautiful stuff! We have lots of redworms helping too.
If you want to actually plant this year, maybe bite the bullet and find a source for good compost and top soil for this year's planting, and focus on starting a composting system for your wood chips and chicken waste!
I will definitely try it! I know I'll find sardines at the very least. Too bad she hates sea food :P I'll get em in her one way or another. We will probably hit town Tuesday or Wednesday. We're pretty remote and are still snowmobiling in and out right now.
I'm having doubts both ways today. She's getting floppy again, her eyesight is being impacted pretty rapidly today, and she's knuckling under when she tries to use her limbs. Identical to the first round of poison just before she went paralyzed, albeit these things happened a week after her initial exposure on the first go round. They happened after her fevers, tremors, and liver problems resolved.
I mega dosed her on AC just now, I guess it can't hurt any if it's just a few times. I didn't expect her to go downhill this quickly again. I will wait a good 4-6 hours before dosing her with electrolytes and B vits again. She ate another hearty meal of half a rabbit + 2 rabbits worth of organ meats.
I'll keep oysters in mind! I would have to look for them at a grocery store, but we won't be going into town for awhile yet. I presume farm raised oysters probably lack much of the potential benefit compared to wild oysters? Not familiar with oyster farming, but if it's anything like other 'seafood' farming, I would have my doubts about it.
*edit, if selenium is what we want, and I can't find oysters... I'll look into what other sources of selenium there are, or look for supplement options (though I'd prefer a whole food, but it'll be whatever I can get in town)
|[+] seeds and breeding » NW Permies! ISO all kinds of seeds, plant starts, root stock, etc. Location: NW MT (Go to)||William Schlegel|
Mike I will PM you. William, we're still interested in chokes if you have em. We're waiting for the roads to open up. We had another 10 days of winter and a bunch of snow. Hopefully spring is here to stay this time I'll be heading through Ronan soon as the roads are cleared.
|[+] art » Share your Art - post here (Go to)||Leigh Tate|
Just finished a mule portrait for the neighbor :)
Thanks, Carla. It was hard deciding to post here, but I'm just so stressed about this I'd like some exterior input. Late last night she ate a hearty helping of deer meat and eggs. I didn't mention, but we feed the dogs 100% raw meat stuffs. We raise a lot of meat right here on the farm. During her tribulation period, initially, she was on the bone broth, raw eggs, powdered colostrum, organ meat, and cooked bones for the most part. I don't recall every detail, but she wasn't too interested in whole meat chunks at the time.
Today she seems blind in one eye, like she did back in the early days of the poisoning. I use the laser pointer to gauge this. She's addicted to the laser pointer! She responds to it and bites at it when it's in her left eye's field of view, but as soon as it passes to the right eye she stops seeing it or responding to it. It's got me real worried.
She took herself outside and pooped and peed, but was stumbling and 'drunk'. A big part of that is her shoulder pain but I know some level of it is the poison issue.
I didn't think there was any chance of re-exposure, and I assumed if she re-ingested Temik somehow it would look the same as it did the first time. We have no idea where she found poison, it certainly wasn't on our property! Anyway, I don't have her on charcoal anymore; my understanding of AC is that it's only useful when the toxin is present in the stomach or intestines. It binds unbiasedly to everything in its path. If I use AC in the absence of poison, it would then be stripping nutrition out of her system. That's my understanding of it, anyway. It's not a poison-seeking agent. Correct me if I'm mistaken. And aldicarb is a nerve agent (developed for war originally). It hyper-excites parts of the brain and leads to nervous system burn out, basically, from what I understand of it. It's not like a lot of other poisons that pollute the body and cause bleeding and other horrible things. In a way I should be very thankful of that.
If she DID re-ingest it somehow, I don't think charcoal would work at this point, considering this is day 5 or 6 since her lack of coordination and stumbling began again?
She's hardly been out of my sight since the first incident (I've been paranoid about where she got into poison!), and we have 3 other adult dogs + 3 young puppies. I have a hard time seeing her be the first one to find and eat bait. She doesn't leave the property, she's a good old girl.
