Sam Stephens

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since Jan 26, 2018
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dog chicken bee
Central Texas
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Recent posts by Sam Stephens

Jay Peters wrote:Hi Mega Brain,

. Screw the fridge, but I can't live without a freezer...

Back in 2014, I spent 6mos offgrid and very broke in central Texas.

I had a 100w panel, 2 old RV batteries, a cheap,cheap,cheap 1000w MSW inverter and a $30 PWM solar controller.

After messing with different scenarios,  I put a timer on the freezer power cord and set it to turn off daily between 2200 and 0900.

It worked enough to get by.

4 months ago

Louis Fish wrote:

Sam Stephens wrote:To the OP,

You might want to research the Delaware breed as well.  I have been raising them as dual purpose birds for a year now and the fit the bill.

Thanks for the tip!  I'm loving the look of the roosters.  About how many eggs do you get from your hens a year would you say?

4-5 large brown eggs per hen per week.  One hen lays a double yolk egg often.
 Good foragers, the white color is not great camo.   The roosters are not particularly attentive or protective of the flock.

My dad was in Vet School at the University of Illinois in 1960 and the Ag Dept had a flock of several thousand.  They fell out of commercial popularity soon after;replaced by the Frankenstein hybrids.

They are scarce and can be hard to source.  Mine came from Cackle Hatchery and their story is their bloodline came from a local MO producer sometime in the early '50's.  They appear to be true to breed.
6 months ago
To the OP,

You might want to research the Delaware breed as well.  I have been raising them as dual purpose birds for a year now and the fit the bill.
6 months ago

wayne fajkus wrote:Are they all the same variety? My strategy is different varieties with different chill hours. I may never get a mega harvest, but i should get a good harvest every year.

This is untested speculation on my part. Time will tell.

My Plan as well Wayne here in Falls County.  Fl King and Tex Royal blooming now with Sam Houston to follow,
8 months ago

bruce Fine wrote:i second the raptor theory, bite marks are singular, look like a beak. redtail hawk maybe would do that

Raptors will seldom attack a full grown chicken. A racoon is a fiendish chicken killer and one of their signatures is eating the breast and leaving most of  the remaining carcass intact.  They are mostly nocturnal so the fact does not fit.
1 year ago

The power grid is a convenient accessory most of us take for granted. We recently (this month) had a 48 hr power outage due to a tornado close by.  It was little noticed.

I am putting the finishing touches on a small cabin with a hybrid power system.  1300kW solar, 880 amp battery bank, 3000w inverter, transfer switches and power source selectors.   The cabin was designed from the start to disconnect from the Central Texas grid October thru April.  I have no delusions of living reasonably without air conditioning during the high summer months.

All lights are 12v LEDS, the exhaust fan and ceiling fan are 12v.  A selectable transfer switch powers 6 AC voltage circuits via inverter.  Microwave, fridge, chest freezer, propane/electric water heater and 2 circuits of wall outlets (TV,DISH receiver, laptop, charging stations)  are on the transfer switch.  A 2kw Honda inverter generator provides backup power.

I am not doing this because I think the end of the world is imminent.  I am doing it to be as self sufficient as possible.  It dovetails nicely with my chickens, bees, garden and orchard.

I am 63 yo and while I am not a full blown permie,  I do find some great info here if I filter the implausible and outlandish.  I also find the community here pleasant.  I try to imagine what life was like on a rural family farmstead during the 30's and 40's and emulate that.

I like the results so far.

1 year ago

Chad Sentman wrote:The video mentions risk of botulism, and how this is not an issue with BSFL.

I feed my birds naturally occurring bsf larvae out of my worm hotel.  No meat scraps or grease in there.  The adult black soldier fly does not have mouthparts and does not feed upon waste.  
1 year ago

Timothy Markus wrote:I guess I don't understand your approach.  You haven't seen the video, so you don't know anything beyond the title, yet you are vehemently against it.  

Are you saying that you dispose of dead animals by throwing them onto a shed roof?

Sorry,  But my name is Sam and I am internet video challenged.   No youtubes for me!

If *you* have watched the video,  please advise me if the subject reflects the content.  I am curious.

My message is clear and direct.  I don't understand what an "approach" is?  Perhaps a subtle nuance? or maybe PC speak?  Explain to me in flip phone parlance not smartphone juju please.

And yup,  that is exactly what I do. No compost piles  or chunking 'em in the woods.  My birds range far and wide and attack the compost pile with  gusto daily.  Let the carrion birds do their job.  They are good at it.
1 year ago
I did not watch the video because  I do not have the bandwidth out here in the hinterlands.  If the thread subject reflects the topic I say NO!NO!NO!!!

Back in the old days you took a chicken carcass or dead rat and threw it up on the shed roof so the chickens could NOT get to it.

Why?  wry neck.



A toxin that is produced by a germ causes botulism.

This toxin is usually present in dead and rotting poultry and other carcasses. It can also be present in maggots or beetles that have fed on these carcasses. Chickens get sick when they peck at these carcasses, maggots or beetles, or drink water or eat feed contaminated by carcasses.  

1 year ago