AuthorTopic: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers  (Read 2319 times)

Offline Farmer McGregor

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Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« on: February 20, 2017, 07:31:02 PM »
Greetings to LucidDreams, JDWheeler and others:
I find myself questioning whether it is worth it to compose a response like what follows (it take a lot of time).
Have the people I'm responding to moved on and will never read this?
Will anyone else read this?  Or does it spin off into The Cloud as a terrific waste of time.
Please let me know, dear readers, lest I despair.  I will be watching.  SG, just go somewhere else.

Speed limit changes to 50 mph about a mile from the house, so by the time people get here they're doing 55-60 mph.  We recently had a drunk driver flip three times, took out our chain link fence, and ended up in the middle of our front yard (which is why we don't let our kids play in the front).  It amazes me how many people build houses right on the fuckin' roads around here.
Our speed limit is lower here but we've had several incidents involving speeding drunks.  One idiot blew past here, scattered a cluster mail box all over the road before shearing a section right out of the middle of a power pole (he was airborne at this point, we went w/o power all night) then clipped off a blue spruce tree (about 10 inch diam. at the base) before coming to a halt upside in a neighbor's yard.  So I feel your pain.  Fortunately, I was blessed some years back by a few dozen dump truck loads of fill dirt from a nearby utility project that gave me a five foot berm across the front of the property -- protects the front of the house from such jackasses.

We were selling eggs back then for three dollars a dozen which basically just paid for feed.  I might incubate a couple more birds this year, but the four hens we have are able to keep my family covered up in eggs...
At $3/dz you were indeed barely (actually, probably not) paying for feed.  Definitely not if it was organic feed.  We sell ours for $6/dz and we know we're not making any money.  But people around here won't pay more.  If we were in big city yuppieville (down, SG, down boy!) farmers market we could easily get 7$ or 8$.  The only reason we sell any at all is because we have too many to use.

Only four hens?  I eat anywhere from 3 to 10 eggs a day.  Most of them I open, drain off the whites (albumin is hard to digest) and swallow the yolks raw, washed down with raw milk.  I want to up the number of those...

We tried ducks a couple of years ago, and we quickly learned that they are much more difficult to keep than chickens.  The wild life (around here at least) go absolutely bat shit crazy for duck meat.  I think we've had 6 total and every one of them was lost to predation.  I haven't lost one chicken in five years of keeping chickens.  My wife actually wrangled a hawk one time to keep it off of our ducklings.  I couldn't believe my eyes when she did that, grabbed that fuckin' hawk by it's legs and threw it about 20 feet away onto it's head...my mouth was hanging open watching her do that.  The hawk got up and flew up on top of our garage and preened itself for a few minutes before flying off.
That hawk story is hysterical!  Holy crap, don'tcha wish you had a video of that?
Reminds me of one time where I was in the chicken yard where I had a particularly aggressive and sneaky rooster (this was before we crockpotted him). For whatever reason that I was working in there I was carrying a broom with me.  The broom handle was thin hollow metal that had originally been coated in a layer of plastic which had worn off.  The little fargin' bastidge made a play for me so I swung the broom handle (holding it at the broom end) and when it connected with his head it made the most musical resounding "DONK" sound -- KO'd the little bugger.  I thought, oh shit, I'm gonna hafta do an emergency Gut & Pluck to salvage him.  Went about my chore for quite a while (15 minutes?), looked back at him laying there all sprawled out with one leg and one wing stretched out all wonky, his head laying on the dirt with one eye up -- and saw him blink.  So I bent over him and said "You can get up now you idiot".  And he did.  Shook the dirt off and walked away.  He didn't bother me so much after that.

As for ducks, too messy with their need for water water water.  Only had them cuz' somebody dumped them on us.  Can not cost justify their existence on my prepstead at this time.  Maybe never.  I would guess that the predation problem has something to do with the fact that ducks are stupider than chickens and are much slower on the getaway.  You know, the old thing about when your camping party gets attacked by a bear, you don't need to be the fastest runner...

Another post I could write would be about the unsustainable nature of keeping chickens, at least in my climate...