So mid February my best friend of 10 years got poisoned. Still not sure how it happened for certain. I've identified the culprit as aldicarb poisoning. Temik is a brand name commonly sold and used as coyote bait. It's an organophosphate.
The day after ingestion I found her trembling, high fever, eyes rolling around, not responding to stimulus, breathing hard and fast, etc. I thought she'd had a stroke. I use herbal medicine with some self exercised skill. I mega dosed her on activated charcoal, got a good dose of usnea down her in case of infection, and gave her an herbal mixture to reduce fever and thin the blood a bit. Anything I could think of to save her. The second day she was worse overall but fever was better. I gave her more usnea and charcoal. Kept her hydrated. She was non responsive on day 2. I waited for her to die in my arms. Day three she was lingering and the fever was gone, her liver began to fail. By day 5 her abdomen was horridly distended and she was in intense pain trying to move. She almost seemed blind and deaf, but wasn't. I kept her on charcoal and basic herbal supports. We were 5 days out from the last time she pooped and 3 days out from the last pee. That night her body came back online a bit and she peed a massive amount, her body deflated and she was no longer in pain. She finally pooped a slimy yellow sludge, stained black with charcoal (I knew it was yellow because it stained the snow all around her and she had yellow mush on her bum too). The poop was sickly sweet, almost fungus smelling. It was a little disturbing. I started to research poison but nothing fit, most poisons cause gastric distress and kill quickly. Then she got up and started walking. I had no idea what to think at this point, it was starting to seem like it wasn't a stroke. Day 7 she relapsed with her liver, blew up like a balloon, but it was short lived. Day 8-10 she improved in eyesight and stimulus response, she was up on her feet, ate and drank for me on her own. Til then, and after this point, I was hydrating her and getting a pint to a quart of homemade bone broth down her every day. But while she was improving in other areas, she started walking drunk and losing motor control. On day 10 she was fully paralyzed. She could move her mouth enough to drink and she could move her eyes, but that was it. That's when I crunched internet research and found aldicarb poisoning. Clinical signs of survivors include peripheral nervous system shut down 7-14 days after exposure. It includes extreme blurred vision, dizziness, "drunkenness", the muscles that control the eyes are interfered with. It commonly causes pancreatic failure (didn't read anything about liver, but maybe it was her pancreas that failed, I dont' know). The poison does not cause gastric distress, it's a nerve agent. And it can take up to 20 hours to take affect. The list goes on, every facet of aldicarb poisoning I read about shed more and more light on her situation. And it was relieving, honestly. The day she went fully paralyzed, once again, I was braced for her to die. I had no idea what was wrong. I thought, this is it. All this struggle and this is the climax. But it was confusing because she was otherwise the picture of health. She didn't LOOK like death. She didn't LOOK like her body was dying. She was home, her eyes were bright, her mind was goin', she ate and drank on her side for me, but the body wasn't online for her.
Over the next 7 days I continued to support her in similar ways, hoping it was the poison, hoping the charcoal had been enough (it was a basic emergency protocol since I didn't know what was going on, it couldn't hurt her any!). I made her do physical therapy with the laser pointer, which she loves. Every day was baby step improvement; first she was able to start moving her head around very slightly, then she was able to hold herself in an upright-laying position without me stacking blankets and pillows around her. Then she was able to, with a little help, get herself from a laying-on-side to laying-upright position. Her legs had been stuck out totally rigid and I had to bend them for her to get her upright, but she regained control over them bit by bit. She got to where she could be helped into in a standing position, with lots of support of course, and not crumple back to the ground. And with some advice from a friend I started dosing her with electrolytes and B vitamins. On day 24, since it all began, she walked on her own for the first time in 14 days. IT was REALLY sloppy, but she did it. And she started improving leaps and bounds with each passing day. Over the next 3 weeks she regained herself to 99%. Something is buggered up with her up-close vision now, but otherwise she's seemed normal. She's had a few bouts of abdominal swelling but I've been treating her for infection and it goes away. She had lost close to 20lbs over that 24~ day period, all muscle mass, and she's regained at least 10 of it back and is running and jumping and playing.
