Brenda Groth wrote:HOLY CRAP them are some nasty thorns.
And they are poisonous! You get stuck and don't take care of it right you may be losing whatever got stuck, or at least lose that muscle group and leave a nasty scar. Many old farmers in these parts had lost toes or fingers or forearm muscle to thorn infections--almost as many that lost them to the machinery.
The thorn is the first thing that comes out of the ground, too. A 4 inch sapling with three 3 inch spikes--natural caltrops. I lose tires to them every year, and several pairs of shoes. They will go through any shoe and many boots. Hard to spot in the grass, too.
Sorry this is inaccurate,
I'd have no arms or legs and be called Bob by now if any of this were true.
I didn't say I didn't agree with it, I said it isn't a method it isn't a thing. It is just deep mulching with wood chips, of course it works that why I said gardeners have been doing it as long as wood chippers have been around. Of course it works, but calling it "Back to Eden Method" is like say well imagine this.
Lots of people mulch with straw, straw was in the manger, what if we start a new method called, "Back to Bethlehem Method", we mulch with straw that has animal poop on it. Now we take this simple thing that people have done forever and we call it something and in the minds of people it becomes complicated.
Call it anything you want it is just organic gardening and mulching. Which absolutely does work very well.
Here are my thoughts you may take them or leave them, I expect some to not like them, that is okay.
1. There is no such thing as a "Back to Eden" method. Someone putting a name on something doesn't change what it is. All this is amounts to compost and wood mulch. As long as there have been wood chippers, gardeners have been putting wood chips on gardens. I was doing it as a child for my grandfather in the late 70s. One reason people are worried about what to do here is we stopped calling it what it is and made it a "specialized method". If you just said use compost, organic fertilizers and heavily mulch with wood chips, it may not sizzle as well, but no one would be confused. So just stop trying to make it complex and mulch an move along.
2. There is absolutely no issue with wood chips "robbing nitrogen", it isn't a thing, stop worrying about it, it can't happen. As many noted the chips break down very slowly, and there is a reason. Only a very thin layer of the bottom chips can bond their carbon with the N in the soil and then only the very thin top layer of that. If you have 8 inches of wood chips and 10 inches of good soil only about 1/2 inch of the two combined is even capable of the Carbon/Nitrogen bond at one time. Further this small amount of N is not gone, it is given back over time as it naturally composts, breaks down and becomes soil. I swear if one more of my listeners calls in and asks how to deal with chips robbing N, I am going to shoot myself, it isn't a thing, LET IT GO.
3. In spite of #2 the best thing you can do is put down a lot of compost and a lot of organic fertility in the first few years for many reasons. One is if your soil sucks, it is going to take a long time for just chips to change that. So the next thing that happens is you are on the internet claiming the chips robbed nitrogen that wasn't there in the first place. Next is the fact that in most of the US we try to get plants out as early as we can. While the plants can survive the soil is still very cold and a lot of the nutrients that are there, can't be accessed by the plants as there is not yet sufficient biological activity to make them available to the plants. This is specifically true in micro nutrients like Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc and Iron. So for the first few years if you have any slow growth supplementing with chelated forms of those is a good idea too. It is not needed but it is very helpful. At the end is a link with my recommended fertility aids and how I use them. I also recommend supplementing in early season with liquid kelp. Again this is most needed in new gardens before the biology has caught up with the new ecosystem you are creating and very early in the season when many microbes are slow or asleep. In time you need less and less even early on, you end up with a very slow composting action that gently raises soil temps. Biology grows and a few seasons in you can only add more chips and supplement only where plants tell you to. Compost teas are great, so are prepared products like Garrett juice.
4. There is nothing you can do that will get this process kicked it the butt and rolling like fungal inoculation. I always use a product called Endo Mycorrhizae Fungal Inoculation from Sustainable Agricultural Technologies, Inc. when starting new beds. I have trialed identical beds with identical plants with fungal inoculation as the only variable. The results are undeniable. Getting deep into what mycorrhizae fungi do is too complex for this post but they are amazing. They will colonize the lower parts of the wood chips, colonize the soil, attach to your plants roots and effectively become extensions of their root systems and help with water and nutrient needs.