RE is all about aquaponics, and I've ran into other people that are all about it as well.  I've never tried, but I'm of the opinion that it's not worth the effort for several reasons
The reasons you've stated are a major part of the problem.  I'll work on a post about my experience

(many other)...projects like a soldier fly larvae operation to feed the chickens (have the SFL delivering themselves to the coop through their exit shoot).  Building a rocket mass heater.  Vermicomposting operation.  Pond build.  Spring is around the corner so I will be busy with annual seeds.
Man, that's a fine bunch of projects!  Definitely better uses of time.
SF larvae huh?  Bet you've been reading this book:
http://www.chelseagreen.com/the-small-scale-poultry-flock

I am interested in a number of possibilities with mass insect farming for the purpose of converting waste biomass (which would otherwise simply get composted) into protein for chickens (or heck, for that matter maybe for us!).  Obviously, red wiggler vermiculture is at the top of that list -- earthworms are a rich source of the amino acid methionine, an essential nutrient for hens, they are a breeze to produce in volume, the feedstocks are cheap and abundant, and the byproduct is black gold.  Super win-win-win.

Take a look at good 'ole meal worms, the larvae of darkling beetles.  Easy to grow in pretty good volume, and here's the kicker: they (according to some sources) can be raised on chicken manure.  The fact that I have them breeding spontaneously in the litter around my watering fount in the hen house shows the truth in that.  I just haven't mastered doing it on purpose in captivity.  Will keep trying.

Keep on keepin' on there, Lucid. We have a lot to talk about.

Comment to JDW:
If I get ambitious to do so, I could write some interesting posts for the doomsteading forum.  Some might be provocative, like "Why I Dumped Aquaponics".  Heck, that statement alone could provoke a firestorm.
LOL... you provided sufficient explanation when you said "We have 7 acres...."  Aquaponics is an intensive system, it only makes sense in small spaces.  Not much point to it if you have the room.
Sorry, not so.  Everything I do is intensive, including my annuals vegy garden done in the borderless wide raised double-dug bed method I learned from John Jeavons' work decades ago.  Bartholomew's square foot method is just a miniaturized version of Jeavons' "Grow Biointensive" style.  And I don't believe his production claims.*

My problems with aquaponics have nothing to do with having acreage.  I need every possible square inch of my earth to be productive (and profitable since 'not profitable = not sustainable'), and the most important crop I can grow is grass.  Properly managed grassland is said to be the most efficient harvester of sunlight available to us.  Look into Allan Savory's work.  I want to keep a milk cow and need desperately to minimize the amount of hay that I ship in from off-site.  MUST     GROW     GRASS!

*I should write a post about all those bullshit books that claim "grow all you own food on one-quarter acre".
Even the ones that claim to do it on five acres piss me off.  Grrrrr!
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 09:29:44 PM by Farmer McGregor »
For years we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. This is a mistake. The government will bring forth no food by providing hundreds of billions of dollars to the agribusiness industry.  --Wendell Berry after the 2008 crash

Offline RE

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2017, 07:49:28 PM »
Greetings to LucidDreams, JDWheeler and others:
I find myself questioning whether it is worth it to compose a response like what follows (it take a lot of time).
Have the people I'm responding to moved on and will never read this?
Will anyone else read this?  Or does it spin off into The Cloud as a terrific waste of time.
Please let me know, dear readers, lest I despair.  I will be watching.  SG, just go somewhere else.

Speed limit changes to 50 mph about a mile from the house, so by the time people get here they're doing 55-60 mph.  We recently had a drunk driver flip three times, took out our chain link fence, and ended up in the middle of our front yard (which is why we don't let our kids play in the front).  It amazes me how many people build houses right on the fuckin' roads around here.
Our speed limit is lower here but we've had several incidents involving speeding drunks.  One idiot blew past here, scattered a cluster mail box all over the road before shearing a section right out of the middle of a power pole (he was airborne at this point, we went w/o power all night) then clipped off a blue spruce tree (about 10 inch diam. at the base) before coming to a halt upside in a neighbor's yard.  So I feel your pain.  Fortunately, I was blessed some years back by a few dozen dump truck loads of fill dirt from a nearby utility project that gave me a five foot berm across the front of the property -- protects the front of the house from such jackasses.

We were selling eggs back then for three dollars a dozen which basically just paid for feed.  I might incubate a couple more birds this year, but the four hens we have are able to keep my family covered up in eggs...
At $3/dz you were indeed barely (actually, probably not) paying for feed.  Definitely not if it was organic feed.  We sell ours for $6/dz and we know we're not making any money.  But people around here won't pay more.  If we were in big city yuppieville (down, SG, down boy!) farmers market we could easily get 7$ or 8$.  The only reason we sell any at all is because we have too many to use.