And just when it seemed like she was in the clear, she started backsliding. She had 2 or 3 days of progressively becoming "drunk" again. Wobbly. Uncoordinated. Stumbling. I started her back up on electrolytes and B vitamins and it didn't seem to improve her, though she didn't get worse. Then yesterday, to my horror, she followed me up into the hay loft and I turned around just in time to see her stumble and fall face first off the edge. She had about a 6' drop onto dry dirt, she landed on the crook of the left shoulder. She was obviously a little messed up from it she half walked, half got carried home (she's 70lbs and we're a few acres away from our livestock). She has some swelling and heat in her shoulder, and I have felt bones shift around a bit in her shoulder or ribs when I picked her up. I can't pinpoint whether it's the scapula or the ribs behind it, but I highly suspect the ribs behind it as her scapula isn't experiencing acute swelling; the area around it is. Nothing poking out, no blood under the skin, and she's not in extreme pain. We now pick her up and move her with the two of us so we're not bear hugging her and lifting her in this state. I'm keeping up on the supplements. I've shaved her shoulder and have been applying comfrey poultice to the shoulder. She is cool, calm, and collected. Seems mentally clear and is sleeping fitfully. She ate a good meal yesterday but has chosen to fast today. I'll gauge her tomorrow regarding more food.
She's broken bones before. So have I. This break wouldn't be worrying me nearly as much if it wasn't for the fact that she'd been backsliding before it happened. I've been puzzling and searching for how these symptoms of her poisoning could flare back up 3 weeks after recovery. She can adjust herself in bed to her liking right now. She has twice gotten up and moved herself across the house when I wasn't inside (OUCH!!!). But I'm nervous because in her current new state, I can't keep an eye on her poison symptoms. I don't know how much of her pain and inability to walk right now is the injury (obviously a lot of it is) and how much is this lack of coordination and control that was setting in 2-3 days before this happened.
Don't talk to me about going to a vet. I make my choices, you make yours. I can't afford to walk in the door, let alone pay for xrays, tests, exams, surgeries, and pills. I choose home health care and self education as a result. I've doctored myself and a ton of critters, sewn things back together, splinted and mended breaks, closed some nasty deep wounds, healed torn eyelids, deep punctures, abscesses of all sizes- the list goes on.
Anyway. What I'm looking for is any insight to what things I might be able to do for her from this point. In the complexity of her current situation, and in regards to bodily healing (versus symptom relief). I'm afraid of overlooking the symptoms of poor coordination while the break is healing. I don't understand why these symptoms were/are coming back. Reading about aldicarb poisoning is really tough- most of my information I found in human case reports, obviously no official human studies have been done, and there's not a lot of info on long term complications in survivors. My understanding is that the peripheral nervous system failure/complications are from certain centers of the brain being hyper excited and over-producing certain hormone or chemicals that bugger up the nervous system. It's hard to sift through the medical jargon that comes with researching this. I would say it's apparent to me that she did NOT get re-exposed, but rather this is lingering damage or lingering excitement or lingering chemical buildup from the incident. That's my best guess?
|[+] food preservation » are mason jars clean right out of package? (Go to)||James Freyr|
I suspected they're packed with a gas of some kind? Something that would prevent expansion and contraction during transit and elevation change (think flying on an airplane)? That's a wild guess, but I notice an odd chemical smell when I first open them. And when I open new packs of jars, sometimes the lids "explode" off the jar- I unscrew it facing away from me and brace for the lid to launch off the jar and across the room. I always wash em. Who knows what was used to sterilize them, even if they don't have a gas in them. Bleach? Ammonia? Alcohol? What industrial cleaning residue is still on the glass?
|[+] chickens » Pigeon feed (Go to)||Jen Fan|
Most birds are super cold tolerant. These little guys have no problem in -20º, as long as they're not forced to be in the elements. They deal with heat well too. I kept them in Idaho before coming to Montana, and when it would hit 115º and they did okay as long as they were shaded. In this climate they can reproduce March through November, so in a milder climate they may breed year round.