5. Be careful of the video that started this craze. The guy is a wonderful person but his religion interferes with reality. At one point he says something to the effect of, "Wood chips take up water when it is too wet and release it when it is too dry. There is no way to explain that other than it is miracle." That quote isn't exact but it is close. It isn't a miracle and we can explain it, it is called osmosis, you learned about it in likely Jr. High School. Here remember, "a process by which molecules of a solvent tend to pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one, thus equalizing the concentrations on each side of the membrane." Not putting the guy down but when someone thinks grade school science is an unexplainable miracle, don't hang on every word they say. This is just one example of many examples where very simple science is considered something miraculous in this video. To be fair I myself consider these things miracles of creation, but it doesn't mean we can't explain them or understand them scientifically.
6. Sometimes, okay a lot of times people in our space want to be purists they consider "products" bad. They don't want to use kelp or manures or organic fertilizer, etc. They want no outside inputs. Okay well ignoring that chips are most likely outside inputs, you can do that, it will work, the question is only when. And where are you now. Some say all I did was mulch with chips and look at my garden in the first year, it is amazing. Great well you already had good soil, that is why it worked so fast with so little. So if you want to only mulch, you can, it may take a few seasons to really make things happen though.
7. Feeding worms and microbes works, you can talk to your feed store, often they have feed they can't sell full price because wevels got in it, it got moldy, etc. Just a thin layer of this on the soil will bring in worms like a dinner bell at a work camp. I don't care what Dr. Ingam says, molasses works and works well. Old moldy left over sweet feed is great. You don't have to do this but it works. We have trialed this also with beds side by side and after a season the worm count is 4-10x higher where feed was added. As an added bonus as nuts as it sounds molasses especially dry molasses repels fire ants. It does so indirectly, yea they eat it but it kicks up the nematode action and they hate that. We have horrible fire ants in Texas and in spring when they boom I can litteraly see the outline around places we mulched with molasses, by the mounds going around those areas but not into them.
Again you can do it all with just chips or just chips and compost but a layered approach will go faster. If you are interested in the specific fertility products I use they are here http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/tag/fertility and as I add new ones (a very cool one is coming soon) I tag them so they are always here and always updated. If anyone has any questions about this post just ask. If anyone is upset by it, I apologize in advance but it is nothing but my opinion backed by about 35 years of growing gardens and over a decade of designing and implementing permaculture systems.
J Hymay wrote:
Also, Jack, as a FYI.. I tried watching your other Aquaponics & Aquatics playlist, but the list plays backwards in time.. It starts with the most recent, then plays the day before, then the day before that... so you cannot start at the beginning and watch forward.
Thanks for pointing that out, I have changed the settings on that list.
So guys and gals I had a desire to overwinter a few hundred tilapia fry this year so that my final size next year would be bigger. I was going to just toss a heater in a 100 gallon tank and call it good but decided to do an educational project along with it. This is rapidly turning into a full on course in Aquaponics for free. Here are the first five episodes.
So for the past several months my property IN NORTH TEXAS has been sitting most days under at least some standing water.
My question, has anyone learned anything from this?
There was a prediction, 9 years of drought and a lot of people were very concerned. The source was MSN. Sigh.
Last year we were told there was also a drought, I didn't see a drought last year.
The two years before you bet.
1. We really should not listen to such long term predictions
2. We should design our systems based on low averages and with plants that can handle a zone higher and lower, etc.
3. A lake man made and then drained is not proof of a drought, simply that we take more then we capture
4. Trusting main stream media and modern science is generally a big mistake
This is because too many people keep trying to even judge permaculture (which is decentralized anarchism) though the socio/economic/geopolitical lens of modern day politics.
It is quite simple really now that I get it. So many want to impose their will on permaculture, and it just will not allow any imposition upon itself. No one is in charge, and based on how it was founded no one can ever be. There is no hierarchy, there can't be any. Leaders are selected by those that follow them, for a time and cast aside if said leadership becomes weak, arrogant or simply deemed no longer necessary. Leaders are true leaders, they have NO AUTHORITY, only positive social capital.
Again what the purples really are is bureaucrats. They want committees, rules, forced "social justice", government involvement, a place to sit and have a job whether it is necessary or not, equal results vs. equal opportunity. It must be maddening, a bean or an apple tree doesn't care if you are white or black, rich or poor, smart or dumb, ugly or handsome, well liked or despised, etc, etc, etc. No committee or governing body can order a pear or a persimmon to produce!
Permaculture isn't even really about plants it is about a scientific based design and troubleshooting methodology. It is a tool to be used, you can impose about as much of the state or societies will over permaculture as you can over algebra. This must be absolutely maddening to the person that got involved to fight climate change and provide social justice when they learn that they are free to do that, but no one else is required to do it with them or more accurately for them.
