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Animal Care badge - Straw/Wood/Iron brainstorming thread

 
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Posts: 8723
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Phew, this was a big one.  We're working on defining the remaining levels for a number of badges.  We could use your help coming up with more items that could be added to the animal care badge!  If you haven't heard of PEP yet, please check out This Thread.

In the past we've set up badges where you have to do a set number of things from a list.  The issue with that is that making a bird house isn't as hard as slaughtering a steer.  So instead, we're transitioning to a point based system.  Set up a Holzer beehive, earn 2 points.  Harvest 20 lbs of fiber, earn 40 points.  Earn 35 points for Straw badge and 180 points for Wood.  For the animal care badge, the Iron badge doesn't have points.  Simply complete some specific tasks and you're done.  

We think this is a pretty thorough list but I'm sure we missed some aspect of animal husbandry.  So take a breeze through it and see what you think.  Post comments below and we'll review them as we put the finishing touches on the badge.  In general the idea we're aiming for is a pretty high spot on the Wheaton Eco Scale.  

general

This badge is about animal care. Animals are a huge benefit in the landscape, whether you decide to eat them or not. This aspect is set up with the idea that a vegan could complete the sand and straw badges in a way that could impress Otis.

sand badge

(joel list) complete five of:
   - build a nice birdhouse for a specific species of bird (prerequisite dimensional.sand.birdhouse)
   - 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
   - create a brush pile near a garden for animal/insect diversity habitat
   - create six different toad habitats
   - plant 60 mulberry tree seeds
   - create snake/lizard habitat
   - create a live mouse trap
   - create at least a pint of holzer bone sauce
   - share appropriate kitchen scraps
   - milk a cow or goat or sheep - one gallon for cows, one quart for others
   - plant seeds for humming birds
   - make a bee/insect watering station
   - move a yellowjacket nest from where it is a bother to where it is a value
   - putting out some winter straw to help the animals stay warm
   - fecal parasite test
   - (sheep) health check
   - training animals for goodies
   - catch a honey bee swarm with a bait hive (aka swarm trap)
   - rescue a honey bee swarm
   - cleaning a shelter
   - (chickens) cleaning out at least 4 nesting boxes
   - grow sprouts as a winter chicken feed
   - remove algae from a trout pond
   - add aeration strategy to a trout pond
   - stock a trout pond with trout
   - move animals to a new paddock
   - collect 12 eggs from your fowl
   - food/water/egg/safety check for your fowl
   - food/water/safety check for your 4 legged livestock
   - create dragonfly habitat
        - spring, summer and fall water
        - introduce plants that attract dragonfly food
        - aquatic plants for dragonfly breeding
   - create frog habitat
        - spring, summer and fall water with mud
        - lots of stout plants near pond to protect the frogs from predators
        - lots of insect attracting plants
        - hiding places in the water for frogs/tadpoles to hide from predators

Straw badge
      35 points required
      Can do up to five new points from Animals.Sand list (each item counts for 1 point)

   - Set up a stock tank that won’t freeze in the winter without electricity - 4 points
   - Set up a moveable electric fence for paddock shift systems (show a move)
        - Using 110v ac power - 1 point
        - Using car battery (kept dry) - 1.5 points
   - Scythe and bale a dozen bales of hay - 4 points
   - Scythe and bale a dozen bales of straw - 4 points
   - Build a manual baler
        - 3 points for animal care and 3 points for dimensional woodworking Straw level
   - Grow forage for chickens/pigs in a single paddock - 4 points
        - at least 8 species, obviously more than 5000 calories
        - note that 15 pounds of sunchokes are 5000 calories
   - Prove that paddock shift is amazing - 10 points
        - at least 4 paddocks
        - pics throughout the season
        - one control area that is fenced off 10x10

   - Grow a three season nectar harvest for pollinators - 10 points
        - pics and description of planting
        - pics of hundreds of blooms at 2 points in each season (six pics total)
        - at least a dozen species

   - Prove that chickens prefer fresh food over organic commercial food - 10 points
        - control is at least one chicken in a barren coop and run scenario
        - at least one chicken in a lush paddock have access to the same chicken feed
        - test must span at least three days
        - 2 extra points if the paddocks chickens eat zero commercial food