In the spring I deal with some ammonia complaints in that A-frame greenhouse, as everything starts to thaw and get wet. I work the poop into the soil, plant, and mulch, and it takes care of most that issue. I also have too many birds in this space for it to remain clean and healthy without a lot of work. Ideally this 700~ sq ft aviary (roughly a 30 foot circle) would house 3-5 breeding pairs. But I have 22 adults and a dozen quail in there, plus their babies, and up until recently it also had all my butcher roosters in it, and in years passed had rabbits and chickens in it as well. Lots of poop. But that's lots of fertilizer each summer! They've built the poor, rocky substrate up several inches deep with manure and bedding. Anyway, inside the coop/greenhouse, I regularly shake-in some fresh hay over their poop catch area to help absorb moisture. I can scrape the dried poop off the poop catch board (a board under the roosts, slanted forward) and into a buck to use in other areas. The A-frame structure is really nice for moisture complaints in regards to humidity, as moisture catches on the steep sides and slides down to the ground and away from the birds. It's not a big roof that's catching and beading moisture. Works very nicely for birds, as humidity is what will really get them, any time of year.
I grew corn, potatoes, comfrey, sunchokes, horseradish, and a mess of leafy greens and herbs in with them last year. The only thing they damaged was the young corn; some squabs trampled a corner of the patch when they were just sprouting. Otherwise they leave the plants alone, they don't dig, and they don't rip the sprouts out. At least not those seed varieties. They will nibble leaves in small amounts. I'll be doing corn, squash, beans, and lentils, and maybe millet, in the aviary with them this year. Potatoes have the greenhouse real estate this time. I planted them a few weeks ago. It's been mostly freezing and even dipped down to -4 since I planted them, and they're doin' just fine. The greenhouse stays way warmer than outside, at least 20º warmer most of the time. The only time this becomes an issue is if you have nest boxes inside the greenhouse in direct sunlight. The squabs can't leave the nest to cool down until they're almost a month old. So you want to make sure they don't get roasted in a greenhouse. I also leave the door open in the summer to help regulate temp.
|[+] natural building » Looking to start/join a sustainable living group in Montana. (Go to)||Jen Fan|
We're over here near Bonner. Not exactly next door. But we love making connections, helping others out, and trading and swapping! We're up in the mountains, off grid and are in year 3 of establishing our farm and attempting to build community. We've got pigs, goats, all kinds of birds, and rabbits. I'm an artist and farmer, my partner is a carpenter and gardener. We're endeavoring to produce 100% of our food needs here, and then some for sharing and storing, plus ween ourselves off of petroleum products and consumerism. It takes time getting the systems in place for all that
|[+] urban » 6" deep hole dug next to tomato plant filled with grass (Go to)||Jennifer Lowery|
Mamas build discrete burrows for their litters and stuff the exits when they leave. Usually this entails collapsing the burrow deeper inside, then stuffing the entrance with grass. This keeps the kits from wandering out, and also stifles their nosies and smells. A predator (or curious human) unplugs the grass and finds only a shallow dead-end hole. But that's because mama collapsed the tunnel. She re-digs it every time she nurses, which is usually once a day.
Your tomatoes might be doomed once those babies come out of hiding... Rabbits aren't much for eating the roots out from under plants like gophers are, but they will probably mow your plants down like a beaver mowing saplings.
|[+] chickens » Pigeon feed (Go to)||Jen Fan|
If you want a constant supply of local pigeons you want to do a few things to make sure it's sustainable in all ways;
1. Housing- your pigeons will be way safer if they have a solid roof over their nesting place. Also, designating a prime nesting site means they won't be doing so in your carport, barn, sheds, etc. as they poop A LOT. A house for them can look like anything and be made from anything, but if you want them to use it it should have nice places to nest in it (5 gallon buckets on their side filled with hay work great), and it should have an entrance up high. They will prefer entering from up high and it's just safer for them. You keep a lot of predators out by lifting the entrance at least 4-5' off the ground. You can make a walk-in door if you want. Mine seem to love nesting on the ground, or UNDER the ground if they can manage it. They'll use old rabbit holes as nest sites if you let them. A bucket on the ground is easy access. They'll hide under a slab of wood with 4" underneath it. They'll nestle behind a tote or box up against a wall. They want to be hidden
2. Feed- pigeons are grainivores. They do well on a high protein diet. Feeding them roasted peanuts and old bread will probably sustain them, but their poop is going to stink really bad and probably be really runny. Their gizzards are built to crush and grind hard whole grains, like wheat berries for example. Feeding them a highly processed grain product will ultimately lessen their health, and the health of their squabs. Squabs are raised on crop milk, which is a pre-digested liquid mixed with whole softened grains. Bread can't replicate this in any way. And I personally wouldn't want to feed that to animals I'm eating. Would it kill them? Probably not, especially if they're free ranging.
