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brainstorming animal care  RSS feed

 
master steward
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Let's see if we can come up with the raw materials for the animal care badge.

At the same time, a challenge is going to be to make sure that a vegan can do animal care at the sand and straw levels.   I think this will be achieved with having lists that say things like "complete three of these ten things" and some of those would be great for vegans.  

https://permies.com/t/97786/animal-care-badges-vegans-brainstorming



Building animal shelters would probably not be at the sand badge level.  More like at the straw badge or higher.

The BBs should reflect some pretty serious pampering.  So I think "feed the chickens" is not a BB.  Sharing appropriate kitchen scraps is a good BB.  (and appropriate would be things like not feeding chicken stuff to chickens or pig stuff to pigs.  and not feeding citrus stuff to chickens - they just don't like it)

Arranging a brooding operation for new chicks.

Capturing a honey bee swarm.

Rescuing a honey bee swarm.



While this is a good time to consider all of the badges, we really need to flesh out the sand badge first.












 
pollinator
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Tuff subject.

Giving leafy limb cuttings to sheep/goats. Not needed in a natural setting, but then again its giving a treat while using a natural resource.

Chickens in a dead zone free environment. It may be free range with central coop. It may be central coop with a 4 paddock system. Pics may have to go a year to prove there is no dead zone?

Hatch eggs naturally from a broody hen, turkey, duck

Do same in incubator?

Collect 100 gallons of manure and do x with it?

Provide heating for new born x

Provide a natural biotic(right word?)_ vinegar, beer, yogurt etc

Grow x for chickens. Can be cut and given to them. Can be grown on edge of paddock so it creeps in. Can be caged then uncaged for free range access.

Collect a dozen eggs.

Milk a cow, or goat, or sheep

Set up temporary water trough for temporary paddock



 
paul wheaton
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harvest grass, bale and set aside for winter

harvest straw, bale and set aside for winter

 
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I built a chicken swing set.  It's a fun project, and I would say it falls into the area of pampering.  The chickens seem to enjoy it and it's easy to do by re-purposing a swing, or using natural materials.

I'm happy to build another one from natural materials and take pictures.
 
Trace Oswald
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Fermenting chicken food may be another idea.  Maybe too easy though?
 
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I know that you want the sand level to be something vegans could earn.

I'm wondrdering if it might be good for the ANimal Badge to specialize at highter levels. I could even make specific badges to represnt peoeple's focus/major.

So, for example

Sand Badge

- harvest grass, bale and set aside for winter
- harvest straw, bale and set aside for winter
- create x amount of feet of natural fencing (either dead hedge or junkpole or living hedge or willow fenceing, or wire fencing that doubles as a trellis)

Pick one of the below to focus in:

Wild Animal Care (choose 5 of the below to do):
   - Make bird feeder
   - set up a humming bird feeder
   - Make a bee waters
   - Make a mason bee habitat
   - Make a pile of sticks X size for snakes and bugs to live in
   - Make a frog pond
   - Make a stack of rocks for snake habitat

Poultry

   - either turn/clean bedding in the coop/house, or move the house to new pasture (20 minutes)
   - feed, water, collect eggs, and let in and out of their house/coop, for 1 straight week (about 30 minutes/day, so 2.5 hours)

Sheep/Goats

   -

Cows
   -

Bees
   -

Rabbits
   -

Straw Badge

- harvest grass, bale and set aside for winter
- harvest straw, bale and set aside for winter
- create x more amount of feet of natural fencing (either dead hedge or junkpole or living hedge or willow fenceing, or wire fencing that doubles as a trellis)

Pick one of the below to focus in:

Wild Animal Care (choose 5 of the below to do):
   - Make bird feeder
   - set up a humming bird feeder
   - Make a bee waters
   - Make a mason bee habitat
   - Make a pile of sticks X size for snakes and bugs to live in
   - Make a frog pond
   - Make a stack of rocks for snake habitat
   - plant 100 sq feet of pollinator wildflower seeds
   - plant 20 different variates of perennial plants that attract pollinators
   - create some sort of wildlife protection area sign
   - create a large water feature (pond, etc)
   - blow the seeds of 50 dandelion flowers

Poultry (duck, chicken, geese, guinea, etc)

   - Raise 5 hatchlings from baby to adult (taking care of it's mother so it can raise the baby counts)
   - build a mobile coop/house

Sheep/Goats

   - build a mobile house
   - raise a lamb/kid from baby to adult (taking care of it's mother so it can raise the baby counts)

Cows
   -

Bees
   - buid a _____ hive

Rabbits
   -  build a rabbit hutch
 
pioneer
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Is electric fencing for rotational grazing/browsing frowned upon here?

If not, maybe part of the sand badge could be learning how to properly fold out and back electric netting for poultry/goats, and/or lines or tape for cows, pigs etc.

And maybe other things related to moving animals to new paddocks.

 
paul wheaton
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Nicole,

I see what you are suggesting.  I would like to keep this to a broad badge.   Vegans seeking PEP4 certification will have 7 straw badges, and the rest of their badges will be iron or wood.   So I suspect that this badge just needs to go up to straw for vegans.  And I think the easy way of doing this is to offer a nice, long list of stuff for the sand and straw badges for vegans and omnis and it will all work out.  