Ann Torrence wrote:
True, grocery stores aren't going away any time soon, but that can still be the dream, can't it? Ok, we might need them for toilet paper, and junk food, but meat, dairy, veg? From a food resiliency standpoint, I want that grown and sold as close to the consumer as possible. In the same vein, I would be much happier with a biofuels plant co-op in every county in America than relying on the current oligarchy-owned gasoline infrastructure.
Sometimes I dream that I can fly, it is a nice dream but it is a dream. It isn't that such flight could NEVER EVER happen but I can't plan for it.
The answer to your question is no, with the current population you can't get rid of the current distribution systems, not in our lifetimes. In seven to eight generations if we do things right perhaps a stateless society will exist, but we live in the now.
They said yes mainly because it is a financially viable model. It both pays for itself in time and increases the underlying asset value of the property in question. Given the plant it surrounds will some day be decommissioned (say 20 more years at best) when that happens they can get more for the property. Just as the best way for a farmer to become wealthy at retirement is to build equity in his land during his working years and sell or lease it in retirement.
Ann first it is okay to name the company and it is Alcoa. The prime contact does indeed have motivations of both PR and simply is a permaculturist himself. Doing it on his own much smaller farm.
That said, this had to be sold to corporate HQ thousands of miles away. The level of verifiable detail for the financial model was far in excess of what a farmer would need to see, a government official would want to see or what a loan officer would want to see. While the money was simply there, the bar to access it was far higher than it would be for a dedicated farmer.
Steve also talked about having 125K or 100K or what ever in the bank to buy trees with. If you had the money you still would not do it, we learned this over the last few years. Why? Tax issues.
If I borrow the money, the cost of the money is deductible as an expense. So even if I don't need the money I borrow it! Because it is a financial win. At the end of every year, I have MORE MONEY to do more good stuff with.
Get this, the IRS doesn't consider a tree an expense, it is a land improvement that you depreciate over time, 50 years to be exact with some of what is called an "accelerated depreciation" in the first five.
So what I do is borrow the money, deduct the cost of the loan in the first few years, use the grant money to repay the loan and then also take the depreciation expense long term. Further I defer the acceleration until year six. There by I get to deduct an expense from an appreciating asset!
Farming is a business, you have to understand that to play the game.
So many people griping that they just want a few acres could have a thousand in just a few years. Lease some land, file a schedule F for 2-3 years in that time develop a financial model, find land, take the plan, the model and the land assessment to an AG lender, buy the property, get the grants to fund much of the installation and just do it.
Ann Torrence wrote:
I will finish with the immortal words of that great philosopher, Sting. "People go crazy in congregations but they only get better one by one." We need a 100 million local solutions, not global ones, to feed and care for the billions on our planet. I don't see that worrying much about bankers and academicians is relevant in that paradigm.
Ann first on the right wing thing, apology accepted and don't worry about it. The LOL meant it was in good humor.
On your above quote though and 100 million local solutions, I want that but one trip to a large grocery will show you swiftly it is NOT ENOUGH and never will be.
We also need massive scale production, and it already exists, we need it transitioned to something better. It can't go away with out the deaths of BILLIONS. It can't be 100% what many see as "true permaculture" yet but it could be done in a matter of a few decades and the results are huge to the positive! Metric shit tons of soil not in the oceans, not in the rivers, no huge dead zone at the delta of the Mississippi every year.
Steve's assertion that the market and facilities for this production is one I shared at one time, then I learned the truth. That same equipment that big food uses to process corn and soy can process chestnut and hazels.
I was working with Mark Shepard on this recent project, in that time he got notice of a tentative close to press about 100 million gallons of oil for a single customer. Hazel nut oil! The market is there, it is waiting, there is no shortage of demand, only sufficient supply of scale to serve said market.
We are working to plant 57,000 elderberries on one property, you harvest them with a straddle harvester.
We plant large scale tree systems with a tree planter, they are rented for a few thousand dollars or often available on loan from state nurseries for the cost of delivery.
Apples are becoming a cash crop as cider reemerges, no one cares about blemishes, pruning, etc for such production.
These systems can be systems that you harvest with labor, or machinery or with animals.
I can build a system on fast growing oaks, chestnut, mulberries, locust, walnuts and persimmon that isn't even designed to have a human food yield directly. Such a system creates various mast drops timed to optimize grazing of cattle and pork, turning corn fields into PREMIUM grazing land that leases for more than corn can produce on it. Sure it takes 10-15 years, so what.