3. Wild food- homing pigeons can be raised and trained in two ways. The first is by nesting habit. 2-3 nests of squabs in a safe location should 'home' them to a new site. Second is by food. They can travel up to 300 miles in a day to a prime feeding site. The farther they have to travel for good food, the more you're going to lose to predation. Accordingly, they can be trained for one-way or two-way transit between an established and memorized nest site and a feed site. 300 miles, from what I've read, is about the limit of their mapping and flight capacity, if you're going to use them for communication. Anyway, planting wild food for them is the best permaculture approach. Plant a plot of grain and legumes, like lentils, sunflowers, and grain grasses. Amaranth, millet, teff, sorghum, etc etc. They will feed themselves when the harvest is high and it will help keep them home and safe.
4. Failsafe stock- I would recommend keeping 1-3 breeding pairs, minimum, in a pen or aviary in case your free ranging flock gets decimated. Either that or find someone local you can rely on to replenish. A breeding pair, if enthusiastic, safe, and well fed, can produce a set of squabs every 3 weeks, 9 months or more out of the year. Usually nests contain 2 eggs, and usually both squabs hatch. Rarely you'll get 3 eggs, sometimes you'll get 1 egg. If you get a 1 egg clutch and you want production, you can take the egg away and either add it to another new nest, or destroy it (sadness, I know) so the hen will start laying again and hopefully lay at least 2 eggs. Squabs are ready to eat in about 4 weeks.
5. Breeds- the American homers are extra large. Mine dress out around a pound and have ample extra fat. Selecting stock that have wide, broad chests will increase your meat production. Racing breeds are often slender and have less meat.
6. Predators- the biggest predator for the pigeons are birds of prey. Second might be cats, though the adults are fairly safe from cats as long as the cat isn't snatching them off the roost at night. Squabs are cat bait though. Once a hawk or owl learns there is a supply of pigeons in your area, they will stay very close. More agile, lean racing breeds will fair better than slow heavy meat breeds in this case. It's possible to lose several birds in one day, watch out! Giving them safe housing and feeding them in a sheltered area will help ensure their survival. Integrating them with chickens can help, too, as the chickens will have eyes on the skies. Don't house them together if you want full meat production, sometimes chickens ruin and tamper with pigeon nests and pick on young squabs that can't fly.
I can't find my photos from last year, but I grew a garden in the pigeon pen, along with foodstuff for them. This year I will be expanding to two aviaries. I just bought a whole bunch of new stock and breeds and will be selectively refining the subsequent squabs, but there's way too many in their aviary right now in the mean time!
This year we're going to hybridize our setup. Now that I've got over 10 breeding pairs of mixed genetics, we can 'afford' to lose a few birds letting them out to fly. We'll make a chute for them at the highest point on the aviaries (since they don't do well with being expected to land on the ground and enter through a gate, as we've learned), and let them out to fly in the evenings when most the birds of prey are in bed for the night. We wouldn't mind a free flock, but they would get wiped out really quickly, and also turn all of our outbuildings and roofs into toilets >_<
|[+] permaculture singles » 34 F weirdo with problems, seeking friends and stuff (Go to)||Jenny Jones|
Hey, Sarah! Not a suitor here, lol. And not full of advice. But I do like connecting with people! You said looking for friends and stuff, so I assume that includes other weirdos, platonically, too!