Only four hens?  I eat anywhere from 3 to 10 eggs a day.  Most of them I open, drain off the whites (albumin is hard to digest) and swallow the yolks raw, washed down with raw milk.  I want to up the number of those...

We tried ducks a couple of years ago, and we quickly learned that they are much more difficult to keep than chickens.  The wild life (around here at least) go absolutely bat shit crazy for duck meat.  I think we've had 6 total and every one of them was lost to predation.  I haven't lost one chicken in five years of keeping chickens.  My wife actually wrangled a hawk one time to keep it off of our ducklings.  I couldn't believe my eyes when she did that, grabbed that fuckin' hawk by it's legs and threw it about 20 feet away onto it's head...my mouth was hanging open watching her do that.  The hawk got up and flew up on top of our garage and preened itself for a few minutes before flying off.
That hawk story is hysterical!  Holy crap, don'tcha wish you had a video of that?
Reminds me of one time where I was in the chicken yard where I had a particularly aggressive and sneaky rooster (this was before we crockpotted him). For whatever reason that I was working in there I was carrying a broom with me.  The broom handle was thin hollow metal that had originally been coated in a layer of plastic which had worn off.  The little fargin' bastidge made a play for me so I swung the broom handle (holding it at the broom end) and when it connected with his head it made the most musical resounding "DONK" sound -- KO'd the little bugger.  I thought, oh shit, I'm gonna hafta do an emergency Gut & Pluck to salvage him.  Went about my chore for quite a while (15 minutes?), looked back at him laying there all sprawled out with one leg and one wing stretched out all wonky, his head laying on the dirt with one eye up -- and saw him blink.  So I bent over him and said "You can get up now you idiot".  And he did.  Shook the dirt off and walked away.  He didn't bother me so much after that.

As for ducks, too messy with their need for water water water.  Only had them cuz' somebody dumped them on us.  Can not cost justify their existence on my prepstead at this time.  Maybe never.  I would guess that the predation problem has something to do with the fact that ducks are stupider than chickens and are much slower on the getaway.  You know, the old thing about when your camping party gets attacked by a bear, you don't need to be the fastest runner...

Another post I could write would be about the unsustainable nature of keeping chickens, at least in my climate...

RE is all about aquaponics, and I've ran into other people that are all about it as well.  I've never tried, but I'm of the opinion that it's not worth the effort for several reasons
The reasons you've stated are a major part of the problem.  I'll work on a post about my experience

(many other)...projects like a soldier fly larvae operation to feed the chickens (have the SFL delivering themselves to the coop through their exit shoot).  Building a rocket mass heater.  Vermicomposting operation.  Pond build.  Spring is around the corner so I will be busy with annual seeds.
Man, that's fine bunch of projects!  Definitely better uses of time.
SF larvae huh?  Bet you've been reading this book:
http://www.chelseagreen.com/the-small-scale-poultry-flock

I am interested in a number of possibilities with mass insect farming for the purpose of converting waste biomass (which would otherwise simply get composted) into protein for chickens (or heck, for that matter maybe for us!).  Obviously, red wiggler vermiculture is at the top of that list -- earthworms are a rich source of the amino acid methionine, an essential nutrient for hens, they are a breeze to produce in volume, the feedstocks are cheap and abundant, and the byproduct is black gold.  Super win-win-win.

Take a look at good 'ole meal worms, the larvae of darkling beetles.  Easy to grow in pretty good volume, and here's the kicker: they (according to some sources) can be raised on chicken manure.  The fact that I have them breeding spontaneously in the litter around my watering fount in the hen house shows the truth in that.  I just haven't mastered doing it on purpose in captivity.  Will keep trying.

Keep on keepin' on there, Lucid. We have a lot to talk about.

