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Whats really important?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by sig40shooter, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. sig40shooter

    sig40shooter Tahuya WA Member

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    Have guns, Have ammo, have survival gear... What next? I am thinking raising a couple of pigs, rabbits, geese and a large veggi garden to get my family off the need to go to the grocery store every week. If/when the SHTF (most likely some sort of economic event) gas and food prices/availability will make having your own little farm very valuable! Question... Anybody here have experience with raising any of these animals? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. PaulZ

    PaulZ Oregon City Active Member

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    Mud, Blood, Guts, Feathers
     
  3. Sasquatchvnv

    Sasquatchvnv Port Orchard Active Member

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    If you have the room, put up a hoop frame greenhouse. The climate is getting colder, and extending your growing season will be more important over the next few years. Everything you mention kind of goes together, but you will find that you will build your facilities over time, a little bit more year by year. I'd start with the greenhouse/garden, then maybe chickens for eggs and meat.

    "DIY GREEN BENDER" KIT
     
  4. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    No experience with those animals but I think you are right on track with the "little farm" thinking. We have done a major landscape revision over the last couple of years (herbs and edibles in place of ornamentals). We have a couple of goats, but I don't find them particularly useful except for keeping the weeds down (plus the supplemental hay we feed them is too darned expensive). When they are gone I will put a few fruit trees where the pasture is, and maybe get some chickens. The biggest lesson I have learned is to plant/raise things that are only suited for our climate, and doesn't require an excessive amount of time and money to make it work. Taking care of everything can end up being a full-time job, which is not a good thing unless that is what you want.
     
  5. HollisOR

    HollisOR Rural OR, South of Dallas Active Member

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    There are levels of SHTF, long term would require a subsistence homestead sort of set up. Currently SHTF issue are pretty short duration. A few days to maybe a week or more. A person could stock pile and maintain a stock to last for a rather long time. If a situation goes beyond that, than the ability to raise and grow your own becomes critical. What is kind of interesting, most frontier person know how to this in the 1800's, as we have become more "modern" those older skills have passed away and are not taught any more. Not just raising and growing, but living with basic hand tools, using animals are power sources, (pulling wagons, etc).

    Only a small percentage of our population live in a area where they could set up a subsistence farm. A EZLivin stated it would become a full time job, would it be worth it? What is the possibility of a major SHTF all out long term event?

    I guess a good challenge would be setting oneself up to naturally fall into the ability to live on their own and having the property where they could do it while doing all the things that are require of a person today.
     
  6. Sasquatchvnv

    Sasquatchvnv Port Orchard Active Member

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    There are many, many labor saving devices for growing your own food. Automatic watering of both plants and livestock is a great idea that doesn't take too much effort or money to implement. We have tried to set up our little farmlet to require as little input from humans as possible. We can go away for a week or so without too much trouble anymore.
     
  7. sig40shooter

    sig40shooter Tahuya WA Member

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    Very nice sasquatchvnv... What kind of livestock to you have?
     
  8. Sasquatchvnv

    Sasquatchvnv Port Orchard Active Member

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    Chickens, Turkeys, Pigs - The contaminants in commercially produced meat is so bad that eating the stuff will kill you. Check out http://www.scratchandpeck.com/ for clean feed. Stay away from corn and soy specifically - they have been severely genetically modified. If you're using commercial feed, try to use the gamebird stuff, and be careful with all of it as they add some pretty nasty nasty stuff sometimes. They have been caught adding arsenic and calling it a "preservative" - whatever you feed your critters ends up in the eggs, milk and meat - don't blindly trust anyone when it comes to your food supplies.

    If you're thinking of raising chickens for meat - look here http://www.jmhatchery.com/free-range-broiler/colored-range-chicks/prod_5.html instead of ordering the cornish cross - they are just nasty birds. I get the turkeys and egg laying chicken breeds from here http://www.ideal-poultry.com/ or here http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/index.html . Read up on the characteristics of the different breeds before you decide what is best for you. We rely on the white leghorns, rhode island reds and barred rocks for eggs -they work out great.
     
  9. sig40shooter

    sig40shooter Tahuya WA Member

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    Thanks for all the input!!!
     
  10. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    Any specific recommendations on cost-effective automatic watering systems for plants? I have not researched those yet, but do know I want to set something up for next year.
     
  11. Sasquatchvnv

    Sasquatchvnv Port Orchard Active Member

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    Pigs - Cast Iron Sow Bowl Waterer - FarmTek

    For the critters, I put a 55 gal drum on an elevated platform with hoses to the watering devices. The bowl works fine as is, the chickens got a section of 1" pvc pipe with "nipples" every 8 inches or so. For my herd, the barrel only needed filling every two weeks or so. The plants are set up for drip irrigation or soaker hose attached to a timer manifold from the pump house. The timer manifold came from fred meyers.

    If you wanted to get tricky, you set up the barrel to fill from collected filtered rainwater, and never bother with watering again. Except for freezing weather, then its back to hauling buckets...