I get wanting to avoid PMs. Though personally I'd rather deal in PMs than direct email, if I had to pick. It's funny how much people don't want to say 'out loud'. That they'd rather have the privacy of a secret message for fear of anyone reading their thoughts and words. If you're not willing to be open and honest and forthright in public, then what are you willing to be? Superficial? I think a lot of us sculpt what we post online to bolster our super ego, and it's the things that counteract the image we've tried to maintain that we don't want others to see. Moderating our words heavily on the public forum can be a form of hiding ourselves from others, of course when it's not just simply limited to complying with rules, relevance, and/or basic courtesy.
Curious about your faith crisis? When I read " As a christian I have realized that many of the ideas about gender roles promoted by the church itself are based on bad translations and misinterpretation of scripture, or out-and-out twisting of it to purposefully usurp the authority of women and wrongfully subjugate them." I was like AMEN! TELL IT! And I thought, well gee, I got so excited about that, maybe it'd be a good conversation topic. Then I read that you've had/are having a shift in spirituality, so actually it might not be. Guess it depends on what's goin on. And for the record, it does actually sound like you have a decent foundational understanding of the roots of feminism. But that doesn't have to be a point of conversation if it's actually not that interesting...
"As for my interests and goals... really I'd like to build my own tiny house, complete with RMH and an extensive food forest. I'd like to raise quail again and try out bantam chickens, and I'd like to try raising guinea pigs for meat. Having a smallish plot of land that's paid off (3-10 acres maybe?) and working seasonally to get cash money seems doable. "
Yeee! I just got into quail (again). My first attempt flopped, something ate all my quailies. But I've got more now and am hoping to propagate them! Whenever they decide to start laying eggs, that it. So far I love em, they're so tiny and peaceful and silly. They're coturnix. And they're so TAME! Not at all like the first round of coturnix I got. These little biddies never flush in fear and you can just bend over and scoop them up. I keep them in a big open air aviary. What was your experience with raising quail? Setup? Breeds? Purpose? And what ideas do you have about raising GPs? I've read into it a whole bunch but haven't actually tried it yet (though admittedly I might be close, I was scouring craigslist for GPs the other day >_>). What skills and experiences do you have with building structures? If you already answered that, do forgive me, I'm guilty of skimming sometimes. I'm not super versed in building, but I've built a few chicken coops.
Also, good to hear you've found some healing in your post-truama recovery. Mental health is something our culture doesn't like to talk about, but desperately needs to. The current narrative is horrible. Trauma is a big deal, it affects every aspect of our lives, and it's harmful when you have to hide that from people, and like most other mental health concerns, you try to "just be normal". Gr! Are you pursuing trauma therapy or contending with the beast yourself? Both are equally admirable, of course!
We're up in Montana. We're actually exploring building community. But if you 'hate winter', you might not love it here, lol! We still have 2 feet of snow on the ground. I love it, personally, and I don't see why more people don't love it. But to each their own! The best is when you're working your bum off and breaking a hard sweat, but it's impossible to overheat because you can always go roll in the snow and cool off! And it's just plain beautiful up here when the conifers are frosted, low clouds pass through and hug the mountain top, the evergreens pop incredible detail against the white snow. The best is the really calm snowfall, when big huge puffs are floating slowly down and the mountain is silent, it's so peaceful. I love reading the snow every new day and seeing the tracks of everything that's passed through, secret wildlife leaving their marks everywhere they go. And then summer comes and you're working day in and day out, at first it's refreshing and fun, then by autumn it's like "I'M SO READY FOR WINTER". Then winter hits and hibernation kicks in, and the relaxation begins. And by the time spring comes around you're chomping at the bit to get out and do more work! It's a happy cycle
What's you're ideal climate? And why?
|[+] honey bees » First log hive (Go to)||Jen Fan|
Maybe it;s been mentioned and I didn't see it, but if you want honey, how do you plan to keep the queen out of the supers?
|[+] rabbits » Is raising angora rabbits worth it? (Go to)||Niele da Kine|
Worth noting that if you want to make income off of selling the mohair, versus just 'breaking even' on a hobby, you need QUALITY genes. You'll be paying high dollar for top of the line bunnies if you want top of the line mohair to sell at full price. Crappy quality mohair is not going to sell well or for very much. You gotta nvest into it if you expect a return! So my point being, don't jump on that "$50" angora special on craigslist. A good bunny may run three-digits.