   - A system to collect excessive insects in the summer, dry them and feed them out in the winter - 2 points
   - Set up a holzer bee hive - 2 points
   - Shear a sheep - 4 points
   - Shear an alpaca/llama - 4 points
   - Make a lightweight paddock shift chick brooder - 4 points
   - Make a lightweight paddock shift chicken coop - 4 points
   - Make a skiddable goat shelter - 4 points
   - Make a skiddable hog shelter - 4 points
   - Make a skiddable cattle shelter - 4 points
   - Do the work to entice beavers to an area - 4 points

   - Set up a system that feeds another system (2 layers)- 4 points
        - Regular food scrap system that feeds chickens or pigs
        - Mulberries and other plants that drop forage for animals
        - Paddock shift that feeds the soil for gardening

   - Mitigate aphids - 8 points
        - not
              - DE
              - buy ladybugs
              - any kind of spray
        - do three of these things
              - improve diversity of plants
                   - some species discourage aphids
                   - some species draw aphids away from other species (sacrifice)
                   - Predator buffet line
                        - Butterfly weed
                   - Some species provide nectar/food/habitat for aphid predators
                   - Some species take up excess nitrogen
                        - Many believe excessive N make a plant attractive to aphids
                        - Rhubarb, any grass, corn, nettles, asparagus
              - create habitat for stuff that eats aphids (spiders, ladybugs, etc) (link to Straw BB for 20 ladybug habitats)
              - create habitat for stuff that discourages ants (spiders, lizards, etc)
              - bring tiny/immature fowl in to eat the ants, preferably in a paddock shift system
              - (??  what else?)

   - Mitigate colorado potato beetle / japanese beetle / other beetles - 8 points
        - not
              - DE
              - soap sprays or any kind of spray
              - squishing
              - BT
        - do four of these things
              - improve diversity of plants
                   - some species improve the strength and health of target plant
                   - some species discourage beetles
                   - some species draw beetles away from other species (sacrifice)
                        - these species typically attract beetle predators
              - build beetle predator habitat
              - add mulch to target plant
              - document plant of the same species in another spots being not bothered by pests
              - bring fowl in to eat the beetles
              - Trap crop (grapes?) to attract beetles then shake trellis to feed chickens below
              - (??  what else?)

   - Mitigate cutworms - 8 points
        - not
              - DE
              - soap sprays or any kind of spray
              - squishing
              - BT
        - do four of these things
              - improve diversity of plants
                   - some species improve the strength and health of target plant
                   - some species discourage cutworms
                   - some species draw cutworms away from other species (sacrifice)
                        - these species typically attract cutworm predators
              - build cutworm predator habitat (fireflies)
              - add mulch to target plant
              - Document plant of the same species in another spot not being bothered by pests
              - bring fowl in to eat the cutworms
              - (??  what else?)

   - Mitigate mosquitoes - 4 points
        - do NOT use BT, soap, sprays, citronella, propane, electricity
        - Pre-requisite BBs
              - build bird/bat habitat (describe for which bird and how many mosquitoes that bird/bat eats)
              - create dragonfly habitat
              - create frog habitat
              - create toad habitat
        - do four of the following:
              - attract two different mosquito eating birds/bats
                   - describe the species and how you’re attracting them
                   - probably building housing
              - Mosquito death water - do one of:
                   - mosquito breeding trap
                   - introduce fish to a year round water tank or pond to control mosquito larvae - this one counts as two of the four tasks
              - build six more toad shelters
              - reduction of mud puddles (or other type of standing water) where mud puddles are not wanted
                   - gutter that does not drain properly?
                   - buckets or other objects outside that can hold water for five days or more?
                   - puddles in a road?
              - (??  what else?)

   - Mitigate crop eating birds - 8 points
        - do NOT use shotgun, electricity, netting or a blaring radio  
        - Do five of the following things:
              - Scarecrow
              - Reflectors or wind spinners
              - Flags or banners
              - Distract birds away from other crops + animal feed by planting mulberries and the like
                   - 100 shrubs/trees total
                   - 60+ mulberries
                   - Staggered fruiting time to distract for as long as possible
              - Select plant cultivars that hide the bounty from the birds
                   - 6 examples
              - Perches for raptors
              - Create snake habitat (link to sand BB)
              - Fake snakes
              - Housing for purple martins (they’re territorial)
              - Paint small rocks to look like strawberries
              - Plant double the crop and accept the losses
              - (??  what else?)

