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General Forestry => General Board => Topic started by: mike_belben on June 25, 2021, 11:44:25 PM

Title: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 25, 2021, 11:44:25 PM
So question for the pig farmers. 

 Its easy to find a plethora of opinions on how to raise hogs and how much the global pork commodity market is worth as futures contracts traded on wall street and so forth.  Whats not that easy to find is how to market finished hogs and especially the byproducts for best return.  Reading that certain parts are worth certain amounts does no good if you cant find the buyers.


Im considering an attempt at a spring through fall, high rotation silvopasture forage setup.  No wallows, no overgrazing, overcrowding, corn mashed into the mud, nasty stinky pens... None of that. Minimize supplemental feeding as much as possible.  Overwinter only the breeders.  Obviously seeking to trim costs .. Thats pretty much my identity.. Very few people can rub nickels the way i can.


What i am clueless about is how to market pigs for best returns.  Im sure the brokers and buyers love taking a newbs money just as much as a sawmill loves to yard up a new loggers best timber to flip on down the line themselves.  


Anyway im hoping you guys can smarten me up a bit so as to not get hosed.  I have butchered pigs in the past and if necessary would be willing to register for custom slaughtering.  Have already looked into the regs on all that.   This is all a few years away so ive got time.  Just contemplating.  I have semi access on site and have a CDL so if it paid well enough i could haul a few states away myself. 

How many 250-260lb pigs to make a full truckload?  I know 48k is full weight wise but doubt 185 head fit in a single trailer.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on June 26, 2021, 12:09:50 AM
If you haven't look up Joel Salatin, Poly Face Farms.  He can give you all the details you need. Also give strong consideration to buying feeders in the spring and focusing on adding value to them, don't keep the sows over winter.  Let the forage, mast, and forbs be your cash crop and don't try to over winter a critter that may flop over and die the day before it gives birth.  Feeding something that isn't giving back every day is having a pet.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Gary_C on June 26, 2021, 02:48:15 AM
It's a sad fact that success in the Ag commodities markets is dependent on your "access to markets" and not necessarily your efficiency/cost of production. In plain words that means you must grow on fixed contracts with a processor or buy your own protection on the commodity markets or your are going to get screwed. I've seen the days when independent hog producers were trying to peddle their fat hogs up and down the road for $5 a head. Today the independent hog producers on every farm are gone and replaced by contract growers who survive on thin but fixed margins.

Don't count on moving up the food chain by becoming a processor as it's doubtful you will have any success as an intermittent marketer. There aren't many freezers in homes anymore.  

There are a number of my neighbors who are crop farmers plus contract hog or turkey growers primarily for the value of what's left after the animals are gone and the value of that manure/turkey litter is going up as fertilizer prices increase with the cost of gas and oil rising.

The days of walking your money to town are pretty limited now days. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: SwampDonkey on June 26, 2021, 04:31:15 AM
Do you live by any good farmers markets? You may be in an area where the butchering is regulated. Guy next door takes meet from hogs and cattle to market and has online sales every week.  The meat is all paid for before he goes to market with it. His meat is butchered at a licensed shop, except his hogs I think. Young family, has that and veggies. Wife and 5 kids has lived off it for 15 years. It's a miracle to me, but it's working for him.

Here's his page.

Update Your Browser | Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/carrotguys)

online store

Homepage - Villeneuve Family Farm (https://villeneuvefamilyfarm.grazecart.com)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Don P on June 26, 2021, 07:44:02 AM
You're not going to legally slaughter and process for sale any meat except chickens, and that exception came from Salatin. Is there a USDA facility with capacity nearby? That is a real problem here. You can sell a customer the pig and they take it to a custom processor for their use, not for sale. 

The majority of our meat does come from the farmers market or connections with people we have made from there, but you are looking for enough people willing to pay a premium over commodity pricing. I can't saw studs for what the big boys can, same logic.

Water at one end, food at another, make em move.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on June 26, 2021, 07:50:38 AM
Mike maybe you will have to the organic, free range, no hormones or antibiotic route.  This past year about killed some operators when the slaughter houses could not staff, and the overweight pigs were sold for a third of what they normally got.  some as you know, had to dig a big hole and dispose of them.  my BIL is doing that with his cattle operation to get a few more bucks.  they all range together.  he keeps info by the ear tag number.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 26, 2021, 07:59:48 AM
Have watched a good bit of joel salatin and am able to replicate his paddock layouts.  Agree that the real cash crop is 9 months of vigorous sun and the ferocious growth of green matter in high cation soils.  Im good at making topsoil.


My test food plots have produced enough seed to plant the entire place within 2 seasons.  Ive got a seed buffet in a bucket right now.  Winter wheat, perrenial ryegrass, red, white, purple and yellow sweet clover, forage turnips and oats, tall fescue, orchardgrass, centipede grass etc etc.  There is no question i can create a vigorous, erosion proof, lush green paddocks for free.  I can later eliminate anything they reject.

I own enough equipment and can build whatever i lack. Rainwater collection is complete.  Electric fencing will be biggest initial cost, and i think i can do the whole place under $1500.


I have no present access to markets.  Id rather not be a butcher shop but if thats where the real markup is i am not opposed. I enjoy carving meat and it doesnt gross me out.  Soldier fly will compost anything and i can steam and grind bones back into the soil for phosphorus.  Theresnot many things i can make as that end goes.

 This is a major beef region and slaughter dates are nearing 3 years so i cannot do anything requiring usda inspection.. Id lose all control in the waiting list. So cannot sell pig parts into the public food supply at all.


I can theoretically get another business license and register for custom slaughter and then sell my hog to my customer in my paddock and deliver frozen and wrapped parts not for resale, to them for a premium. That is legal.  I have not yet found any clear guideline on the regulations for the facility and its inspections.  That may make it beyond my interest, in reality.  Which puts me back to being a guy trying to find buyers for fat hogs like everyone else.  

Lets face it, im nobody.  The only sale i would make in that case is by being the cheapest seller.  The buyer of a ripe hog isnt gonna get in a 2 year slaughter line. Is he gonna slaughter his own?  Doubtful, if hes man enough to kill his meat hed be growing his own.   So pretty good chance he is someone with access to markets buying the cheapest pigs that his slaughter house is paying for and makingna few bucks yarding pigs instead of trees.  


So thats the circular argument in my head.  The woods are highgraded and earning nothing. the pillhoods are using the woods at night to creep around wherever they want so the electric fence is already on my list.  

If you pull out all the firewood, leave some shade trees and toss out some forage seed collected from one bag of bowstand, add high tensile 12.5 gauge and poof, youre growing meat for nothing.  Unproductive land leases pretty cheap so im not limited by my ownership if its a good model. 

  But you need someone wanting to buy hogs in batches on cue.  Im sure the markets are flooded with sellers come fall when the grass is dropping off. How do you not fall victim to price setters saying 'sorry were full this month'  ?
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 26, 2021, 08:09:46 AM
don and doc u guys posted while i was thumb smashing.  But yes to both of your points.  No USDA, and completely free range, no botox, no lipstick.. Clover and turnip green come pick your live clean healthy happy pig smiling in the shade. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on June 26, 2021, 08:16:02 AM
Your ground will need rest periods, likely long periods, or it will go backwards quickly.  Can you raise hogs the way you describe?  Absolutely, but semi loads or anything approaching commodity scale?  Not so sure on that. Direct to customer is the only market that exists for us small guys.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on June 26, 2021, 08:16:56 AM
maybe find a group of neighbors that want to butcher, but not raise a hog.  we have little meat processing places in all the small towns around.  It would be small scale but could be a start.  I assume if you are talking trailer loads, you may as well do it like the big guys and minimize labor and costs.  Yoder meats is in an Amish community.  You can get deer processed and labeled not for sale.  They butcher about 10 lambs a month for sale in the retail area.  that is where I get tracheas to practice tracheotomies for our EM group.  3 buck a piece.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 26, 2021, 08:21:24 AM
I do live by farmers markets but am not one who ever goes to such things so i dont know much about them.  I know of a very successful family farm that does very well with a host of fruits veggies beef and pork through farmers markets and custom ordering but theyve got generations of customers and inherited big tracts.  I cant compete with that.

Theres plenty of BBQ and catering.. In time im sure i can ring enough numbers to generate a clientele but thats here and there sales.  It doesnt unload a whole batch in time to avoid overwintering.


To southside.. Feeder pigs are about $100 a pop.  Say i buy 5 of them in spring .. I fear that by fall i am at the mercy of selling with the crowd and downward price trends trying to beat winter.   Few months later another $500.  


I dont know if thats any better than feeding one sow and one boar over winter. I dont have the experience to quantify what it costs to feed a pair of 400 pounders.

Guy i used to help when i was a teen had his breeding pair 4 or 5 winters and that was in massachusetts. 4 litters isnt a few grand saved in not buying feeders?  I dunno.  In doing some research i came across a fancy family pig farm story that serves nashvilles high end restaraunts.  They keep their breeding stock for life.  Seems all my beef buddies do too. One stud and all the mommas.  Sell feeders at around 700 pounds by the truckload.

Feeds $230ish a ton. Hay is $35 a roll, corn is $8.50 a sack.  Obviously winter is pretty mild.  Hoop house full of kale, turnip and rutabega greens will go all winter here. I know some hippies that have a crop at all times.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: moodnacreek on June 26, 2021, 08:34:08 AM
All I can say is that living in the sticks [where I always wanted to be and once was] takes you away from the money and the fools who pay double for everything especially fads. I can make a little $ with what I can do at home only because of them. Agriculture is a program where you give it everything you have so Americans can buy it cheap.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 26, 2021, 08:43:26 AM
youre right about that doug.  I will say the Lord has been good to me.  I am usually pretty willing to work for nothing and He usually sends me customers who are happy to overpay.  

Dickerers dont really bother me either.. They just dont leave with my stuff. Ive got time to chat them back to the gate with a smile.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 26, 2021, 08:48:44 AM
Your ground will need rest periods, likely long periods, or it will go backwards quickly.  Can you raise hogs the way you describe?  Absolutely, but semi loads or anything approaching commodity scale?  Not so sure on that. Direct to customer is the only market that exists for us small guys.  
Absolutely agree. The semi loads part could only evolve if the lease part does too.  Firewood business has to get tuned in first and thats why first run of pigs is a few years out. 

Firewood only cutting puts me in worthless unproductive nearby highgrades, never further than i can ride a quad.  So that gives me the chainsaw and control of the layout that suits me best.  Hmm. Property line here, paddock divisions here, maple tap row here, service roads here and here.   I can carve it into something thats ready for me to lease.  And no i dont mean doing this secretively. 


Im dreaming up an easily replicated, scaleable model where each component serves the other component. Firewood, syrup, meat and farm plates, tax exempt stamp etc. Maybe bees when i get bored.

My place is just a research station to make mistakes on. It already looks so much better than any neighboring woods.  My dads lot a few doors over is next. By the time that is finished itll be obvious im onto something different than growing greenbrier and doaty oak.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 26, 2021, 09:03:22 AM
I may as well reveal the retirement endgame.  

Buy the worst landlocked 5 acre highgraded lots for cheap, secure ROW access, culvert and cut road, harvest everything that isnt a majestic shade oak or tap maple.. paddock, electric fence, free forage seed, grow meat, hunt it and wait for the next pandemic to sell the turn key "mini farm" to the lets go green mcmansion citiots for unspeakable sums. Puts me in a good spot to get the dirtwork, septic and lawn contracts too. At yankee rates.  ;)


Its what i like to do and it costs me almost nothing since i have all the junk to do it at my own pace.  No time clock, no schedule, no billing, no getting stiffed by customers, no having to argue with customers, no waiting for parts, no deadlines or promises or middle of the night calls.  All the things ive had enough of. 

Pigs seems like a good machine to turn placeholder foliage into something and prevent regen from becoming a chore i need to mow or spray in the interim before an eventual property sale.  I like bacon more than goat or lamb, in terms of lawnmower flavor.  Cows probably not for me. Maybe one or two a year someday. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 26, 2021, 10:36:06 AM
Im eager for one of you to say yer an idiot kid, you have no idea what youre talking about or what youre getting into and here is why ... ___ 

Because i know the information that follows will be good advice.  I truly have no idea what im getting into but it seems like a thing that fed a lot of kids through a lot of hard times past and i know more kids and more hard times is a part of the future.  

Please pick this/me apart.  Im asking as a favor.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: btulloh on June 26, 2021, 10:42:00 AM
The future is never as bad and never as good as it seems it will be. I wouldnít put all my eggs in the dystopian basket, nor would i plan only for things to be perfect.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 26, 2021, 10:47:42 AM
I plan for the worst and pray for the best.  Am thankful to be having a pretty great life.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Corley5 on June 26, 2021, 10:50:20 AM
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Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 26, 2021, 10:56:50 AM
Once upon a time i was clandestinely in that line of work and have kept tabs with where my associates ended up.  Mostly the obits or prison.  

Thought about it for 5 minutes.  Its just not who i wanna be or what i wanna teach my kids to be. I dont care what it pays, the costs are high. Badumpt. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 26, 2021, 12:07:08 PM
   Good info here. I can't see anyone legally selling pork parts. You can sell the hog then let the buyer have it  butchered and wrapped by a custom processor which may be you but what regs are you going to have to comply with to become a custom butcher? I bet that is going to take some air out of your sales (sails?). You might get people to pay you to raise a pig for them every year but I can't see it becoming a very big operation or highly profitable.

  My local grocery will periodically run pork loins for $.99/lb and I stock up and throw them on a rotisserie or cut into steaks (or have them do it at no extra charge). I can't see how you can raise a hog for that price and that is the prime cuts. I buy cheap fatty sausage or ground pork to mix about 4:1 with my venison to make my own sausage every year or so. Sometimes I'll just buy a Boston butt and grind it with the deer meat.

  I had a local friend in Africa who had ambitions to run a butcher shop. His biggest problem was getting hogs over 250 lbs. The locals there would butcher them much sooner than that.

  My gardener (Rolland) married my maid (Monica)in Cameroon and had to pay the bride price to her uncle (her dad was dead) which included a pig. (Names included because I have been chastised for lack of detail in the past and will try to do better from now on.) He had a friend bring the pig over in a local taxi but just as they pulled into the village the pig died so he had to scramble to get another. Ultimately the wedding failed and they divorced. He should have seen the writing on the wall when the first pig died and just abandoned the project.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 26, 2021, 12:25:23 PM
Well im already married but the dowery seems to be endless!   :D


I read and read and read on custom slaughter.. The CFR is a serious sleep aid.  I still have not found a state or fed guideline on the physical layout or practices of custom slaughter.  Yes, tons for USDA.. But not for custom.  Mobile slaughter guys appear to legally be going from farm to farm in old bread trucks and such processing right off the tailgate on a tarp.



Mikes backyard BBQ and Septic Service may be completely legit.  Still not certain.  I will make some calls to a few well aged producers i know and see if they can point me to real humans with more info.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Gary_C on June 26, 2021, 12:40:05 PM
Some years ago the Holstein Association had a feel good project to bring dairy farming to some third world countries and sent then a boatload of nice heifers to get them started. On the follow up visit the recipients told them the heifers tasted good so sent them some more.  :D

Mike, you got a lot of negative opinions about your original idea and you also seem to arguing against it but are yet seeming determined. So when do you start the project?  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on June 26, 2021, 01:02:07 PM
Mike, you're an idiot, kid! Haha I don't really feel that way, you asked someone to say it🤷🏽‍♂️😂 One of my buddies as a small farm and raises about 1000 chickens that they process themselves and sell direct to buyers (I think it's 1000, there's a cap on amount before you have to submit to inspections etc.) They also pasture raise between 20 and 40 hogs per year. They hire a local farm slaughter guy to come in, slaughter and split the carcass. Then they bring the hog to a local butcher that they have prearranged to cut and wrap the hog for the buyer. So they are just selling hanging halves to the buyer. It's a niche of finding people who are willing to pay the premium of knowing how it was raised" and deal with the hassle of picking up the big pile of meat from the butcher.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Don P on June 26, 2021, 01:15:00 PM
For us it is VDACS, Virginia Dept of Ag and Consumer Services who can tell us how they need to see it set up. I'm running into that for grinding corn as well, broad muddy guidelines but I'll get the lady out for a walk through before starting to remodel that area. I'm sure your state has a similar entity. They kick in below the fed typical retail consumer level.

One state, can't recall, recently made a sweeping change which pretty much allows a farmer to direct sale just about anything, all I know is it wasn't my state  :(. Happy cabbage is legal here in a few days, I'm sure there is money to be made the first year but then those things go bust by the next when the commodity folks figure out how to do it at prices that drive the little guy under. I've seen that with more "new" crops than I can count.

The farmers market folks who sell meat get it processed at a USDA facility and then sell at the market, online and from the farm. Some go the whole crunchy granola route and there are customers for that, but for me and most customers it is really more about supporting a local farmer vs supporting Bentonville inc. The problem with selling and processing a whole hog on a pig share type of setup is like someone said, most folks don't have the freezer to take a whole animal, so there is the reason to get it processed for retail sale. That is tough because no one wants a slaughterhouse in their backyard, so we are not getting new ones to support community ag. There is a nut to crack. Most of the butcher shop type operations are buying primal cuts from a USDA facility and then breaking that down, which is another way to custom cut.

A mighty oak is just a determined nut.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: gspren on June 26, 2021, 01:19:22 PM
From what I've seen and been told there are two ways to make money with pigs, either really big factory farm or really small operation doing custom or specialty stuff. I used to buy 10-12 feeder pigs in the spring and they were all sold to people I knew or friends knew, no breeders. Another neighbor that does have breeders and stays small time sells feeder pigs to FFA kids and also to people like me. I had two butcher shops I'd deliver the hogs to and gave people their choice, I charged by hanging weight. I had to stop it cause I was making too much money! :D :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 26, 2021, 07:18:14 PM
So im a few tall ones into boys bday down at the river. Will checkc back into the piggery soon. 

;D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on June 26, 2021, 08:11:34 PM
Mike I have been in the sauce as well and it is starting to rain so I gotta leave the woods now. Lots of thoughts for you...
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: wiam on June 26, 2021, 08:19:14 PM
We used to farrow piglets. At our most we had 8 sows. Biggest year we sold about 90 piglets. Tried doing spring and fall piglets. Fall piglets do not sell well. The last year we had little ones we had more laid on than we sold. Then the boar went nuts and attacked my wife after beating the hell out of a sow.  Now I gladly pay $100-$125 for piglets. Oh. And castrating piglets sucks. But they wonít sell well without.(little or full grown). We sell 6-8 each year that we run through a USDA shop (we have used for many years) we sell 2-3 halfís and the rest goes through farmers markets. We also do beef and maple. We donít use high tensile fence. Single strand electric fence (good fencer) on fiberglass posts is easy to move. With just a few, we keep them ďtrailer trainedĒ as in trailer backed up to fence and feed them in there occasionally. When we need to load them I can back trailer in and they get in before I can put grain in. In Vermont the non usda processor canít be selling farmer. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: farmfromkansas on June 26, 2021, 08:50:09 PM
All the farmers in my area have given up raising hogs.  Worked for a neighbor who had hogs when I was young, after helping him I did not ever want to raise hogs.  He had 50 sows, and a farrowing house, my job was to feed the sows, and help with castrating and vaccinating.  Used to back the truck up to the pen with the buckets full of grain, and jump out the back and run to feed the grain, to avoid the sows out in the open pen.  Then wondered why my back was hurting. 2-5 gallon buckets at a time. One time his kid was riding a sow, and the sow bucked him off and then threw him up in the air by the seat of his pants. The kid was about 6, and wasn't hurt.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: chevytaHOE5674 on June 26, 2021, 09:18:57 PM
I know little to nothing of hog markets but I do know that if finishing them out for slaughter most customers aren't going to like the taste of "forage finished" pork. They are accustomed to the ideally mixed grain ration pork grown by Smithfield. There are buyers out there for forage finished pork just like grass finished beef, but they take time to find and cultivate.


Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on June 26, 2021, 09:24:07 PM
Me and a buddy raised a few hogs once, just for our own use. We just gave them the hog feed we got from the local co-OP, raised on a pig pen (not pasture raised). That meat tasted good, but it had a slight "pig pen" odor. I don't know if anyone else noticed it, but I did. I believe it was the next year, hog markets crashed and we went to a sale barn and bought 260 pound finished hogs for $65. And they tasted way better🤷🏽‍♂️
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on June 26, 2021, 09:42:09 PM
it is a fair amount of work to kill, gut, skin and butcher a hog.  took us 4 hours to do two.  a group of 4 guys with a older guy that was instructing us , one pig at a time, two swine at a total.  we  put the meat on the smoker for 12 hours.  and then divided it and we all vacuum sealed it. 50 bucks each for the pigs at 300 pounds.  but a lot of 'bloody" work.  we sent the bellies to a processor to make bacon for a price.

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: pigman on June 26, 2021, 10:50:39 PM
I know nothing about hogs. I have not touched a live hog in 20 years, but I did have 100 sows in a farrow to finish operaton for 15 years.  I quit not because of low price or lack of a market. I quit because of government  inviromental regulations. You either have to be large enough to buy off government or small enough to not be noticed. I was the wrong size.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Bradm on June 26, 2021, 11:01:17 PM
I'm the son of a butcher, grandson of a butcher, brother to 2 butchers, nephew to a few more, and cousin of yet another butcher.  You could say that I know a few butchers.  Locally, I could set up a shop tomorrow and have enough work booked to fill out the rest of the year before the end of the day.

If you can get into an existing building, I think you might be better off setting up a full service abattoir.  It's one of the only businesses that is recession proof.  A quick Google search brought up this: 
https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/consumers/food-safety/ag-farms-food-manufacturing-and-warehousing/ag-businesses-custom-slaughter/slaughter-license.html (https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/consumers/food-safety/ag-farms-food-manufacturing-and-warehousing/ag-businesses-custom-slaughter/slaughter-license.html) and that's the best place to start.  Unless you're looking at export than USDA may be overkill for day to day operations.

With the right setup, 2 people can slaughter about 50 pigs in a day (6-7 per hour), let em hang (drip out/chill) overnight, and process over the next 2 to 3 days.  Add in the ability to setup a stall at a local farmer's market and you can start some retail sales as well.  Slaughter is messy and smelly and it's hard work but it can pay well if the shop is well managed.

I do think that right now is a good time to start a butcher shop if one is so inclined.  Given the events of the last year and a half, both Covid and ransomware (if I remember correctly), look at how much capacity was taken out due to shutdowns and extortion; not to mention the fact that the big plants don't want to deal with the hobby farmer who raises a few a year for their own freezer.  There may even be some government grants available to help get started.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: wiam on June 26, 2021, 11:23:05 PM
https://sugarmtnfarm.com/ (https://sugarmtnfarm.com/)
This guy has a lot of information in his blog
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 27, 2021, 12:28:38 AM
Mike, you got a lot of negative opinions about your original idea and you also seem to arguing against it but are yet seeming determined. So when do you start the project?  
Youre right gary.  Oh so many good reason not to do this at all.  And maybe a few good reasons in favor.  Hard to say, im of two minds about it.


Its the size of the commitment.  Seems all or none for it to not just become another bill.  Being already stretched too thin, with too many other chores and commitments.. Do i make more?


There are many reasons why i need to stay close to home and without any defined schedule.  There are few ways to make any money at that without inviting lots of customers to your house who may well want your stuff, dont want customers coming to my home anymore.  

Pigs seem to check a lot of boxes but i dont need another hobby.  Theres gotta be a couple bucks in it for certain.  Is there any money in half ashing it?  Doubtful.  Do i want to go convert the woods i love to a bright sunny field for a half hearted attempt?  Will i have cutters remorse?    

I go back and forth.  I like a challenge and have done many things outside my comfort zone at first but raising critters isnt really one of em. Im out of my element in livestock.  Only in hindsight does the correct woulda coulda shoulda path reveal itself and i dont have the energy to waste or bounce back that i once did.  My competive nature has faded.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 27, 2021, 12:44:15 AM
@Bradm (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=33183)  

Thanks for the valuable perspective.  Ive said to my wife quite a few times.. We need more slaughter/butcher operations around here because the appointment waits are really hurting several small beef producers we know. 

 So that was what got me looking deeper into it, the opportunity is knocking.  That i have no real idea what im doing never stopped me from dicing a deer or teaching myself any other thing i felt like doing... But what really made me say no was the realization that suddenly id have no life.. Poof, carve meat all day every day to keep customers happy.  When do i find time to build the house i promised the wife or machines me and boy are building?  Nope.  Cant go back on my word.  


Ive read far beyond what you linked but never have found the exact guidelines and procedures laid out by said commission for custom slaughter.  To me, you can still be a hobby guy here and there with a custom slaughter license.    Been months and im foggy on it now but most documents i could find were about who is and isnt usda exempt, what custom slaughterers cant do, defining altered parts and resale etc etc.  Never found the specific guidelines on facility, procedures etc.  

There is no question the startup costs are beyond me at this point.  Just fencing pens is gonna take me quite a while to afford. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on June 27, 2021, 09:53:33 AM
Mike it seems you like to be self sufficient (understated).  get a couple piglets and raise them up with the kids and then (if they will let you) harvest in the fall and at least you have a new avenue to put meat in the freezer.  anything we all try to do to make money enough for the family, turns into real work.  Any business that involves animals over many months will potentially exhaust you and keep you up at night.  you know all this, and it echo's what I think you may have concluded.  you could get a job in a local custom meat processor, but now you have a day job.  Best regards, Doc.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 27, 2021, 11:09:33 AM
Yes, youve summarized it well doc.  


So ive just wisened up about smithfield foods.  What an absolutely disgusting conglomerate.  Wikipedia claims they were instrumental in putting about 600 THOUSAND small pork producers out of business since 1980 in north carolina alone.  Thats hard to even fathom.  

Whats worse, smithfield owns many many brands and china owns smithfield entirely.  Largest chinese acquisition of a US company in history.  Not buying that anymore. 


Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Gary_C on June 27, 2021, 12:43:39 PM
If you think Smithfield is bad, look up the history of IBP now 
Tyson Fresh Meats.

Or there was Blue Ribbon Beef in Mason City, IA which was bought by IBP and then buried (including the meat in their freezers by some accounts) over a labor strike.

Meat processing is a big boys game and there is little to no honor among the players including the processors and the USDA meat inspection system so be careful what you get into. Those guys kill for a living so they play for keeps. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 27, 2021, 03:17:11 PM
well it didnt take long to see a trend.  IBP was the biggest beef packer.  occidental petroleum owned them beginning in 1981.  does americas biggest beef packer sound like something an oil company would want to run?  

well..   armand hammer was the CEO of oxy from 1957 until his death in late 1990 and he is very well known as a moscow influence agent, named by several defectors. within 12 months of his death occidental sells IBP, it seems he was the force within oxy keeping hold of something completely unrelated to their industry.  

russia having influence of our largest beef packer, and china having ownership of our largest pork packer is enough to make me want a few animals out back.  the holomodor comes to mind. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Don P on June 27, 2021, 04:27:14 PM
The fan might be on our tail or not but it never hurts to have the ability to stock your larder local if not closer  ;).
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 27, 2021, 05:49:46 PM
I dont really worry for me, but i do for a lot of others.  The veteran in me i guess. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 28, 2021, 01:10:41 AM
IBP's account of their checkered past

https://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/91/Ibp-Inc.html
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 28, 2021, 01:17:59 AM
And one account of the december 1998 live hog price crash that seems to have wiped out the small family producer and consolidated the industry into mega owners and contracted lease growers.


20 years since 1998 hog price wreck | Farm Progress (https://www.farmprogress.com/hog/20-years-1998-hog-price-wreck)


It is interesting that retail pork was high yet hogs were way down.  Sorta reminds you of the mismatch in logs and lumber sometimes.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 28, 2021, 02:01:13 AM
Farmers perspectives on it.  

Viewing a thread - Hog market in the late 90s (https://talk.newagtalk.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=683390&DisplayType=nested&setCookie=1)


Learning pretty fast i dont want anything to do with trying to produce pigs to sell to slaughterhouses. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on June 28, 2021, 07:46:41 AM
   I can remember several years back when we could go to the local livestock auction and buy 250 lb hogs for $25 or less if there were any brought in. Many farmers shot them in the field as they could not recover their transport costs to the market or afford to keep feeding them and hope for better prices in the future. As I remember the price of pork in the stores remained unchanged.

Tom T. Hall - Who's Gonna Feed Them Hogs - Bing video (https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=who%27s+gonna+feed+them+hogs&view=detail&mid=7F0C417868B493B03FEF7F0C417868B493B03FEF&FORM=VIRE0&ru=%2fsearch%3fq%3dwho%2527s%2bgonna%2bfeed%2bthem%2bhogs%26form%3dANSPH1%26refig%3d592ca7adbaa54623862227fd263c35c2%26pc%3dU531%26sp%3d1%26qs%3dSC%26pq%3dwhose%2bgonna%2bfeed%26sk%3dPRES1%26sc%3d8-16%26cvid%3d592ca7adbaa54623862227fd263c35c2)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on June 28, 2021, 02:52:38 PM
That hog crash dramatically  changed much about my job. 