Honestly I've found that there is no money in animals unless you're selling offspring. Meat only breaks even, eggs barely break even, and fiber only makes money if you don't count the hours of investment into the work for small-scale operations. My farm only turns a profit when I sell babies. It might actually be worth thinking about investing in premium bunny lines and actually breeding them. Just a thought!
I don't know much about angora rabbits otherwise. I kept angora goats. If you want to keep a critter for fiber, you'll get way more out of a premium angora goat- they'll produce 20 rabbits worth of mohair twice a year, cost way less than those 20 rabbits, don't require nearly as much care, and the kids sill for top dollar in some areas. I also milked my angora does, despite everyone saying "they're not a dairy breed, it won't be worth it". Best goat milk I ever had, and they milked like cows! 1 gallon a day! That's just gonna depend on your individual doe of course, but pound for pound, hour for hour, dollar for dollar, angora rabbits are a niche hobby of dedication and passion more than they are lucrative. At least it seems that way to me, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that.
Also from the one angora rabbit breeder I've met with and talked to (I was exploring the breed), they're extra heat sensitive. Moreso than rabbits already are. This gal had a beautful setup, her buns were in a tarped/covered frame outdoors, each in a nice big cage. She had special fans and AC units installed specifically to make sure they never overheated when it got 90-100º or more. Humidity will make them even more sensitive to heat. Really rabbits are happiest under 60º, and not over 80º. I've had kits born above ground in -20º weather and they were toasty and happy in their fur-lined nest. I'm not sure "too cold" exists for rabbits.
|[+] chickens » Rabbit-proofing the chicken-feeder (Go to)||Charli Wilson|
I think the issue with that in this special case is that OP doesn't want bunny to eat any medicated feed, and chickens love kicking their feed out of the feeder. So any feed that ended up on the ground is now rabbit fodder. Otherwise that would be a very viable option!
|[+] goats, sheep and llamas » Dog Proof Shed and Pen (Go to)||Jen Fan|
Regarding fencing- OP asked if welder wire will work. NO, it will not. Welded wire will fall to pieces very quickly when worked and abused by a contained animal! Go with either horse fencing (the woven wite heavy gauge) or chainlink. I have picked up a collection of chainlink panels over the years, they're super useful. But it's worth noting that one was used to kennel dogs in, and there are sections of the chainlink that are mangled. If a large dog is bored out of its mind and acting out as a result, it will do anything to destroy what's containing it. The mangled chainlink isn't so bad that the dog could've gotten out, but I find it really impressive on the dog's part to have managed that much damage.
You can try a 6' woven wire or chainlink fence, and simple run fencing over the top of the run. For a roof fencing material, welded wire 'might' work, as the dogs won't really be able to abuse the fencing that's over their head. Just be sure that any roof fencing is REALLY well secured to and tied into whatever your wall material is.
To keep dogs from digging under, a lot of people pour a concrete perimeter. It's the path of least resistance, compared to trenching the perimeter and burying a fence 1-2' deep. Then the soil is already loose and easy for the dogs to dig up! Another option might be to take woven wire (the thick horse stuff) and lay on the ground around the perimeter, partially outside, mostly inside. The dogs can't dige through it, it resists abuse very well without falling apart, and they would have to dig for several feet to dig all the way underneath it/around it. Hope that makes sense. That's what I use for rabbits, except plain chicken wire suffices to contain them
I second trail cams. Don't think that even if you have a just reason to shoot their dogs that you won't get in trouble. Speaking from experience of someone I know- they were in the unfortunate position of losing MORE livestock to the same dogs, who were serial killing their sheep. So they finally shot the dogs, after enough warnings and calls to the police. They reported the incident and found themselves defending themselves in court! The court system was trying to find fault in BOTH parties to increase revenue. Don't trust the injustice system to solve your problems
A lot of people know the sayin; Shoot, shovel, and shut tup. I personally would HATE to have to shoot a dog. I cried last time I shot a coyote. But I would if I had to. If a dog were mauling my goats or pigs, and especially if it's a dog whose owner I'd already had words with before, I'd shoot it. And it would suck. Immensely. Ultimately it's not the dog's fault, it's the handler's.