See that big cloud of brown dust out there on the horizon, that is people already changing large scale systems, what many people are calling for is already being done.
Good points John, we just bought 5,000 trees for our WV property from the WV State Nursery. We only needed about 3,500 but with quantity discounts 5,000 cost us about 200 dollars more than 3,000, so um, yea. We turned around and gave 1,000 to a client at cost.
Hell you can get good trees for less than a dollar each on ebay for some things!
Even commercial nurseries can be dirt cheap. I bought 100 black locust from Lawyers for 62 dollars! I could have gotten them for a lot less but simply couldn't figure out what I would do with 500 right now.
Indeed I think the only reason the term purple is used or even came up is that purple folks write lots of articles, bitch a lot and claim that they are doing "real permaculture".
They have attempted to rewrite the meaning of the third ethic, they used David Holmgren to do it. Of course they didn't know he was an anarchist by his own words and hence saw it as a form of justification for government socialism.
They have damaged the brand in REAL ways by pissing off a lot of good people doing great things, people with large brands that could reach a ton of people but now won't.
One example is Howard Garrett (the Dirt Doctor) and this is REAL DAMAGE here. I was turned down three times when people tried to introduce us, I only found out now it is because Howard Hates Permaculture even though he is like a 80% permaculture guy without knowing it. Why does he hate us? Purples giving a man shit that has been doing organic gardening and landscaping since before most of their hipster asses was born. This man reaches about a half a million people a WEEK on his radio show. Good job guys!
What if purples had been my first intro to Permaculture?
This is not bragging but the following is true...
1. Due to my work about 5,000 people have gotten PDCs that didn't know what permaculture was 5-6 years ago
2. Most of them are "right wing" or at least were before I also influence them to become far more libertarian/anarchist
3. There are 10s of thousands of gardens planted due to our efforts
4. 5 people have started permaculture businesses with at least some of my direct assistance
5. The number of acres put to permaculture type systems is likely high hundreds of thousands, tree count is likely about 1 million
All this in 7 years! Garrett could likely do the same in one year!
That said as I ponder a series of articles on liberation via permaculture and solving many of our internal issues to accomplish it, I am thinking that I personally may stop saying purple all together. As I finally get it, what we really have is
The primary aspiration of the mission permaculturist is liberty for himself and those he empowers. The primary goal of the bureaucrat is control of others.
The mission folks just want to plant shit, get anything from gardens to entire towns built. The bureaucrats want to set policy, form committees, worry about what others say and think far more than they do.
So the problem they represent is out facing, not internal, the internal solution can be expressed with a math equation called the Franklin Algorithm.
R = √FA
This is the results a purple breather has on a brown if the brown realizes simply that no one is in charge so the brown is free to just do good shit. The above formula is stated as results equals the square root of fuck all. They key is for us missionaries to get doing and ignore the bureaucrats who have no bureaucratic power. This is accomplished by adding he Spirko Compensator to the Franklin Algorithm.
R = √FA * -40GAFF
GAFF is give a fuck factor!
Missions carry some baggage too, it is being held back by bureaucracy and we still are on the interactive edges with main stream. Needing an earth disturbance permit to plant one tree in some towns for instance! But inside permaculture no one controls shit, bureaucrats are to be ignored unless they offer something we individually value.
Bureaucrats are accustomed to a society with committees, rules, controls, authority and feel the only problems with such things are that they don't use force to do the things that they personally value. So they write articles and tell others what they should think and call for organization and structures where none are needed. They also have two choices. Drop the drama and get on with building, planting, designing, teaching, etc. Or create their own sub unit organizations and sink or swim based on voluntary participation.
The more I think about it the more divisive I feel the term purple can be. And the more confusing too! Bureaucratic though is ACCURATE as hell to the real problem. The current hot button issue is the bureaucrats want more women leadership in permaculture and blame the missions for it not happening and they want the missions to fix it. The suggest start is for all white guys to take a class about white male privilege and learn how we suck because we are racists sexists that oppress women. Step two is for us to take this new found learning, organize groups of women, sit in circles with them and admit we have it easier then them and make them feel better by acknowledging it.