Cattle are going through similar changes at least at feedlot to packing house level.
Not enough competition  at the top end for finished product.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 28, 2021, 05:12:04 PM
Just got my CDL physical done.  The doc happens to be a neighbor of mine and a small angus producer.  Said much the same.  Supermarket beef price way up, auction lot prices suck, custom slaughter spots unavailable.  "Prices are the same as 20 yr ago, costs have tripled."


Still waiting on your hog input doctor M.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Tacotodd on June 28, 2021, 06:17:11 PM

My competitive nature has plain crashed!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on June 29, 2021, 03:11:58 PM
Right, hogs... Got distracted for a few days  ;D At Dr. Office will just ramble based on what I remember reading the other day.

Ya'll covered it pretty well from my perspective I guess. You don't want to be a modern commercial scale swine herd, especially on contract. There is some good info on Tyson Chicken etc contract farms out there and it sounds similar for pork. Very bad. Very very bad.

As mentioned last year there were fields dug up to bury millions of hogs that could not be processed immediately, rather than continuing to feed them. This meant in the Northeast and I suspect elsewhere that you could buy a gooseneck stock trailer of feeders from PA for $20 each and not even pay trucking. This among other things wrecked the custom processing market (how we personally were selling wholes/halves) and led to me slaughtering and butchering a handful of pigs on the farm.

If you want to provide good wholesome healthy food for your family, friends, neighbors, community and beyond, AND you have land to clear or marginal land AND you have a robust and resilient local custom processing system in place, well there is still a lot more to it  :D

Most pig breeds do not seem to do well on pasture/forage only. I think we have bred it out of them honestly. Heritage breeds will obviously be better here. They will likely still need supplemental grain if you are raising them for slaughter. Maybe not if selling as feeders??? Please do not feed them garbage, post consumer wastes, massive amounts of industrial food byproduct like dairy waste etc. Pre consumer food scraps are a very good bet though. Think bakeries, hospital, schools, (good) restaurants, that sort of thing. Nothing like dumping a 55gal drum of whole watermelons on a hot day and watching the piggies go berserker on em.

Supplemental grain , if you can't produce it yourself means market whim. Commodity pricing has been wild as you know. Buyer beware. Buy bulk and buy rarely. Last June and July you could not get hog feed here. 

Pigs are going to wallow, I'd expect especially in TN. They do this to keep cool and sometimes to have fun, so if you deprive them of this you are depriving them of pig-ness. They are hard on land that is for sure. Still working for us is intensive rotation in small to mid size spaces for land clearing purposes. They are not destroying the nice pastures or the woods, they are hard at work 24/7. This goes to next topic of keeping breeders or buying feeders?? We breed pigs -we purposely bought registered stock of a breed that has dwindling numbers for breed conservation purposes. As a result we have sold wholes/halves through a couple custom processors, we have sold feeders, we have sold roasters, blah blah. Selling piglets is my favorite! The boar and sows get used for land clearing and soil amendment year round. The piglets,feeders, whatever do the same while they are around.


Marketing is tough. We always manage to get rid of the pigs but sometimes not as soon as we would like. This is on a scale of 25-100 per year. At least one litter of fall piglets has turned into growers to be sold in the spring. Our best customers are people we know that trust us to provide extremely high quality food. Since we don't know that many people this is only slightly helpful. There are others that see what we charge for a piglet and call specifically asking for a breeding pair so they can directly compete from 5mi up the road! Thankfully it has been 3 years since I have seen any local breeders offeri g $30 piglets and the rest have realized that they were essentially paying people to take them, prices now steady this year from $100-$200 weaned, depending on.. a lot.

Have to go now again but will try to come back to ramble more later. This is all just my personal experience in my location and may be way off elsewhere. It is also stream of consciousness and worth what you paid.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: stavebuyer on June 29, 2021, 04:13:46 PM
I can buy many food items at the store much cheaper than I could produce them but most are not fit to eat and many are downright dangerous. At one point a couple generations ago when  society first completely migrated from self sufficiency to specialization the change was pretty well universally beneficial. Somewhere along the way specialization was corrupted by greed and morphed into the sad state of inedible garbage that crowds the store shelves today. 

Let Walmart and Target race to the bottom. What they sell really isn't food. The biggest obstacle to meat is processing. Customers are already waiting in line for alternatives hence the multi-year waiting time for kill appointments. 

You can raise em but who will run the slaughterhouse and how much red tape will the monopolies deploy to ensure that new facilities won't be permitted open?
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on June 29, 2021, 09:24:59 PM
Took this pic just now at evening feeding. We don't do "free choice" of anything but forage except for feeder pigs  which means feeding twice a day, every day. This seems ok for your personal situation, it has been a little rough on ours but only when it comes to beach mojitos. Forest mojitos are better anyway.

40x40 space added to 32x64 space exactly 7 days ago:


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37318/IMG_20210629_202951953.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1625014819)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37318/IMG_20210629_202933055.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1625014820)
 

This is one boar and two recently bred sows. Species composition heavy to hawthorn, buckthorn, ash, elm, black cherry, red and sugar maple, frrns, forbs, grasses. Here is a picture from just outside the fence, maybe can even see it


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37318/IMG_20210629_203612628.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1625014766)
 

Bonus pictures because the mosquitoes are not biting!

Same new 40x40 a day or two after pigs added:

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37318/IMG_20210621_204425170.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1625015585)
 

A different happy mud momma, in the process of weaning her litter of two(!!!!) piglets. Her mother also had only two, a single time and mostly none, we kept her around anyway. Often 'unproductive' breeding stock is culled and this makes sense especially with breed conservation in mind. That sucks, especially because this is, hands down, no doubt, all the chips on the table bet, the best bloodline combination with our boar that we have found. Except the small litters. They are the hardiest, the hairiest, the most bulldog muscle bound meat producing thick necked stump diggers ever to Grace the farm. They do not get registered or sold for breeding or meat, they are the private stock  8)


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37318/IMG_20210619_111213175.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1625015583)
 

You will notice the panel fencing. I don't do electric for the pigs. Works for other stock here but these panels last a very long time (sold as cattle panels, hog panels sold here are shorter and do not have smaller holes at bottom) and when too beat up become trellises for peas and beans. T posts pull up easy and last well enough.

Happy pigging, even if it is a feeder for the freezer!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on June 29, 2021, 09:29:32 PM
Mike if your neighbors are pill people and also hill people we can just ax the thread, you butcher yourself and sell what you want to who you want when you want. This is an option or I can edit this post to emoticons
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on June 29, 2021, 10:13:50 PM
If you try to sell to the mucky mucks they will expect any feed to be non-GMO.  They will pay the price for that, just be prepared for the question.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Bradm on June 30, 2021, 09:47:41 PM
I remember that crash in '98 and pork prices here were down for a few years.  I was doing 40 hours a week in college and working 40 hours a week in the shop trying to keep up.  That crash wiped out all the small producers and most of the independents.  In the rebound from that crash, McCains was the big name putting up new barns all around here and they contracted out all the operations (I worked on 4 or 5 of those barns during the summer of 2002).

@mike_belben (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=33722), I went back and read the regulations I posted and need to eat a little crow.  I didn't realize that federal inspection is required for local sales.  Here it's provincial for any sales in the province and federal for export outside the province.  The local health department inspects the retail areas and the federal inspection comes by to make sure that waste handling is proper (this is primarily BSE, Mad Cow Disease, related).

You may not be looking to get in but I'll describe a basic layout in case someone else is.  Basically you just need to keep it simple.  Just as you would set the workflow in a sawmill, you would set the workflow to as close to a uni-directional pattern as possible to prevent cross-contamination.  Layout would be as follows then:

Live animal unloading>holding pens>kill floor/slaughter room>chill cooler>holding cooler>cut room>retail (if allowed)>freezer>shipping area.  For the unloading area it can be a good idea to have a gate that can close off the area for when things go wrong and an animal gets out.  I'm not sure if it got printed but a reporter got a picture of me walking behind a bull down the main street of our town when one got loose.

As far as the biggest hindrances to the meat industry goes, I feel that there are 4 main drivers:
1) Media blowing recall notices out of proportion.  To the best of my knowledge, almost all recalls have originated at the large producers and can usually be traced back to cost cutting and fudging paperwork.
2) Government employee unions and departments not dealing with unqualified workers and conflicts of interest.
3) Lobby groups that write the rule book in order to drive out the small guy.
4) The government itself for not getting out of their own way and just passing requirements in order to look like their doing something.  A custom & retail shop doesn't need the same layout and waste handling that a 10,000 head a day wholesale outfit needs.

If someone wants to get in, it can be done and now would be the ideal time to start.  The big boys can scream, holler, and spend as much as they want but all the start up needs to do is point to how the supply chain was affected during Covid purely due to all the capacity tied into a few gigantic plants.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on June 30, 2021, 10:38:57 PM
Keep it comin guys.  Im soakin it in.  


Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: farmfromkansas on July 01, 2021, 07:38:23 AM
  The pics Mudfarmer posted remind me of my time on the hog farm.  Set up a pen, if there is a tree in there, the hogs will kill it.  Along with every other plant.  Have been told they will kill off bindweed, by just eating and digging it up.  Takes a while.  Any time the power blinked, the hogs were out, guy had a weed burner fencer.  Hogs seem to be able to smell when the hot wire goes out.  They would go to the shop, and the shop would be stirred up with mud and everything in there.  Guy had drums of oil for hydraulic and engine oil, the drums were dumped, the oil drained on the floor and stirred into the dirt and nails and every other thing in the shop. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 01, 2021, 05:31:52 PM
@Bradm (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=33183)  

You mentioned fed inspection to ensure "proper" waste handling.  What is and isnt proper waste handling in a USDA facility?  

I have looked into the large digesters that are commonly being set up at big producers to hot compost mortality pigs and parts.  What do renderers eventually do with all that slop?  What do killfloors do with all the blood, scum and rinsewater that goes down the drain? Is it just into the septic tank or does the law require holding tanks and a pumpout receipt to treatment plants?


Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 02, 2021, 09:14:07 AM
Incredible feed reference site 

Feedipedia: An on-line encyclopedia of animal feeds | Feedipedia (https://www.feedipedia.org/)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Bradm on July 02, 2021, 07:28:17 PM
@Bradm (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=33183)  

You mentioned fed inspection to ensure "proper" waste handling.  What is and isnt proper waste handling in a USDA facility?  

I have looked into the large digesters that are commonly being set up at big producers to hot compost mortality pigs and parts.  What do renderers eventually do with all that slop?  What do killfloors do with all the blood, scum and rinsewater that goes down the drain? Is it just into the septic tank or does the law require holding tanks and a pumpout receipt to treatment plants?
I can't speak for USDA specifically as I'm in Ontario, Canada so I'll relate what some of our regulations are and a bit of history as well.

We have 3 levels of inspection - municipal (city), provincial OMAFRA (state), and federal CFIA (USDA equivalent) with each having their own fiefdom for lack of a better word.  Municipal handled non slaughter facilities and retail until the provincial decided that further processing was now under their jurisdiction as well; provincial handled slaughter houses that sold to the public but do not export outside the province; federal handled the large processors that focused on high volume production and export.

In 1994 or 1995 OMAFRA began to audit all slaughterhouses.  Inside of a few years, the province went from having 400ish plants to under 150 (currently around 100 if I remember correctly).  The audits were, and are, intended to ensure that all meat processing facilities met a provincial standard to further ensure public safety.  The first binder was about 400 pages of regs with 1 reg per page.  Many were repeats of earlier regs just written in a different manner.  I'm not sure how large it is now but I do believe that over 1/3, if not fully 1/2, relate to ready to eat meat (cured, smoked, and cooked).

In 2003, after 1 positive case of BSE (mad cow disease) in Alberta, our federal government, in order to maintain exports, had CFIA come up with policies to prevent any possible spread of BSE.  It had been determined that BSE spreads mainly from certain by products making it back into the feed of the animals.  These by products were the blood, brain, tonsils, spinal cord and bowel (if not the full large intestine) of cattle over the age of 30 months (I don't really understand how the age was determined to be a factor).  Due to these by products being used in feed that was exported, all plants were placed under CFIA purview with regards to waste and the waste needed to be held separately and documented for weight and who picked it up for disposal.  Fast forward 18 years and I believe Canada has now been given an all clear with regards to BSE so the regs might change, though I doubt it.

For solid waste disposal (bones, fat, offal, etc), a rendering company may be your best bet as some might still pay for what they pick up; you may also be able to bury or run a digester.  For liquid disposal either a lagoon or holding tanks - speak to someone from the EPA(?) or even the state regulators.  Manure could be spread on fields if free from blood or mixed with dirt, sawdust and digester output to make fertilizer.

Again, this is some of the regulations here in Ontario, Canada.  Odds are there will be many similarities for a USDA facility and there will probably be some notable differences (USDA must inspect all plants that sell product rather than just services for one).
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 03, 2021, 12:23:53 AM
Thank you for sharing all that!  Its funny how slow my brain processes canadian governmental units.  We are fed/state/county/town (or city)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: SwampDonkey on July 03, 2021, 02:38:43 AM
I watched my cousin fence off an area around an old barn that was overwhelmed in weeds and grass. I think 6 piggies. They sure mowed that down quick, and they love young pig weed and lamb quarters. Groundhogs do to, I watch them in the yard on new seeded lawn, they go for them lambs quarter leaves big time. I wish they ate burdock, maybe piggies do. :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: chevytaHOE5674 on July 03, 2021, 11:07:20 AM
I don't know all the ins and outs but some local guys are opening a small processing facility. Its been a 3 year process getting all the proper permits, inspections, etc in place from the USDA, state health department, and probably other agencies I've never heard of.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 10, 2021, 01:20:52 PM
Feeding Poultry Litter to Beef Cattle | MU Extension (https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g2077)


So i just discovered it is legal and likely common for large beef producers to feed poultry poop to their beef...?  As my son would say, thats disgustipating.  Im surrounded by poultry congolmerates and hope the local steaks arent overwintered on fermented chicken plops. 

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on July 10, 2021, 01:32:11 PM
Be careful,The more you dig into commercial food production the less youíll like it ;)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on July 10, 2021, 02:39:59 PM
No it isn't. But, it used to be. I still have the books with recommend USDA daily guidelines. Mad cow disease put a stop to the practice, thankfully. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on July 10, 2021, 07:18:35 PM
FWIW mostly in my state any poultry barn waste goes to feed cropground.. Corn/soybeans  feed livestock. 
They feed me :)...
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Don P on July 10, 2021, 08:33:48 PM
Corn/soybeans  feed livestock.  They feed me ...
Which makes me a vegetarian ;D.


Commodity food production is one reason I prefer home grown or local food.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 10, 2021, 11:22:07 PM
No it isn't. But, it used to be. 
Isnt popular or isnt legal?  Univ of missouri link claimed it was halted in 03 and approved again in 05 by FDA.  Was it banned again after 05 and the link is just old?
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 10, 2021, 11:23:23 PM

Commodity food production is one reason I prefer home grown or local food.
 You aint kiddin.  Id rather take my chances with lead poisoning and CWD. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on July 11, 2021, 09:40:45 AM
It's my understanding that feeding any animal by product or carcas to a bovine is prohibited. If memory serves me correctly the EU and Japan would not buy our beef because of the whole issue so that was the catalyst.

For sure don't think I am standing up for big AG here.

Of course Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) was removed so who knows what the lobbyists might have gotten done on a Friday night. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on July 11, 2021, 10:34:35 AM
   This reminds me of the the tale a co-worker from SC told one time about a pig farmer down there who was shut finally down. They said he had rows of pig pens so tight the pigs could not even turn around and he had them lined up head to tail and just fed the first one. 

   I remember an episode on Mountain Men where Eustace Conway down near Hickory NC built a pig and chicken pen with the pigs on top with wide gaps in the boards and the chickens lived underneath and just foraged through the pig droppings.

   I'd heard of people having rabbit hutches built over worm beds and they raised fish bait from the rabbit wastes.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Don P on July 11, 2021, 09:47:56 PM
In the 50's Purina came to my Dad's hometown. In order to convince farmers to bring their grain to them to be ground into feed they put up a set of demonstration pens out front. In the first pair they had 2 hogs, one upstream of the other. The first hog ate whole kernel corn, the second ate what came out of the first hog. The second hog grew bigger. The corn was starting to be broken down in the first but was mostly utilized by the second.
The next pen had a single hog fed ground corn, it outdid the other two.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Corley5 on July 11, 2021, 10:09:24 PM
Chickens will turn composting manure to get the bypass corn :)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 12, 2021, 12:04:11 AM
Boy you guys are making me think mcdonalds pink slime maybe isnt so bad!  Atleast i dont know what it is!   :D


Alright note to self.  Grind the corn and orient the oinkers side by side, not inline. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Tacotodd on July 12, 2021, 12:18:12 AM
But Mike, where is the (experimental) fun in that  :o
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on July 12, 2021, 12:41:59 AM
I watched a show, I think it was called "Going Tribal" where this dude would go out and live with these tribal people, go through all of their rites to become a member of the tribe and so on. In the kne episode he was with a tribe somewhere between India and China. This tribe had a two story outhouse. You went to the upstairs and did your business, and the bottom level was a pig pen. So the pigs just squealed and cleaned it all up. The bonus was, when it was time for the guy to go home, they cooked one of those pigs and had a going away feast for him. Waste not want not?🤢
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 12, 2021, 12:55:21 AM
And here i thought this was gonna be about the 2 story outhouse.  Employees on ground floor, management upstairs. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on July 12, 2021, 08:45:38 AM
"the other dark meat"!  sorry :)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 12, 2021, 09:20:04 AM
Howard, 

It appears the rabbits over worms scenario may have originated from joel salatins 1993 book called 'pastured poultry profits' that southside just turned me too.   Little did i know ive been driving right by him for a decade.  Pretty sure i changed an alternator right near there.  


Chickens on compost is a similar concept.  Theres a lot of larvae protein wiggling around down there. 

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Don P on July 12, 2021, 07:24:09 PM
It appears the rabbits over worms scenario may have originated from joel salatins 1993 book


Salatin is a great guy but that is in the 1966 ag handbook no 309 "Commercial Rabbit Raising", was mentioned several times that I remember in Mother Earth in the '70's and it sure wasn't a new idea then.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 12, 2021, 10:08:47 PM
Doesnt surprise me.  I suspect truly new ideas in basic agriculture are pretty rare.  

Thanks don 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: btulloh on July 12, 2021, 11:32:43 PM
Doesnt surprise me.  I suspect truly new ideas in basic agriculture are pretty rare.  

Thanks don
Well yes and not yes. No-till is fairly recent and the methods for that are evolving all the time. The corn in my leased field is getting up around four feet tall and it also the right time for fertilizer. I heard the guy out there this morning and looked out and saw a spreader truck throwing granulated fertilizer. Normally it would be liquid fert because dry nitrogen on top of the ground doesnít work. But now it does apparently. New formulation i guess. Looked it up, yep, now they have stuff that will work that way. News to me, but I only find out about theses things second hand. I would have flagged the guy down to get the scoop, but I donít like to interrupt him since heís farming about 3000 acres and he doesnít have much time to waste.
So there are new developments, even if theyíre just different and more efficient ways to accomplish the same old things.
I need to see what tires that spreader truck was wearing too.  Hardly mashed any corn and I really canít figure out how that could be. ??
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 12, 2021, 11:45:49 PM
Measured today and my tallest stalks are up to my face.  Still not tassled.  Its my first success at corn actually.  Zuchini and squash are spilling out of the corn rows too.  I cant believe the sudden fertility. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: btulloh on July 12, 2021, 11:53:40 PM
Corn is a bit complicated to do right. Looks like yours is pretty happy. Hard to maintain nutrient and chemistry over a period of years. Science helps with that.

Is your corn for you to eat or for game?  Critters are gonna get theirs no matter what. Be on guard when the ears get close to ready if youíre planning on it making it to your dinner table.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on July 13, 2021, 08:17:19 AM
The advances in GPS and steering  control with the new precision ag technology are pretty amazing. Depth control  of seed deposition within a half inch while traveling 8 to 10 mph, steering to + or - an inch or two  across the field.
Row shut offs that stop seeding when crossing  a previously  planted area so little wasted  expensive  seed. I remember my grandfather's two row combine from the fifties when I was a boy int he early 70's.... it's a far cry from  a John Deere 55.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: btulloh on July 13, 2021, 08:28:09 AM
All that precision tech is pretty amazing.  Really helps the cost of inputs and the uniformity of emergence and coverage are impressive. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 13, 2021, 09:40:07 AM
Is your corn for you to eat or for game?  
Good question, wont know until i taste it.  If it tastes like corn its mine.  If it tastes like boiled buttholes ill toss the ears over the fence and chop the rest into the compost.  


I put out a sack of feed corn with safegard dewormer mixed in next to my mineral site for the deer herd im tending to.  It seemed like they turned it down but the camera shows they did infact eat but just not fast enough.  Too much lush vegetation for there to be a corn apetite apparently.   So most of it rotted and the top crust sprouted.

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0606211202_Film3.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1623044428)

I  planted some in the sorry foodplot out there and brought home a hat full to stick in the new garden bed that was built as a consequence of a "surprise i bought a swimming pool for the kids" situation the wife sprung on me.  My old garden got excavated and i tossed together a spot for next year.  Well.. That caught the corn and grew up in all sorts of volunteer stuff too.  I think i put 2 sacks of lime and the end of a triple 10 in just to start improving it ahead of next year.


No idea what im doing with corn.  Just a test and tune crop i guess.  Still no tassles at 5ft plus. Anywhere theres a squash or mater inbetween the nutrient competition has cost a foot of height in the surrounding stalks. Amazing how hungry and sensitive it is.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: btulloh on July 13, 2021, 09:45:22 AM
Probably wonít be good eatiní. Sweet corn is all hybrid and offspring seed produces some unknown variety. 

Yeah, corn is hungry. All that hippy stuff about planting pole beans in the corn rows is bunk. 

I wouldnít expect tassles until itís six feet or so. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 13, 2021, 10:45:22 AM
Im not saying its not possible but its not practical.  You cant get to anything for maintenance when its planted that tight.   And you have to grow both crops together since they are intertwined. Cant rip one without harming the other.   I used to grow in tires buried flush in the dirt to prevent root mingling so one could be pulled without harming the neighbor.  It worked but ants and moles loved the crevices. 



Im never doing viney stuff on the ground again.  I built a moveable planter box with a 7ft high arbor over it for cukes and such but like i said this was all unplanned.  I have to cut foliage off the squash every day or nothing sees the flowers to pollinate.  And i still have to pollinate by hand honestly.  Its so much easier on an arbor up high than buried under a green prickly mat on your knees. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 13, 2021, 02:03:26 PM
So i had some time to kill with kids at the dentist and realized i still have the UT ag extension agents number and gave him a call.  Helpful fellow, happy to chat.. born on a farm, valuable guy as a historical record alone as he can recall all the changes of the last 40, 50 yrs.


His perspective on forage pigs rather glum. That theyll hardly eat grass or regen, which i cant personally dispute for lack of experience, but it seems to disagree with a lot of other folks story and photos.  Not that im swayed or anything.


Other than homestead pigs, he was not aware of anyone farming hogs in the entire county.  Said the 2 packers in knoxville have been gone for decades. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on July 13, 2021, 02:13:59 PM
A lot will depend on the breed of pig.  Yorkshires - yup I would agree with him, Spanish Iberian - well that's exactly what they do, and do it quite well.  Done right I don't think there is anything out there that competes with their hams price wise.  

It will also depend on the type of grass.  Rank K31 Fesuce in July would not be very appetizing, but Clover, Doc weed, Panicum, Crab, Millet, Johnson, Broad leaf Plantain, even corn stover - full of nutrition and soft - they are going to chow down.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 13, 2021, 03:08:00 PM
I pulled some seed off very lush 6ft high johnson grass in the ditch on the way back from town today. The shoulder is covered in dominant flowering chicory right now too but i dont think seed has set yet.  Figures, i just killed the curly dock near my garden but it will surely return.


I am from a very portuguese town in mass and know an upscale portuguese restaurant owner, grew up with their son.  Actually i know a lot of old portuguese.. I bet i could find out if anyone back there has those pigs.  A 12month to FORTY EIGHT MONTH cure is probably why those hams are so high!  My buddy rusty still does country hams. Just salt on burlap in a shed.


We have a large mexican laborer contingent in my area.. Im told they are goat consumers. Wonder if that spanish pig is a mexican staple or not. If it eats regen and they eat it, that could work well for me.   id be the only source around from what it seems to me at this point.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 13, 2021, 03:13:28 PM
When you say panicum youre talkin switchgrass right?  I bet i can find some around.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on July 13, 2021, 07:27:58 PM
Actually  Mike small flocks of meat goats are fairly  lucrative right now. I had a young man in earlier who had just taken a young weather in for a custom butcher job, goat weighed 48# carcass weight, don't know the details of the deal.  Obviously  the fence requirements  are greater for goats.   But your forage experiments could work for them. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on July 13, 2021, 07:44:08 PM
Nope, Panicum. 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/34297/KIMG1300~0.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1626219743)
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/34297/KIMG1299.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1626219827)
 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Corley5 on July 13, 2021, 08:04:38 PM
Some guys up here have started running Boer meat goats.  Some are raising breeding stock and others are finishing animals for the market in the S.E. part of the state.  Decent $$$ in them.  Good fences are a must.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: PJS on July 13, 2021, 08:43:57 PM
Been a great read through the thread! 

Another book you may want to consider adding to your repertoire: 

Restoration Agriculture by Mark Shepard 

Lots of videos/speeches/interviews with him on YouTube, pretty amazing what he turned his farm in Wisconsin into in 15 years. 

The one goat farm I know of here is sold out at least 2 years in advance due to the demand from whichever ethnicity/religion it was, I canít recall.. and the person who almost bought our farm before we got it was planning on establishing an operation to send 200 goats a week to Toronto for meat.

There was also another operation somewhere in Missouri that was using goats as a non-invasive land clearing operation for hunting land owners, trained to electric fence netting and moved daily, any escapees went directly to market until they had a well trained flock/herd... whatever you call goats lol 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 13, 2021, 10:08:34 PM
Jim youve thrown my world into a brief tailspin. I have that same grass.. And had found images calling it centipede grass which i see now were wrong.  It does look a bit like common carpetgrass, axonopus fissifolius of the poaceae family.


There are apparently 450 listed species of panicum and the 30 or so i thumbed through before giving up dont look anything like that.

List of Panicum species - Wikiwand (https://www.wikiwand.com/en/List_of_Panicum_species)


After much finger banging i now believe it to be paspalum dilatatum... "Dallis grass" after a farmer who raised it in georgia.  


Umass has some good hi res clicky pics showing the hairs @ nodes
Paspalum dilatatum | UMass Amherst Landscape, Nursery & Urban Forestry Program (https://extension.umass.edu/landscape/weeds/paspalum-dilatatum)


Look at some pics and tell me what you think.  I dont care what its called, im just glad to know i have it and stuff eats it without dying!  Its right outside my door, gets stepped on 500x a day and wont die either. Bonus.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 13, 2021, 10:16:05 PM
Those boer goats have giant pitbull bodies with a goats head ontop.  Almost creepy!   :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on July 13, 2021, 10:41:29 PM
You are right, I stand corrected.  Now I need to go and look at a bunch of grass I thought was Panicum.  I never thought I had any switch grass here, but maybe.  Dallis is a GREAT grass, does well with the heat, and is very resilient.  

On the Johnson Grass just a few things to keep in mind.  It spreads by seed and Rhizome, I manage for the stuff, but just like any other forage out there it has a few things to be aware of.  All of the Sorghums can form Prussic Acid - a precursor to Cyanide, and JG is no different.  This happens when the grass is drought stressed or after a frost and it's nothing to play around with, it will kill livestock.  The good news is the prussic acid dissipates out of the grass pretty quickly when either the moisture returns or a few days after the frost kills the grass and it's safe to eat.  A safety mechanism is not to have pure stands of it so your hungry stock has alternatives to eat.  My JG is coming on pretty heavy right now, a bit later than normal due to a dry May and June, but those fields have a lot of clover, crab grass, and orchard grass growing in them right now so the stock has options, but when the JG is leafy and happy the cows eat it like spaghetti.  

The other thing with JG is that it's a nitrogen accumulator, meaning that if you were to heavily fertilize a stand of it the JG would concentrate nitrates in it and that can cause issues with stock as well.  Honestly, managed there is no reason to ever fertilize JG.  Our fields have not had any synthetic fertilizer applied for over 10 years now and today the JG is up to my waist in fields that have been rotationally grazed twice this year and the third rotation is starting this week.  