   - Mitigate small rodents (outdoors) (smaller than a rabbit) - 8 points
        - including, but not limited to:
              - mice
              - rats
              - chipmunks
              - voles
              - moles
              - gophers
        - do NOT use guns, electricity, fence, or traps
        - Pre-requisite BBs
              - Create snake habitat
        - Do four of the following:
              - Plants that encourage cats
              - Get a cat
              - Get a rat terrier
              - attract two different birds that eat rodents
                   - describe the species and how you’re attracting them
                   - probably building housing
              - perches for raptors
              - Plants that discourage rodents
              - pulse hogs/chickens/turkeys/etc. through an area with too many rodents
              - put out more food for rodents (thus attracting predators)
              - reduce food for rodents
              - Create an exposed area around your garden that they won’t cross for fear of getting grabbed
              - (??  what else?)

   - Mitigate flies - 4 points
        - not
              - Bug zappers, fly paper, soap sprays or any kind of spray
        - Pre-requisite BBs
              - create dragonfly habitat
              - create frog habitat
              - create toad habitat
        - do four of the following:
              - attract two different fly eating birds/bats
                   - describe the species and how you’re attracting them
                   - probably building housing
              - Remove fly specks
              - Eliminate breeding sources
              - Plants that deter flies (wormwood, mint, etc)
              - Willow feeder style fly trap
              - Homemade fly paper (heated corn syrup and paper)
              - Carnivorous plants
              - Import beneficial nematodes???
              - Clear bag of water hanging in a window
              - plants/habitat for predatory wasps

   - Manage breeding and support a hen to hatch at least six chicks - 4 points
        - points awarded when chicks are one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a duck to hatch at least six ducklings - 4 points
        - points awarded when ducklings are one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a turkey to hatch at least four poults- 4 points
        - points awarded when poults are one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a guinea fowl to hatch at least six keets - 4 points
        - points awarded when keets are one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a quail to hatch at least six chicks - 4 points
        - points awarded when chicks are one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a pigeon to hatch at least four squabs - 4 points
        - points awarded when squabs are one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a goose to hatch at least six goslings- 4 points
        - points awarded when gosling are one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a goat resulting in at least one kid - 4 points
        - points awarded when kid is one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a rabbit resulting in at least six kits - 4 points
        - points awarded when kits are one week old
   - Manage breeding and support an ewe resulting in at least one lamb - 4 points
        - points awarded when lamb is one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a cow resulting in at least one calf - 4 points
        - points awarded when calf is one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a sow resulting in at least six piglets - 4 points
        - points awarded when piglets are one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a guinea pig resulting in at least six pups - 4 points
        - points awarded when pups are one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a llama resulting in at least one cria - 4 points
        - points awarded when cria is one week old
   - Manage breeding and support an alpaca resulting in at least one cria - 4 points
        - points awarded when cria is one week old
   - Manage breeding and support a working farm dog resulting in at least six puppies - 4 points
        - points awarded when puppies are one week old
   - Manage breeding and support farm cat resulting in at least six kittens - 1 points
        - points awarded when kittens are one week old

Harvest List:

   - mealworms - end up with two pounds more than when you started - 3 points
   - crayfish - end up with two pounds more than when you started - 3 points
   - earthworms - harvest 2 lbs of castings - 4 points
   - black soldier flies - harvest 2 lbs of grubs - 4 points
   - fish - raise and harvest 5 lbs of trout in a pond - 4 points
   - chicken - slaughter and clean - 1 point
   - Duck - slaughter and clean - 1 point
   - Turkey - slaughter and clean - 1 point
   - Guinea fowl - slaughter and clean - 1 point
   - Quail - slaughter and clean - 1 point
   - pigeon  - slaughter and clean - 1 point
   - Goose - slaughter and clean - 1 point
   - Goat - slaughter and clean - 2 points
   - Rabbit - slaughter and clean - 1 point
   - Sheep - slaughter and clean - 2 points
   - Cattle - slaughter and clean - 8 points
   - Pig - slaughter and clean - 6 points
   - Guinea pig - slaughter and clean - 1 point