Comment to JDW:
If I get ambitious to do so, I could write some interesting posts for the doomsteading forum.  Some might be provocative, like "Why I Dumped Aquaponics".  Heck, that statement alone could provoke a firestorm.
LOL... you provided sufficient explanation when you said "We have 7 acres...."  Aquaponics is an intensive system, it only makes sense in small spaces.  Not much point to it if you have the room.
Sorry, not so.  Everything I do is intensive, including my annuals vegy garden done in the borderless wide raised double-dug bed method I learned from John Jeavons' work decades ago.  Bartholomew's square foot method is just a miniaturized version of Jeavons' "Grow Biointensive" style.  And I don't believe his production claims.*

My problems with aquaponics have nothing to do with having acreage.  I need every possible square inch of my earth to be productive (and profitable since 'not profitable = not sustainable'), and the most important crop I can grow is grass.  Properly managed grassland is said to be the most efficient harvester of sunlight available to us.  Look into Allan Savory's work.  I want to keep a milk cow and need desperately to minimize the amount of hay that I ship in from off-site.  MUST     GROW     GRASS!

*I should write a post about all those bullshit books that claim "grow all you own food on one-quarter acre".
Even the ones that claim to do it on five acres piss me off.  Grrrrr!

I am retiring the Spelling Gestapo for a while.  It was getting irritating to Diners, clearly.

You eat 3-10 Eggs a DAY?  If I can eat 10 eggs in a week that is a lot.  ::)

Long responses do take a while, but Diners do read them.  If you think your predicament is bad, walk a mile in my shoes. I drop down more prose in a day than you can eat eggs from your chickens in a week, and who knows how many people actually read it?  I mean, I have stats from Google Analytics that SAY I have 400 people every day come read my shit, but I can't be sure they are all not Bots.  YOU might be a Bot!

When you write, you write for yourself.  If other people read it, that is a nice bonus, but you can't count on it.

RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Eddie

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2017, 08:06:11 PM »
All the farming stuff gets read by me. I appreciate it, and learn from just about everything that gets shared.

My main problem is laziness, and too much time spent working my day job, which makes several people's worlds go around these days. I'm grateful for the work, but it takes away from doomsteading. Gardening is the one doomer activity I've managed to get some other family members involved in. I'm not nearly as good at getting the whole systems approach to work for me, but I'm trying to head in that direction with my pigs.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 08:07:36 PM »
This does bring up an interesting question in Resilience.

Why do Doomers raise Chickens?  Well because they want a source of food when TSHTF, of course.

But at the same time, all these Chicken Raising Doomers BUY the feed to give to the chickens so they have energy to lay the eggs.  The feed costs more than to buy the eggs at the convenience store.  OK, they're better, healthier eggs, but still $6/dozen and you're maybe breaking even?  Even in Alaska I buy eggs at $3/dozen.  Think of all the money you would save if you did NOT raise chickens and just bought commercial eggs!

Post SHTF Day, how will you feed your chooks so they keep producing eggs?

RE
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 08:16:08 PM by RE »
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Offline Farmer McGregor

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 08:16:46 PM »
I am retiring the Spelling Gestapo for a while.  It was getting irritating to Diners, clearly.

You eat 3-10 Eggs a DAY?  If I can eat 10 eggs in a week that is a lot.  ::)

Long responses do take a while, but Diners do read them.  If you think your predicament is bad, walk a mile in my shoes. I drop down more prose in a day than you can eat eggs from your chickens in a week, and who knows how many people actually read it?  I mean, I have stats from Google Analytics that SAY I have 400 people every day come read my shit, but I can't be sure they are all not Bots.  YOU might be a Bot!

When you write, you write for yourself.  If other people read it, that is a nice bonus, but you can't count on it.

RE

Thanks, RE.  Good encouragement.
Please don't retire the SG, not now, I was just getting started and having a lot of fun with it.  I like it.  Let 'em be irritated.

As to the sheer volume of your work, I must say I have been blown away by it.  It's way more than I even have time to read on a daily basis.  And I will have many days, sometimes weeks, where I can't even check in.  I don't even know what I'm missing out on, but it's a obviously a lot.  You're impressively prolific.

Re: eggs.  Put ten egg yolks in a cup.  It's not even a pint, and it's mostly liquid.  Hardly a meal, but sometimes that's all I can manage for lunch -- along with a pint or so of raw milk.  Thing is, those together constitute a whoppingly (uh oh, red squiggles under that one...) nutrient dense infusion that requires almost no effort by your body to digest.  Both are a complete superfood, so together, well, I can go all day on that.
--Greg
For years we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. This is a mistake. The government will bring forth no food by providing hundreds of billions of dollars to the agribusiness industry.  --Wendell Berry after the 2008 crash

Offline RE

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 08:30:30 PM »
I am retiring the Spelling Gestapo for a while.  It was getting irritating to Diners, clearly.