On the Doc weed - like you said it will come back.  The stuff leaves an ugly seed stem in my pastures for sure come June, but the broilers love the seed and the cows will eat the leaves that grow later in the summer, just too much better tasting stuff around early in the year and it lignifies quickly in the spring.  I will admit my pastures don't look "picture pretty" - the grass is all different height, color, and texture.  Right now I have rye seed and doc seed that you can see the remains of still standing in spots, but I don't care how they look it's how they perform.  I have white, red, and yellow clover all in heavy flower right now and it's been in the 90's for a couple of weeks, my Chicory, Buckwheat, and Cow peas are also in flower, and the orchard grass is thick and going to boot for the second time, along with some crab and JG that has seed heads while some has not even gone to boot yet.  My goal is to have as many varieties of forage in as many stages of growth at the same time as possible so I hedge my bet and feed everything from the soil bugs, to my honeybees, poultry, and cattle all at the same time.  A bush hogged, mono-culture pasture, won't do that for me, but it will look pretty.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 13, 2021, 11:43:03 PM
I am with you on all counts.  Thanks for typing all that up.

My first rule is no debt.  My 2nd is attempt to eliminate or reduce all input expenses as much as is prudent with respects still paid to economics, ethics, morals etc.  Time is last concern. Im doing this because i need to learn it before i can teach my kids and their kids.

So yeah. Feeding em tail to snout is out.  Buying fertilizer and feed that i can create by different means is out.  I do realize feed and mineral expense is a certainty, just mean to minimize feed ration expense.

  Fencing is probably still the biggest input cost.  Ive got time, will find deals.  I have hundreds of pallet rack panels up north, theyll be handy for gates and dont take any time or money.  Have those hot tub pallets and plenty of old tin for A frame shelters in every paddock. Essentially free. Have water tote, will make trailer to cart it from the house gutter.  Collecting limb posts.. Need to fix my PHD or make a rammer.


So on the johnson grass id read of it being a poison one one hand and great feed on the other.  Does the animal somehow intrinsicly know when to avoid like deer know when they need salt... or are you chasing them off it?  I understand a pure stand leaves them no choice.


My pasture starter pail probably has ~30 different types of seed in it ive collected so far. Once tick and chigger season ends ive got one more long parcel boundary to find and string line then figure out the trees to keep, cull and cordon off.  

Will start seeding behind the roller crimper in patches. then just scattering seed heads off the first crop to spread and thicken forage and supress woody regen.   Ideally i wont be buying much seed.. Ill just find it in the ditches and propogate from purely local strains that are adapted to ground zero.   Theres 6 foot johnson grass on the roadside for instance that i know has never been limed or fertilized.  Heck its in ballast rock.  i do enjoy hunting grass and stripping seed.  It beats dishes!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 14, 2021, 12:16:18 AM
Dallis grass has one of the longest entries ive seen on feedipedia.  It does have an ergotism issue in the seed head stage.

Dallis grass (Paspalum dilatatum) | Feedipedia (https://www.feedipedia.org/node/404)  

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on July 14, 2021, 07:38:06 AM
I think every forage has some sort of protection built in. On the JG the fall is easy, by then many other species are well grown up and the cows won't touch it right after a frost. Summer is trickier, so when we do have extreme dry I will move the cows to another paddock that isn't as heavy in JG until I can get water one way or another onto the heavier JG ground. It's not a common issue at all, more of a just pay attention, don't keep them in a paddock too long so they are forced to eat it kind of thing. They are a LOT smarter than we give them credit for. 

You really don't want to be grazing forage with a seed head on it as the nutrition has really dropped off by then. Boot stage is the ideal balance between nutrition, digestibility, and yield. 

This spring I was pointing out how the cows were leaving the Orchard Grass and Rye seed heads and associated plants alone and was excited by it. Meaning they had plenty of good forage and I was getting a free seed drop out of it.  My audience wasn't exactly made up of grass nerds and I got some strange looks.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 14, 2021, 08:40:18 AM
Yeah i planned on being a famous playboy racecar builder.  Grass nerd is a pretty big fall from social grace.

;D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on July 14, 2021, 09:18:30 AM
Those race cars are hard eating, need lots of marinade. Grass fed meat on the other hand....
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 14, 2021, 10:05:25 AM
True.. They ran on pure cash.  Power levels drop every time the fed lowers how much octane is in the USD. 

Wifes going under for a tooth extraction right now.  Driving her to town before sun broke the treeline on an almost chilly morning and nearly all smiths cows are in his pond.   I guess all the rain has grown some unwanted fungus on that fescue. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on July 14, 2021, 10:19:37 AM
Is Johnson grass similar to sorghum sudangrass as far as needing to be a certain height/maturity point before its grazed? I have no experience at all with Johnson grass but have read quite a bit on grazing sorghum but never personally done it. Iíve planted sorghum as a cover crop to improve organic matter. The tons per acre on very marginal ground were impressive to say the least.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on July 14, 2021, 10:31:27 AM
Being a perennial you need to manage it so you don't deplete the root reserve or it will die back. I like it to be about waist high, it will have 6 to 8 leaves that are 18"-24" long and the stem isn't so hard they don't smash it down. Depending on soil temperature and moisture 20-40 days of rest is a good benchmark. 

Mike, that's a classic sign of Fescue toxicity in those cattle. Been consuming K31 endophyte. They can't dissipate heat, it always saddens me to see that. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 14, 2021, 11:35:45 AM
I sent him a text.. Maybe he doesnt know.

Regarding nutrient declines.. This past year many fields werent rolled until the seed were already falling off of brown heads and there was little excuse weather wise.  Maybe theres just too few who cut on shares anymore with free money going around. These fields are just lease lawns.  Might as well have just burned it back and let a new crop start.  Had they cut it early it coulda already been ready for a 2nd run right now.  

The hay game appears to be insane to enter at this point.  rising cost of equipment, fuel, fertilizer, land and labor while hay price has been going down the last few years.  $30 for a 4x5.  $20 if its been outside a while.  Soon i bet ill see some of these fields just mowed. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 14, 2021, 11:42:11 AM
A realization thats just occured to me.  The lushest foreign grasses are growing in the ditches on all sides of the stockyard gates.  


Ding ding. 

Livestock haulers spreading free seed from all over. The best ones for the site will naturally dominate.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on July 14, 2021, 12:06:49 PM
Continuous  grazing will cause the best forages to be over grazed and then get wiped out, leaving the less desirable forages to expand. Thus the rotational grazing / mob grazing concept, allow the forage to fully recover and put enough pressure on the herd so they don't get selective when grazing. Kinda like eating a limited Thanksgiving dinner with a bunch of fat relatives. You are going to eat whatever you can get onto your plate as you know someone else will otherwise. 

The seed in the ditch doesn't get the same pressure, it has an opportunity to fully develop. Watch the changes throughout the seasons and see what dominates when. 

That's how I discovered the value of Weeping Love Grass. VDOT uses it for erosion control, the stuff grows in gravel, nobody here grazes it, but it's a staple in the Piedmont region of Argentina. Similar climate, much worse economic return for the producers so they need to be as efficient as possible. Great grass for marginal soil, and I have mixed it in. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 14, 2021, 12:47:17 PM
Good points.  I have noted in the 2 pairs of differents dogs ive had in my adult life, that whether they chow down or just glance at the bowl is dictated not by hunger but by the other dog.  Just one dog is not too interested in a scoop of food. Add another dog and the race is on to finish yours and get into theirs.   If i take the lid off the dogfood tote theyll just slow right down knowing its free buffet, we got time. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 14, 2021, 07:46:11 PM
One conversation this afternoon turned up a boer goat breeder that my wife knows through work.

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 21, 2021, 12:50:39 AM
I bet that smells offal. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1626841618905.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1626841557)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on July 21, 2021, 07:49:46 AM
Poor devils cleaing that mess up.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on July 21, 2021, 08:02:51 AM
Jim's point a couple  days ago about roational/mob grazing is very good. Rotation works but too many folks who do it don't have enough paddocks to rotate enough. The problem  is the intensive  fencing /labor to make it work.  I've had a couple clients do it and make it work pretty well. I moved away from one, when I came here. The other moved to Michigan  to be near his wife's family.  I tried to buy his farm but  we had almost nothing for assets but a lot of debt from our education and they wouldn't take four little kids a collateral.  Was some native prairie on it, improved grases,  (this was 17 years ago)  now it's stripped naked big farmed corn and beans.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 22, 2021, 04:05:53 PM
Cornell waste management institute has offal and woodchips down to a science.  

Mortality Composting - Cornell Waste Management Institute (http://cwmi.css.cornell.edu/mortality.htm)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Corley5 on July 22, 2021, 04:11:40 PM
Recompose ó Our Model (https://recompose.life/our-model/#the-process)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on July 22, 2021, 05:09:39 PM
Thats where im headed one way or another.  If you put me in a box be sure there is enough grass clippings and manure to compensate for the wood's carbon content.  I dont want there to be a nitrogen tie up the first year! 

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 05, 2021, 11:37:52 PM
Its not pigs but its protein.  First meat bird pen. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0804211847_Film1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1628172579)



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0804211846_Film1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1628172616)


Its got screened intakes like a roof soffit and a ridge vent.  Should pull heat out pretty well i hope.  Will mesh the top and make a ridge cap that can open and close soon. Hot tub pallets, sawmill slabs, old tin and a few air nailers. 



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0804211848_Film1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1628172513)




(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0804211847a_Film1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1628221051)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on August 05, 2021, 11:45:48 PM
Awesome!!  Do you have some small wheels you can put on it that will keep it say 1/2" off the ground?  Just enough to make it easier to move.  Those danG things will get their legs caught when moving it if you aren't careful and the tires make it so they don't get hurt.  They will be stuck there until you lift it off of them, but at least it's just stuck and not crushed.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 05, 2021, 11:53:05 PM
Yeah i got some.  Ill probably let boy climb in there and play with them for moves. Im certain i cant keep him out so thatll be his daily chance.  Keep them safe while i drag.  Big thing is retraining the killer dogs. I found a guy with thousands of 6ft scaffold pipes for $1each.  I think a pretty solid barb wire fence is going in with a hot wire at dog nose height.  It will serve as chicken pen, intake yard, spark training site and sick bay.  Right up in a useless segment of the front yard where i can keep an easy watch, unlike out back. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 05, 2021, 11:57:55 PM
I bet if i staple some pool noodles into that lower edge like a soft sweeper it would help nudge them out of the way with less injury.  You think? Id rather get squashed by a bounce house than a wooden D11R blade.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on August 06, 2021, 12:07:29 AM
I have tried swinging bars to make them move, wife has been behind the pen with a super soaker, I have put feed into the hanging feeders before I move it - they are all toward the front and middle, and yet now and then I hear "yieek" - and yup Dumbo has a foot stuck under the frame.  Go over, call the bird a few names, lift the frame just enough and she runs off, back to moving it.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on August 06, 2021, 01:13:04 AM
Those meat birds fit in a post called "you filthy swine" quite well. They're feathered pigs!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on August 06, 2021, 06:59:07 AM
These fellas should have been cut a while back but it has been raining tons and I didn't have time to constantly move barn to keep them out of the mud.

Yesterday was the day. Not something I ever enjoy but is never boring, especially when they get a little weight!


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37318/IMG_20210805_111016862_HDR.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1628247414)
 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on August 06, 2021, 07:35:08 AM
Chickens grow fast your  1/2 inch clearance could be 2 inches in a hurry maybe mount your wheels with pins you can pull  and raise as they get a little bigger to facilitate  moving to fresh soil. Chickens  probably  areyour most efficient use of  space as far as production goes.
 The dog issue will be tough. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 06, 2021, 09:33:56 AM
Now thats my kinda solar panel.  ;D


I can use different sized wheels for different sized gaps.  Have plenty of them.  Or just cutout some plywood criss cross laminates, hillbilly custom coopz inc.


Well.  Plywood scraps.  New plywood is probably more than some chrome mags. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on August 07, 2021, 08:01:17 AM
Yeah I found a roughly 8 in bowed end cut piece of 3/4 in plywood stashed up at the cabin. It should have been hauled off. Nope not now heck it's worth 7.00$....I can still patch up something with it.... ::)
Mudfarmers pigs would look real good on a spit! They are about the right size.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 07, 2021, 10:27:48 AM
A neighbors son has been driving a bread route and ive been getting trunk loads of free bread every week.  Ive been peddling it around but am thinking its a pretty clear sign i need piglets despite not being ready.


Any harm in a diet heavy in bread and leafy forage?
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: btulloh on August 07, 2021, 10:56:45 AM
For you or the hogs?

Any dairies close by?  Way back in the day, my uncle worked for Richmond Dairy and would bring home spoils in milk cans to feed the hogs. Happy hogs and good meat. It was a blend of milk product, ice cream, and what not. I can still smell it. Not bad smell, but not a normal smell. Anyway, a lot got fed to the hogs. Not many local dairies or milk cans around these days though. 

Thereís a Kraft plant here that sells broken and refused product into the feed market. Oreos, crackers and such. Seems like bread canít hurt if oreos are ok. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 07, 2021, 11:46:14 AM
I eat my share of bread and im marbling out pretty well thank you very much  ;D


Theres a commercial bakery nearby my wife worked at a few weeks as a temp. All the ho hos and snowballs and tasty cakes unfit to sell go in a bin to some hog farm i dont know of.  I like my bacon with diabetes.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: btulloh on August 07, 2021, 12:12:57 PM
Well, as long as your foraging sufficiently the bread probably wonít kill you.   :D :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on August 08, 2021, 08:45:07 AM
Used to be big dairy country here, still a couple plants around. An old butcher said he could tell when a hog was fed mostly or only dairy waste and it made the meat weird and watery.

That was just one man's opinion and I know for sure that tons of dairy farmers raised hogs mostly on the waste from their pipelines and tanks.

I remember regularly dumping huge amounts of bread to the pigs on a farm I lived at as a teenager, seem to remember they tasted just fine. Don't know about the ho hos though!

Sounds like a great reason to at least get -a- piglet and try it out. Worst case sell it as a grower or roast it up small.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: gspren on August 08, 2021, 09:04:39 AM
The big factory farms need lots of hogs to reach target weights at specified times so their diet is very controlled, however when I raised one batch of 8-12 hogs each year I wasn't concerned with exactly when they reach size so any free food was utilized. One year a buddy who worked for an outfit that rented some warehouse space called and asked if I wanted some out of date pet food, sure how much you got? Couple tons of mostly dog food with some cat and bird feed, pigs ate it and didn't bark, meow, or fly. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 08, 2021, 08:32:12 PM
I met a junk peddler other day and bought 6ft round galvy pipes off him for $1.25 each yesterday.  Got 40.  Tposts are about 4 bucks now. Thinking i can probably use snips of old maple tube for insulator sheathing then just twist up some low tensile 12g wire for ties. Trying to lay out a cheap training paddock up in the wasted part of the front yard for a starter pen. 

The peddler has 9 full rolls of stainless looking knotted 2x4 goat wire that look new to me.  Thats like $300 a roll now.  Im really really hoping to strike a deal but theres a family member ahead of me in line on it.  If i can come up with a trade on it that would be enough for permanent perimeter on the whole 5 acres for any animal, which would be great. Just need one hot wire for my juiced perimeter to jumper for internal divisions. 





Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on August 08, 2021, 10:08:32 PM
Pigs will eat bakery waste just fine. I have cattle fed near me eating taco shell waste, and dairy cows milking fed bread waste.  That stuff  can and will spoil and all the plastic packaging is a pain.... but knowing you, you'll figure out a way to make that into diesel, burn it for a steam turbine, or melt it into building blocks and build the wife a Mc mansion with a pool. :)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 08, 2021, 10:35:52 PM
The pigs will have to compete with me on that bread.. Theres nothing wrong with it, no mold, not stale.  Lots of my favorite one too.  I honestly think its bread companies offering a takedown service that simply pushes more bread. The store maybe thinks theyre saving on one less employee.. ?


Here i am saying i need to cut carbs and shrink the spare tire a bit, and im getting wheelbarrows of free bread dropped off!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on August 09, 2021, 11:01:14 AM
Sounds like you need a couple pigs.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 09, 2021, 02:37:55 PM
im torn between pigs and goats up front.  im flat broke and scrambling to get a fence up nevermind get animals and a grain feed.  im thinking 2 starter goats could live a long, long time on what i got for wildly fast growing brush without any grain, just mineral supplement,  while i get my ducks aligned to quack in unison. if i grow a goat herd first and get a portable solar spark net, i can definitely charge to put them on brush clearing sites, i know a fellow who is wanting that right now.  i mean i kinda do that sort of work anyway so they fit where pigs dont.  i know pigs will clear land but the public says no i want goats not stinky pigs.


i think goats is the smarter starting point and we have a few sellers figured out, sposta go see their setups soon. im sure i can buy goats with ammo, have more than enough of that.  im hearing that mexicans are the primary goat buyer and they take them live, slaughter at home.  perfect. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on August 09, 2021, 03:48:03 PM
Mike,

   Muslims, Amish, Jewish, etc. also will buy goats to eat. You better have a Dang good fence up. They will not wade water so if you have creek it will stop them but they will walk over any fallen tree. Good luck.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 09, 2021, 05:48:12 PM
Working on the good fence part. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WDH on August 10, 2021, 07:48:58 AM
A land clearing/cleaning goat herd could be a huge asset for you.  With a long beard and a crooked staff, you would make a fine Goatherd. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 10, 2021, 08:52:59 AM
I am sometimes known to have a rather wiry, neanderthal beard and a walking stick for the spiderwebs. I guess goats fit then. 

Should i trade my crocs in for jerusalem cruisers now or wait to get the herd established? 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on August 10, 2021, 10:16:30 AM
Get them now, youíll want them well broken in and comfortable when youíre chasing them around trying to get them back on the correct side of the fence  :D

Certainly seems like goats would be a good starting point for what you have in mind especially if you have a market going in.
The only thing Iíll say is in my experience there is absolutely no such thing as a goat fence that is too good, theyíre naturally curious and insanely talented escape artists.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 10, 2021, 10:22:19 AM
Well the one issue there is theyd be surrounded by pretty serious dogs.  Two i can try to train not harm them and two i cannot. Thats the biggest concern i have altogether.  And i need guard dogs more than goats given the neighborhood. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Ed_K on August 10, 2021, 10:35:03 AM
 Had a goat for 9 yrs an no flowers in the flower garden for 9 yrs  ;D :(.

 Middle BiL got a load of bread from a place that made crutons some of the bread had the garlic on already. Dumped a couple barrels down in the heifer pasture ended up with 21 dead heifers :o :(. We think the bread got wet and molded over 2 days, and that did it. BUT I'm not convinced yet >:(.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 10, 2021, 12:59:55 PM
Oh gosh thats a tragedy.  Wow.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on August 10, 2021, 01:05:20 PM
  Be sure to get an old nanny or two that are tame and will readily stay in your fence. Goats are serious herd animals and even if some do get out (I'll be surprised if they don't) at least they will come back to the old nanny. Horns are a problem as the get them hung in the fence sometimes but they use them to scrape the bark on trees and shrubs then they nip the bark with their front teeth and pull long strips of bark off eventually girdling and killing the tree/shrub. They especially love to do this to any tree you wanted save such as an apple tree or such.

  Male goats don't have high morals and I always named mine after various politicians that they resembled/acted like.

EDIT: BTW - it was not hard to readily find plenty of appropriate names for them.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on August 10, 2021, 01:44:49 PM
If the heifers hadn't been on grain at the time, it was a good chance of too much rapidly fermentable starch in their system all a t once causing their rumen ph to drop rapidly causing  acidosis.  Doubt it was mold couple other things could have been in play as well. Still a bad occurrence introduce new feeds slowly..
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 11, 2021, 12:51:17 AM
In talks about a nearby 10 acre cow pasture with brand brand new fence just went in.  Wood corners, gates, T posts and 5 strands of 15g high tensile 4 barb. Water, electric and tractor on site. Very close to home.  Filled with tall clover.

Her daddy ran cows on it all her life and she wanted to get some but works constantly and never got animals.  Shes considering leasing now and i think im at the front of the line after a drainline repair.  


She gave me 2 full leftover rolls of wire today.   
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WDH on August 11, 2021, 07:32:43 AM
I am sometimes known to have a rather wiry, neanderthal beard and a walking stick for the spiderwebs. 
Good.  You are halfway there.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on August 11, 2021, 08:57:14 AM
Sounds like a good spot.  Figure into your plan one or two off set hot wires.  Goats and pigs think barb wire was made for scratching, but putting something in front of it that bites helps with keeping them in.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on August 11, 2021, 09:49:30 AM
   Remember goats are browsers not grazers and prefer roses, briers, poison ivy, kudzu and honeysuckle to good grass. Small goats will get out anywhere a rabbit would go through. If there are any fruit trees or berry bushes or such you want to save on the property they will have to be well protected in advance or the goats will most certainly girdle and kill them. Goats will create a browse line as high as they can reach when standing on their hind legs. They will stand up and push over small trees and bushes and browse the tops and limbs off them. They are great at clearing brush and allowing more light into formerly dark, shaded areas which encourages grass to grow and replace the previous understory. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 11, 2021, 10:12:37 AM
Goats and pigs would not go there, those are NEEDED at my place and at my dads.  Right now weve got 9 acres to work with just no money hence why im plucking away getting poles, wire, mesh etc on little jobs and trades to build out an intake/training/sickbay paddock at my place first. Then move animals into lush clearing work. 

  I have a very full time non paying job in housewifing, homesteading and daytime security shift for a clique of good neighbors.   Wife is always gone to barely cover the family bills, i am always home choring away to build the family dream.  Financially it is slow going, there is no just buy this or that.  Its all bartering, odd jobbing and chipping away to get my own animals on my own place. 


Now this situation is different.  Its a cow site.  Shes done nothing with it and that bothers her but she doesnt have the time to change that. Thats where i come in.   The talks will progress, but the scenario for me is how can i get cows onto that place that arent mine, that will give me access to a few calves that become mine, from doing the daily chores?  Building big joule solar chargers from junk and finding custom graze customers are at the forefront of study right now.  A single offset hotwire around the perimeter and a poly reel on the quad with some pigtail posts all i need to prepare the site for mob grazing.  Even if the charger fails the pen will hold cattle without question. It is very well done and she doesnt wanna see it go to pot again like the fences that were just torn out, treeline reclaimed etc.  

PLUS.. Shes been robbed several times certainly by turds i am familiar with who know not to rob me.  Her place is vacant daily.  Me there daily will end that thieving jive for certain. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: thecfarm on August 11, 2021, 02:02:34 PM
I might of had 7-8 goats and I never and I mean never had any problems with them getting out, as long as I latched the gate.  ::) We only had 3 goats at a time. Sometimes only 2. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on August 11, 2021, 05:11:12 PM
   You must have raised city goats. :D We always raised rural goats that were not that far removed from their wild roots. ;D I guess your billy goats had pristine table manners and never embarrassed you in mixed company and never misbehaved either. >:( We had a big Alpine Billy we raised on a bottle and when he was a couple of years old and a big fine herd bill, he knocked my wife for a loop and beat the pulp out of her. She still has pins in her shoulder from that. He presently resides on Happy Mountain. ::)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Mooseherder on August 11, 2021, 05:27:10 PM
Make friends with your local produce sellers or Store owners for their produce being thrown away everyday.   This is happening in a lot of stores so they may have someone who is already picking it up.  If you find someone, make it easy for them leaving a clean plastic barrel and pick up often to keep things neat for them.  They'll save disposal fees and can brag about recycling and being a responsible partner in the community.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 11, 2021, 06:14:16 PM
 smiley_thumbsup
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Mooseherder on August 11, 2021, 06:36:28 PM
They may want you there daily.  One of the stores I worked in Jupiter FL. there was a Rancher picking up 3 or 4 barrels a day.   Busy store with inside storage a premium.  The barrels stayed outside under cover.  I never tasted his beef but heard it was great stuff.
Cows eating watermelons.   What a life.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: thecfarm on August 12, 2021, 05:18:39 AM
We used the rubber band trick on the male goats.  ;) Most of out goats would follow us around just like a dog. I had 3 goats trained quite well. Some how I got saying, Out Out Out to the goats to leave something alone. If they got after the wife's flowers, Out Out Out worked.
They was really curious with anything that I was working on or a piece of paper sticking out in the garage. The out words worked but could never train them to let go of the piece of paper first.  :o It was next to impossible to work on something when they was loose. They would carry off anything!!!! All the goats was dehorned too.
We had one goat we got about a year old. Somehow she bonded to me. She would fellow me everywhere. Even when I was doing the trimming running the weedwhacker. I should of got some eye protection for her.  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on August 12, 2021, 06:44:51 AM
I think what they call a goat where Ray lives the rest of us call a dog.  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on August 12, 2021, 09:48:59 AM
   There is nothing cuter than a pair of young kid goats playing and nothing more nerve racking than when they grow up. They are very social and will readily come when they think there is feed to be had. They can be the most frustrating animal on earth since God created Eve. Talk to the man who finally got his cherry red, '66 ragtop Ford Mustang completely restored only to come out and find his goats had climbed up on top of it and were standing on any sections of the roof that would still support their weight. :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Ed_K on August 12, 2021, 10:49:22 AM
Yrs ago I was up to the farm for morning milking ( Rita brought the goat up every morning) I watched him pick up the 2nd wire from the top of a 4 wire barbed fence walk his front through then turn his butt side ways walk that through then let go of the fence >:( :o. Electric doesn't work on horns they don't feel the shock :o.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on August 12, 2021, 02:20:15 PM
Buddy of mine up the road a bit has a couple of goats.  He texted me this summer and asked if I could hear his wife screaming - it's about a mile so no, not really.  Turns out she was on the new zero turn mowing the lawn when their billy jumped up onto the moving mower and proceeded to do what billy goats do, all over himself, the mower, her phone, and yes her upper torso.....  Next text I got was that he feared a sharp knife was flailing around the yard.   :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on August 12, 2021, 03:49:08 PM
   i still have a couple of past presidents and US Senators names available he can feel free to use if he needs one.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Skip on August 15, 2021, 08:03:21 AM
Dont scratch a billy behind the ear to say hello  :o you CANT wash that smell off .
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 15, 2021, 08:42:12 AM
LoL


Heres a link to a national slaughterhouse interactive map that i dont wanna lose.  It hardly works on my phone but i think its a memory issue on my device. 

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/inspection/establishments/meat-poultry-and-egg-product-inspection-directory
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Magicman on August 15, 2021, 09:31:07 AM
It may not be your phone because it is cumbersome on my laptop.  Lotsa info though.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on August 15, 2021, 12:32:55 PM
I don't know the stocking density you can run on that ten acres or the length of your grazing season. If you can find them I would start with 250 to 300 pound steers beef or dairy and graze them through the season just a few to start it's not a race and you can do it slowly. At the end sell the rest keep the best to fatten or not...You might do a partnership with your landlord. 3/5- 2/5..2/3-1/3 ish She owns the land and the cattle you provide the labor and leg work.  At the end you market (sale barn or however) divide it out and see if it works for next year. You can manage the weeds and fences check the water, take care of feed salt and mineral, and deal with the disasters.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 15, 2021, 03:33:20 PM
Thanks Lynn. 


Doctor Nebraska.. That is an option.. I have no money to buy any cattle and the wait for a calf is pretty long if i bought a young heifer so it will be a long time before im ever buying a beef as i just cant float the cost for the forseeable future. 

 I have been studying hard on custom grazing of other owners cattle for a fee, while leasing her paddock.  In the next few days i will chitchat with her again and see what shes been thinking.  It would have to be for next season. 


She has a grandson living there who is nearly old enough to do this if she just buys cows so i think i need to market my ability to improve her land through intensive rotation.  Thats something they wont know how to do.. Theyll just put 10 cow calf pairs across the whole field and put round bales in a ring all year.   For me to deliver on any promises id need high tensile wire, a hot charger and a herd to put there. If the graze fee does not cover what she wants in a lease fee im going backwards.  So those are all points to contend with.  

We shall see.  Lots of irons in the fire
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Magicman on August 15, 2021, 06:05:38 PM
I think that 10 head with calves on 10 acres that have to be fed year round will be exceeding the carrying capacity and profitability threshold.  3 might make it.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 15, 2021, 08:42:38 PM
I couldnt tell ya.  Thats what her daddy always did so thats how she sees it.  I dont have the experience to say. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 18, 2021, 03:58:34 PM
I came really close to fetching a pair of yorkshire feeders for $80 before i even had a pen but i came to my senses... I need to train the dogs on $1.50 animals.  Ordered 40 cornish cross broilers and finishing up the A frame tractor build.  


I have gotten my black soldier fly larvae going strong for the season.  