Wood badge
180 points required
Can do up to 30 new points from Sand and Straw lists
Can duplicate up to 20 points from Sand and Straw lists
Can duplicate up to 80 points on this Wood list

Required:

   - Care for 6 different species of animal for 6 months - 40 points
        - Provide clearly better conditions than any conventional farm

   - Harvest 200,000 calories from a domestic animal system - 40 points
        - At least 6 animal products
        - Minimum of 10,000 calories from each of the 6
              - Chicken eggs, Chicken meat, Duck eggs and Duck meat - Yes
              - Bacon, Pork ham, Pork chops, Pork head cheese - No, only counts as one
        - Primarily skiddable shelters
        - No manure handling

Electives:

   - Develop 2 vertebrate animal systems that have less than 2% off property inputs - 40 points
        - Up to one aquatic animal allowed

   - Harvest 20 lbs of fiber from a domestic animal system - 40 points
        - stored and ready for use for other aspects

   - Harvest 5 square feet of leather - 8 points
        - tanned, stored and ready for use for other aspects
        - only domestic animals count for this BB

   - Harvest 5 square feet of fur - 8 points
        - tanned, stored and ready for use for other aspects
        - only domestic animals count for this BB

   - Set up 4 different arrangements where a system feeds a system which feeds a system (3 layers) - 16 points

   - Seal a 1000 ft square pond with pigs - 12 points
        - Prove it doesn’t hold water prior
        - Prove it does hold water after

   - prove that you introduced beavers to an area - 4 points

   - Attract 6 specific species of beneficial wild critters to your site - 20 points
        - Describe each species you wanted to attract and how you did it (2+ methods)
        - Photos of the species attracted to your site
        - Photos of your attraction methods

   - Grow a large three season nectar harvest for honeybees- 20 points
        - pics and description of planting
        - pics of thousands of blooms at 2 points in each season (six pics total)
        - at least two dozen species
        - Minimum of 1/4 acre, can be divided among multiple locations

   - Arrange a hayless system for a ruminant herd - 20 points

   - Eat two salad bowls full of the same food your chickens are eating (ideally foraged from their paddock) - 4 points

   - Grow forage for chickens/pigs in a four paddocks - 10 points
        - at least 8 plant species, obviously more than 5000 calories of forage per paddock
        - note that 15 pounds of sunchokes are 5000 calories

Prove mitigation of pests:
   - For many of these things, you could prove that doing nothing more than general permaculture worked after four years.   But this proof would need to clarify that the permaculture techniques specifically for this item were not used.  e.g., for mitigation of small rodents, cats/dogs were not introduced, nor were bird predator enticements, etc.  And proving “do nothing” is probably going to take a minimum of four years to prove.
   - Proof sufficient for a high school science fair

   - Prove mitigation of aphids - 10 points
   - Prove mitigation of beetles - 10 points
   - Prove mitigation of cutworms - 10 points
   - Prove mitigation of mosquitoes - 10 points
   - Prove mitigation of crop eating birds - 10 points
   - Prove mitigation of rodents - 10 points
   - Prove mitigation of flies - 10 points


Prove your animals don’t have parasites:
   - Check three times, once in spring, summer and fall
   - “Doing nothing” isn’t an option for this series.  Don’t let your animals suffer

   - Prove that your chickens do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your ducks do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your cattle do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your guinea fowl do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your quail do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your pigeons do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your geese do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your rabbits do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your llamas do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your alpacas do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your hogs do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your cats do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your dogs do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your goats do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your sheep do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your turkeys do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your fish do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your bees do not have parasites - 4 points
   - Prove that your guinea pigs do not have parasites - 4 points


Iron badge
These six species required:
   - Cattle
   - Chickens
   - Hogs
   - Turkey
   - Fish
   - Honeybees
Six more species required (your choice).   Possibilities could be more than what you see on this list:
   - Ducks
   - Guinea fowl
   - Quail
   - Pigeons
   - Geese
   - Guinea pigs for meat
   - Working farm dogs
   - Working farm cats
   - Sheep
   - Goats
   - Llama
   - Alpaca
   - Rabbits