You eat 3-10 Eggs a DAY?  If I can eat 10 eggs in a week that is a lot.  ::)

Long responses do take a while, but Diners do read them.  If you think your predicament is bad, walk a mile in my shoes. I drop down more prose in a day than you can eat eggs from your chickens in a week, and who knows how many people actually read it?  I mean, I have stats from Google Analytics that SAY I have 400 people every day come read my shit, but I can't be sure they are all not Bots.  YOU might be a Bot!

When you write, you write for yourself.  If other people read it, that is a nice bonus, but you can't count on it.

RE

Thanks, RE.  Good encouragement.
Please don't retire the SG, not now, I was just getting started and having a lot of fun with it.  I like it.  Let 'em be irritated.

As to the sheer volume of your work, I must say I have been blown away by it.  It's way more than I even have time to read on a daily basis.  And I will have many days, sometimes weeks, where I can't even check in.  I don't even know what I'm missing out on, but it's a obviously a lot.  You're impressively prolific.

Re: eggs.  Put ten egg yolks in a cup.  It's not even a pint, and it's mostly liquid.  Hardly a meal, but sometimes that's all I can manage for lunch -- along with a pint or so of raw milk.  Thing is, those together constitute a whoppingly (uh oh, red squiggles under that one...) nutrient dense infusion that requires almost no effort by your body to digest.  Both are a complete superfood, so together, well, I can go all day on that.
--Greg

I write more than Shakespeare and Tolstoy put together.  You can argue the quality of the prose, but not the quantity.  NOBODY beats me in Word Count! lol  I have been doing this every day almost since the internet went up, in fact before since I wrote on the old Arpanet before the internet got rolling. MILLIONS of digibit words off my keyboard stored on Google Servers for ALL TIME, or at least until the SUN goes Red Gaint and melts and vaporizes all the silicon chips anyhow.

You need to spread out your eggs with some other stuff.  For instance, out of 4-6 eggs, I can make around 20 Matzoh Balls with some fairly cheap Matzoh Meal.  Then Make your Chicken Broth from all the bones of your dead chickens.  Be sure to crack the larger leg bones so the marrow is beeter rendered into the soup.

Then grow carrots and celery and run a few potato towers also.  This will add more calories and more vitamins to your soup.

I can make one batch of Matzoh Ball soup last all week as my only nourishment, no more than 6 eggs and another $5 in other materials.  I don't grow my own food, so I do have to buy the carrots and celery, but with a farm you could grow those on your own.

RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Farmer McGregor

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2017, 08:43:55 PM »
This does bring up an interesting question in Resilience.

Why do Doomers raise Chickens?  Well because they want a source of food when TSHTF, of course.

But at the same time, all these Chicken Raising Doomers BUY the feed to give to the chickens so they have energy to lay the eggs.  The feed costs more than to buy the eggs at the convenience store.  OK, they're better, healthier eggs, but still $6/dozen and you're maybe breaking even?  Even in Alaska I buy eggs at $3/dozen.  Think of all the money you would save if you did NOT raise chickens and just bought commercial eggs!

Post SHTF Day, how will you feed your chooks so they keep producing eggs?

RE
Excellent question!

Did you notice my statement in the earlier comment that I ought to write a post about how chickens are unsustainable?  It has to do with exactly what you're saying here.  Doomers don't realize that they may well be better off eating the chickens just to eliminate the need to feed them.

Yes, my eggs are expensive, but I know what I'm feeding those chickens and I can guarantee you will have a hell of a time finding eggs as nutritious and toxin free.  Being healthy a decade from now is every bit as important a goal as having a well equipped prepstead -- won't do much good to be prepped for social collapse if our bodies are collapsing.  Besides, if I didn't keep the chickens and do my careful cost analysis, I wouldn't know that they're not worth it -- just like those doomers.  Hence the proposed post about this very topic, looking at it from several angles, since I've thought it through from many angles.  There's a lot to discuss here.
For years we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. This is a mistake. The government will bring forth no food by providing hundreds of billions of dollars to the agribusiness industry.  --Wendell Berry after the 2008 crash

Offline RE

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2017, 08:46:41 PM »
This does bring up an interesting question in Resilience.