Tiny ones on the onion, grown size to the right. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1629316030907.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1629315913)


I think a banana used to be here


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0818211109-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1629315811)


 Put your food slop, rotten veggies, animal parts, guts or even manure in a leafy bin and these suckers convert it to very high quality fish and poultry feed very fast, mostly protein and fat.  Excellent dirt left behind.  500-700 eggs per bred female and 30 days to a 3000% size gain i think is the claim. Maybe its weight gain. 


The fly is large and clumsy and has no mouth parts.  It does not bite or ever feed, just breeds and dies in a few days.  The larvae somehow eliminates e coli and salmonella in the gastro intestinal tract thus reducing the danger of infectious waste.  And something about BSF presence prevents regular flies from laying.. Which is good cuz they harbor disease.  This ugly little maggot is natures perfect cleanup crew.  I just wish i could get them to overwinter. 



  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 18, 2021, 10:18:48 PM

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0818211729-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1629339127)



I finished the last of the walls up today so it can be jacked by a hand truck at either end.. Two at a time if needed.  The strap tails are for tugging on obviously.  Roof tin is just floating on top so it can be adjusted or removed for ventilation on sweltering days.  Surprising its got no leaks.. I was in it stapling wire during a short downpour. You can feel the cool air getting pulled in the bottom as hot stuff rises out the ridge.  I think its pretty good.  Theres a 2x4 perch in the center .. A necessary brace really for pulling it.  I figure if the ground is soaked they can hop up and keep dry.  

I expected to be pulling from the tin side but the frame was too flexy and i realized i couldnt see the birds at all that way. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 18, 2021, 10:24:29 PM
I did get first test sparks out of a crude fence charger tonight too.  An ignition coil with a nail in the electrode, a big cap, 12v battery, a flasher relay and a light bulb for a load to make it flash. It will jump spark about 3/16 of an inch at the pace of a blinker. I cant meaure it but guys say around 8k volts from an oem system.  I know from being wacked a few times its something you dont need to feel more than once to respect.

So auto parts and maple tubing for insulators.  About as redneck as you can imagine.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 19, 2021, 05:26:12 PM
i was up all night with a puking kid who seems to have ODd on a big bag of cherries when no one was looking. hes fine now but i slept half the day.  woke up to dogs going bonkers.  a puppy had come through our fence.  so i go off to find out who owns it.  one of my better neighbors, a fellow junk trader.  i asked if he had any fence wire for sale, he hands me a small old roll.  here ya go.  i said im looking to buy a charger if he comes across any.. hands me one.. here try this.  

its an old AC unit made by a company zareba owns now. the fuse holder caps are missing.. so i open it up and jump them to test.  super super basic components, all individually replaceable with labels and color codes on the resistors. i could maintain this thing for life. plug it in and its working.. monsterous blue spark that will follow a test light 3/4 of an inch.  20 mile rating, a fence you do not want to get hit by under any circumstance.  


guess what.. that monster spark doesnt jump through maple tubing at all.  

boom.  free insulators, free wire, and $1.25 metal pipes 6ft long, thousands of them available.   we are getting closer every day.  gotta ask what he wants for the charger.  and i might take the puppy.  trying to figure out what it is.. but looks like maybe a mountain cur and a mastiff, not certain who dad is. thick furr, itll be fine outdoor all winter. i will need a stout guardian dog for any flock that ends up out in my woods. lots of coyotes.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 20, 2021, 08:28:36 PM
I got the big bang fence charger for $30 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1629505367847.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1629505258)



Pup was free. 

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0820211736a-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1629504973)


What do you guys suppose she is? Mother is a cur mutt that lives across the street but i havent seen her in a while and dont remember that well.  Father is suggested to be the huge mastiff next to them but i dunno. This is a lot more soft and wooly/fluffy fur like a blanket.  Furry ears too.  Most of the roaming males here are pitbulls and i dont see any of that in her. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: thecfarm on August 20, 2021, 08:58:44 PM
And her name is?? 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 20, 2021, 09:11:03 PM
Still waitin on momma to get home and meet the dog then we can start flippin coins. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Corley5 on August 20, 2021, 09:53:11 PM
The coloring/markings kind of look like a Bernese Mountain. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 20, 2021, 10:14:23 PM
yeah youre right those really are the colors.  but ive never seen one of those dogs in my life and doubt theres any wandering around the road. 


the guy said his 'abel' was a rescue mastiff but im looking harder and im about certain he is cane corso.  i thought he was a bear at the fence the first time i saw him at night. sweetheart of a dog too. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on August 20, 2021, 10:22:15 PM
For once getting the big, blue, flash didn't come with any curse words!!!  Don't see any pit in the pup either.  Good looking one for sure.  Years back I took in a Shepheard / St Bernard cross, she looked identical to a Leonberger.  Had never even heard of the breed until one day someone ask me where I got my "Leo" from.  Did some research and it turns out that cross was what the origin of the breed came from.  Might be worth looking up the origins of the Bernese Mountain Dog.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on August 20, 2021, 10:29:10 PM
My first thought was Burmese mountain. Good looking pup for sure.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on August 21, 2021, 05:40:30 AM
That pup had to have some
Bernese mountain in it
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on August 21, 2021, 08:12:16 AM
The boys had flown the nest and empty nest syndrome was unbearable. Living alone BC (before Cowboy). Iíve never been without a dog a day in my life, so when my 17 year old and 14 year old collies died within a week of each other I took a ride after work to the SPCA.  I had decided to get a small dog this time. Oh you foolish girl.

Walking down the rows I carefully looked at each dog and was intentionally ignoring the pups behind me. At the very end of the row was a dog just sitting there at the other end of the kennel. He was huge with big brown eyes, black with white on all four paws.  When I said whatís up sweetie he stayed in position but his tail began to thump on the concrete. The attendant materialized and took me into a room, sat me down and gave me a tennis ball. She walked him into the room and I rolled the ball across the floor. He completely ignored the ball but walked directly to me and raised my arm with his head so he could stick his face into my armpit with his eyes covered but the tail had picked up its tempo. Well I guess heís coming with me. 

The office girls were chirping out his info as they wrote it up. Nine year old border collie mix with Bernese mountain dog, 150 lbs. One of the gals was crying when she told me his name was socks. She then told me that they arenít supposed to tell anyone but socks had been scheduled for euthanasia in another half hour. I said well his name now is Lucky. 

If your pup has any Bernese mountain dog, that head movement of lifting arms and legs to stay tight against you just goes with his genetics. They are incredibly gentle and intuitive. Itíll be fun to watch your little one grow. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 21, 2021, 08:24:52 AM
We came up with a name.  


The wife and kids think its a tribute to Roxanne Ritchie from the cartoon movie Megamind.  But you FF folks will know which Roxie i have in mind. 

;)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on August 21, 2021, 09:35:46 AM
One of my aunts had a Bernese when I was young Buddy was his name. Couldnít have had a better name, he was everybodyís friend just an incredibly loyal gentle people loving oversized teddy bear.
Great name by the way.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on August 21, 2021, 12:21:21 PM
Don't see the mastiff. Looks like a sweetheart!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on August 21, 2021, 02:26:17 PM
Somewhere in Tennessee thereís a dog with my name. That really tickles me. 

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 21, 2021, 07:53:50 PM
Yes maam.  Snoring in my lap.  ;D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on August 21, 2021, 08:46:31 PM
Somewhere in Tennessee thereís a dog with my name. That really tickles me.
   Yeah but is it housebroken? :D (Sorry - the devil made me say that. :() ;)

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on August 21, 2021, 09:01:01 PM
That's OK WV, we all know your affinity for all things puppy.  ;D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on August 21, 2021, 09:22:39 PM
  I will readily admit it already looks smarter than the one I have been dog-sitting. At least I have not seen any pictures of it chasing fish in the aquarium or looking underneath the aquarium for any fish it lost sight of. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 21, 2021, 10:13:42 PM
So i was passing by with some time on my hands and randomly swerved into the sale barn today, just to see what cattle auction looks like.   It was somethin alright. 

Ive concluded its a good place to get a great deal on a sick animal someone else is trying to unload so it can infect your entire herd. 

  Lowest price i saw in half an hour was $28/cwt for a bony cow with a messed up eye you could see from the bleachers.  Highest was $108/cwt for a 2300# bull covered in flies, guaranteed to wreck your cows, your pasture and your winter feed supply.  Definite trend of high value on huge animals.  Like a manly pride sorta thing that ive always seen at auctions. 

There may have been some good looking animals there in the $60-80 range but after theyve been penned up with and licking the butts of the sick ones i dont think its worth the risk.  Id maybe unload an animal there but probably never buy one.  5 seconds to evaluate a big purchase, no thanks. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on August 21, 2021, 10:17:23 PM
Stay away Mike - stay away from there.  We joke around a lot, but seriously there is a reason they are there.  You don't need those headaches.  There are sales that are legit, but honestly the weekly barn is a dumping ground.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on August 21, 2021, 10:54:43 PM
Some are good some are bad.  Go sit through  20 sales  befriend a cattle order buyer or two.  You'll  learn something. Stick to preconditioned calf sales, special bred cow sales. Look at the animals in the pens before the auction before buying. You'll see lots of  junk. Not all junk though..My father was an inspecting veterinarian for a small sale barn  back home. I spent a quite alittle time there growing up helping dad. I have no clue what that pup really is other than cute. Good choice on the name. 8)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 21, 2021, 11:03:06 PM
Yeah jim.. It was obviously a disposal service. 


Thanks for the tips doc. I have a number of quality beef growers in my friends list who wouldnt jeapardize a friendship by selling me junk, if ever i was in a position to start a herd. 

  Im a dilligence doer, just studying up.  Cant afford any more screw ups this far along.. Still havent recovered from the last ones!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 22, 2021, 02:03:58 AM

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0820211946a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1629612204)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on August 22, 2021, 05:09:22 AM
So sweet!  Sheís plum tuckered out trying to hang with the big dogs. 

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: thecfarm on August 22, 2021, 05:31:17 AM
Now that's enjoying life!!!

Nice story Roxie.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Tacotodd on August 22, 2021, 09:16:07 AM
 Im a dilligence doer, just studying up.  Cant afford any more screw ups this far along.. Still havent recovered from the last ones!
I RESEMBLE that remark!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 22, 2021, 06:59:18 PM
life goes on.  no sense wasting good days to begrudge bad ones gone by.  


so the new pup is one heck of an attention craving, shrieking little whiner.  we are not allowing indoor dogs anymore so thats that.  she has to stay in a big wire crate or in the new chicken coop because she will walk right out my 6x6 yard fence out into the street or into the killer shepherds mouth right next door. i guess all roxie's siblings have already been killed by other dogs on the road so we cant have any of that.  sad.

anyway she screams incredibly loud when you leave her.. ignoring it was not making any headway.  i dont wanna go wacking the dog at this age because shes too young to understand, and too young for a shock collar. my kids little chinese pump-style water cannons have worked very well.  when im inside and shes out there screeching away, i blast out the door, run right up and hose her with pool water. its hot out so im sure its a relief but a shocking one in the moment that she doesnt like.  she shuts up for a while and eventually does it again.  repeat, repeat, repeat.  its been half a day of this and shes already backing off a lot of the incessant whining that caused prior owner to give her to us. 

yesterday she crapped out atleast a 3" long live worm and got a proper dosage of dewormer/flea/tick etc pill this morning. i got the 3 rounds of vaccine at the co-op for $10.50 each, just needs to be a few weeks older.  "canine distemper adenovirus type 2- coronavirus-parainfluenza- parvovirus"  i think thats more care than shed get at most houses on this road.  many dont even get fed. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 22, 2021, 10:05:23 PM
she got her first tubby tonight.  headed right back out when shes dried off. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0822212030-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1629683349)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on August 23, 2021, 07:02:55 AM
so the new pup is one heck of an attention craving, shrieking little whiner. 
You expected anything less?  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on August 23, 2021, 10:13:10 AM
She's old enough  for the first dose.  Go ahead and give it.  Then boost at 4 week intervals give or take a few days. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 23, 2021, 10:34:51 AM
Quote
You expected anything less?  (https://forestryforum.com/board/Smileys/default/cheesy.gif)
with a name like Roxie i shoulda known she'd be trouble!   ;)

its been a long while since i raised pups.. long enough for the memory to fade and the idealistic scenes to invade my thought process again.  probably similar to how otherwise intelligent people end up bringing home horses.   ;D


she just keeps getting tied further and further back toward the treeline so as to not drive anyone crazy while i attemp to ignore the unwanted bahavior.  this time to a trailer jack.  shes got food, water, noisy junk to chew on and 50 ft of range to stay in the shade.  every few hours i take her off and let her fly around, then tie her back up and hope she takes a nap. in time, when i can feel shes too large to slip through the fence and wise enough to stay out of shepherds jaws, she will be free to roam the whole place with the others and i hope will become a content dog.  they may hate it though.. shes quite the instigator toward the big dogs.

will do doc, thanks for the info.  wife is the needle pro, will let her do it.  where should the shots go?  in the dog, yes.  but where in the dog?
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Tacotodd on August 23, 2021, 10:51:58 AM
From my experiences with MY shots, Iíd guess somewhere in some fatty areas with the needle at roughly 45 in relation to the injection. Keep in mind, thatís my experience with ME & my self administered shots, so that may or may not be accurate info.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on August 24, 2021, 11:31:13 AM
Under the skin over the shoulders, scruff her, it makes  a tent. Take the needle and stab the man in the tent through the door. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on August 24, 2021, 11:37:08 AM
somehow my phlebotomist wife just knew to do exactly that, this morning. 

Thanks for the confirmation doc
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on August 24, 2021, 11:55:42 AM
Glad you got it done. This a little redundant but oh well.
I took this picture  using my Labrador  as a medical dummy.  



 (https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/55256/IMG_1642~0.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1629819771)
 
So for the sake of completeness if anyone wonders... restrain the dogs head so no one gets bit. Although  Alvin doesn't  care... like  I said make a tent stab the man in the tent.. It a good practice to pull back on the plunger to check for blood  before  injecting but the chances  of you hitting anything significant going  sub q in this location are small.  Exceptions are little white fluffy dogs fresh from the groomer have a 10x more likely chance of bleeding a little at the injection site just to make you look bad... :)
No Labradors were actually  poked in the making of this photo... ;)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Tacotodd on August 24, 2021, 01:54:23 PM
But that wouldíve added much more drama to our reality show, donít you think ;D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on August 24, 2021, 02:42:57 PM
Oh, he gets poked every once in a while.  Donates a little blood here and there when the situation  arises.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 01, 2021, 10:50:24 PM
so i got 30 unsexed cornish cross chicks in today and set up the brooder.  no mortalities, only issue is one has gimpy feet where its toes havent spread, theyre crossed or bunched together, and he or she gets trampled a lot. doesnt walk well so it kinda stays bedded. 

  took a while for them to figure out the water and feeder thingy.  by mid day they were running to and fro and dabbling in this and that.  little water, dart over there.. nibble nibble in the feed. chirp chirp,  dart over there.  im thinking how are these things gonna gain weight on 3 specs of feed an hour?

i took a knife, scalloped off an ear of the cow corn i grew that is too blehk for me to eat, tossed the still fresh kernels in the blender with some water.  drained out water in a sieve and gave it to them.  BOOM, feeding frenzy.  gone. ignored the dry ground corn mix and destroyed the fresh corn.  

then i thought hey, karl hammer runs between 600 and 1200 chickens on a compost pile with zero feed.  why not?  so i blended up all the tomato pulp i had from making sauce and put another ear worth of corn into the mix, turned to milkshake consistency.  they ate on that non stop for 4 hours without slowing.  hardly any hits on the commercial feed mix.  then i strained all the bugs out of the pool from the rains and they had a ball fighting over all those protein bars.

i introduced all 3 dogs to one bird in my hand while i gave them the one flinch at my baby and you die stare..  they sniffed and stared and that was it.  

so we are off to a good start 

 



Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on September 02, 2021, 04:20:17 AM
Your dogs are smart. I wouldnít mess with you either!   :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: thecfarm on September 02, 2021, 08:12:02 AM
I had one dog trained so well he would clean up behind the chickens.  :o  
Than some people wondered why I never let him lick me.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on September 02, 2021, 09:52:48 AM
when they can fly and flap their wings, one of your younger dogs will mess up for sure.  We had a blue healer do that, and a German Shepard.  we duck taped the dead chicken to their back between the shoulders for a day.  they would think about it, strike a stalking pose, but never again kill a chicken.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 02, 2021, 09:57:26 AM
the brooder is in the weather tight shed for now so i dont have to consider any form of predator issues.  once big enough, they go in the A frame coop down on the grass strip where im gonna move them. these birds are only coming out for the cone hug.  if the dogs wanna go down there chewing the chicken wire and stressing my birds ill get a BB gun and start letting them feel it. electric wire to keep them away is also an option.  

my friend would hang the dead bird on a string overhead and whip the dog every time it went up for the bird.  i think itd be best with a shock collar but i dont have the money for that right now.  still need to make the plucker asap.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 02, 2021, 01:17:22 PM

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0902211012-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630598367)


blended tomato pulp in the gutter and blended cow corn in the pan.  both grown here for free. theyre a bit too young to eat black soldier fly larvae but ive got hundreds of those digesting all of my food waste and converting it to protein and fat.  for now im trying curly dock and plantain for protein.  need a bigger blender! 

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 02, 2021, 04:01:24 PM
Do you have a little sand / grit in there for them to peck at? 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 02, 2021, 04:10:21 PM
Yeah, some mason sand from the pool base is in the bedding.  Should it be in a bowl instead? Or in feed?
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on September 02, 2021, 05:15:38 PM
The Chicken Ranch   has begun.  :) That sand is probably  good enough, I asked the chicken doctor across the room to be sure.... They don't use it when starting chicks, just bedding, feed, and water..
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 02, 2021, 05:45:08 PM
well, gimpy foot probably wont make it to tomorrow night.  doesnt get up anymore,  gave him water by a straw drip and he drinks but not eating. cant hold head up or keep eyes open.. a lot like pity when she showed up.  such is life i guess. 


any of you ever heard of chicks dying from heart attack if allowed to eat too much?  my brother said something like that can happen. ive never heard of it. 

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Old Greenhorn on September 02, 2021, 05:53:43 PM
The Chicken Ranch   has begun.  :) That sand is probably  good enough, I asked the chicken doctor across the room to be sure.... They don't use it when starting chicks, just bedding, feed, and water..
AH The Chicken Ranch, what a great name, it even rings a bell....let me think.... oh, ah, nevermind. Well maybe that's a different venture you could partner with Barge on sometime.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 02, 2021, 08:47:48 PM
Got some whey? Juice on the top of yogurt. Nature's miracle elixir for birds.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 02, 2021, 10:52:16 PM
I do.  Same as cottage cheese juice right?  

Gimpy has passed on but the rest look great. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on September 03, 2021, 08:59:05 AM
Looking good Mike!!! 

We just "ended up"  ::) with another dozen Pekin ducklings. "They were practically giving them away!" Half are sold on pre order already so that makes me feel better, the rest can go in the freezer if they have to. Them and the goslings are growing like weeds. Lots of bird butchering coming up. The guinea hens are going in the soup pot too. Dumbest creatures alive except for some humans.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on September 03, 2021, 09:08:54 AM
RIP Gimpy. Happy mountain 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 03, 2021, 12:46:32 PM

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0903211019.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630687390)


theres breakfast.  theirs, not mine!  i figure feed them what i should eat, then i will eat them. 

the days split cherry tomatoes that will mold before i get around to making another batch of sauce, 2 ears of corn kernels just off the stalk, some dockweed, some plantain leaves, splop of yogurt, splash of milk, water, and a handful of little protein nuggets all blended up. boy do they dive off that dry grain feed for this mash. its fun to watch them fight for the biggest tomato skins.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on September 03, 2021, 02:22:25 PM
Yes I have heard of broilers growing so fast they suddenly expire.  A small amount of death loss is not  unusual  starting chicks like that.  So far you are  doing well. :)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 03, 2021, 04:12:24 PM
Thanks for the reassurance doc. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WDH on September 04, 2021, 10:43:58 AM
I was pulling for Gimpy.  Rest In Peace, Gimpy, on Happy Mountain at the perpetual feed trough.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 04, 2021, 12:03:03 PM
well, unfortunately theres another one.  same thing, toes are crossing over and thus it doesnt stand much. its eating this morning but i wont be surprised if i lose it too.  i guess 10-20% loss is the normal on cornish cross and it doesnt take much google to find people that have lost dang near all of some pretty big batches.  apparently these are a very overbred, highly unstable bird.  


i have not found an exact interweb case that matches mine so i dont know what it is yet.  a regressive trait from excessively interbreeding the same bloodline?  onset of heart issues?  dietary insufficiency?  i dunno. 


today they got less corn, same amount of tomato, more leafy green protein and vitamins, more chopped up larvae protein and fat, a tiny bit of chopped peanuts for additional protein, salt and vitamins.  i made some $ yesterday and have to head to town for some dog food and will probably get some unmedicated starter to atleast try that and be sure its not me poisoning them.  

i am thinking if it was sickness the whole flock would go down, and if it was diet the others would be doing poorly but they are very very vibrant, running all over, flapping wings, chasing flies, chasing the one with the tomato scrap in its beak.  i think bad diet would show in all of them.  im hopeful its just the genetic consequence of breeding for extreme production.  that seems to be a consensus on that among the obviously professional bird growers who i have been able to sift from the plethora of backyard hobby answers. 

so cliffnotes, i have no clue what im doing.  just figuring out as i go like always. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on September 04, 2021, 01:18:33 PM
Mike I agree those Cornish crosses are not a hardy breed at all. My exes family used to raise 3-4,000 annually for years. I would consider them excellent at it , if they got under 10% loss in a batch they were excited. Every once in awhile they wouldnít lose any, that was cause for celebration. 
I like that feed youíre mixing up but am curious if all essential minerals are there? Just a thought, hate to see you get in a jam there. 
Probably not an issue right now but if you do a batch in cooler weather crowding to get warm and suffocating each other is a real concern. Always found a circular pen with a light in the center worked best. 
Youíll appreciate what they will do for your land , the stuff coming out their backside is rocket fuel for soil.
Keep up the good work.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on September 04, 2021, 02:44:59 PM
Could make a mobile “chicken pen” that you can haul around spots of your lawn you want to be tick and insect free, bring them out in that pen first thing in morning before feed and move the pen over to another patch of grass every 5-10 minutes. I seen this being done somewhere in YouTube and thought it was a good idea, basically grading the grass free of ticks lol
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 04, 2021, 03:19:13 PM
I don't like it but if I get a 10% loss per batch I consider it acceptable. The batch we are harvesting now only lost 1 or 2%, one before that was 12% or so.

The Post Office shipping element can add a lot of misery to the process and you can't do a thing.

Few years ago I had a 99% loss on a batch of turkeys. That was hard.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 04, 2021, 03:24:18 PM
I have a pen that will get scooched along  daily in a grassy run so that the tin will block north wind and south sun.  Its got soffit intakes and fully vented ridge with removable ridge tin for sweltering weather.  With the top off you can really feel cool air pulling in the bottom drip line. Its also downpour proof and has a center brace down low to give them a perch for dry feet or getting off cold wet ground... And to make the fatties jump over for going from food to water.  Little exercise.  


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0818211729-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1629339127)


I broke down and bought probiotic chick grit and non medicated crumbles today for more than i wanted to spend. Just to be sure some trace element deficiency isnt the culprit here.  


Gimpy 2 has wierd feet but is strong abd fiesty if you pick him up.  Gimpy 1 could hardly keep its eyes open or hold its head up, it had no fight in it when i was nursin him. (like pity the dog when she showed up starved and diseased)  

Anyways a scrap of maple tubing makes a pretty good beak water dropper.  Theyre really goin after that grit.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 04, 2021, 03:28:22 PM
.

Few years ago I had a 99% loss on a batch of turkeys. That was hard.
Dang thats terrible.  I see what they want for them things.. Expensive compost. 
I got very lucky that shipping happened in a temp lull from the storm and all came out full throttle.  Its this footy thing i have to keep tabs on i guess.  No other issues at all so far. 
1/29th loss.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 04, 2021, 03:34:08 PM
Yeah, I learned a lot that time. I half wonder if it could be a mineral issue, either missing or too much. Some animal feed has added copper and that can be toxic in excess concentration. 

If you see a third one then I would suspect an environment cause, if it's just the two, then bad luck. 

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 04, 2021, 03:38:30 PM
Took both kids to watch the sale barn action on the way by.. It was packed.. Watched 10 minutes or so of bred cows and cow calf pairs.  Got a cheesesteak and fries at the little restaurant and the lady just gave the kids ice cream for free. Sort of like 1970 here. Half the trucks are that old and the other half brand new. 


Talked to a guy in a new F350 crew with nice tri axle that i saw drive by full and was sitting empty.. Obviously a seller.  So i walked over to shoot the breeze and see if hed explain some of what im seeing go on. 

  Ended up being a hired transporter who was hauling cows for the family that owns the pature behind me. Got some pretty good info. They all know each other. The hot bidding buyers are there purchasing for a packing plant and the growers in the know make sure to unload when that crowd is there purchasing everything that can walk. Lot of good info, im sure ill run into him again. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 04, 2021, 03:40:30 PM
What range were prices? 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on September 04, 2021, 04:07:35 PM
in nature these would prob. not survive if they are that over bread.  we always fed commercial stuff, till birds were well started. then let them fend more for themselves.  we used for eggs and fun, not meat.  sounds like some good homeschooling exercises.  we did a more "free range"  and then coop them up at night.  only had one neighbor complain.  all the others thought it was neat.  we have been annexed into town.  even in town you are allowed 1 foul for each 2,000 sq. feet of grass (land not cover by a building) you have.  my son used to hold the chicks and set in the coup.  my daughter thought they all wanted to peck her eye balls out.  she wore glasses.   :o   :)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 04, 2021, 05:23:31 PM
Im house sitting for a neighbor on a half acre lot with 2 dogs, a cat, a 275-300lb sow, rabbits, chickens, 4 or 5 full grown turkeys..  All in barns or a mud lot.  Theyre not dirty people but the sensation of animal filth is pretty high.  The stink and the flies are pretty extreme.   If you were to butcher anything there it would be in a swarm.  I think nature just wasnt designed to keep up with the bacteria and PH balance of constant manure and no sunshine.  

Their feed cost is pretty high. 


Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 04, 2021, 05:39:10 PM
What range were prices?
Well .. Kinda hard to say since im so new to watching it. 

the last short sit by myself there was individuals. steers, bulls and cows no calves. and that was $/cwt format with every animal scaled.. The bidding was on rate per cwt.  Ranged from a low of like 25c/lb for a sick animal to i think $1.08/lb on 1800lb macho bulls.  I think the sick animal was like $200, the highest macho stud was around $2300 and the midrange was about 50-70cents/lb for typically thousand dollar animals.  


Today the portion i saw was cow calf pairs and bred cows.. 15, 20 minutes just for the kids to see how life works behind the screens scenes.  Today it was outright price auction (plus whatever fees and tax im sure) without weight being on the screen.. I guess he coulda been saying the weight at 300mph in southern mountain talk but it was unrecognizable as a language.. Barely barely make out the prices he was soliciting.

 It was harder to keep up this time because there was a few lot sales and i dont know if the price was each head or for both.


 Around $800-1100 per mature animal or cow/calf pair for most black breeds.  There was a brown and white cow calf pair that didnt sell and they split the young calf away.. That went down to $80 then sold @ $150.  I think $500ish was the cheapest cow i saw and $1400 highest.  A fat, short legged, slick hide angus cow, prob 1400#. I kinda like the cwt bidding better. 


Ive never seen a south poll there, thats for sure.  Would really like to see what a greg judy animal would bring.  I get the impression anything here thats not angus is penalized.  Maybe 5% of them are actually good looking.. Sleek, wrinkled necks, good hour glass leg bones, filled out chests and saddled guts etc. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on September 04, 2021, 09:47:35 PM
Mike there was a chicken water electrolyte suppliment called Electro-vite we used to carry. Look for a similar product to add to the drinkers when you go to town.   $1100 for a cow calf pair is pretty cheap unless she had a bad bag, no teeth or really bad atttitude.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 05, 2021, 12:59:49 AM
A 1000 lb finished Greg Judy South Pol would not do well in that auction at all.  Those are commodity market buyers - they want black hide monsters.  The Angus folks did a great job of promoting their brand, and you saw this in the sale.  The other issue is that small framed cows are very much discriminated against when it comes to feed lot abattoirs.  The reason is simply a matter of through put efficiency in the plants.  The cost to carve a 14 oz ribeye from a 1500 lbs corn and soy finished Angus is the same cost as cutting a 9 oz ribeye from a 1000 lb grass fed and finished sow.  The mega plants work on fractions of a penny and a reduction in labor is a savings.  A labor reduction because the grower (farmer) us willing to grow larger cattle, while growing them less efficently, is even better.  Get the producer to carry the largest risk and you have an unbeatable monopoly.    
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 05, 2021, 11:54:09 AM
Thats basically putting words to the thoughts ive had swirling around.  Just like many a sawmill doesnt care what happens to the forest as long as profitable logs stay coming in cheap for now, the packer does not care what happens to the farms.  Just keep the beef coming in the gate cheap for now.