Then when we get to the wood badge, we can start to require experiences with cows, chickens, pigs, fish, etc.  So if a person has a wood badge or iron badge in animal care, their experience is broad and deep.  

 
paul wheaton
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Liv Smith wrote:Is electric fencing for rotational grazing/browsing frowned upon here?

If not, maybe part of the sand badge could be learning how to properly fold out and back electric netting for poultry/goats, and/or lines or tape for cows, pigs etc.

And maybe other things related to moving animals to new paddocks.



I have a lot of experience with electric fencing.   And I am now choosing to move forward with my efforts without electric fencing.   And when we get enough animal systems set up, it is possible that I will change my mind.  

So I think that a lot of the BBs will not mention the type of fence.  So it is possible that somebody will care for animals elsewhere using electric fence and harvest BBs.  But I wish to start off without mentioning electric fence.
 
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I'm imagining Sand could be "low risk" things.  Maybe at Straw you'd start having animals under your care?  So Sand could be more for wildlife and preparation for owning your own critters.

Sand:
Make a nest box
Make a feeder/trough
Pick a location for a chicken/duck/pig/rabbit/etc operation
Make habitat for wild critters
Plant nectar plants and seed plants for wild critters
Plant stuff for domestic critters to use when you get them in the future

Straw:
Make a good coop/pig house
Make a broody hen maternity ward
Hatch eggs under a broody hen
 
pollinator
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Sheep/Goats

  -



FAMACHA x number of animals
Shear x number of animals (may be in textiles)
Trim hooves x number of animals
Debud x number of animals
Geothermal water tank build

Just trying to go by things that most people just hire out but could be done with a modicum of training.

For more advanced there are lots of other dirt veterinary skills.

Anything Joel Salatin thinks is easy would be great.

Joke (maybe) raise a flock of guineas and have them stay on your property for >6 hours after release.
 
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We have a list of things that we think will each take approximately an hour. We're calling it the Joel list:

- build a nice birdhouse (prerequisite dimensional.sand.birdhouse)
- built specifically for a species of bird
- build a mason bee house (possibly other solitary bees)
- build a ladybug house
- build a bat house
- build an insect hotel
- scythe and bale one bale of hay
- scythe and bale one bale of straw
- plant a three season nectar harvest for pollinators
    - at least a dozen species
    - at least 200 seeds
- create a brush pile near a garden for animal/insect diversity habitat
    - at least five feet tall and five feet wide
- create six different toad habitats
- plant 40 mulberry tree seeds
- create snake/lizard habitat
- create a live mouse trap
    - need proof that it works
- create at least a pint of holzer bone sauce
- share appropriate kitchen scraps
    - appropriate for the animal
        - e.g. no chicken bones to chickens
    - four buckets
    - milk a cow or goat or sheep
- plant seeds for humming birds
    - at least 12 species
    - at least 200 seeds
- make a bee/insect watering station
- move a yellowjacket nest from where it is a bother to where it is a value
- move animals to a new paddock
    - make sure they have good water and minerals

We feel like the list is looking pretty good for the vegans but is a little light on the omnivore side of things. What can we include to bolster that side of this list?
 
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What about planning and planting a 'chicken feed garden', to feed X number of chickens? Use 20 different varieties of seed. Is that too much for a Sand Badge?

Storing chicken feed from the garden for winter feeding? Squash, seeds, dried stuff?

Instead of baling straw or hay, how about learning to pile it so it stays dry?

I love all of the habitat ideas for beneficial critters.




 
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What about sprouting grains for animal feed?
 
paul wheaton
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Anne Miller wrote:What about sprouting grains for animal feed?



Or, more accurately, "sprouting grains for winter animal feed"?
 
paul wheaton
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Tracy Wandling wrote:What about planning and planting a 'chicken feed garden', to feed X number of chickens? Use 20 different varieties of seed. Is that too much for a Sand Badge?

Storing chicken feed from the garden for winter feeding? Squash, seeds, dried stuff?



Maybe something about planting some of the fukuoka/bonfils style wheat?

Maybe planting more sepp holzer grain?

Chickens are going to eat a lot more grain, I think.  

Sunflowers?

Hmmmm ....   what about things for cattle or hogs?   Or fish?  
 
Anne Miller
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paul wheaton wrote:

Anne Miller wrote:What about sprouting grains for animal feed?



Or, more accurately, "sprouting grains for winter animal feed"?



That surprised me as that was not what I had in mind.  After thinking about it, I understand what you are referring to.  Animals that free range like cows, horses and goats.

Our daughter ferments her chicken feed.  I have been talking with her about doing sprouts like microgreens.  She showed me a picture on pinterest of a rack she wants to build so she can do this outside.  Since we are in Texas and do winter gardening I feel she might be able to do this year round.  Just trying to explain what I was visualizing.
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
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I think the idea is that all animals are kept in something that resembles a paddock shift system. So when plants are growing there would be no need to provide feed. Only in winter it might be necessary to supplement. And supplementing with sprouted grain is much better than supplementing with unsprouted grain.
 
paul wheaton
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The animal care badge has been created, please see it here:

https://permies.com/forums/posts/preList/107858/881691

Further brainstorming can happen in that thread.  I am locking this thread.
 
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