General conditions required for all applicable animals:
   - Primarily skiddable shelters
   - No manure handling
   - All of the animal systems must be less than 2% off-site input
   - Hayless (or dramatic hay reduction system) is required
   - No bare dirt under hoof/foot
   - Out in green, lush pasture most of the year
   - Plenty of shady spots
   - Sufficient herd/flock size to satisfy animal’s natural needs
   - Lack of flies, ticks, etc
   - Dry, wind protected shelters
   - Cattle butchering offal goes to chickens, pigs, fish, etc., Chicken goes to the pigs, dogs, fish, ect
   - Little to no predator pressure
   - Parasite and disease checks for all species
   - Their last day and last 15 minutes are calm and relaxing.  Slaughtered on site

Harvest 2 million calories from 9 domestic animal systems
   - Must include a minimum of:
        - 1 beef animal
        - dairy (5 lbs butter, 5 lbs cheese, 1 qt cream)
        - 100 eggs
        - 12 butchered chicken
        - 6 turkeys
        - 2 hogs
        - 10 lbs fish
        - 10 lbs honey

   - Harvest 80 lbs of fiber from a domestic animal system
        - stored and ready for use for other aspects

   - Harvest 20 square feet of leather
        - tanned, stored and ready for use for other aspects
        - only domestic animals count for this BB

   - Harvest 20 square feet of fur
        - tanned, stored and ready for use for other aspects
        - only domestic animals count for this BB

   - Provide proof that you are breeding and nurturing 12 animal species
        - Pampered or treated better than 98% of other domestic animals
        - Photo essay talking about signs of health, good breeding and being pampered
        - Parasite check once per season for all species
        - Level 6 animal care is “pampered” and level 7 is “something that would inspire a Disney movie about a little girl and all of her homestead animal friends.”  Provide some evidence that you might be close to level 7.  
        - General examples:
              - Come when called
              - Let them “escape” and show you can call/entice them back easily
              - You drink their water
              - You eat their food
              - You’ve thought deeply about your animal’s fears of predation and act accordingly (ie. not picking up rabbits or especially flipping them over)
              - Just because a human would like your “pampering”, ensure that your critter would
              - Herbal apothecary in their paddocks
              - Sing or play with you
              - Sleep in their shelter for one night
              - Toys and forms of entertainment for the animals
              - Four seasons of pampering
              - Examples of being people friendly
              - Prolific reproduction
              - Prolific meat/milk production
              - Describe your breeding objectives and plan
              - Describe, for each animal, how your breeding objectives breed out dependence on antibiotics
   - Prove you are pampering your cattle (this is the BB)
        - minimum of 3 calves from breeding to six months old
        - Come willingly to be milked
        - Scratching posts (ideally trees)
   - Prove you are pampering your chickens (this is the BB)
        - chicken breeding program to favor good egg production for foraging on your property
        - winter bug feed system
        - additional fats and oils in the winter
        - a heated shelter for the 12 coldest days of winter
        - put up food for them for the 12 coldest days of winter
        - Swings, tethercabbage or similar activities for entertainment
        - grow winter feed systems
   - Prove you are pampering your hogs (this is the BB)
        - minimum of two dozen hogs from birth to six months old
   - Prove you are pampering your turkeys (this is the BB)
        - minimum of a dozen turkeys from under a broody hen to maturity
        - winter bug feed system
        - additional fats and oils in the winter
        - a heated shelter for the 12 coldest days of winter
        - put up food for them for the 12 coldest days of winter
        - Swings, tethercabbage or similar activities for entertainment
        - grow winter feed systems
   - Prove you are pampering your fish (this is the BB)
        - Extreme variety of aquatic and riparian plants
        - Variety of water depths, rocks, logs, hiding places
        - Flowing water so aeration isn’t needed
        - No fish food - sufficient bugs/plants/etc for them to forage
        - Plenty of oxygen in winter
   - Prove you are pampering your bees (this is the BB)
        - minimum of 3 swarm events
        - pics and description of pollinator planting
        - pics of tens of thousands of blooms at 2 points in each season (six pics total)
        - at least 30 species blooming per season
        - within 150 feet of the hive (about two acres)
        - no more than 3 hives.  One active hive is optimal (with two bait hives)
   - Prove you are pampering another species (complete this BB 6 times)

 
Mike Haasl
master steward
Posts: 8723
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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Hello permies!  I'm just bumping this thread to see if I can get a bit more feedback on it.  Did we miss anything?  Did we get too much?
 
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