Economies of scale reaching the pinnacle of their benefit and going back over the other side of the hill to a detriment sunset.   You cannot always go bigger better faster more costly upfront. Everything has a sweet spot.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: stavebuyer on September 05, 2021, 03:59:49 PM
There really isn't anything growing in my garden i couldn't buy cheaper at the store if you consider all the inputs including labor. 

At the same time there is very little at the store that resembles "real" food. Grown and packaged to maximize appearance and minimize waste. Taste and quality no longer figure into the equation.

You want the real deal you better plan on producing it yourself. Even the majority of the roadside stands are somebody peddling boxed crap underneath a pop-up canopy to people who never had fresh from the farm.

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 05, 2021, 07:48:25 PM
Youve got to do something with your time and tilling the earth is probably more righteous than trolling tik tok all day on the welfare.  Gardening gets more and more satisfying as i get better at it.  

Just finished making sauce, 1st really good batch ive ever made. The extra got a plop of sour cream and we ate it like salsa.  Thanks for the motivation swampdonkey.  Economically stupid at this time, yet exceptionally satisfying.  


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0905211813.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630885221)



And a protein smoothie to boost my vitality. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0905211221a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630885422)


This little blender doesnt like cob chunks too much but it worked and got even more meat off the bone.  Birds annihilate it.  Gimpy 2 got quarantined to protect him from his now much bigger sibblings.  Hes got a weak passenger side leg but is otherwise a strong bird so im making him or her do squats on my chest and manually feeding.  Maple tube and a pencil makes a pretty good cottage cheese injector. 



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0905211315.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1630885675)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on September 05, 2021, 07:54:48 PM
You must be planning a big grow for next spring. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 05, 2021, 08:47:03 PM
Was given a jar of home made salsa last year, first time she had made it. Well, something wasn't quite right. We opened the jar and instant VOLCANO! Got a good chuckle out of it! 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Tacotodd on September 05, 2021, 09:12:23 PM
And mess as well  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WDH on September 06, 2021, 08:38:12 AM
Mike, you are a kind and compassionate man to give Gimpy 2 such care.  I would like to stay undated on Gimpyís progress and prognosis. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: thecfarm on September 06, 2021, 08:47:54 AM
Now that's a smoothie.

For a chicken!!!!  ;D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 06, 2021, 09:37:52 AM
Thanks WDH, i will keep you posted.  Im learning as i go, hopefully not to Gimpys  detriment.   Funny story, yersterday while im trying to get gimpy to exercise those weak legs by letting him push off my chest and straighten them, he fires off a ripe plop right down my shirt.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 06, 2021, 04:52:36 PM
so me using the blender gave the wife plausible deniability to go out and buy a ninja blender cuz it was on sale.  i was not pleased with the cost despite said discount at all, but man, it is a beast. it absolutely facilitated making an excellent jar of sauce with onion and pepper into an easy job on its first day.  and today it has eaten chopped up corn blocks, cob and all, like a tire shredder.  

no larvae smoothies in this one.  


this thread is helping me remember my steps for later to look back at what was good or bad.  i made about a half gallon batch of feed slop that was very high in yard greens, mostly curly dock.  plus tomato and maybe 3 full ears of corn with cob.  using rainwater, no chlorine.  the mix was very green and theyre not too into it.  i also have a batch in rainwater fermenting to try that. really want to minimize the crumbles or any purchased feed into just a nutritional supplement to prevent deficiencies, rather than a primary food. 

 i made a new elevated feeder by screwing a slit 2" pvc pipe onto a 2x4 to make them step up to the trough, get some exercise and limit how much wood chip and plops land in the feed. that part is working pretty well. 

they did eat todays green goo mix, but mostly picking for corn.  not the ferocious piranha attack that you get by putting straight tomato seed pulp down. so i put some crumbles on one side of the green goo and a sprinkle of my deer mineral mix (dical 18.5 and trace mineral salt 50/50) on the other and they dont have a preference that i can detect.  

for bedding i have been building up a deep litter.  started with planer shavings and then fresh grass from the mower bagger, then more shavings ontop.  they seem very happy with that mix comfort wise.  when they go outside i will empty it out and compost it.  soon i will start putting soldier fly larvae in there for them to dig after.  too young to eat one now but they do like scratching.  im told these birds just eat and sleep which cant be any better for their health than it is for ours. i want to see a little more cardio in there.  

when they go in the pen outside, theyre gonna be doing the labor to enrich, mix and till my lasagna compost into new garden sites as i creep the pen along a sunny lane. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 06, 2021, 10:17:02 PM
Wait until you start messing with cows - they give nice surprises!!   :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on September 07, 2021, 04:59:38 AM
Wait until you start messing with cows - they give nice surprises!!   :D
South side, you run a dairy farm right? I assume you never half to pay for milk lol do you pasteurize yours 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 07, 2021, 08:00:06 AM
Our milk is bottled raw. It's a niche market. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on September 07, 2021, 09:59:36 AM
Our milk is bottled raw. It's a niche market.
Thatís awesome. Thatís the way I want it for myself some day soon. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 07, 2021, 01:10:31 PM
i figured out how to get a gimpy chick to eat.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0907210803-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631031279)


gimpy still has stupid legs and doesnt balance right but his light duty days are over.  i have kicked him back to gen pop for exercise. the other birds walk all over him and he runs around a lot more that way. lets just assume hes a he.  theres a lot of fight in this bird, i think he will live.  just a little more handicapped than he'd like.

also figured out how to get a dog not to eat a chick. this will only work if your dogs are deathly afraid of your wrath.  like shaking scared when you point the who did this finger.  thats how all dogs should be IMO.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0907210835-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631031281)



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0907210854.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631031525)


fermenting the slop (with rainwater, not chlorinated) has shown a big increase in palatability despite having an awful lot of greens.  there are more than they want to eat when just blended and poured out.   more tomato would help them eat the straight run but lets face it, those are my tomatoes. if theres no blems today, too bad so sad little chicken.  theyre tearing up the fermented stuff.  im using this elevated trough to force some stair master exercise, then after thats gone pouring more into a bowl.  they drink down the water then get to the mash.  lots of water being consumed, good plops, very energetic crowd, growing fast. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0907210759.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631031511)


have started rationing down to a pretty small quantity of daily crumbles to maintain whatever trace elements i might be missing. but at the end of week one, these pigs can eat you out of some cash pretty quick.  they still have free choice of probiotic grit and eat a lot of it, especially since the greens started going in, and theyre on grassy bedding too.  i added in a small lid of the same mineral mix i give to the deer. dical 18.5 + trace mineral salt @50/50 (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=17953).  i marked the first taker with a magic marker on his head and observed for the day.  that one is fine so let them all have access, they take a few pecks and walk away.  seem to know how to regulate so thats good so far.



one week is also the threshold where they are large enough to gag down a mature soldier fly larvae whole.  its hilarious.. toss in a maggot and it turns into a football game.  theyre all chasing each other in circles for that grub. i expect to see them pack on the meat once they start loading up on BSFL proteins and fat.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on September 07, 2021, 06:23:38 PM
Stair master.  :D :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 07, 2021, 11:18:10 PM
So interesting tidbits about milk these days.  For reference I built and licensed a Grade A creamery for some folks who became friends a few years back, so I learned a whole lot about the downstream processing of the dairy world.  

Not sure about in Canada but here in the US most of the milk you buy in a store has been pasteurized via a HTST system.  There are different temperature and time durations which milk is legally considered to be pasteurized and the HTST is the highest temp and shortest time system - it's a continuous flow system, so it's fast and efficient. High Temperature Short Time is the acronym.  These systems can, and in big plants do, heat milk up to 212įF for .01 seconds and be legal.  

This "milk" actually becomes shelf stable, but the PMO (Pasteurized Milk Ordinance) has standards for storage so it is still kept refrigerated, that and too many consumers would really balk at seeing milk in the paper goods section.  Ironically this same PMO also states the guidelines for restrooms on a Grade A dairy farm, and they allow a "pit privy" while strongly encouraging the use of cast iron pipe for the vent - so yea, not exactly up with the times.  

If you want to make good, thick, Greek style yogurt then you heat the milk to above 195įF.  This is necessary to fracture the protein structure of the milk which allows the culture a greater surface area to adhere to during incubation, resulting in a thicker yogurt.  

So at 195įF the molecular structure of milk is altered, and most commodity store "milk" has exceeded that temperature in the process - so what is in that jug really isn't milk anymore.  Personally, I think that has added greatly to the whole lactose intolerance issue that we see.  Our bodies don't recognize the product as milk, and don't recognize it as a cultured product either, so it gets rejected, and folks look to things like "Almond Milk" and "Soy Milk" - which is just a solvent wash of the base ingredient.  

Yup - the dairy industry and the "check off" program sure have done wonders for themselves.  The above, combined with the internet and more and more folks desire to have real food has led to an increase in raw milk demand - and that is where the dairy side of our operation fits in.  Raw milk that the cream will separate from in the bottle.  Shelf life, one week.  Makes the whole milk in the store taste like skim.  

We are looking at building a very small, Grade A creamery as part of the operation to get a few products onto retail shelf space, but again these will be niche products, not going to try to compete with the commodity world.  The biggest obstacle to this - finding help we can count on that the regulators won't freak out over.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 08, 2021, 06:43:43 AM
Didnt know any of that. Interesting. 

And i have been wondering why everyone is suddenly Lactose intolerant.  Didnt mom give you milk on day 1?
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on September 08, 2021, 06:53:44 AM
Thanks for sharing SS. Interesting
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 09, 2021, 12:29:03 PM
so today is turning into an interesting episode of Crops and Plops.  i was getting concerned that some of these massive crops were impacted.  the huge shoulder bulge where its pink skin showing between the downy fuzz because the crop is so swollen.  i figured i would be administering olive oil injections this morning.  

another issue is that even though gimpy is getting a little stronger.. he is getting pecked at a bit too much and has some very minor sores that he is also pecking himself and i know that can go south fast and get him pecked to death.  ive been finger flicking any bully who takes a taste of the gimpster pretty hard.  so i put the cardboard quarantine back up to give gimp a chance to rest last night, except with new wings all these idiots are trying to fly onto things, including the partition.  so i taped it to the wall.  


this morning all the crops were back down to normal which is a relief.  except one bird has a big wad of duct tape from the arm pit to the wingtip, one the underside of the wing.  great.  im gonna be soaking him in olive oil instead and hopefully can get it off without any exacto knife work.


meanwhile, there is a really big difference in plop consistency between a very grassy green diet, and a corn diet.  the finely shredded and fermented greens have some corn and tomato in them and the birds are bonkers for it, but its just a smoothie puree, theres hardly a fleck in there. those plops come up as a green paste.  not dry, not runny, a really great moisture level but with an obvious amount of granulated green,, i dunno.. fiber i guess. finely chopped wet fiber.  a green turd that has a good concrete slump to it without being runny. the fiber is what they cant break down i suppose. and they do have tons of grit so thats not an issue.


now on the fermented ground corn ears.. theyre just as ferocious in consuming the vingary yellow mash.. and the plops are almost entirely liquid.  a lot of clear liquid.  to me that means this corn is almost 100% digestible in fermented form because there is no yellow passing through.  and overnight,, the ones that are really epic eaters, have jumped up a size. as if they are 3 or 4 days older than the ones that diddle around. so fermented corn mash grows a bird very fast, right before your eyes.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 09, 2021, 12:56:56 PM
I suspect their gizzards are not developed enough yet to digest the larger green pieces, cows are the same way, takes time for the rumen to get fully functional.  

As to Gimpy - get some Blue Kote or Alushield.  Chicks are incredibly cannibalistic and will peck an open wound without any mercy.  The Blue Kote has antiseptic value to it in addition to covering the wound.  The Alushield is basically a bandage in a can and it works awesome. They will heal up much faster treated and removed from the flock, as in just a couple of days, than they will un-treated.  Left in with the others once a tiny speck of blood appears, well it gets ugly fast.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 09, 2021, 02:08:47 PM
true.  maybe they are too young for it.  i ran the greens through a food processor on high for a few minutes, until it was liquified.  but the corn they got this morning was only woodchipper'd.. it is much coarser, some is whole kernel which are left behind after the feather frenzy. yet no sign of butt corn.


will look into those products, thanks for the suggestion. now if you got a magic eraser for duct tape on fur... 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 09, 2021, 02:54:24 PM
Corn kernels are starch based - much easier to break down than the lignin in the greens.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: thecfarm on September 09, 2021, 03:40:52 PM
If you have chickens, you should have Blue Kote. Don't get it on your hands!! 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 09, 2021, 05:58:16 PM
10-4 ray, thanks for the tip. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on September 09, 2021, 07:10:02 PM
Good stuff to have around, used it on myself a time or three ;D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 10, 2021, 09:54:37 AM
i didnt take a picture of mister duct tape but if you imagine a cardboard wing sticking straight out the side of a bumbling chick you wouldnt be too far off.  

so it took about 15 minutes of massaging vegetable oil all over the right side of this thing and keeping his greased up carcass from escape, to get the tape off without tearing feathers.  

the harder part was getting the oil off.  so i washed him in blue dawn and as the temps dropped really wanted him to dry out under the lamp, but..


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0909211908-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631274044)

the other birds decided against multiculturalism and pecked the foreigner a lot.  

so back to the wash room for 2 more rounds of scrubbing and blowdrying and then finally tooth brushing the dry yet clumpy bird proved to be the thing that got back as much of his fluff as possible so he could blend back in.  i created a big free food distraction to insert the little immigrant before the watchdogs noticed the invader.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0909211942a.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631274561)




(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0909211942.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631274239)



this morning all looked well except the crops were all still full and the waterer, which was 1/3 full at 9pm last night, was bone dry.   theyre all shrieking their needs out.  im waiting on a new bucket of mash to get there, so i gave them a paintcap of crumbles to shut up and they mobbed it while i went for water, every bird, despite full crops.  they also had crumbles for dinner,

 when i put the water down every bird dove off the crumbles and did a 29 carcass pile up on the waterer, slugging down about a quart in minutes then went back to bed without eating anymore.  so lesson learned, these things dont like anyone who isnt just like them in every way, and are too stupid to stop eating when their crops are jammed with bone dry food and no water.  either A, never run out of water, or B, put the water in the food, or C, do both.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 10, 2021, 09:59:34 AM
Yes, NEVER run out of water.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 11, 2021, 12:45:37 PM
Interesting developments are that i have lost gimpy. Took two cardboard corral census tallies and still have 29 birds.  That means he is standing and walking normal enough that i can no longer identify him. Theres a few suspects but he has officially blended in. 


The flyboys have been getting their feathers trimmed one by one as they escape. 


Another interesting thing to look at is that some birdsnare natural diggers.. The flock is hammering a collection of free feed yet a handful of them just dont care, theyd rather sift and churn and dig to peck through composting bedding than eat from a pile of pure feed gift wrapped with a bow.  

 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Paul_H on September 11, 2021, 10:34:45 PM
They've been red pilled.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: beenthere on September 12, 2021, 07:22:23 PM
More free feed for the chicks.. in this video about removing a bald face hornets nest.
MONSTER Hornets' Nest! | Vacuum Hornets | Wasp Nest Removals - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxM-9TqU6Cs)

Skip to 12:00 for the feeding of the nest.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 12, 2021, 07:58:14 PM
Have you ever seen what chickens will do to mice? Better than any cat those barnyard buzzards they are. That's some red neck entertainment right there!  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 14, 2021, 10:14:04 AM
Sack of shelled corn was $5.25 the first time i bought in i dunno.. 2018.. 19?  

Its $9.50 +9.75% tax now.  


A sack of 7 grain chicken scratch is $13.50 +T.  


I almost buckled yesterday and bought one but said no.. Im gonna see this grass fed poultry thing through.  Ive got a crippled bird healed, no sick birds, and all are eating like savages still so why not. If i kill them all itll be a $56 dollar question worth answering.  

I have gotten my first live soldier fly eggs collected and turned to ferocious larva.  All my other larvae just appeared in the compost and i never saw the eggs.  This is the first time i put eggs on substrate.  They turned a dry corncob to a liquid puddle overnight, and they grew from about .020 to half inch long in the process.  Like a dry sponge of pure protein, fat, lipase and calcium, just add organic rubbish.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 14, 2021, 12:15:29 PM
ugh, im a dumb ash.  why did i go and say 'no sick birds'??  :-\ :-X  i go out there today and i got one who isnt not eating at all while the others are going kookoo for cocoa puffs.  i pick him up and can just tell right away from the posture and wings that its gimpy.  his legs are straight and he can stand and walk normal now, but he looks like crap.

this time i put some black marker on his beak so i can spot him, and gave him the water dropper treatment with electrolyted water mix which i then put down for all of them. put him in the crumbles bag until he had a few bites and will keep tabs.  

my fermented feed mash had a white skim of kahn yeast on top this morning. its harmless but it means that the temp is too high which i cant really help, and that i need to add some salt to the brine.  

theyre still eating and getting full crops but i have a suspicion backing off the crumbles (which is a grain mix) is gonna lead to slower growth since greens have half the energy of grains. but otoh, i trim off huge globs of white fat in a chicken and thats gonna be the fat you get from excess grain, right?  

i think next batch of birds will be split into a grain batch and a greens batch so there is a true comparison.  will help decide on the difference in slaughter time, weight, body condition, fat composition, muscle flavor, overall health etc etc.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WDH on September 14, 2021, 01:40:15 PM
Pulling for you, GimpyÖ..
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Old Greenhorn on September 14, 2021, 01:44:21 PM
Hey Mike, maybe you should start a 'Go Fund Me' page for the little guy. That's what everybody else seems to do when faced with difficulty (aka 'life').  :D :D :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on September 14, 2021, 02:05:25 PM
Hey Mike, maybe you should start a 'Go Fund Me' page for the little guy. That's what everybody else seems to do when faced with difficulty (aka 'life').  :D :D
Just put that gimpy is your emotional support animal and thatíll get them to open their wallets!! Save gimpy!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 14, 2021, 02:58:59 PM
Well weve got some stuff going on behind the curtain that would definitely cause most people to grovel and beg.  Its just not our style.  The Lord will provide.  


The gimpster is eating pretty good and standing up correctly again so i guess that electrolyte is good stuff. I got him to take a few sips of yogurt whey as jim suggested.  The rest of these pigs are ferocious eaters. if i walk in at mid day now to make sure no one has overheated they fly out of the brooder at me unless i feed them.  

Today is 14 days and im thinking the need to go outside soon to avoid overheating in the shed but arent feathered out yet for the night time lows.. other than on their wings.   What would you do?
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 14, 2021, 04:15:08 PM
Don't put them out without being fully feathered. They will die. Find a way to vent the shed better.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: thecfarm on September 14, 2021, 08:15:32 PM
Grain is pricey. A 50# bag of good grain will kill a $20 bill. It's almost $19 at the store I work at.
If they take longer to reach the weight from eating your food, so what? It's cheaper!!!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 14, 2021, 11:57:07 PM
From a taste and eating experience slower growing is actually preferred by the customers you would be targeting with your birds.  Same thing with beef, it has a different mouth feel, texture, taste, etc.  

Speaking of taste you want the fat on those birds.  Fat is where the taste is actually stored, not in the lean meat.  Soy and corn fed beef or chicken has a very limited mineral profile in the fat so the taste is basically non existent, and it's consistent that way - which is exactly what the commodity world wants.  Chef Ralph at Ponderosa wants his steak to taste a specific way, so he seasons it with the recipe he has developed, and uses it time and time again, so the steak you get today from him will taste the same as the one next month - all because of what he added to a blank tasting piece of meat.  If his steak from one farm tasted different than the one from a farm 50 miles away he could not produce a consistent finished product that is the same in any restaurant they own in the country.  That is where 100% grassfed comes in and shines.  When an animal eatts a salad bar of forage it picks up a wide variety of minerals and stores them in the fat.  Fescue will provide different minerals than clover, which are different than Johnson Grass, and the time of year and local soil fertility will impact things as well.  Green, living, forage will provide the best mineral and CLA profile, it's all in the chlorophyll baby!!   Don't get me wrong, if we go to Golden Corral I return to the steak guy multiple times, but I also know it's all in what they added and we haven't been there for well over a year.  Now our own beef - the only thing I add is a touch of salt and pepper to it - it has it's own flavor that actually tastes like real beef.  I can not finish a beef in the 18-20 months that a feed lot does, simply can't happen on grass.  Takes me 26-30 months most of the time to be sure I have a marbled ribeye, finished beef when it gets harvested.   

I will try to get a few pictures later this week as we have birds to process and right now it only happens on rainy days given the field work I need to finish.  My birds have a 4-6 oz of bright yellow fat that wraps around the gizzard and works it's way down to the vent where it's really built up.  Basically they have a big butt.  This is a very good thing.  I carefully remove that fat, wash it, and package it in 1 lb bags that I wholesale for $3.50 / lb and direct sell for $4.50 / lb.  So that brings me and additional $0.88 - $1.69 / bird.  On the high end it more than covers the initial cost of the chick.  Sort of like running a sawmill only opposite.  The lumber pays the bills and the shavings are profit.  Here the fat is paying for the input stock costs, and out of all the organs and other "chicken" parts we sell the fat is the single largest component per bird on a weight basis.  What I am trying to get at is it has value, significant value.  You may trim it off of a commodity bird because it's nasty and slimy, but in a grass fed product it is consumed for the taste. When it comes to chicken fat in the grass fed world, the market wants it to render and turn into "Schmaltz", and yes they are happy to pay for it, so I produce it.  The more clover I can get into my birds the brighter yellow the fat and skin are - makes for happy customers.  


Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 15, 2021, 10:05:35 AM
well that just expanded my brain into a new realm.  man..  lots to think about.  


i have mountains of bread coming in, like brand name sandwich bread. its not even bad yet, we just cant eat all of it and i dont have a dime to be buying pigs.. lot of medical stuff going on i dont wanna discuss publically thats keeping decisions on everything up in the air.  anyway i just gave away two trash bags of bread because the freezer is full.  should i be drying it and grinding it for a component of bird feed?


there is no question my birds are consuming a very very high portion of greens.  i worry that it may be too much.  dont forget that these are blended and fermented by salt, vinegar and cultures so its pre-digested. i cant find any instance of anyone else doing this and there is a constant nagging in the back of my head that im gonna kill them, so that is in question. what is not at all in question, is that judging by their behavior, crumbles are their favorite.  the violence degree by which they go after a handful of crumbles is borderline dangerous.  they like greens and will eat all day.  but they love grains.  i dont know if they should.

im pretty confident this batch of birds is just for education and not resale, maybe gifting but not marketing. which frees me up from any customer expectations of purity in one direction or the other and allows me to play the dissection and experimental BBQ comparison game.  i should build a second A frame so i can segregate batches and try different feed strategies, but thats probably not until next year.  my primary strategy is to do it in a way that doesnt cost money.  with money printing, input costs never stop rising.  there will be a lot of producers who fold if they dont learn to cut out costs.  the price of birds will keep rising so if i can feed on homegrown inputs margins will continually grow.  well.. in purchasing power it wont but you know what i mean. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 15, 2021, 10:12:27 AM
what is the live weight on that beef at finish, and does tenderness ever suffer? 30 months is the USDA cutoff right?    


on the wholesale parts selling... who would one look for as a wholesale buyer?  i assume chicken plants are selling their own and not buying it.. would it be canned food factories or meat packers?  its fine if you dont wanna discuss, i understand. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on September 15, 2021, 10:20:46 AM
It was interesting working in the NICU.  We would have a preemie that would start looing yellow and get a work up for jaundice.  on several the workup was negative including the bilirubin number.  come to find out the moms were vegan and breast milk was orange, (from eating lots of yams ect.) and the babies turned orange.  Maybe these can eventually be marketed as chicken nuggets that have a helping of veggies included.   :)  if they eventually free range, they will pick out what they want.  some that I knew that raised chick to chickens for friars, did it in 16 weeks but they fed lots of grain.  fat occurs in mammals when the calorie intake exceeded there daily needs, and is stored. in starvation mode, we breakdown muscle to use as cellular energy. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 15, 2021, 02:26:13 PM
if i dont confine these in a moveable coop theyll be killed either by my dogs, or the wild dogs, or the neighbors dogs or the buzzards or the coyotes or the snakes or the...   


seriously its for their own good!  

at present i dont have the grass straightaways needed to comply with the salatin model of daily full length moves onto fresh new grass, so ive been preparing them to live on a deep litter system.  i layer grass then sawdust then grass then sawdust and just keep going up.  the snail trail they leave behind in the slow moving pen will be one of high organic matter and fertility that will be gardened in the future.  i dunno how well itll work but thats what im gonna do. 

the argument of they need fresh grass to eat kinda goes out the window since im feeding a puree of better greens than they are capable of chewing up.  so what they really need is -in my mind anyways- a clean spot to live on and not be eating their own rump sauce.  if i keep adding unpooped layers thats gotta be a little better than them living in the same nasty barn or dirt patch. the cooler, slower microbes will be working on the subsurface plops. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on September 15, 2021, 03:07:35 PM
I agree, and I think your moving coop will achieve the same.  did not mean to say they need to run free all day.  we got away with that, but live on the edge of town, and cooped ours up at night when most predators (wild) would do their harm.  we lost a dozen young turkey chicks all at ones,  in a pen with no cover.  they were gone or had their heads pulled off.  I assume for the next days meal.  That was 25 years ago and we lived in the country then.  carry on.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 15, 2021, 10:22:31 PM
Very interesting thing happened today.  

I rounded up about 40 soldier fly larvae and tossed them in this afternoon at 3pm.  Took a while but the big eaters all ate as many as they wanted.  By 9pm, those birds had sprouted tailfeathers and the start of full body feathers plus had much thicker wings.  

I looked into it.. Feathers are mostly made of the protein keratin.  Which is what scales are too.  Soldier fly larvae are covered in scales.  The other half of the flock is still just fuzz. So i guess i can call that a keratin deficiency compared to the rest.  Tomorrow If i segregate and feed them a diced up bunch of larvae and they fluff up same day ill know for sure. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on September 15, 2021, 11:06:56 PM
nice thought, but doubt it could produce that fast.  maybe your big eaters are just ahead of the crowd.  fun to think about.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 15, 2021, 11:16:33 PM
Its hard to say.  Ill be keeping a close watch for it.  Another piece is that a few feathered birds pushed out some seriously solid turds -literally struggled- that are absolutely not the result of eating green mash or crumbles.  Larvae were the only abnormal feed so far so i know its the cause of the turd and i watched 3 feathered fat birds drop nuggets. Fuzzy birds still squirting green sauce.

I cant for sure say larvae did the feathers but i aim to test it tomorrow
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 15, 2021, 11:24:17 PM
My brother has been raising CX meat birds about a decade in a mudlot on feed and tonight he told me his birds dont fully feather until nearly slaughter. 