As per fencing your own goaters in, you can't go wrong including electric. And if an electric and hard wire combo don't keep a dog out, high platforms for your goats to jump onto may just save their lives. We've had 2 dog incidents with our goats, and the first time the goats all holed up on their giant wooden cable spools. The dogs aren't inclined to jump up after them because a smart goat now has the advantage of bashing them in the face when the dog pops its head up. So the dogs tend to stay low and bark. The second time was one of our free-rangin' goats on the mountainside. We have these huge boulders, a big rocky outcrop. This dog showed up ready to eat our minis, and they nimbly sprung from one boulder to another, running that dog in circles and staying just out of reach.
We recently built our barn and I designed the goat's section with safety in mind. The interior 8' space is split in 2; the lower 4' for the pigs, and the upper 4' for the goats. Two-tiered. So inside the barn the goats are living up above the pigs on a deck with railing to keep them contained. When the goats go outside, because the barn is on a slope, they walk out onto a deck that's 4' off the ground. They have to jump up onto this deck to get into the barn. So if a predator got in there, it would have to jump up there with them and risk playing "king of the hill" with a very upset goat. And if a predator is on the outer deck and wanting in, it has to enter through a small opening and be face-to-face with very upset goats who may as well just bash it in the snout.
Let the goaters have vertical space to get away in, that's their best defense. And definitely employ electric to ward off troublesome doggos. We are using a 6 joule charger, with a pop of 10,000 volts. It hurts, I promise. Haha. It can't do damage, but it hurts in the moment and it's psychologically traumatic getting hit by it (just ask my rebellious hands that refuse to touch the wire even when I know it's turned off). We had a livestock mauler visit us with company once, he tried to dart through the fence, got a full blast pop right next to the charger, crapped himself and came screaming back to its owner, horrified. That dog refused to stray far from the house after that, let alone go anywhere near the livestock and the hotwire! Woohoo!
|[+] chickens » Rabbit-proofing the chicken-feeder (Go to)||Charli Wilson|
I read the title and thought "Ha! Good luck!". Not in a terribly negative way, but in a bemused way, as I myself have yet to devise a system that can allow chickens to eat and keep rabbits out. The best solution might be to temporarily pen or cage Stu and deworm the biddies. Then let miss bunbun back out. Might be the easiest path, versus trying to devise an elaborate system for a rabbit-proofed chicken feeder.
I'm very curious though if anyone else will chime in with a solution!
|[+] goats, sheep and llamas » Have Goat Will Travel (Go to)||Ben Skiba|
Hiking with goats is great fun, if you and your goats like one another! I highly recommend it. Nothin' like napping on a sunny slope with a gently rumbling goat rumen as a pillow!
Pigs also make great hiking companions!
|[+] guinea fowl » ~30 guineas currently, very few ticks but are they eating beneficial things as well? (Go to)||Jen Fan|
Are you curious if the guineas are possibly eating all the reptiles, too? I know chickens and turkeys will eat just about anything small enough to swallow, if they should be predisposed to that sort of thing. I don't have guineas, but from what I've heard about them I wouldn't doubt it if they ate small critters, too. But I would think that their first target would be the bugs. There might be a lot of factors to reptiles being scarce- even if it's just that the guineas are eating all their prey! Those reptiles and amphibians need to eat ticks, locusts, flies, and all manner of things that the guineas will also be looking for. It could simply be that they've been pressured out of the area because of food competition.
|[+] plants » why is my rhubarb so easy to kill? (Go to)||James Whitelaw|
I was gifted a rhubarb in a 1/2 gallon pot. Technically I was asked to hold it for a friend that ended up not wanting it . It lived in that pot for 2 or 3 years, never once amended. The first 2 summers it repeatedly got dried out and I thought I'd killed it but it kept coming back. In its 3rd year it went to seed, it was in a slightly larger pot at that point. I collected loads of viable seed from it and it never came back. Been meaning to plant some more.
I got the impression they were indestructible based on my experience with that one plant!