None of us will for a LOT of reasons but the primary one is we know that as to the goal, more women in permaculture leadership this is the result of such action! R = √FA
What actually pisses me off about this stuff isn't that they want me to do it. I have now talked to a dozen or so of these people and they EXPECT ME to and are shocked, appalled and confused when I say I don't have time for that, time for application of the Spirko Compensator! -40GAFF
Oh and Dawn, can you do me a favor and not refer to me as right wing. You can honestly call me an asshole and I will shake your hand and thank you for it. But being called right wing is pretty insulting,
Part of this is a continued focus on "techniques" vs. "thinking" which is why Steve is right and still part of the issue at the same time.
Permaculture is NOT just about agriculture, it is a design methodology based on ethics and a trouble shooting methodology.
Now lets look at key line swales as a technique. Do they work? Yes! Can they be designed so that modern farming equipment can be used for harvest and maintenance on a true broad scale multi thousand acre scale? Absolutely! Can they be implemented while the majority of the land is still used for anything from row cropping to hay production to grazing? You bet your ass! I just installed a few hundred acres this way with them!
Now Steve's insight is solid and accurate but not using the design (social and economic) and trouble shooting (fastest accurate route to a solution) that permacultue provides. It is a long slow solution, where none is needed. I can solve the problem with a few better selected words, vs. a scientific study.
Say I want Farmer Paul (pun intended for fun) to install key line swales on his 5,000 acre corn and bean farm. I am willing to take him just to a keyline design first, with tree crops as a long term investment that will eventually let Paul switch to a holistic grazing silvopasture model and make more money and be far more ecologically sound at the same time. What Steve is saying is let us do research to prove it works, not just a few examples but real world hard core, science backed research, then get that recognized, then Farmer Paul will be more likely to do it.
OR CHECK THIS
I can simply LEARN Farmer Paul's language and system and do this,
"Farmer Paul, I can help you install USDA Code 600 Agricultural Terraces on your farm. This will reduce erosion and qualify you for both grants and loans for both the work and the trees we are going to plant in them. Once completed you can still farm corn and beans while the trees grow and you are only giving up tiny strips to the terraces. You will get higher yields with less irrigation after we do this, you will also qualify for soil conservation grants. Now these trees will take quite a while to come into production but when they do as you are looking to transition to a shorter work day we can move into leasing your land at a premium for high quality grazing land. The trees by then provide their own yields and support the grazers. This will require NO investment in new equipment, it can be done so all your harvesting and planting equipment just keeps doing what it always has. We can install the terraces in a week all we need is a bulldozer we can rent one time and a decent operator for it. "
Now some (especially the purple) will wail and gnash teeth because Farmer Paul is still using a combine, a plow, fertilizer, etc. But I figure since we just planted say 180,000 trees, that goes in the damn win column. That land is now perfectly suited to transition and the icky inputs he needs just dropped, all by scratching some lines into the dirt.
You see friends not all USDA Code 600 Terraces are Keyline designed systems but all key line designed systems can be USDA Code 600 terraces. This is farmer Paul's world, his vocabulary and the system he not only earns money in but gets working capital from.
I now see purple vs. brown via the Iron Law of Bureaucracy.
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people:
"First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration. Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.
The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization."
The thing that breaks the iron law here, is that NO ONE IS IN CHARGE of permaculture. The purples are the types that become the bureaucrats. But unlike the typical corporate/government run organizations, there is no real place for bureaucracy. So the purples must find legitimate roles (become brown, or focus on REAL social design, etc) or they get sidelined and ignored. My entire paradigm just shifted thanks to this age old thread! Big old thanks to Paul.
And NOW WE SHOULD UNDERSTAND why the get shit done browns will quickly use a different word to get shit done, even when we know it is permaculture. It is all about the mission. Sorry bureaucrats, Mollison and Holmgren made damn sure this thing would never ever have centralized authority. My respect for David and Bill's genius just shot up about 20 notches. 15 of those notches I didn't even know were there!
I see purple breathers everywhere, they don’t know they are breathing purple!
The term was coined by Larry Santayo and most people that don’t like it indeed don’t even know what it means, but most of the time it does mean them. Many of the comments here show that people in general don't know what the term means when some of us use it, in other words what we actually mean when we say it. So I will attempt to clarify.
Ironically most purple people are found of Larry Santayo and have no idea he is the source of the term!
I recently had one person upset with the term and they decided it meant anyone committed to the ethics or anyone that is “spiritual” and said that clearly that meant people like Masanobu Fukuoka and Bill Mollison.
Now the upset party was an absolute breather of purple but absolutely wrong in his definition of purple breather, likely because he was one. He also wants to identify with men like Fukuoka and Mollison but both are about as purple as I am!