Im at day 15 now for reference. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 15, 2021, 11:57:33 PM
what is the live weight on that beef at finish, and does tenderness ever suffer? 30 months is the USDA cutoff right?    


on the wholesale parts selling... who would one look for as a wholesale buyer?  i assume chicken plants are selling their own and not buying it.. would it be canned food factories or meat packers?  its fine if you dont wanna discuss, i understand.
I target a 1,000 lb finished beef, might go 1,100 lbs but for 100% grassfed you really don't want to be bigger than that.  There is no economic advantage.  Tenderness is a product of the cooking as much as the finish of the beef itself.  You can't cook grassfed beef too slowly, but for sure you can cook it too fast and make it tough.  A big key to tender grassfed beef is that the animal gains weight each and every single day of it's life, if you can keep that gain over 2 lbs / day all the better.  Do not let them drop weight.  It's all about forage management and planning 60+ days ahead.  
You can ship a 20 year old cow and get it USDA inspected.  The age cutoff - I think it's 24 months, but don't recall - is for being able to leave spinal bone in the cut.  Think T bone.  If it's past the age cutoff then the it's deboned and you get filet instead.  BSE / Mad Cow Disease brought this on.
We sell all of our beef cuts bone out, then other than the spine bones we sell all the bones too.  As far a buyers go - no as a little guy you can't and don't want to deal with packers, canneries, etc.  We wholesale to privately owned grocery stores and small boutique shops that both use and retail our products, that's the best advertising right there.  You want to deal with the place that you can speak with the owner, or a manager who has purchasing authority.  I have zero interest in dealing with Whole Foods and 15 layers of Accounts Payable folks.  
Now onto your bread question.  Caution - soap box ahead.  My answer, no don't do it, and don't feed it to pigs either.  Now let me qualify that, if you told me that you and the kids had no food and the chickens were your winter food source and they will die without the bread - then feed it to them.  But you are trying to develop a system that works to grow a product you can sell, so you need to be able to duplicate the results, and don't want to rely on outside inputs that might not be there down the road.  In addition that bread really isn't very nutritious.  The germ is gone from the grain, if it's white bread then it's been bleached, the grain has been heated to a temperature that the nutrient profile has changed, and it's full of other products that won't do your stock any good.  
Here in the US we treat our agriculture systems as garbage disposals.  It's mind boggling.  Bio-solids are land applied - IE - sewage, and crops are grown in it.  Pigs are fed slop, cows are fed dried distillers grains, and for the love of Pete I still remember the USDA guidelines for feeding broiler litter to dairy cattle in the '80s and '90s  Do you know what is in broiler litter?  Chicken crap, sawdust, and dead chickens.  The Dang USDA had daily recommendations for how much of that to include in your TMR (Total Mixed Ration) that you fed lactating cows each and every day.  Again, BSE / Mad Cow, and  honestly the European and Japanese import ban on our beef was the only thing that put a stop to that.  
When you buy store brand "Ground Beef" on sale at Food Lion, or any other major chain, chances are it is ground up Holstein.  Likely about 6 years old, fed corn and soy her whole life, and when she would not settle, had a mastitis issue, foot warts, or production dropped, she was shipped and ground into that sale package.  It's tasteless, a bit off color, and cheap.  That is the result of feeding garbage to livestock, you get a poor product in the end.  As a kid one of my jobs was on a farm that raised hogs in pens,using bakery waste for feed.  Truck loads would come in, we would put them into dump trucks that had a boiler feeding them heat, and slop would come out.  I would ride in the bucket of a loader dumping 55 gallon barrels of slop to those hogs, and the pork tasted like "garbage pig" as I came to know it years later.  
With your greens system you are diving into something that I have no experience in so I am following with an opportunistic eye - "Steal shamelessly" - do you know who said that?  As far as birds go, they have a gizzard so they can digest whole seed grain.  They require nutrients that they are able to extract from seed in that gizzard.  One thing I would look around and see if I could find is bulk grain.  Millet, Milo (to a lesser extend because of the increased tannin in it these days from selective breeding), sorghum, wheat, barley, safflower, corn (but if whole kernel you will need to crack it until they are larger) and sunflower are all whole seeds that broilers readily eat (we feed them) and you can get in bulk at a far discounted rate than commercial feed in a fancy bag. The Safflower and Sunflower will also help with fat and protein needs.  Anything they don't eat can be sprouted and will turn into a green that they will then eat, so you get two chances to use your investment wisely.  
I agree you have some faster developing birds.  At harvest we will see some that dress over 6 lbs and others at 4 lbs and change - all in the same batch.  
Keep up the good work!

Your brothers birds are due to the conditions they are in, we see full feathers at 2.5 - 3 weeks every time.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Ianab on September 16, 2021, 03:34:46 AM
Now onto your bread question.  Caution - soap box ahead.  My answer, no don't do it, and don't feed it to pigs either.  Now let me qualify that, if you told me that you and the kids had no food and the chickens were your winter food source and they will die without the bread - then feed it to them.  But you are trying to develop a system that works to grow a product you can sell, so you need to be able to duplicate the results, and don't want to rely on outside inputs that might not be there down the road.  In addition that bread really isn't very nutritious.  The germ is gone from the grain, if it's white bread then it's been bleached, the grain has been heated to a temperature that the nutrient profile has changed, and it's full of other products that won't do your stock any good.  


Agree with this. Bread isn't a balanced diet for chickens any more than it is for humans. As Part of their diet it wont cause a problem, but it's lacking on the vitamins and protein etc. 


Signs go up in local parks now about not feeding bread to the ducks. While ducks can safely eat some bread, if that's their main diet they get a disease where their feathers don't form properly and they can't fly. They suggest taking some poultry food pellets instead for the kids to feed them. More of a balanced diet. Haven't seen the issue at the local pond, but it's not that busy, so the ducks get enough natural foraging to make up for the breads "empty calories". 


If you watch free range chickens they are always digging in the leaves looking for insects etc or picking at some greens. In the Islands chickens simply run wild, if the locals want to keep chickens, they simply feed them and they they now have chickens. In fact, leave your rental door open and you will soon have chickens. :D  Basically no predators there, so chickens just run wild.

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 16, 2021, 10:36:45 AM
we have a lot of wild chickens here too.  ive had a few stay here a spell, usually fighting birds thatve lost and go off seeking their own turf. 


thanks a ton for all the info jim.  i do actually remember reading about feeding chicken litter and thought what is wrong with people, that is some desperation.  when covid started being news i was driving the truck and live beef was dropping in the middle of a protein buying frenzy at any price. i knew there was an anomaly in play and i needed to start understanding it.  that had me reading slaughter guidelines after you told me theres just the 4 conglomerates. 

its funny that russian hackers hit JBS right in the middle of it, just after colony pipeline.. but it only affected the USA, not mexico or brazil. meanwhile china ramped up its exporting of our pork back to themselves via their ownership in smithfield. totally random, i am certain. 


this morning i had about 15 birds out of the brooder and walking the floor even with clipped wings.  guess those extra feathers really helped. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on September 16, 2021, 11:11:01 AM
Mike I wonder if those feather popping birds are all the same sex? Itís interesting that so many starting getting feathers after they were fed the bugs. Seems like it would take longer to have that effect but who knows. Keep up the good work 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 16, 2021, 11:46:13 AM
thanks NWG.  no clue, could be.. i havent sexed them and probably wont bother.  the head size on the bigger and now more feathered birds is quite a lot larger than the fluffy runts.  im just eyeballing things here,, i cant tell one bird from the other as they shuffle about and im not gonna get into much of a study.  too much other work to do around here.

so a memory that popped up.. 

when i was a kid i helped my bosses son in law frank, halve up his pigs a few times.  wed bring them on a tarp in his truckbed, burned clean, gutted, washed and sawed in half, to a tiny butcher shop run basically out of a house thats been long torn down and replaced with a mcmansion.  frank raised trash pigs.  lots of bread and sour milk and oj.   down here i helped do 3 pure grain confinement hogs and had some of that meat but cant remember too distinctly.  it was good for sure, especially jowls, but the details escape me anymore.   

if i can get some free pigs this year i will do a round of bread run just so i can say yup, this is how a processed food pigs tastes and have a baseline to identify differences in diets.  i have no money to be wasting so a grass and trash pig is better than no pig.  

this guy is modifying his pig herd back toward digesting heavy greens via milk fermentation and duckweek skims which is what make me look into fermenting grass so non ruminants can actually digest more of the fibers. 

  look at the red color in that meat.  he grinds his own grains in a hammermill too.  sharp, hard working guy, not just some keyboard eco savior. 
How We Raise Milk Fed Pastured Pork on Our Permaculture Farm - YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CloGPgGE9WQ)

this is old news but it looks like it may be a handy resource, farm to consumer legal defense fund.  hopefully you never need assistance from them.
Breakthrough on Custom Slaughter in Tennessee - Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (https://www.farmtoconsumer.org/blog/2017/03/02/breakthrough-custom-slaughter-tennessee/)


Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on September 16, 2021, 12:22:39 PM
FTC is a good group. We are members, they have answered a few questions that have come up from time to time.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 16, 2021, 02:49:39 PM
over half the flock has decided the new thing is fly out and poop all over so theyre jailbirds now.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0916211337-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631817344)



toss a pile of soldier fly down while the green mash feeding frenzy is going on.  every bird that came off the slop for bsfl was feathered.  this was the only unfeathered rump i saw eat one so i marked him.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0916211309.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631817870)



this is a fair contrast, one of my biggest and one of my smallest.  note the runt isnt interested in a bucket full of insect meal and the 16 day old who is has plummage on the way. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0916211302-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1631815901)


after digging into "dark cutter" loss data in livestock, ive begun giving them hand hugs so that slaughter day is less stressful.  some actually like it.  one lets me rub his belly.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 18, 2021, 11:08:37 AM
well, sad news this morning. lost two runts in one night.

i came out to feed and there was a limp chick mashed into the bedding with its head and neck kinda dug under the corner of a feed trough.  judging by the poop on one side im sure it was sat on by the crowd which are now comprised about 80% of big birds.. probably triple the weight of the runts.  the runts have not gained at all while i went from having one or two big boys to mostly big boys and a few dang big boys.  side note for myself later when ive forgotten.. size is more consistent than maturity, some big boys have plummage and some are still fuzz.  the big boys all list eating as their favorite activity.  there are smaller birds that are more mature too.  despite all looking the same theres a lot of uniqueness hiding in there.

so anyway i fetch out what i figured was dead, its mouth was full of bedding from struggle. and it coughed back to life. i did all the stuff i could but long story short i couldnt save it and it died in my hands.  10 minutes later i look deep under the poly iso roof strip that holds the lamp up and holds some heat down for them to huddle, and theres another, on the huddle fringe that surely got the same stomp treatment. im pretty sure it was gimpy.  went through all the same stuff and he also heaved and breathed his last in my palms a half hour later.  


i have decided that i have to keep all birds in the same weight class to safely live in one brooder to prevent crushing. dual brooders is a solution for the future but not for right now. im gonna go buy a sack of 7 grain and just put my runts in it to keep them gaining.  there are positively flavor preferences in different birds that only emerge when you give them options.  some cherry pick the mash looking for corn.  some gag down greens.  some like the vinegary liquid.  a few will stay out of the mash feeding frenzy to dig thru bedding looking for that last piece of crumbles dust.  i was only putting crumbles to distract them in the morning so i could do my chores.  they mob my hand now and i need something to keep them busy so i can fish around in the brooder.  nearly every one of them can fly out and if they arent fed asap, its a carpet of darting birds to step on. 

the valiant 27 march on to a slaughter.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 18, 2021, 07:50:48 PM
Ugh.. A 3rd runt today was trampled to death by the huddle when we went to town.  I bought a genuine heat lamp and red bulb to hopefully spread the huddle out.  Im gonna put in a divider right now. 


7 grain scratch was $13.xx two days ago.  It was $17 today.  The co-op bought the feed mill in town so theres no competition anymore.   The cracked corn in there is too big and hard for the chicks so im gonna sift what they get now and only give the fines.  Gonna add some to my ferment mix so itll soften and pre-digest.  These pigs are screaming to be fed every time i walk in.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on September 30, 2021, 09:59:17 AM
Its day 30.  The birds have been outside for about 4 nights i guess.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0928211214.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1633009701)



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/0928211233.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1633009699)


23 of 30 remain and mortality is as follows.. This is mostly note taking for my own reference.  

1 died on day 2, gimpy leg, just died.  Nothing to do with me.

Next 3 were runts that got squished in the huddle within 1.5 days and its mostly my fault, i had too little heatlamp and too small of a focal point.  It was solved by buying a real lamp with a 250w red bulb to put on the other side and split the huddle up.  However the runts being squished is a pretty common issue with this crazy breeding where genetic stackup gives you a same aged flock with much different sizes.  The all dominant gened bird is twice the size of the all regressive gened bird and will just walk right over or perch on little guys face like a hes a stump.  Next season i will start with two brooders and a sickbay.. like a lead and a follow series so that slow gainers stay grouped by size and big growers will move up a grade to walk on birds their own size. 

The next death was the first genuine uh oh a few days later.  A runty bird not wanting to get up or eat.  I put a lot of priority on this bird and isolated him from flock abuse. One of his legs turned red like blood under the skin and others wanted to peck.  He slowly died the following day.  Maybe an injury i didnt see occur?

The last two were today, when 2 of my dogs dug a nice little hole underneath and at sunrise two adventurers decided to see whats beyond the flock.  Well.. It pays to stay in the pen.  Theres two worn out hides this morning and my whoopin hand is a little sore.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Old Greenhorn on September 30, 2021, 04:58:47 PM
Mike, I've been following along with this. Sorry to hear about poor gimpy, I was pullin' for him. My buddy Bill, down the road, who I am running a sawmill for, got about 30 chicks in the spring, obviously they have been out and about for a while now and producing in so far as I can tell. I know nothing about chickens except they are required for productive sawmilling, somehow. Also, they supply lots of eggs. I like eggs and have them about everyday. I haven't bought any eggs since maybe April. Bill won't sell me eggs, he gives them to me, about 2 dozen at a time. They have about 12 dozen on their kitchen counter right now.
 Anyway, yesterday I went up to the house for eggs and I see a bunch of fuzzy chicks running around. I asked "where did these come from?" "Well" Bill says "you see there is a chicken, and then there is a rooster and they.." 'Yeah I get that but...' "well every year there is some dang chicken that plants some eggs in the woods and sits on 'em until they hatch, I can't keep track of them all." "If they survive, they survive, if not, oh well". He keeps his birds in a coop at night (foxes and coyotes here) but they free range all day and get into mischief or come watch me at the sawmill, or get in the garden. Today when I was dropping off egg cartons for re-fill  ;D I noticed those chicks playing rugby with a cherry tomato in the garden and another full clutch of eggs hidden under the tomato plants. I guess these guys are hardy stock. Chickens are interesting critters, that's for sure.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on September 30, 2021, 11:06:17 PM
OG, our chicken operation is similar and on occasion a hen will show up with a dozen or so chicks in tow🤷‍♂️😊 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 01, 2021, 09:40:35 AM
so i am quickly learn all the feed savings in the world is wasted on one predator outbreak.  and unfortunately i own the predators.  well.. maybe its fortunate, if i can reconfigure them.  they do after all keep the predators i cant program excluded.

the struggle has been keeping the dogs from midnight adventures to go paw a hole in the dark and then just watch and wait for a meal. at daylight an adventuresome chick will go check out the new scenery and there is the dog just on the other side of the coop in ambush.  

i have kept adding wood to block the pawing and the dogs respect it during daylight for a while and then cant help themselves any more.  i checked this morning before sunrise, no disturbance.  40 minutes later, every piece of wood is pulled out and theres a gutted bird on the ground.  

so now im sitting at the table with a dead bird in view on the ground outside and the shock collar remote, we are gonna play electroshock therapy one dog at a time until the smell of chicken makes them quake in fear.

i knew daily moves was not gonna work with pity, she was wild and is way too acute of a hunter, im sure many a road chicken went down her throat. the dog has actually patterned me and the birds, she never lets herself be seen near the coop.  i guess im gonna put dunnage around the perimeter staked down with rebar now.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 01, 2021, 10:41:26 AM
Can you run a perimeter wire around the coop hooked to the charger? Put it so the dog paw gets the shock.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 01, 2021, 11:27:42 AM
not before they kill them all but in time yes.  

they had a good breakfast.  census is down to 19 and there is not one feather laying anywhere. we will see who craps out the most beaks. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 01, 2021, 11:33:38 AM
I've broke even bird dogs of chicken killing by tying the dead chicken around their neck where they can't reach it. Our birds free range right around our dogs (admittedly, the dogs we have dont have the look of real killers- 2 corgis, an aussie/heeler cross, and Walt the pug. Although Walt does have one confirmed kill😂)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on October 01, 2021, 12:02:00 PM
I've broke even bird dogs of chicken killing by tying the dead chicken around their neck where they can't reach it. Our birds free range right around our dogs (admittedly, the dogs we have dont have the look of real killers- 2 corgis, an aussie/heeler cross, and Walt the pug. Although Walt does have one confirmed kill😂)
I wonder the reasoning behind that ? Interesting 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Wudman on October 01, 2021, 12:51:47 PM
You can put expanded wire or cattle panels around the perimeter of your pen as well.  Lay them flat so your dog would have to dig 4 feet to get to the house.  Hinge them so they fold up out of the way to move.

Wud
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 01, 2021, 01:11:43 PM
thats brilliant wud, thanks for that. 


they all got the chicken shock but i am at trust level zero again. it was going pretty well for a few days. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on October 01, 2021, 04:52:19 PM
try the dead chicken trick.  it worked on our dogs x 3.  never lost anymore chickens and they free ranged in the yard.  a Lab, as Blue Healer, and a German Shepard.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 01, 2021, 08:46:12 PM
I don't know, I think Walt was set up as the fall guy. I mean, look at the guy!  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on October 01, 2021, 09:07:43 PM
we used to have ours penned until they could fly over, but they went into the coup at night and we closed the door.  never lost a chicken at night.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 01, 2021, 09:24:38 PM
It's the ones you suddenly gain one day that make you scratch your head. A couple of times some bird I have never seen is running around with the flock, and we don't have any neighbors within chicken distance is the weird part.  ???
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 01, 2021, 11:25:52 PM
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. You just gotta roll with it🤷‍♂️😂
 I have no idea why tying a dead chicken to the dogs neck is effective, I don't know where I got the idea but I didn't come up with it. Leave the dog tied up, with the chicken tied to their neck where they can't get at it. Make sure and remind them they are a bad dog often.
  The most problematic dog we had was a very very intelligent border collie/aussie cross. When we first got chicks, she killed one. We had a talk about it, and she didn't touch another for years. When she was getting up in years, she started killing chickens again. The reason we couldn't break her of it was because it wasn't really predatory- she would kill the chickens that the kids paid attention to out of jealousy. Dang dog. I had one chick, a goofy hen went broody in the middle of the winter and hatched one chick. I didn't want it to freeze so I brought it in the basement wood shop and put it in a brooder. Well the poor lonely thing, I'd be working down there and it would be chirping loudly. I'd chirp back at it, pretty soon it got where it could jump out of the brooder. It would follow me around and eventually started jumping up on my shoulder. It would just try to ride around as I did projects. I named it Clarence😂 Well Maya the dog caught wind of our blossoming relationship and that was the end of Clarence. Just your run off the mill laying hen outside she couldn't care less. But if it was a chicken you'd pick up and pet, it had a target on it.

PS- Southside, although Walt may have a tame appearance I assure you he is an apex predator. Why, one summer day I witnessed first hand Walt capturing a horse fly in my woods truck and dragging it back to his lair under the back seat to finish it off. It truly never had a chance!


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/11286/20210929_103914.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1633145123)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 01, 2021, 11:54:44 PM
My office has chosen to represent Walt in his defense of these unfounded accusations. Judge Wapner is a good man, he will see it Walts way.  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on October 02, 2021, 05:27:57 AM
we will see who craps out the most beaks.
Even Sherlock Holmes would admire your persistence!   :D

Barbender your storyÖso funny and so vividly described that I could see it going down.   :D :D

Southside weíll start a go fund me page to cover any expenses you incur for Waltís legal fees. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 02, 2021, 10:39:14 AM
Roxie, I can still hear the horse fly's frantic wings buzzing and the crunching sounds😂
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 02, 2021, 12:22:53 PM
I dont wanna let the cat too far out of the bag but for you poultry guys lamenting your feed prices, look closer at your lawn.  


I will put it this way.  When a truly grass fed bird is fed too much, it fails to finish its corn/grains.  Imagine that. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: 21incher on October 02, 2021, 06:58:42 PM
I don't know  if chickens will eat stink bugs but up here millions of them emerged today covering everything and the birds seem to be enjoying them after they get the first couple down.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: gspren on October 02, 2021, 08:42:21 PM
Chickens will eat stink bugs!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 03, 2021, 12:42:28 AM
We have them right now. Lady beetles come next in droves.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 03, 2021, 12:56:39 AM
We are in the middle of the lady beetle apocalypse up here right now. Nasty things.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on October 03, 2021, 12:47:23 PM
Mike that is why I still resist building a tractor and use same method as doc of letting them out in morning and closing coop at night (they go in on their own at dusk). If I had to make up the difference in feed costs vs what they eat outside all day it would be a no go. 

We are in the woods and have lost 4 to predators over the years but also have A Very Good Dog that thinks the birds are hers and is very protective of them. No neighborhood so no neighborhood dogs to worry about just the wild song dogs and the foxes that mostly stay away because the cat of all things runs them off. He is getting real old and actually did not come home last night which is very unusual.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Old Greenhorn on October 03, 2021, 03:22:10 PM
.........
We are in the woods and have lost 4 to predators over the years but also have A Very Good Dog that thinks the birds are hers and is very protective of them. No neighborhood so no neighborhood dogs to worry about just the wild song dogs and the foxes that mostly stay away because the cat of all things runs them off. He is getting real old and actually did not come home last night which is very unusual.
I hope your dog is OK and comes home today. I was down at my friends Bill's place working yesterday. Same setup, chickens forage through the woods all the way down the cliff at the sawmill to pester me some days. He has a spaniel mix dog that seems to mind the chickens and is OCD with respect to stick throwing. Anyway, yesterday I was at his shop and Sadie is following me around trying to get me to throw the stick because everybody else is up on the roof working on the second floor framing (including the 5 y/o little girl who apparently as strong ideas on how things should be done properly. I am still in awe of how she makes it up that 20' ladder). Anyway, down in the woods the rooster and several chickens all started making a ruckus of noise and that dog dropped the stick and took off like a shot. Never did ask what she found, but she was back a few minutes later and picked up the same stick. ;D False alarm I guess or chicken politics the dog didn't want to take a side in. :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on October 03, 2021, 05:06:43 PM
Thanks Tom! 

The dog is sleeping in the same place as usual but cat has gone walkabout. Thankfully the dog doesn't wander, those that do around here often get shot  :-\

Bill sounds like a good friend to have and a cool place to work and hang out!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 03, 2021, 09:17:45 PM
There are many wild roosting flocks of birds up and down the road but if any got near these dogs theyd be old fashioned pillow packing pretty quick. 

Ive had 4 free range straggler chickens in the past, just did whatever they wanted. Each one ended in someone's dog's mouth eventually. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 06, 2021, 07:53:37 AM
Well i figure 17 pages is enough to fit in a pig picture


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1005211800-1-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1633518991)


Neighbor friends have a big sow and a little boar, i got a call to go get a stray pig that was hanging around their pigs trying to dig into their pen and wouldnt go away. so either get it or they were gonna shoot it.  I figured well, why not.  

I get there and its a half wild full grown female potbelly with its ears chewed off long ago, id guess by dogs.  I cant say i wanted it but i said id come get a pig so i came and got a pig.  Did a little reading and all a potbelly sounds good for is lard. 

Small part of me says you dont know what its ate and its probably wormy but realistically its got a plump body condition, its not been in a filthy pen lately and has been foraging in clean woods and pasture, its probably healthier than most pigs.  Doesnt matter, i put it up for free and had 2 immediate late night wanters so it can go live somewhere else.  

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on October 06, 2021, 07:55:35 AM
Itís Chris.P. Bacon! 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on October 06, 2021, 08:04:00 AM
I thought you were roasting it already with all the garnish and veggies around it.   :D   digin_2   :)
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Walnut Beast on October 06, 2021, 09:20:25 AM
Well i figure 17 pages is enough to fit in a pig picture


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1005211800-1-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1633518991)


Neighbor friends have a big sow and a little boar, i got a call to go get a stray pig that was hanging around their pigs trying to dig into their pen and wouldnt go away. so either get it or they were gonna shoot it.  I figured well, why not.  

I get there and its a half wild full grown female potbelly with its ears chewed off long ago, id guess by dogs.  I cant say i wanted it but i said id come get a pig so i came and got a pig.  Did a little reading and all a potbelly sounds good for is lard.

Small part of me says you dont know what its ate and its probably wormy but realistically its got a plump body condition, its not been in a filthy pen lately and has been foraging in clean woods and pasture, its probably healthier than most pigs.  Doesnt matter, i put it up for free and had 2 immediate late night wanters so it can go live somewhere else.  
You should feel bad. That pig is going to miss you Mike
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 06, 2021, 12:20:29 PM
Yep, it thought it found it's forever home, look how happy it is!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: 21incher on October 06, 2021, 01:49:13 PM
Mike's animal rescue has saved the day again  for another poor defenseless animal. Your a good man Mike.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 06, 2021, 02:17:54 PM
well.. i dunno.  i saved the others because they served a purpose for me in guard dog needs.  i took this one for sight unseen sausage then decided it didnt serve me, id like some muscle in my lard blob and this thing dont have it.  ive got 5 people in line that want a pet pig so let them have it.  

hopefully the ones in my town follow through because i dont want to try transferring it out of the trailer at home in the pouring rain (it was a half hour chore to load for 3 adults) and i dont want to have to deliver outside the county. none of these callers seem to have a way to get it. hopefully they have a decent way to keep it. 

thing is alive, but hasnt moved a bit, hasnt eaten, pooped, etc.  i mean i could shoot it just to feed some soldier fly larvae but that seems a pretty cold thing to do and is just not me. i need a pretty good reason to kill something.  good sausage is a compelling reason right?
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: 21incher on October 06, 2021, 04:47:33 PM
If it had been just for sausage it would have been loaded in no time all cleaned and ready to skin. Probably hasn't  moved because  you gave it a comfortable safe bed.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 06, 2021, 04:51:55 PM
its been either dreary or pouring and trash pig has stayed tucked up under the piece of tin at the front of the sloped trailer staying dryish.  it did get up and just stand there for a while then spin around and go back to bed.

broiler update.

im at day 36 i believe.  still have 19 birds, all are healthy and pretty similar in size, i guess theres one smallish bird left. i finally got batteries for the kitchen type gram/oz scale.  i grabbed two mid sized birds. lets say my flock ranges from 6 to 10 ounces and about pidgeon sized.

 looking at the charts from hatcheries where birds are plopped in front of 12 on/12off grain feed, i am way behind.  they should be 3 to 4 pounds by now, there are reports of people leaving them to 24/7 feed hitting 10lbs in 6 weeks and that is just un natural in my opinion. now that i have a hands on perspective and a scale for the pace that a basically wild bird could be expected to grow just foraging for grubs, grass and seed...  i guess i now view a big perdue/tyson bird as the champion of a hot dog eating contest and it turns me off quite a bit to think of just how fat and lethargic that animal is.  no wonder they start just plain dying much past 8 weeks.. its like birdie diabetes and heart attacks and stuff.


so while it is disappointing to have such slow growth, i am confident these birds are healthier for my family, and certainly cheaper for me to raise.  theyre nearly free so if they take 12 or 14 weeks i am fine with that.  that theyre never lethargic and constantly full of energy is a positive sign.  if i walk up to the pen, not one bird will be sitting.  and they can pretty much all fly even with some clipped wings. im hoping that these 19 make it to the freezer and on the first bite i can say this was worth the aggravation, you cant buy this at walmart.  

lord knows the dogs think they taste great!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 06, 2021, 05:16:34 PM

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1006211452.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1633554072)


im getting closer on the fence charger front. ive seen as high as 4900 volts coming out the coil secondary, which i sure dont wanna get wacked by.  the first coil i think made quite a bit more based on spark but it burned up during an endurance test.  i was using a blinker relay which pulsed obviously as slow as a blinker. the problem was it also stayed on that long too and welded the blinker relay in the on position with left the coil full on and cooked it, puking out the jelly inside.

this time i turned a 5 pole relay into a relay oscillator with a capacitor which toggles as fast as a tattoo gun buzz, this is to switch the ignition coil like a breaker or magnetic crank triggler would.  naturally it wont last long but it proved out a test.  the higher frequency and shorter duration makes the coil run much cooler.  so now im gonna order a 5 pack of adjustable frequency generator boards for a whopping $9.  they claim to allow the adjustment of frequency and duty cycle independantly.  its a 555 timer circuit.  a variety of capacitor sizes and that board should allow me to fiddle around with duty cycle and capacitance to get the hottest spark at the lowest run temps for max life.  i know buying a charger is the simple thing to do but im having fun and learning. anyone can teach their kid to swipe a credit card.  im trying to teach mine to look through the junk pile and create what they need.

ive got two 160ft portable goat mesh electric fences now, 48" tall. unfortunately i had to buy those and they werent cheap!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 06, 2021, 07:22:09 PM
Nothing wrong with that at all Mike! You get that figured out and it could be a great side gig for you. 

For comparison, this is what a charger that costs north of $1K will do, so you definitely have something there.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/34297/KIMG1438~0.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1633562431)
 

That remote lives in my pocket like a cellphone. I have grabbed it thinking it was the phone.  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 06, 2021, 07:50:12 PM
Thats impressive for being juice down the line and not off the lug like im checking.  Solar or plug in?  Lemme guess. Stafix?


A variable capacitor from one of the spare boards will get desoldered to use as the ignition breaker condensor so i can tune it for peak juice.  

Theres always performance coils too but so far im just using junk i had. Old car parts, washing machine parts. Just stuff in bins.  Yeah i bought a new deep cycle battery but i kinda need it for the tractor to be winching so if this doesnt pan out no loss.  The solar panel and charge controller was $10 shipped and i could use half dozen more of them but seller discontinued.  