    Chickens - 360° Super Flow™ Nipple - FarmTek

    Plants - Drip Irrigation Systems, Nursery Irrigation System, Greenhouse Irrigation System, Dripper, Polyethylene Tubing, Dripperline, Plugs, Greenhouse Drip Watering, Trickle Irrigation, Microirrigation - FarmTek
     
  12. Who is John Malt?

    Who is John Malt? West Sound New Member

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    I agree with Sasquatchvnv on most. +1 on the Scratch and Peck chicken feed. We use that for both egg layers and meat birds. I disagree about raising the free range units in lieu of the Cornish crosses. We raise them outside in chicken tractors and can harvest in 7 weeks. They have some inherent quirks due to being bred for exponential growth (removing the food at night and placing the water on the opposite side of the pen to encourage exercise). As we us a mobile containment system, we use poultry watering vessels (available at feed stores) rather than hauling 200+ feet of hose around.

    Our pigs are watered using a simple hog nipple attached to a t-post that we've welded a plate (with hole for nipple and nut). The whole shebang is driven into the ground at the edge of the run. As with chickens, they are raised on pasture and moved when they've rooted up and eaten everything. This gives you mobile, low waste, watering.

    Pigs don't take up much room and neither do chickens so if your Municipal Code allows it, go for it. Premiere 1 electric mesh fencing provides great products for all farm animals. Our pigs are contained with it and our sheep are [somewhat] contained but more importantly protected by predators. Sheep are light on the land and can be on grass only after 3-4 months. Pigs are harvested in about 6-7 months while the sheep go 8-10 or more.

    Drip irrigation can also be developed using a product called Netafim (which I use on permanent plants like blueberries) or T-Tape. The T-Tape can be purchased through www.dripworks.com and the Netafim from a commercial irrigation supplier. Remember that 1/4" irrigation products are problematic. Due to the incredibly small orifice, they are prone to clogging. I don't use it except for pots on the deck. We garden a patch about 4,000/sf and I've automated it with a recycled commercial irrigation controller. This gives me the flexibility to have different programs and also use seasonal adjust (globally). Having controllers improves plant health as watering is consistent in both frequency and duration. It takes time to learn your soil and application rates but once mastered, it's easy peasy.

    If you decide to go with rain barrels or other captured systems, make sure the emitters, nipples, etc. can operate with very little head. Also, if you are on a municipal water supply, you might want to research the backflow requirements if you located where someone could get a visual of your timer on the hose bib.

    +1 with the hoop houses also!
     
    MikeE and (deleted member) like this.
  13. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Both Cornish Cross and those 'Freedom Ranger' chickens are unsustainable breeds. Low fertility at best and sterility in many cases is quite common. A much better producer is a Dark Cornish/Buff Orpington cross, which I have been raising for years as my primary meat chickens. Heavy-body chickens with large breasts and thick legs, butcher in 10-12 weeks. They also reproduce quite well and breed their traits true at a very high rate.
     
  14. Who is John Malt?

    Who is John Malt? West Sound New Member

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    What kind of processed weight are you getting at 10-12 weeks? We never went Freedom Rangers due to the lower finished weight and "stringyness" of the meat.
     
  15. MikeE

    MikeE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Rainbird makes a good modular controller - ESP4M. Very easy to use - comes with 4 zone capacity, but you can add 3 zone modules up to 12. Should be under 100.00.United Pipe, Horizon, Ewing are local PDX area dealers. Who Is John Malt's advice about planning to install a backflow device is good if you are on city water (or any water system).
     
  16. Sasquatchvnv

    Sasquatchvnv Port Orchard Active Member

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    Always looking for a better way - I'll give this a shot next year. Did you breed them yourself or order them somewhere? We went with the freedom rangers this year because I got so disgusted with the cornish cross last year that I just couldn't do them again.
     
  17. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, you have to breed them yourself...but I think it is entirely worth it.

    I don't blame you a bit for not wanting to do Cornish Cross again.
     
  18. dcgameslayer

    dcgameslayer Roseburg Member

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    If you are going to do a setup you want to make it so it will work when there is no power or battires required. I like all gravity feed setups with the barrel on a raised platform set with drip systems and collecting rain water. Pigs are a problem to me they take a lot of food and when the stores close down you need aa large stockpile of food or lot of property for them to root for food or they will destroy your property. I would go with chickens and rabbits or some wild game like quial,grouse,pheasent or turkeys lot easier and cheapier to take care of. If your looking to raise large animals a few cows go a long way and they can just graze in the pasture other then hay in the winter but it depends on how much property you have. you can all so buy sealed buckets with tons of seeds to start garden if somthing happens its a good thing to have on hand for down the road.
     
  19. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the watering system opinions everyone.
     
  20. Sasquatchvnv

    Sasquatchvnv Port Orchard Active Member

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    Male buffs on dark cornish hens do the trick?