Matt Gorham

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since Dec 09, 2013
Louisburg, NC Zone 7b avg. 50" precip.
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Recent posts by Matt Gorham

Excellent information and beautiful land sculpting work Marianne. I'm not too far from you, just a bit south in NC, and am in the process of transforming our land in a similar fashion. What you have done looks wonderful! What are the depths of your ponds?
5 years ago
We grew sorghum this year for the first time at our new farm in North Carolina. We grew Mennonite sorghum which is dual purpose(grain/syrup). The chickens love the grain, and will eat it right off the plant if you bend over the stalk. Processing the stalks into molasses is tedious and time consuming, and in my experience not worth the effort. We will be growing millet and sorghum in the future for livestock feed, but no more molasses for me.
5 years ago
What type of grain was the grain spawn? Rye? Chickens are amazing critters.
6 years ago
I'm late for this but a chisel plow is what most farmers use to break new ground. Better for soil structure than a moldboard plow.
6 years ago

David Miller wrote:A colony is a great thing but what interests me most about Matt's setup is the forage in the colony paddock.



Okay, the forage for them consists of red and white clover, chick weed, burr clover, dandelion, and other grasses and weeds that I don't know. We also place privet slash into their paddock, they chew the wood and leaves. They love pine cones and pine needles.

I'm by no means any kind of expert in rabbit keeping. We moved to NC 3 months ago to manage a farm, which already had meat rabbits and here we stand. It's all an experiment to see what works. One observation I've made is that the pasture rabbits don't drink from there waterer. They get there moisture from all the fresh greens.

We are cutting hay from our meadows for the winter. We plan on culling off any non breeders before winter, and will see what needs to happen when the time comes.
6 years ago
Guess its about time for an update.

The outdoor setup is working great. Instead of keeping only does in the paddock setup, we are keeping our breeding does with our new friendly chinchilla buck. We have stopped putting them up at night due to a lack of predator pressure. We just recently stopped feeding them their alfalfa pellets, the pasture consists of clover, fescue, vetch and many other grasses and 'weeds'. They are stable and seem to really be enjoying this style of management. We keep their water full, but the don't drink it. I suppose the get enough water from the grass.

They have started to burrow which is fine with me. Our plan is to keep them in the same paddock until they kindle, and eventually remove the new kits to their own paddock for fryer rabbit. Then start the process over with the several breeder does and buck. We have started fermenting our 5 week old chooks feed, but the bunnies eat grass, pine needles, pine cones, privet, so no need there.

If anyone has specific questions I'll be lurking around here.
6 years ago
Cool trick for rounding up rabbits, stomp like the rabbits warning signal and they go to their safe place.
6 years ago
What experiences have you had with growing corn beans and squash together as fodder?

I'm planning on growing butternut squash with field corn and some bean to be able to feed chickens.
6 years ago
I'm building a mobile coop now to use this same day range style method. I really like the A-frame design in your post. It looks simple to build, rugged, lightweight, and eggcessable. For that amount of chickens that setup will do great. As for predators, you must stay vigilant. Every place has different predator pressure, so take note.
6 years ago
The rabbits are getting along just fine in their electric paddock. Andrea shifted the netting a half shift to the North of our house today to give them some new forage. The feed aspect of this method is an obvious upside. The caged bunnies go through a full feeder every other day. The six day range bunnies have eaten exactly one feeder full, and just got a refill today.

The first couple days of trying to get them back in there pen to safety were tough, but every evening they are becoming more accustomed to being penned at night. I put all 6 up tonight in less than five minutes. Before it was taking 15 or more. Much of this time can and will be reduced when we revamp there mobile pen. It needs a better door and some structure alterations.

The next step for us is to get the males out on pasture in a similar fashion. I'm building a mobile chicken coop for our chickens that are arriving later this week, but they won't need it for 3-4 weeks. So I'll put them in that until we can get them a pen going.

On a side note we installed our first swale today and planted 5 fig trees into it...
6 years ago