If it does pan out i have a serviceable solar charger where everyone else has to just bite the bullet and buy another when it quits.  I have plenty of spare bits for this and a 5 pack of oscillators on the way so same day fix should be easy. 

 If it gets stolen atleast it was kinda cheap.  Good news is i can separate the panel and hide it on the roof of the goat wagon and hide the battery under the hood so to speak.  Cant hide an integrated charger to well.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 06, 2021, 08:43:52 PM
Speedrite, which is Stafix just all under one name these days. It will run on 12V but is hooked to 120V for convenience. If the power goes down I just swap a plug and it's good to go. 

Your ground is just as critical if not more critical than the energizer in a fence system. 

Way to many times I have seen folks with a horrible ground set up and monster charger that won't even tickle you. 

Opposing wires in a fence, hot, ground, hot, work great as the animal will bump both and get a full zap, not reduced by poor soil conductivity. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: 21incher on October 06, 2021, 09:06:56 PM
I use those cheap adjustable frequency generators to manually control stepper motor drives and they work great. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: btulloh on October 06, 2021, 09:08:43 PM
Can you vary the duty cycle on those or just the freq.?
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 06, 2021, 11:21:58 PM
The ad claims duty cycle and it has dual variable capacitors.  One should delay the on time and other delay the hold time that it stays on, if im understanding correctly.  


With a relay oscillator the spring returns the wiper to its static position so thats a fixed timing.  Different capacitors and different load resistance dramatically changes the toggle speed but i need adjustability across a wider range to figure out where max voltage and lowest heating are.


i am using 6ft tall steel galvanized poles @ $1 each for posts, probably 1" emt tubing.  For ground network im running barb wire linking them all.  The hot wires go through used maple tubing scraps for insulators, i tested that with my mean AC charger.  Low tensile wire to twist them in place on the smooth metal posts.  This way when a tree lands on the fence they slide down the post and hopefully dont tear apart.   I know itll come with maintenance but i dont mind.

With that much ground path it should wake you up even in a dry spell. I know an ignition coil always felt like getting a ball peen to the funny bone.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 06, 2021, 11:29:54 PM
I would lay one or two down horizontally a couple of feet deep, tied together, at least 10' apart from each other, and then tie that into the wire system you mention.  Even better would be to lay one down at the charger and the other 1/2 way around the perimeter of the fence when you are the furthest point from the charger.  If you can get some betanomite clay bed the ground rods in a couple inches of that as it really increases effectiveness.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 06, 2021, 11:34:43 PM
Whats the difference between vertical and horizontal for grounding?  Surface area contact dirt or something?

I will probably have to use corner braces and am just gonna ram in those same cheap 6 footer galvy poles then shoot a buildex screw into the junctions.  That count?


I didnt realize you were a timeless dealer. Or that theyre in greeneville. Ive probably passed them 60x
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 07, 2021, 12:11:49 AM
Do you mean screw the ground wire in? It will work, but you are going to get bi metal / galvanic corrosion and loose continuity. The question is how fast.

I think the horizontal answer is that more of the surface area is both in contact and in more moist soil as a result.  That's a guess, but I know it works.

I was supposed to go down your way for a Timeless conference a couple weeks ago. Greg Judy was there teaching, just too much got in the way. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: 21incher on October 07, 2021, 07:50:50 AM
Can you vary the duty cycle on those or just the freq.?
The ones that I used just vary frequency or can put out a PWM frequency at logic levels.  Thet have 3 ranges and a frequency adjustment pot. Duty cycle seems to be 100% but I doubt they could cycle a mechanical relay without a interface. Would  be best with  a ssr but there are heavier duty ones available also for other applications. An arduino is  also an option.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: btulloh on October 07, 2021, 08:11:51 AM
Sounds like the ones Mike ordered will vary both. Only need a short on-time to fire a coil. Should be able to drive a relay with something like a 2n2222 depending on coil current. Probably better to skip the relay altogether and drive the coil directly. Might need a darlington pair to get the current up. Need to determine current requirement for coil. Donít forget to use a reverse biased diode across the coil primary to protect the transistor output.

Add:  or the diode goes across the collector/emitter junction of the output transistor. Depends on how the circuit is implemented. Something like a 1n4005 will work but a schottky diode would be better. 

I think a 2n3055 would be sufficient to drive the coil and a 555 output should drive the 2n3055.  Just depends on your overall recipe. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: btulloh on October 07, 2021, 08:27:55 AM
Ground rods work better vertically mainly because of soil moisture which will be more consistent at depth. Like Southside said, soil conductivity varies so thatís a factor. Adding amendments can help if needed. Copper is preferred for ground rods. Not sure how galvy will do. Antenna grounding theory is a good place to find ground design info. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: wisconsitom on October 07, 2021, 09:28:09 AM
When electrician buddy and I wired the shed, requirements were for two 8-ft. copper ground rods, six feet apart, driven into ground such that tops of rods were about two feet below grade.  I got to find out what it feels like to hang onto a big Bosch hammer, driving those guys down.

Those rods added considerably to cost of project.  I sure didn't want to bend them driving in!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 07, 2021, 11:45:56 AM
Good info guys, thanks for sharing. I did see gregs timeless interview last night over a bout of dishes. 


Jim i was saying my braces will be at 45s and mechanically bonded to the overall post structure, which will be one continuous grounding web.  So say a timeless system has 100 non conductive posts and uses maybe 5 grounding rods.  If i were to duplicate it i have 100 grounding rods plus the 2 corner braces drove in at a 45 anywhere necessary.  I will bond the barbwire into a negative grid and solder it at the charger junction.  I dont think ground will be an issue.  

Regarding copper, the fence companies say NOT to use it because copper corrodes.. I think it was on kencove website, he is saying stay all galvanized.  My posts are all galvanized.  And maple tubing insulates sufficiently on this charger with 13k volts.  Just be sure youve got about 4" of it at each junction or a huge spark will go AROUND the tubing and shoot in.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1007211038.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1633620997)



That is one bad hair day right there folks.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on October 07, 2021, 11:58:27 AM
Iím sorry and itís off topic but ya gotta love a tool called ďfault finder.Ē  I can only envision pointing that in someoneís direction and making that zzzt sound.  😂

Okay, Iíll pull myself together now. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 07, 2021, 12:10:04 PM
If we had fault finders in restricted itd sound like a beehive.  


Tonight im gonna BZZt my wife with it and say i found the problem babe.  Your fault. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on October 07, 2021, 12:55:55 PM
If we donít hear from you again weíll know why  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 07, 2021, 12:56:07 PM
Mine beeps when you turn it on, did the whole sneak up to my wife and touch her while making it beeps. She jumped 5' in the air and swore I had tazed her. Looked a little embarrassed as I did it to myself multiple times with no shock.  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 07, 2021, 02:47:02 PM
Roxie I've scanned myself with a "Stud Sensor" and wouldn't you know, the alarm went off like crazy! My wife seemed unconvinced though🤷‍♂️😂
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: 21incher on October 07, 2021, 04:53:42 PM
Can't wait to see the video tomorrow if you survive  :o.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on October 07, 2021, 07:00:33 PM
Stud sensor 😂
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on October 07, 2021, 11:11:47 PM
Mine beeps when you turn it on, did the whole sneak up to my wife and touch her while making it beeps. She jumped 5' in the air and swore I had tazed her. Looked a little embarrassed as I did it to myself multiple times with no shock.  :D
How cold was your supper that night ? :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 08, 2021, 12:23:56 AM
I had one of those shock collars for my bird dog. It worked great, but I always felt bad because I didn't know how much pain it actually caused. I needed to know, but I was afraid to shock myself with it. So I touched the probes on my wife's leg, and pushed the button on the remote. She seemed to agree with the dog that it hurt pretty bad😂
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on October 08, 2021, 02:27:38 AM
No one could light themselves up quite like Cowboy Bob. He was a perpetual accident waiting to happen in any circumstance, if he was working, there would be blood. 

When I met him the boys were grown and out of the house but he was the only guy I dated that they approved of and given that they were called the Anderson mafia by other unfortunate beauís I was delighted when Cowboy asked my oldest son to ride along on a typical day of livestock hauling. 

According to my son the cows and horses loaded quietly and were unloaded similarly. The next load was about 30 sheep and this is where my son became suspicious that perhaps he was along for more than just a ride because sheep have to lifted into the trailer. One sheep took flight up a bank and Cowboy lunged for the hind legs and got a kick under his eye which broke the skin and immediately produced a shiner.  The next load would be pigs and loading went fine but at the auction the pigs didnít want to exit the trailer so Cowboy yelled for the cattle prod which my son retrieved. In the midst of confusion my son watched him plant that shocker in the calf of his leg while the trigger was engaged.  

I still canít tell that story without being reduced to tears of laughter at the incredulous look on my no-stranger-to-reckless sonís face. We all jointly decided that anything electrical was forbidden to the Cowboy when I saw him shock himself trying to charge my Corvette battery with a charger. 

You canít make this stuff up. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Ianab on October 08, 2021, 03:04:56 AM
At the farm years ago we had issues with the electric fencing (and pretty much anything else) so the short term solution was an "industrial grade" fence charger. This thing was serious, and if there was a short, I swear you could see the feed and earth wires twitch each time it fired. 

Anyway, another shortcut was to put water troughs in the fence line, that way cattle could drink from the same trough in either paddock. They knew not to touch the fence, but they had 3ft clearance, so could get water easily enough. 

But our young Huntaway herding dog didn't know this. Huntaway is a NZ farm dog breed, looks a bit like a "hound', big lanky floppy eared thing, bred to stand in front of mob of sheep and just bark at them until they move. Anyway Pearl was a lovely natured dog, good at barking, but maybe not the smartest. 

So she rushes up to a trough and goes to take a drink. But her ear brushed the fence wire about the same time her tongue hit the water  :o Hint, don't lick an electric fence that's rated to power 3 miles of Elephant resistant fence... testing with animals suggests it's unpleasant. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 08, 2021, 06:08:36 AM
 :D



I finally had to get a shock collar for my chicken eaters.  It works well if you have the restraint to use it right but remember that the zap is only administered when you catch the dog doing bad in that very moment.  Its to leave the animal with the momory of pain when they do bad and to associate the bad behavior theyre about to engage in with bad pain.  Im eating a chicken, zap.  Im digging in the grass or barking at the good neighbor zap. Next time theyre about to do that.. Oh wait.. Pain comes next.  

Thats it.. In the moment only. This requires a lot of restraint on your part.

It doesnt work to reinforce verbal punishment for failure to do good. Dogs dont speak english. So dont say come a few times then zap if it dont. A shock collar only punishes bad, not ever the failure to do good.

 a treat, reward or loving is the only thing that produces a good action.  Zapping a dog makes it stressed and afraid and itll run and hide and pith you off so youve really gotta have patience.  You might spend all day watching the dog only to catch it once or twice in an appropriate condition. Shock collar is absolutely not a replacement for leash time.  IMO most dog owners are the problem, and theyre the ones who need trained.

15 years ago i did it wrong. If you do it wrong the dog is a wreck as soon as the collar goes on, then back to the typical bad behavior when removed.  If you do it right, 3 or 4 training sessions and its gone. Bella only needed buzz to stay away from a dead chicken.  Puppy needed several reminders that progressively got higher. She gave up at 13.

The collars have come a long long way. Soft rounded silicone probes now instead of sharp metal lugs.  This one USB charges with beep buzz and zap mode and the zaps range from 1-16 with an LED screen.  I zapped my forearm at 10 and itll make you cuss with gusto.  Feels like a very deep, severe but localized, small bite.  Like a huge spider with instant hydraulic jaws that hit you 1/4" into the meat with rat trap speed then immediately stop.  Its over before you can finish yelling but youll remember it a lot longer.  I dont wanna know about level 16.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on October 08, 2021, 06:45:52 AM
LED screens for shock collars now we’re getting fancy lol

Maybe there is a universal remote to control the thermostat AND the shock collar etc? 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 08, 2021, 06:56:59 AM
I set up a portable 48" goat mesh for miss piggy yesterday, what a spaghetti mess. 

Its in some tall grass and the ground is soaked from a stormy week so i know that is really loading the fence and has to be corrected but i wanted the educational experience.

 I was getting almost 5kv out of the first coil but it had a relay fail short that cooked the smelly jelly out of the coil. Ive played around with many capacitors to dial in the slowest oscillator frequency i can get out of the relay, and the next best coil made around 3k right at the lug which drops to 2kv once a short wire goes on.  This project has created an incredibly good plug wire tester, i can actually pick out the best ones in a ratty pile with ease now.. Ive wanted that ability for 25 years. 


Anyway i drove a tentstake like  3/16ish steel ground probe into our rock hard thankfully wet clay diagonally as far as i could by hand.  Maybe 20 inches. Keep in mind this is portable, i see less probe length on premier1 chargers. 

when i hooked the hot wire to the fence the load very audibly changes the oscillator frequency- which is normal- but all the juice goes probably to the grass.  The tester reads zero on the fence and took me a few swats of faith to reach out and grab it for scientific purposes.  Sure enough, not even a tickle. 


Thankfully i had an amazon tab with an unordered cart open for a few days and was able to make some changes.  I dropped the low power 555 oscillators for a high power PWM modulator and a little DC buck n boost sort of voltage increaser.  I am hoping the pwm knob can vary the cycle time for best output at lowest coil heating ( coils and caps require a pulsed on/off to deliver spark.)  And since the turns ratio inside coils is fixed, the volt booster hopefully can up the coil output on the cheapest standard motor products ignition coil.. Ten bucks. I think ill need 10k out of the terminal to get a shock on a weedy fence.  And despite a relay woeking as an oscillator, it buzzes loud. The animal will know when the fence is down so a 555 or SCR switching is required.  If this coil doesnt do it i will try a $20 45k rated coil.   


This would be a fools errand if it were just about charging a fence.  Boy doesnt learn anything by dad credit carding a charger at rural king.  Boy learns a lot when he gets off the bus and darts to the shed to see what dad smoked and dissected today.  I cut open and lay out all the dead parts then give him a lesson on how they work, what they do, how they fail etc.   He hates school work but can focus on junk so i try to make use of his short adhd attention spans. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 08, 2021, 06:57:27 AM
LED screens for shock collars now weíre getting fancy lol

Maybe there is a universal remote to control the thermostat AND the shock collar etc?
Thats a remote you dont wanna sit on!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on October 08, 2021, 07:30:37 AM
LED screens for shock collars now we’re getting fancy lol

Maybe there is a universal remote to control the thermostat AND the shock collar etc?
Thats a remote you dont wanna sit on!
 watching tv and glance out the window to see the dog jumping around like it has bees in its mouth lol
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 08, 2021, 01:13:08 PM
Well after a bunch of weedwacking, trampling, straightening, step-in propping and assorted grief i finally got this portable goat mesh up and charged.  Farthest point from the charger has 1700 volts which isnt enough but ive seen her pull her snout off it in pain a few times.  


shes much more active and content then the few days just asleep in one spot in the trailer.  Im think confinement stress prevented her from really eating or pooping the whole time and now shes chowing down. Shes plotting around wagging here tail so we are headed in the right direction.  The longer i sit here on the trailer neck ignoring her the closer she approaches.  Im leaving the trailer in the pen as her bed/shelter. 


Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 08, 2021, 02:19:40 PM
You might as well keep her, Mike. She'll fit right in and make you a nice guard pig😁
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 08, 2021, 03:48:48 PM
Well unfortunately im here guarding here now. It didnt take miss piggy long to figure out she can push dirt up to the bottom non energized strand and just go under.  By the time the 2nd strand touches her its on the scruffy neck hair and just not enough juice to spark. 

  I think the trick to portable woven fencing is a stupid hot spark that it never forgets.  I may have to butcher her tonight.  its quite hot for that now. If i dont i suspect she will be gone altogether by dark and then she'll either get bred by a wild hog, be dogfood or both.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: doc henderson on October 08, 2021, 05:08:30 PM
mike, it is no wonder you are somewhat off grid.  you have all the entertainment you need right there with your family.  God bless.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 08, 2021, 05:24:54 PM
Can you run a single smooth wire say 10" off the ground in front of the netting? Give her full shock when it counts. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on October 08, 2021, 06:52:19 PM
X2
Best luck Iíve had with pigs is keeping one strand of hot wire at snout height and move it up as they grow with another one 8Ē or so above it. They naturally want a clean debri free area and have nothing but time to put everything at the perimeter burying the fence.
One or two sparks from the fence to the snout that momentarily straightens their tail and makes them squeal will have their total respect of it.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 08, 2021, 11:01:05 PM
Well she got the shock where it counts alright.  Id like to see her sneak out of the refrigerator. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1008211639-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1633746780)


A wire inside the mesh woulda been perfect but i didnt have enough step ins and it meant a bunch more grass trampling and yadda yadda.  She took a long nap, kids came home. Boy said lets do it so i crept up and shot her in her sleep.  Excellent situation i just couldnt pass up. 


That lard ash had up to 2" thick fat layer under the hide, grossest pig i ever carved. Averaged an inch thick all over. Dont fool with a potbelly unless you want lard, and for heavens sake dont bother scalding or scraping, just skin it out.   A 300 lb berkshire is easier to do than a 150lb potbelly and youll get twice the meat.  This things jacket alone weighed like 50, 60 lbs.  Lotta butchers gonna charge you based on weight you dont want. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on October 10, 2021, 12:08:40 PM
Yum! Just start cooking everything in lard.. winter is coming, fat jackets for the whole family!   ;D


Today marks one month of a group of five cut males born this spring being in next year's new garden plot. Let's take a look.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37318/IMG_20210910_130620356.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1633881542)
 
Day 0 (Sept 9)


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37318/IMG_20211010_114138606_HDR.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1633881350)
 

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37318/IMG_20211010_114239872.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1633881364)
 
Day 31 (Today)

That enclosure is 11 or 12x 16ft panels. New plot is separated to avoid cross pollination of different vegetable varieties for seed production purposes. Will get more pigs over the winter then broken up (they will compact it about 6-8"  down over this long time period) and amended with compost.

It has been warm and dry so the boys have not had a barn for this past month. They get good shade all day and are staying happy and healthy. They will need a barn moved down there next week by the looks
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 10, 2021, 12:32:27 PM
yeah they nuked that pretty good.  looks like a foolproof enclosure too.  wish i invested in panels several rounds of stimulus printing ago when they were cheap but i had zero livestock aspirations then.

 i do have a few hundred pallet rack mesh panels i got up north for $2 each that will eventually be very handy when i bring them home.  ive been collecting $1 galvanized 6ft EMT cutoffs for posts. add a little wire and giddeyup.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on October 10, 2021, 02:31:48 PM
Once in a while TSC gives us a 10 or 15% off coupon, that is the time to have a full pocket and load up on posts and panels. Easier said than done!

The feeders are easy on fence but the old sows and boar will bust them up like nothing if they are bored. Best to run posts every 4ft and bury the bottom 6" of the panel. That means $$$$$ and time  :-\ A well built setup like that sure lasts a while with hardly any maintenance.

Pallet racking and EMT would be perfect for growing out a litter to butcher size I think. Sometimes we get a pig or a whole litter that likes to climb or jump up with front feet on fence, they will bust the welds on the panel cross bars which causes me to make up new words. You are mostly clay, right? We have a lot of rock and sure have bent some posts.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 10, 2021, 03:44:30 PM
Clay over solid rock.  Ranges from a depth or zero to several feet.  My yard is about knee deep to rock.  Always fun trying to bury a dog or set a gate pole. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 12, 2021, 11:44:42 PM
So i broke miss piggy down on an 80 degree sunny day as fast as i could and sure made a mess of her trying keep the bees and flies off and get her in the fridge asap. 

Today i trimmed and sorted the big pot of random cuts.  I got 6 pounds of lean meat, 8 pounds for pure sausage and 3 pounds of fatty stuff to grind with deer for burger, plus the dogs got a big bowl of cooked up trash trimmings.  I still have 2 shoulders, ribs and 2 hams to do - figure thats another 20 lbs.  The head, hide and lard attached to the hide felt like 60lbs to me and ill bet 20-30 was guts so thats maybe 125 lb pig which is about how it felt to drag the little porker. I wanted the get the jowls but it was getting late.


So i cooked some up tonight.. First time ive eaten a pig that i prepared completely from alive to on my fork.. And parts of it were to my surprise, kinda gamey.  Ive always mentally thought or assumed pig fat is just delicious but maybe thats a case with a certain diet or curing regimen, whereas this thing was wild and ate probably anything.  Wasnt stinky and she wasnt stressed (or even awake) at slaughter so i dont think its that.  

I can say connective tissue in a pig is about as undesireable as it is in a deer when fried.  And like a small deer, a potbelly doesnt have many "steaks" in the front end.  Atleast not when youve got no idea what youre doing and doing it as fast as you possibly can.  Speaking of which i knicked my finger when skinning and my lovely wife got me some stainless cut proof gloves, basically a steel wool glove.  A bit scratchy but great thing to have, dont even have to think about your fingers, much faster.   It woulda gone much better if i coulda kept her into cold weather and took my time to sort out muscles instead of just hacking. 


Anyways i will probably treat the rest of this animal like a deer and stew anything thats full of ligament until it falls apart by spoon.  Might try smoking and salt curing some of it since ive got no investment in this pig to lose when i screw up.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 13, 2021, 07:13:25 AM
Good score on the gloves. You definitely need those for processing your broilers. I have a chain type for my non knife hand that wasn't cheap but has lasted over a decade now with no sign of wear but I can guarantee you has been struck by a knife many times. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 16, 2021, 07:06:05 PM
Well it was a confusing crime scene but ive determined that dang puppy killed TEN birds last night.  Shes pretty lucky i didnt kill her.  She got put inside the coop with the birds and a shock collar but didnt go after any out of knowing what id do.. She kept scooting away from them so i forced the chickens over toward her each time she moved.  every time her eyes glanced at one she got the buzz mode (not a shock) until she was just quivering in continual fear.  Thats what i want.. The thought of a chicken or coop to make her queezy from here out.  


Im down to 9 birds from 30 and most loss was from my own dogs.  feel like ive wasted half the dang year on this.  Theres no way i can do a daily moved tractor under the circumstance.

The mostly fermented grass diet may produce the absolute healthiest, most delicious chicken ever concieved, but i wont know if none of em live to slaughter.  It produces a very energetic bird that grows really, really slow.  But im getting real frusterated with dogs.  The whole perimeter is cinder block now.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 16, 2021, 07:11:33 PM
I have achieved a pretty dangerous voltage milestone from a battery but its not reliable yet.  Getting quite an education from it, on the bright side. 


Bad Hair Day, anyone? - YouTube (https://youtube.com/shorts/wZRd1xorzyo?feature=share)

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 16, 2021, 07:36:21 PM
Your tester sounds like a Geiger counter.  "It's not 3 voltgen, it's 15,000 voltgen" in a Rusky accent.  Sorry to hear of the loss.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Old saw fixer on October 16, 2021, 09:46:21 PM
     That's a bummer, Mike
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 16, 2021, 11:19:24 PM
Your tester sounds like a Geiger counter.  
It really does!    :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 17, 2021, 12:49:51 AM
I imagine it would be much harder to break a dog of killing chickens, when it has had to survive by it's own hunting skills in the past. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 17, 2021, 09:43:42 AM
Pity was the full grown wild dog i saved and i cant say for sure that she wasnt involved in this round, but the evidence suggest it was the puppy who dug the hole, she was covered in mud and very heavy, full stomach, i mean it was about 6lbs of birds i didnt find a trace of.

  Pity and bella were clean and didnt seem to know what was going on when confronted with the 3 dead carcasses in the shovel, but roxie knew immediately she was in deep spit.  I dont think the grown dogs knew she dug it out since they were still asleep on the porch and roxie was up, she came right to the hole as i was investigating it.

Pity definitely taught roxie how to dig them a tunnel in the night then ambush them at daylight as they come out of it. I watched them lay together just calmy looking at birds for days, oblivious that they were plotting the first heist.  Pity only needed one good clobbering to give that up. 

I got roxie before she was old enough to hunt but shes the one who kept trying to sneak off with the dead bird i layed out last time.  She got a bunch of shocks before quitting.  Pity only needs one well timed zap to change her behavior.  She very smart, has a long memory [about 500x longer than my kids!] and pretty obedient to me [800x more than my kids!]  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 17, 2021, 01:13:41 PM
Ah I see, I was pinning it on the wrong dog!😊
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on October 17, 2021, 01:29:48 PM
   Did you know experienced chicken thieves used to take a long stick/pole and ease it up to the sleeping chickens roosting on a limb and bump/tap the chicken on the foot and it would step over on to the stick/pole in its sleep then it was carefully lowered and placed into the waiting gunny sack and they'd move on to the next chicken? Being of stellar character I cannot personally verify this technique works but if it turns out the puppy is not guilty you need check other sources.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on October 17, 2021, 03:26:08 PM
I see a real honest to goodness fenced in chicken coop building on the horizon... Sorry about the dogs, I've got no helpful suggestions for a remedy.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 17, 2021, 08:28:35 PM
I think what im gonna do eventually is mill some WO timbers and lag them into a frame like an old cabin perimeter sill.  Motor oil the bottom and place it with the forktruck then plop the coop on top.  For now theres cinder block the whole way around. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 18, 2021, 03:52:36 PM
pretty cool milestone today.  i have never worked cattle in my life, the closest thing ive done is bust firewood in a pasture with 100+ head circled around me and the boy while we worked.  it was pretty uncomfortable.

i just stopped to visit a buddy who tends another fellows 3rd grazing operation, the owner lives about 45 minutes west of us.  buddy had put grain in the feeders up front and they were allll the way down in the farthest paddock over the hill, this is a 220 acre property with a center lane and paddocks branching off. we could barely see them and they werent coming to his call.  i said paul lemme go try it.  

long story short i went on foot over some pretty rugged ground and rounded up 45 black angus scattered over id say 40-50 acre. a few that were in corners and bluff edges that were really hard to get behind them, but i managed to put every single cow into one herd and walk the entire herd into the lane up to the feeders and back down to the pasture after they were done, without a partner, a dog, a prod or any yelling at all.

i was told to watch out for this one and that one theyll run you over etc etc, but i kept from exceeding pressure to the flight threshold any time space was tight and all was fine.  every cow went where i wanted it to when i wanted it to and none left the pack i put them in, including 6 to 8 frame size bulls, 1500# and up who didnt want me to walk them down the chute (which i was in with all of them) but turned and went when i pressured them to turn.  it was actually very easy, very calm, no crashing or dashing or bawling.  all i had to do was walk and position myself, never broke a sweat. 

steve cote and temple grandin are the best explainers i have found for the methods of legendary stockman Bud Williams.  his wife Eunice is still alive and runs Buds informational website. obviously if a never done it before monkey like me can nail it first try, his methods are the real deal.

the fear factor actually gave me a little buzz and im sitting here thinking, maybe i can do this stuff.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on October 18, 2021, 04:35:08 PM
Thatís awesome.Staying calm and unafraid when handling cows goes a long ways for sure. Just be aware when you get around animals in heat all normal cow thinking tends to go right out the window at that point.
Now you just have to work on getting them to come when you call ...itíll save you a lot of steps we are getting older ya know  :D
Glad it went well 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on October 18, 2021, 04:54:30 PM
Feels good, doesnít it!  What impresses me the most is that you did it with Angus. Weíve loaded many into the trailer with just putting grain or silage up front. We also took a cow if we had to load a bull. Yelling isnít the way to get them to move. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 18, 2021, 05:25:21 PM
yeah, im feeling accomplished.  

a "bud box" is the creation most commonly used to load trailers by stockyards and such and they were created by bud williams. youtube it, they fly in like clockwork, pretty cool.


just paraphrasing bud here.. cows are a prey species, so you tap that instinct by coming in as the predator and they will respond as normal.  you walk in and swing around circling from afar with a hard look right straight at them because youre a panther scanning for the injured one.  they cluster together into a herd with every eye on you awaiting the attack.  you just dont get anywhere close enough for them to react, so they hold still.  you are in the pressure zone, all sets of eyeballs are full on you, but you arent in the flight zone, so movement doesnt occur.  youve gotta watch close for the flightest animal to give a sign and back off before that animal darts, if you want them to stay.  once clustered theyll stay magnetized.  now you can walk off and go get individual stragglers.  

you come up to a straggler with its head down.  head comes up but its not looking at you.  youre in its awareness zone, one eyeball sufficient.  as you get closer it experiences more alarm, the head turns to put 2 eyes on you.  now youre in the pressure zone.  if its doing what you want it to do, say standing still, reward it by backing off and pausing.  ease the pressure just a few steps. this communicates that things are okay so just keep doing what youre doing. now if you want it to move forward in the direction its positioned,  you walk right at the front shoulder and when you hit the flight zone, forward she goes. if shes positioned wrong and needs to be turned, you walk right in toward the tail and that cow will spin to keep eyes on you.  just position yourself so the body is aimed right and when it is, walk toward its tail at a tangent and poof, she goes forward and joins the herd.  

once you got them all rounded up and their torsos are going the right way just walk right up to the back side of them and sorta zig zag behind the herd to move it.  if you follow behind straight they wanna steer off at an angle, so to drive them straight you kinda walk off at angles behind them.  theyll keep turning their heads to keep tabs on you.  ive experienced this with deer, and been practicing on my dogs, it works excellent.. i can steer my dog right to anything this way just by getting behind it, where it really doesnt want me to be.

to turn out one cow from a closed herd you lock eyes on that one and advance until its staring dead straight at you but dont advance to the point it bolts, stay in the pressure but outside the flight circle. the other cows move and rejoin and the pack heads off say to the west.  stay locked on the target cow and walk arcs on the perimeter of his or her pressure circle until she turns the direction you want her, say northeast. she is paralyzed with fear but the others you arent look at have moved along.  when the other cows are all out of the way and its safe to do so, step into her flight zone behind the balance point which is like the front elbow area.  drive behind that she will turn, drive ahead of the shoulder say at her head and she will bolt straight forward in the direction she is already in.  you just steer her out of the crowd like that nice and easy, she trots 50 feet or so and you keep swinging the steering wheel, driving the bus from behind.   shes doing what you want so reward her with backing off the pressure zone periodically, then back into the pressure zone to keep her moving.  no need to make a sound, just looks and position. it was actually fun.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 18, 2021, 05:31:09 PM
oh, and dont pressure into a corner, duh.  only pressure when there is somewhere for the animal to go to relieve your pressure, ideally to the place you want them to go. a dead end or fenced corner is never ever the right place for that. back off and give it an exit from you.

  i was locked in the center lane (about 15' wide x 500ish feet long) with all 45 of them and had to pass the herd 3x in it to open and close gates for the move.  i just went all the way to the side right up against the barbwire like when two semis have to pass on a narrow road, looked down at the ground and walked at a normal calm pace like i had zero interest in them.  they stayed to the opposite side and dispersed to get away without stampeding or going through the fence, it was all pretty orderly. 