The general characteristics of a purple breather
1. More concerned about what they think you do wrong in their opinion then doing what is right for themselves. Also often more concerned with how people think, rather than what they do.
2. Wants to make permaculture about social justice via politics and can’t comprehend that BOTH founders are anarchists.
3. Generally they are highly non productive, doing almost nothing but enamored with a twisted version of Permaculture ideology.
4. Every other sentence has something in it about Carbon Footprints and Global Warming, though they actually do the square root of fuck all for the bettering of the environment.
5. Full of excuses about why they can’t get land, get something done, etc.
6. Generally of the hippy like vibe yet actually I find it insulting to real hippies to say this. I call them drainbow hippies. Even the real hippies would rather not have them around.
7. Far more concerned about feeling than doing.
8. Considers profit wrong, hence has little to no grasp about the realities of economics, farming, agriculture, business, etc.
9. Carries massive emotional baggage, tosses around words like “white privilege” and wants you to acknowledge their baggage and carry some of your own out of some twisted sense of moral obligation.
10 . In general a person that likes the idea of permaculture but doesn’t want to do the work required to actually establish productive systems, wants to live in unsustainable cities while, lecturing others on sustainability, considers people like me “right wing”, etc.
Or the short answer, no real firm grasp on reality and they want to make permaculture about social politics vs. getting meaningful shit done.
One addition if you read the above it will become clear that often indeed a purple breather doesn't know what makes us consider them purple and likely many people we would not call purple think we mean them.
How do you know if you are purple? If you are getting shit done, and more concerned about what you can do rather than what other people should not do, you are not a purple breather!
I like the application what you have is basically a small ditch with check dams to slow the water and cause infiltration to the primary down grade line while moving water across contour. Is it ideal? Nope but it is a solid adaptation. Frankly I am honored that you mentioned me because I had never even thought of this.
Nicole Alderman wrote:
Beware, I've been reading that drakes like to rape chickens, which can be quite damaging, so if you’re planning on having ducks naturally replenish themselves, housing chickens might not work out too well (http://www.nwedible.com/2015/02/aggressive-duck-sex.html). I only have ducks, and love them, so my vote is for getting ducks
I have a mixed flock of chickens (no rooster) and ducks (muscovies, one drake currently; I've also had some juvenile --read horny--pekin and swedish drakes) and I've never seen any of the drakes go after the chickens. Even when the horny juveniles were gang raping every duck hen they could pin down, they never went after a chicken. (Much to the pleasure of the duck hens, I dispatched the rapists.)
I have however seen roosters rape young DRAKE ducks. It resulted in a Buddy the Goose beat down however and only ever happened once!
Lots of question here about raising ducks, switching from chickens to ducks, etc.
Thought you guys might enjoy the youtube series I am doing on bringing up 50 new Metzer White Layers, Integrating them into my flock, setting up paddock shift, selling our eggs and phasing out our chickens. Here is a direct link to the play list, below are all the episodes and adjuncts so far.
First let me say I think the best way to brood any bird is NOT TO. Let mom do the work. This is why I love my geese, once a year they make a nest, pull down and sit on eggs. Anything trying to harm the eggs or the goslings once hatched is beaten senseless by a gaggle of giant birds. During this time they will even attack me, doesn't work out well for them but you got to admire the spirit.
Yet what do you do when you need to expand your duck flock NOW and none of your girls are in the mood to brood. Well folks you got to do the brooding yourself. It isn't that big a deal but if you have ever dealt with brooding ducks you know they turn the brooder into a wet, sticky, gross and ever loving mess. Even when you make waters that let them get their heads into the water but not climb in it they still manage to splash it everywhere.
This turns the brooders bedding into a paste like wet sopping mess. Worst yet it can lead to disease and even death due to young birds getting simply too cold. Last year we lost several young ducks and in the end it seemed they simply died from being wet while still in the fuzzy stage and unable to find a clean, dry spot.
We change the bedding daily but if this happens over night you end up with wet, sick and often dead ducklings. Our solution last year was simply to remove the water in the evening and give it back in the morning. It worked but they still made a daily mess and I just don't feel good about babies going that long without water.
While I made this specifically for ducks and to deal with their water issues. It would also work well for feeders and waterers for other birds like chickens. Keep things both dry and clean. It will easily keep bedding out of the food and water as well.
The best part is WHEN not if but WHEN your babies manage to fully drain a waterer by tipping it over or just simply off level, all the water goes into a nice resivor vs. trashing your brooder and making it stink to high heaven.