Why do Doomers raise Chickens?  Well because they want a source of food when TSHTF, of course.

But at the same time, all these Chicken Raising Doomers BUY the feed to give to the chickens so they have energy to lay the eggs.  The feed costs more than to buy the eggs at the convenience store.  OK, they're better, healthier eggs, but still $6/dozen and you're maybe breaking even?  Even in Alaska I buy eggs at $3/dozen.  Think of all the money you would save if you did NOT raise chickens and just bought commercial eggs!

Post SHTF Day, how will you feed your chooks so they keep producing eggs?

RE
Excellent question!

Did you notice my statement in the earlier comment that I ought to write a post about how chickens are unsustainable?  It has to do with exactly what you're saying here.  Doomers don't realize that they may well be better off eating the chickens just to eliminate the need to feed them.

Yes, my eggs are expensive, but I know what I'm feeding those chickens and I can guarantee you will have a hell of a time finding eggs as nutritious and toxin free.  Being healthy a decade from now is every bit as important a goal as having a well equipped prepstead -- won't do much good to be prepped for social collapse if our bodies are collapsing.  Besides, if I didn't keep the chickens and do my careful cost analysis, I wouldn't know that they're not worth it -- just like those doomers.  Hence the proposed post about this very topic, looking at it from several angles, since I've thought it through from many angles.  There's a lot to discuss here.

I will split this off as a new thread and drop it on the Doomsteading board for further discussion and analysis.

RE
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Offline Farmer McGregor

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2017, 08:49:37 PM »
All the farming stuff gets read by me. I appreciate it, and learn from just about everything that gets shared.

My main problem is laziness, and too much time spent working my day job, which makes several people's worlds go around these days. I'm grateful for the work, but it takes away from doomsteading. Gardening is the one doomer activity I've managed to get some other family members involved in. I'm not nearly as good at getting the whole systems approach to work for me, but I'm trying to head in that direction with my pigs.
Do what you can do.  Take baby steps, as they say.  It's what all of us are doing.
Some of us have more opportunity, or in my case, sacrifice other things (like cash income) to create opportunity, so we can take more steps than others.

My focus, of necessity, is to try to make most things cost justified while learning everything I can in prep for collapse.  Right now, many activities like selling eggs or veggies don't pay, but I want to be good at it when it does.  Cuz' I believe that time will come.  Survival may depend on it.
My grandkids' survival may depend on it.
So I keep trying and learning and getting better at those things that I figure out will be of value later.

RE brings up a good question in his response right after yours.  I'm going to reply to him also.
Thanks,
Greg
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 09:02:31 PM by RE »
For years we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. This is a mistake. The government will bring forth no food by providing hundreds of billions of dollars to the agribusiness industry.  --Wendell Berry after the 2008 crash

Offline Farmer McGregor

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2017, 09:27:06 PM »
I will split this off as a new thread and drop it on the Doomsteading board for further discussion and analysis.

RE
Dang, RE!
You plumb freaked me out!  Page 7 back at "Driverless Carz etc." up and disappeared along with all this discussion.
Couldn't figure out why I couldn't get it back in spite of repeatedly reloading the page (which I have to do a lot sometimes).

You need to spread out your eggs with some other stuff.  For instance, out of 4-6 eggs, I can make around 20 Matzoh Balls with some fairly cheap Matzoh Meal.  Then Make your Chicken Broth from all the bones of your dead chickens.  Be sure to crack the larger leg bones so the marrow is better rendered into the soup.

Then grow carrots and celery and run a few potato towers also.  This will add more calories and more vitamins to your soup.

I can make one batch of Matzoh Ball soup last all week as my only nourishment, no more than 6 eggs and another $5 in other materials.  I don't grow my own food, so I do have to buy the carrots and celery, but with a farm you could grow those on your own.

RE
I'm all over that soup/stew business from stewed chickens with the bones broken, etc.  That bone broth is very important food for us -- again, got to keep the ole' bod healthy.  Which is where I take exception to surviving all week on a batch of Matzoh Ball soup. This is NOT adequate nutrition to keep your engines running well over the long haul.  You may not feel it, but you're slowly starving; systems are wearing out, breaking down, and you're failing to provide the building blocks to prevent it.  There are problems with the Matzoh Meal; it may help keep you from starving in the short term, but it contributes very little or nothing for the long term.