Bud Williams is said to have rounded up wild cows, elk and reindeer by the thousands, many of which had never seen humans... on foot by himself. amazing.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 18, 2021, 05:34:03 PM
 Just be aware when you get around animals in heat all normal cow thinking tends to go right out the window at that point.
there were actually 3 getting mounted.  soon as the predator pressure comes into play herd animals stop trying to breed and go into the #1 heirarchy of action, which is evade predation. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: gspren on October 18, 2021, 05:34:24 PM
  Sounds like you could get a job as a Border Collie  :D, don't know if that pays much.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 18, 2021, 05:44:46 PM
 ;D

Bud was terrible with speaking to humans, its obvious why he preferred to be alone with animals. ive read transcripts of his teaching seminars from back in the day and they are absolutely terrible.. he was a simple man who just couldnt find the words and pretty much always reduced to insulting the stockman industry as a whole for being idiots.  im sure he was acting it out on stage and in person you could get it, but as a transcript it was just a big blank of go here, now here, then here.  

anyways, he tended to rant on cattle dogs, saying that what the industry considered a good trained purebred big dollar cow dog full of obedience to word commands, was a useless ankle biting attack dog to him on the range.  that his best dogs had absolutely no commands, they just worked as partners in silent manuevers and the dog just knew what to do instinctively.  i suspect they were likely all mutts too.  ive enjoyed reading his tales. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 18, 2021, 05:56:54 PM
That's very interesting, Mike. I will say, I've came across a few Angus cows that I think reversed the predator/prey dynamic on me😂 Some of those ol' girls are just mean!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 18, 2021, 07:53:14 PM
I have no experience. I cant say anything about this herd because i just dont know anything.  but im glad it went well.  I was reaaaaallllllyyyyy contemplating this bright idea when standing firm, toe to toe about 8 feet from 2 bulls whos eyes were as high up as mine, in a fenced lane, with another 30ish head behind them bottled up at a single open gate when paul shoulda opened both.   I backed off a step, gave it 30 seconds or so, sidestepped 6 feet and pressured forward at that flank a few steps. They turned and went in without fuss and i just came up from behind driving them through to the feeders nice and calm.  They chowed down with no issue or eyeballing, then went back out the fenced lane to a gate i shoulda left open but didnt realize they were gonna go back in that same paddock i rounded up from. So i had to walk back down the lane through the crowd and open that.  Again i just gave them a wide berth, looked at the ground and shuffled through calmly.  They moved like traffic for an ambulance. 


Dont blame me.. Talk to Bud Williams! I just read it on the innernets!

 :P  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 18, 2021, 09:56:54 PM
Oh I'm not doubting your experience at all. It's a method I'd like to learn more about. I'm no experienced stock handler. I've only been around other people's herds, mainly my uncle's ranch out in Wyoming. I can't remember how many times I've been on a ride along out feeding, and he'll tell me, "watch out for that b#$ch right there!". Never warned me about any of the bulls. I suppose anyone with half a brain has sense enough to keep an eye on the big bad bull. Some of those Angus cows would try to put the sneaks on you and attack😬 Don't turn your back on them!😊
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 18, 2021, 10:25:12 PM
honest to god, i really meant it when i say i have no experience.  

the bulls had the smallest pressure and flight zone.  i had to be right up on em to get them to move, which is natural for an older animal being grain fed every day by a human.  it is possible for say dairy or show cows to be so unafraid of humans that these methods dont work at all because a human doesnt create a flight level fear in them anymore.  


every cows flight zone is unique in size and you have to watch for that little cue that youve just stepped in it.  a twitch or flick of the ear or foot move.  the tricky thing is that flighty cow might be 3 rows back in the center of the herd and then it tries to bolt from within and spooks the whole crowd.  thats what i was afraid of with the bulls in my face, that id hit the cow behind thems flight zone before theirs and the cow would set off a chain reaction.  the way i understand it the flighty one isnt mean, its just more terrified than the rest and goes bonkers when you dont think you did anything but you violated its flight zone and that causes it to charge in whatever direction it was previously oriented because thats what they do, go straight.  identify the size of the pressure zone, step in, pause... step back and then leave that cow alone, go do something else.  each time you do this pressure and release cycle its flight zone will shrink and itll tame down in time. the claim is that bud could do it in 5 or 10 minutes with completely wild problem cattle and that is basically what his whole education series is about. pressure and release training. 


his technique was designed around western big open ranch stuff where the cows hardly experience man kind and that pressure zone could be hundreds of yards.  those who use it claim you can put a herd where you want and itll stay there without fences out on big ranges until you come to move them.  

  someone mob grazing with a hot wire would hardly have need to use such techniques because the cows will be waiting like marathon runners for the wire to move onto fresher grass every morning.  then someone feeding grain just has to shake the bucket and do their call for the herd to run over.  i was just having fun playing around and excited to announce that im still alive!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 18, 2021, 10:45:09 PM
Awesome job Mike!!  

It's funny, I hear that about Angus all the time, we run some, no issues.  Especially hear it about Jersey bulls - first everyone tells you the calves just up and die, they all get scours, won't eat, flop over and die.  Then when they are grown they are the meanest bull to walk the Earth.  Right now we have 8 or so youngish Jersey bulls.  You can walk up to any one of them at any time and run a hand down their back as you walk by.  If you band them young they never really fill out, so we keep them intact longer for that reason.  Those will get banded this fall now that the flies are about done.  One is being kept for breeding given his lineage and how he turned out.  Captian Jack we call him.  He got that name when I was making him cross paddocks by walking along a 1x6 I had dropped across the fence.  He walked the plank, so he got the name. He has had a rope halter put onto him enough that he knows not to try and yank away.  Has been in a stall during milking many times, just hanging out with his mother.  Absolutely loves getting scratched under his chin.  By no means a pet and one day he will be sold to breed someone elses cows or will become burger, but in the meantime he respects people, fences, and other cattle.  On the flip side I have seen a Holstein that was a clean up bull in a free stall barn try to kill his owner when he got out of a pen.  Ronnie was yelling for me to shoot it as he was running up a snowbank.   So much of it is how you handle them.  Crowd gates, prods, and jumping jacks are not the way to do it.  We had one cow that would jump out of the milking stalls, even with the claw attached, just launch herself over the breast gate. So we had to put higher gates in place.  That cow jumped over fences and everything else, she was scared of the world.  Now I can walk by her and run my hand down her back, no issues.  

Few things I have learned.  Ditch the DanG sunglasses!!  I have green eyes and they are super sensitive to light, makes for awesome low light vision, but in snow or glare it is miserable - I never wear sunglasses around the cows even when it hurts.  Get a cow that isn't confident or is spooky and you look like a sparkly eyed alien heading her way to do bad things to her.  Put them on your hat and now you are a really bizarre creature who only exists to harm said cow, and she knows it!  Time and time again I have had to tell employees, and my wife - "Loose the glasses" - you can see it in the cow.  Her focus is right on those and she is showing fear in every sense possible.  A scared cow is an un-predicable cow.  Fight or flight kicks in and flight it always is, even if that means flight is right over the top of the bug eyed creature between her and freedom.  Take the glasses off and the cows body posture relaxes several times over.  

Talk to and around your cows. Get them to know what a normal voice sounds like, even when it's loud.  This way when you have help and hollar over to him or her the cows don't freak over it.  Just part of life.  I talk to them as I approach them, especially when coming from behind, so I don't startle them when suddenly I appear out of nowhere in their field of view.   

Obviously respect any 1,000 lb animal.  Even a 150 lb calf will kick the snot out of you.  They are simply stronger than we are.  I will say what I want them to do also, not that I think they always understand what I am saying, but if nothing else it reinforces me and my body to do what my mind is saying I should do.  Think of it this way.  How much harder is it to make your non dominant hand do a strange action if you are talking out loud and saying something completely opposite?  Hard to split your attention.  Now throw in a large animal that you are observing and reacting to - gets about impossible.  So tell the cow what you want her to do and your body language will reflect that too.   Body follows the head principle, with a twist.  

Keep them together.  Better to back off and let the straggler mix in with the herd rather than push the herd and have the straggler go the wrong way.  Suddenly the straggler is the leader as everyone goes that way, which you didn't want to happen.  

Join a gym if you really feel the necessity to do jumping jacks and other calestitics while working stock.  Can't stand seeing people hootin, hollarin, jumpin, whumpin, and rippin around on the wheeler behind cows.  They stop and put their heads down and all grab a mouth full of weeds along the way, give them 30 seconds.  Let everyone feel they got in on the action so when they start to move their focus is on that and not on the forage they think they missed.  The delay will be 10% of what it takes to bring them back together if you push them too hard.  

These are lessons learned because I did it the wrong way and pushed cows over fences, through closed gates, back up over the hill, etc and had to think about what I did wrong while wasting time undoing whatever it was my actions led to.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 18, 2021, 11:49:34 PM
Thanks a bunch for the pointers jim.. You said ditch the dang glasses and then something about green and i thought OMG how did jim know my glasses fell off my hat right into a green plop today!?    :D


Me entering the paddock caused the first group i encountered to bolt deeper into it.  I went sideways to give them more distance and slow them in place, and then did wide arcs around them staring hard at their eyeballs like a predator choosing. This 1/4 circle packed them up together fairly tight.  Since thats what i wanted i backed way off to reward and quit the staring.  They all stayed put like a parked car, hardly a step from there.

probably 30 more minutes it took me to go tramping all over individually working a handful of independant stragglers, each out of the far edges in their own spots, back into the one herd.  As the stragglers ran up, the whole herd moved as 2 groups into the lane to the feeders.  The scared ones shuffled faster and broke ahead of the calmer ones who just mosey'd.    The only time i made noise was like you said,  coming up behind them a few times because there were cows not looking back at me. i just clapped a little and spoke quiet so not to startle.  The sound didnt move them at all, just gave them notice i was approaching and to stay calm, which worked the whole time.

Any time a cow was antsy to get by me in the lane, i just looked away from it or turned my back to it and let them go by.  They stayed pretty calm despite obvious high stress.  Id rather round them up again calmly in a few minutes than get run over for being impatient and too controlling.  If the cow is scared let it get away and calm itself down. It wants to rejoin the herd by nature as long as you let the herd be a good place to be. Sicking dogs and chasing on the quad is just un necessary stress.  


Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on October 19, 2021, 04:38:53 AM
We had a Jersey bull stay the night at Bobís Cow Bed and Breakfast because his buyer couldnít take delivery till the next day. We left him there with two Holstein steers we were raising for beef. When we returned the next morning, somehow the bale elevator must have made some smart remark to the bull because he had reduced it to a twisted heap of metal. 

Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 19, 2021, 07:14:53 AM
Take that, metallic contraption!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on October 19, 2021, 08:02:03 AM
Great for you Mike!  There's more in your writings than I can quote or have enough time to respond to. It's all about your eyes, their eyes, their body language and patience.(edit...and your feet)  Most of the time they will tell you what they are thinking. Painful/ill animals are the most unpredictable  ALWAYS have an out. (Like falling a tree) I've seen three broken legs and at least one concussion,  from things that went south.  Anyway awesome experience, you can do this!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 19, 2021, 08:08:55 AM
Thanks doc, appreciate the confirmation!  smiley_thumbsup

Shifting back on topic to not swine here..   :D

I brewed compost tea and sprayed it all over yesterday, went farther than i expected and i still have half a barrel to go. Cost nothing, i make compost all year regardless.  Just using a dual fishtank aerator and 2 stones to provide oxygen.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1018211752.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1634643636)



Its not about NPK.. The idea is to grow billions of beneficial aerobic bacteria and microorganisms then innoculate the landscape with them.  Theyre the unseen digesters and soil fertility managers that convert minerals into plant available nutrients, and help keep pest, disease and blight in check
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: chevytaHOE5674 on October 20, 2021, 01:43:01 AM
The best cows to work are ones that are used to being worked but aren't overly tame. Too wild and things are impossible, too tame and things are also impossible. Ha
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Ianab on October 20, 2021, 02:48:41 AM
The best cows to work are ones that are used to being worked but aren't overly tame. Too wild and things are impossible, too tame and things are also impossible. Ha
Given the option, I'd take the too tame over the too wild  :D
Too tame can get annoying, especially if they get into the habit of sniffing saw gas.  ;) But a quick ear scratch, push her away and a slap on the rump, she wandered off. 
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10460/P1020421.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1634712092)
 
But there is a lot of skill to handling stock, some people have it naturally, some can learn it over time, and some just never get it. Same with working dogs, they can read and react to the stock instinctively. Others are just a liability.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on October 20, 2021, 05:02:39 AM
The best cows to work are ones that are used to being worked but aren't overly tame. Too wild and things are impossible, too tame and things are also impossible. Ha
Given the option, I'd take the too tame over the too wild  :D
Too tame can get annoying, especially if they get into the habit of sniffing saw gas.  ;) But a quick ear scratch, push her away and a slap on the rump, she wandered off.
 
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10460/P1020421.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1634712092)
 
But there is a lot of skill to handling stock, some people have it naturally, some can learn it over time, and some just never get it. Same with working dogs, they can read and react to the stock instinctively. Others are just a liability.  
Heís staring right at the saw licking his lips !! lol lol 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Roxie on October 20, 2021, 05:43:35 AM
Part of the care of cows is learning that they will lick anything and can digest some surprising things.

We had young heifers that the inside of their nostrils turn bright red and we separated them from the others. The next morning they were down and the vet was called. He couldnít tell us the cause but he drew bloodwork to send to New Bolton Center and was there when the first sick calf passed. 😭 We lost two more and the bloodwork came back with lead poisoning. We walked the meadow in search of the source and at the top of the pasture where the fence ran parallel to the road we found someone had thrown a car battery over the fence.

Our butcher for one of the steers we raised from birth saved the stomach contents from one of them which was a 2L bottle of Pepsi.

If they can reach it they will lick it including but not limited to the side view mirrors on your truck.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 20, 2021, 11:23:26 AM
they got the wiring on my splitter. lousy buggers. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on October 20, 2021, 12:09:50 PM
All of them have nothing but time to get into things 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on October 21, 2021, 12:49:49 PM
The all female highway department is hard at work making a new road bed. They have some boulders and hawthorn stumps to deal with but are making short work of it.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/37318/IMG_20211021_1155417665B15D.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1634834882)
 

This was a side hill but they will have it laser leveled in another week, maybe two.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 21, 2021, 01:30:11 PM
its a tempting concept but the dozer doesnt eat about 350 days a year!  ;D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 21, 2021, 06:07:54 PM
Roxie, when one of my friends was a young boy, his family raised a beef. When it was slaughtered, they opened up the stomach and there was a crescent wrench in there😂 I'm picturing his Dad out there working on something, setting his wrench on top of a fence post. Turns around to grab it, "I know I just set it here!?" And the steer goes, "burp."😂
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 21, 2021, 08:20:29 PM
those are garage gremlins for me.  after i stare at that very spot where i know i set it, on the 16th lap, it reappears and they snicker.


i rendered a portion of miss piggy's fattiest unmentionables (because at some point its just a sack of pig and i lost track of which part to mention) into some nice white pig butter.  havent had need of it yet, but it looks like food. one pork belly and some pig steaks are well on the way to being cured enough for the slicer.  eager to try smoked pork sandwiches.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 21, 2021, 09:07:42 PM
My wife called me one day all frantic. Cow had wrapped her tongue around her hand and sucked off one of her favorite gloves and was chewing on it. She didn't appreciate my suggestion to grab her tongue (the cows) and reach in with the other hand for the glove. 

Vet laughed out loud too when she called. Never found the glove and yes a search party was dispatched. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 21, 2021, 10:01:43 PM
So was that a 5 finger discount or a pair of gloves half off?
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 21, 2021, 10:18:38 PM
Happened years ago and I still hear about that glove.  That cow was a natural herd boss, lost her at 21, probably 6 years ago.  They are worth their weight in gold, still don't have one as good as she was.  Of course was never able to find that particular style / pair again to replace it and they were the best fitting ones ever made...
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 22, 2021, 12:06:00 AM
That herd boss makes a frequent appearance in the elk herds I try to sneak up on. That lead cow will bust you every time!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: HemlockKing on October 22, 2021, 07:07:36 AM
WellÖ crescent wrench takes the cake lol 

The most absurd thing Iíve seen a animal eat is a porcupine eating a beer can. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mudfarmer on October 22, 2021, 11:38:01 AM
Mike I don't have a dozer but that would be a 10min job including warm up if someone did? :D

They need a place to be anyway, the work gets done and like me they don't cause as much trouble if they are gainfully employed, it all works out in the end.

Crescent wrenches? 2L bottles? Gloves? Ok we will stick with pigs!!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 22, 2021, 01:49:36 PM
I thought that was all part of a normal pig ration.. No?
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 22, 2021, 02:45:00 PM
The story went that they had given the animal a magnet to catch tramp metal, so the kids were all excited to see what it had picked up😂 I had to double check on the magnet part, yes there are magnets you can buy and shove down your cattle's throat😊
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Nebraska on October 23, 2021, 08:26:59 AM
Cattle  magnet 🧲   it makes pretty stout refrigerator magnet. Used to prevent  "hardware" disease. Cattle eat dumb things.  So occasionally  a chunk of wire gets into their feed,, or any sharp random piece of ferrous  metal can sit in their front compartment of their rumen and cause issues...

Just was reading along. Have seen lead poisoning in livestock several times, junk piles in pastures with old batteries, most common cause, next is old lead paint on buildings not originally intended to house livestock. Fortunately those are becoming fewer as time passes. 


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/55256/20211023_071811.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1634991371)
 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 28, 2021, 11:06:42 AM
i was just about to write hairy vetch down as something to sow into my 2 overwintering garden beds, and found out it is toxic to chickens.  note to self, no hairy vetch for chicken.

Hairy vetch | PoultryDVM Toxic Plants A-Z (http://www.chickendvm.com/poisonous/vetch)


the cool season clover has come roaring back and the hunger game contests who still remain are loving that.  man they can gag down some clover. 

i bought a sack of winter wheat ($8/50lbs)for a cover crop and they only eat a little of it, wasting most which is cool because hey, theyre trampling it into the bedding and now i dont have to do the work.  im gonna try sprouting that and see if they like it as green fodder.  lot cheaper than feed right now. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on October 28, 2021, 11:12:08 AM
Thatís interesting. Was just out checking fields , one mix I put down had vetch in it stuff is looking really good to my unskilled eye.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 28, 2021, 11:31:28 AM
i read a lot and forget a lot, but im fairly confident it is one of latest cover crops you can sow leading into frost.  i have no experience with it yet. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 28, 2021, 10:57:00 PM
Every single forage is toxic.  K31 Fescue, Alfalfa, Clover, Sorguhum, Sudan Grass, Johnson Grass, etc.  Heck even tomatoes are in the Nightshade family, same as Tobacco.  Ever read the story about the guy in Salem, NJ who stood in the court house square and at a tomato in public?  It was the biggest thing that had ever happened in the town.  That area now has massive, commercial tomato farms, he basically started the industry so all yooose guys can get tomatoes for your burgers. (See what I did there  :D)  If plants weren't toxic then they would not have survived since they can't run away from all of their predators that have been around for eons.  The solution to pollution is dilution.  Many cattle have died from fescue toxicity, and many have thrived on a mix of K31 and clover.  Animals will not consume toxic forages unless they are forced to do so because there is nothing else available to them.  

Not going to tell you to plant a pure stand of vetch and set the broilers on it but we have quite a bit of vetch, we manage for it by delaying grazing in late spring on some patches until the seed has matured this way the cows will consume it and spread it for us.  I also buy and drill some in now and then as part of a rotational seed program.  This year it was two types of perinial rye and four types of clover. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: thecfarm on October 29, 2021, 06:55:03 AM
I used my chicken like a compost pile. Except they did the turning.  ;) 
 I brought a bunch of tomatoes tipping to them. They was all excited when I walked up to the pen. I opened the door and throw them down and they started towards the pile and silence and they walked away!!! 
 I asked around and heard about Nightshade. Chickens are not all that dumb!!
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 29, 2021, 11:22:00 AM
No they aren't dumb, but they do spend all day trying to figure out creative ways to die.

Rolling along with 30,000 lbs of tractor and disc harrow they will just mosy between the 25" steel discs without a care in the world. 

You can hear them talking "Oooh, did you see how Cruella got smooshed by the big green thing?" "I know that was quite fabulous, myself I am going to lunge in front of the yellow machine with tracks and hope to make a splash".

"You stupid $@&!!* birds" is heard around here often.  ;D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: barbender on October 29, 2021, 12:04:45 PM
I thought had the thought that horses were the champions of the "creative way to die" contest, but the I remembered, silly me- horses are the champions of the "creative ways to get injured and cause a huge vet bill" contest.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 29, 2021, 12:33:14 PM
Guinea Fowl, now THAT'S a whole 'nother level of stupid! 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on October 29, 2021, 12:46:55 PM
And obnoxiously absurd noise...
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 29, 2021, 01:12:55 PM
Since my dogs have invented one really great way to kill chickens, im burdened with the stationary pen and theyre only eating what im feeding so it important i dont fill the thing with the wrong stuff.  My birds all played lots of cherry tomato rugby and all lived to die by dog instead. 


Right now cool clovers are coming back and i cant feed them enough of it.  It is top choice of anything at all.  Theyre leaving a lot of corn and wheat seed in the bedding which hopefully will become its own cover crop when i move coop to the next location sometime after these birds give me some feedback on the plucker i need to build soon. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 29, 2021, 02:16:59 PM
Bought my first Guinneas about a decade ago.  I think we got 10.  Put them into dog crates in the bed of the truck and on the way home stopped at Golden Corral to get some supper.  Parked way in the back of the lot and sat where we could keep an eye on the truck.  It was actually entertaining to see someone walking across the parking lot when suddenly they would stop dead in their tracks, jump in the air, and look all around trying to figure out just what was making that noise and where on Earth it was coming from.  

One or two cautiously walked over to the truck to get a closer look but most just hurried along, clearly in fear that a Velociraptor was about to descend upon them.   :o
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 29, 2021, 02:54:13 PM
 :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on October 29, 2021, 03:02:17 PM
Did a job at a farm 2-3 years ago that had some. If the one sole purpose of that breed was to drive me crazy theyíre a full blown success. Listened to them ALL. DAY. LONG. Every stinking day I was there. Amazing people to work for but their birds racket still rings in my ears.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: newoodguy78 on October 29, 2021, 03:04:29 PM
Bought my first Guinneas about a decade ago.  I think we got 10.  Put them into dog crates in the bed of the truck and on the way home stopped at Golden Corral to get some supper.  Parked way in the back of the lot and sat where we could keep an eye on the truck.  It was actually entertaining to see someone walking across the parking lot when suddenly they would stop dead in their tracks, jump in the air, and look all around trying to figure out just what was making that noise and where on Earth it was coming from.  

One or two cautiously walked over to the truck to get a closer look but most just hurried along, clearly in fear that a Velociraptor was about to descend upon them.   :o
Good thing there wasnít a peacock in the mix, someone wouldíve surely had the big one  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on October 29, 2021, 05:50:03 PM
i hate pointless noise. if i got a dog yapping for nothing, it gets the shock collar. 

i wanna know about meth heads and visitors.  not squirrels, cats, other dogs or your feels. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: gspren on October 29, 2021, 06:55:37 PM
We have a neighbor about a mile away with peacocks, I'm glad there not closer as sometimes we can hear them here if the winds are right, (maybe wrong).
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: Southside on October 29, 2021, 07:00:51 PM
Help, help, help!  :D
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WV Sawmiller on October 29, 2021, 08:52:54 PM
   When I was a kid our next door neighbor about 400 yards away had a bunch of guineas. Dad worked shiftwork and we had a metal roof and a few decided that was a great place to view the world and tell everyone all about it especially when Dad was working the graveyard shift and trying to sleep during the day. Dad went down and told the neighbor he wanted to buy all his guineas and they decided on a price and Dad bought then told the neighbor he could have all them back that he wanted only they had to be dead so the old man caught and ate most of them and Dad shot the ones he could not catch.
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: WDH on November 01, 2021, 03:29:39 PM
I never really like guinea as tablefare.  We had it some but I never rushed to the supper table on those days.  The meat is very dark.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: thecfarm on November 04, 2021, 07:08:54 AM
I had 2 different flocks of guineas. One flock did great on telling me something was a miss at The C Farm. Even a hawk up in a tree that took me a while to see. I think the foxes got that flock.  :(   >:(
Than number 2 flock. Them things would make a racket if a frog moved. Well I suppose it was frogs. When my dog barks, I go and see what has alarmed it. Well with this second flock I always had a hard time finding what set the alarm off. Those things made a racket all day long. The fox got them too.  :)   I made sure of that!!
That first flock did great, as a good watch dog should. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on November 10, 2021, 10:13:56 AM
Im at 70 days on the birds now with 8 left after all the dog mortality.  This all natural sorta diet seems to dramatically slow maturity, compared to continuous commercial grain feeds pumping out an instant humongous birds.  What im doing is not at all the way to make $$ in poultry.

 I am probably at a pound on my biggest bird and with small combs and little red earholes being fairly new developments, some havent gotten fully tail feathered.. The genetic late bloomers.


They are all highly energetic but one, the smallest, who is getting a slight curly toe and is sitting a lot.  I assume the dreaded 'cornish X leg problems.'

I have checked it out for bumble foot and dont see anything.  The rest had an intense game of grape rugby yesterday and leg problem got in the action too, they were good grapes that got too wrinkly.

Ive put yogurt in the water and am about to feed some scrambled eggs.  Riboflavin definciency is said to be a possible culprit.  
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on November 10, 2021, 10:23:46 AM
In other news a neighbor who beat cancer and then came down with ALS sold his house and i know he couldnt clean it all out in time so when i went to buy a ladder i accepted a heaping truckload of essentially trash and mouse poop i surely dont need.  Didnt even look thru the stuff, just heaped it in to reduce his burden.  

Well boy got to take apart and see how a number of things work.. And it turns out the old american made television and radio stuff is full of exceptionally well made components.  I even saved some old breaker plates just so i can hand them to people and say "see whats killing us..the brand new plastic offshore unit is pure trash."  



(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/43722/1109211625-1.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1636555488)


These things are full of high power caps, diacs, triacs and transistors. Look at those mosfet heatsinks.  Project solar lightning fence fryer just might make us some crispy criminals yet. 
Title: Re: You filthy swine!
Post by: mike_belben on November 17, 2021, 02:32:20 PM
whichever bird was having leg troubles i cant tell anymore so i guess whatever i did solved that.  riboflavin was said to be deficient in leg issues so i made em scrambled eggs and put yogurt in the water.  also found a water drum full of bloodworm that i skimmed out and they sure enjoyed.

its not possible for a chicken to cloverdose right?  man do they tear up some clover.