A dozen (less than a pint) of raw egg yolks a day is barely a minimum of good nutrition if we want to maintain robust health.

My home grown spuds and carrots are very important winter fare since they are very storable without consuming energy in the process.  We eat A LOT of soup and stew.  Just pulled several pounds of grass-fed beef bones out of the freezer today that are headed for the big stock pot for a big batch of beefy goodness.  Got to clear out the old cow parts to make room for the ones we're about to cut off our retired milk cow.

The questionable sustainability of keeping chickens is a good discussion thread.
Another would be about what makes for truly good nutrition, and how the massive physical degeneration being experienced by the great, great bulk of our society is directly a product of bad diet, bad food, bad information.
Cheers,
Greg, aka Radio
For years we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. This is a mistake. The government will bring forth no food by providing hundreds of billions of dollars to the agribusiness industry.  --Wendell Berry after the 2008 crash

Offline Palloy2

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2017, 09:29:07 PM »
I have always been concerned about the economics of keeping chooks.  It is wrong to simply equate the cost of feed with the number of eggs produced.  There is also the meat produced, the fertiliser produced, and the sheer joy of watching the birds living and breeding.  On my forest walk yesterday I could here some scratching going on, and was surprised to see my boss hen and her six chicks ripping apart a lotten log and greedily devouring the things living inside - beetle larvae I think.  This would have been 100 metres away from home.

I'm just heading off to town where I will buy a 25 Kg sack of coarse grains, (rice, millet, wheat, sorghum, cracked corn, sunflower seed) that will supplement 25 free-range bantams for 2 months at a cost of less than US$1 per Kg.  What I want is MY eggs, not factory-farmed eggs.  As long as I always have a dozen fresh eggs on tap, the rest can all go to breeding - the wastage is horrifying.  The alternative is to Vaseline them and keep them in the fridge, and I don't have the space.

As to whether they can survive or not without my additional feed, it seems they can.  One bunch that escaped and went bush were still alive six months later, and more than 6 Km away.  Whether they would stay at home without free feed is difficult to say.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 09:41:55 PM by RE »
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2017, 09:36:15 PM »
I will split this off as a new thread and drop it on the Doomsteading board for further discussion and analysis.

RE
Dang, RE!
You plumb freaked me out!  Page 7 back at "Driverless Carz etc." up and disappeared along with all this discussion.
Couldn't figure out why I couldn't get it back in spite of repeatedly reloading the page (which I have to do a lot sometimes).

You need to spread out your eggs with some other stuff.  For instance, out of 4-6 eggs, I can make around 20 Matzoh Balls with some fairly cheap Matzoh Meal.  Then Make your Chicken Broth from all the bones of your dead chickens.  Be sure to crack the larger leg bones so the marrow is better rendered into the soup.

Then grow carrots and celery and run a few potato towers also.  This will add more calories and more vitamins to your soup.

I can make one batch of Matzoh Ball soup last all week as my only nourishment, no more than 6 eggs and another $5 in other materials.  I don't grow my own food, so I do have to buy the carrots and celery, but with a farm you could grow those on your own.

RE
I'm all over that soup/stew business from stewed chickens with the bones broken, etc.  That bone broth is very important food for us -- again, got to keep the ole' bod healthy.  Which is where I take exception to surviving all week on a batch of Matzoh Ball soup. This is NOT adequate nutrition to keep your engines running well over the long haul.  You may not feel it, but you're slowly starving; systems are wearing out, breaking down, and you're failing to provide the building blocks to prevent it.  There are problems with the Matzoh Meal; it may help keep you from starving in the short term, but it contributes very little or nothing for the long term.

A dozen (less than a pint) of raw egg yolks a day is barely a minimum of good nutrition if we want to maintain robust health.

My home grown spuds and carrots are very important winter fare since they are very storable without consuming energy in the process.  We eat A LOT of soup and stew.  Just pulled several pounds of grass-fed beef bones out of the freezer today that are headed for the big stock pot for a big batch of beefy goodness.  Got to clear out the old cow parts to make room for the ones we're about to cut off our retired milk cow.

The questionable sustainability of keeping chickens is a good discussion thread.
Another would be about what makes for truly good nutrition, and how the massive physical degeneration being experienced by the great, great bulk of our society is directly a product of bad diet, bad food, bad information.
Cheers,
Greg, aka Radio

If you find a thread missing, go to the list of the last 100 posts made to the Diner to find it.  The link for that is at the bottom of the homepage of the forum, "View the most recent posts on the forum"

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?action=recent

I do splits periodically when tangents to threads get long and involved.

I can't say living on Matzoh Ball Soup indefinitely would be a good nutrition plan.  However, it is at least as good as just eating eggs and drinking milk all the time.

RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline RE

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2017, 09:49:48 PM »

As to whether they can survive or not without my additional feed, it seems they can.  One bunch that escaped and went bush were still alive six months later, and more than 6 Km away.  Whether they would stay at home without free feed is difficult to say.

No Pythons got them?

The issue here is one of total economics.  According to FM, it costs more to feed the Chooks than it costs to buy eggs.  Yes, they are better eggs, but if you can't get enough good organic feed for them, they won't be better eggs.  Unless you are growing this feed yourself, you are still stuck with BUYING IT from somebody.  Or bartering for it, but if the person growing the organic feed can also feed his own chickens, why would he have to barter for yours? ???  :icon_scratch:

So, you need a closed system, and you need to be able to feed the chickens off what you grow on your own patch of the earth.  If you do that, then the eggs come FREE to you, and any price your can get for the eggs is a profit.  But if you have to BUY feed, and then it costs $6/dozen to break even, it's obviously not a going bizness, and more importantly it's not going to enhance your long term survival possibilities.  You MUST be able to feed the chickens without buying commercial feed for it to be viable.

RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Farmer McGregor

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2017, 09:53:25 PM »
I have always been concerned about the economics of keeping chooks.  It is wrong to simply equate the cost of feed with the number of eggs produced.  There is also the meat produced, the fertiliser produced, and the sheer joy of watching the birds living and breeding.  On my forest walk yesterday I could here some scratching going on, and was surprised to see my boss hen and her six chicks ripping apart a lotten log and greedily devouring the things living inside - beetle larvae I think.  This would have been 100 metres away from home.

I'm just heading off to town where I will buy a 25 Kg sack of coarse grains, (rice, millet, wheat, sorghum, cracked corn, sunflower seed) that will supplement 25 free-range bantams for 2 months at a cost of less than US$1 per Kg.  What I want is MY eggs, not factory-farmed eggs.  As long as I always have a dozen fresh eggs on tap, the rest can all go to breeding - the wastage is horrifying.  The alternative is to Vaseline them and keep them in the fridge, and I don't have the space.

As to whether they can survive or not without my additional feed, it seems they can.  One bunch that escaped and went bush were still alive six months later, and more than 6 Km away.  Whether they would stay at home without free feed is difficult to say.
"What I want is MY eggs, not factory-farmed eggs."
My opinion as well.  I'm very deliberate about what my hens eat -- you can see more discussion where RE moved it to here:
http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=9043.msg124765#msg124765

And though there are ancillary benefits to keeping chickens which we should not disregard (as you note above) there are still raw economics to consider if you're living on the edge of destitute, or when considered from the perspective of collapse: Can we successfully keep chickens if those grains you mention are either very expensive or no longer available?  In my bioregion, it would be damn hard to keep chickens alive without feeding them; turned into the wild here they wouldn't last a week during the winter.  They would quickly starve if the predators didn't get 'em.

Will it be cost effective for us to go to the work to come up with a winter's supply of chicken feed, when they don't even lay well (if at all) during the short days, or would we be better off to save the grain for ourselves?

This is an example of the type of questions I'm seeking to answer while I still can (before TSHTF).
Cheers,
Greg
For years we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. This is a mistake. The government will bring forth no food by providing hundreds of billions of dollars to the agribusiness industry.  --Wendell Berry after the 2008 crash

Offline Farmer McGregor

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Re: Chicken & Egg Issues for Doomers
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2017, 10:06:46 PM »
I can't say living on Matzoh Ball Soup indefinitely would be a good nutrition plan.  However, it is at least as good as just eating eggs and drinking milk all the time.

RE
I heartily disagree that "it is at least as good as just eating eggs and drinking milk all the time"

Good grief, RE!  I don't live on that, it's just a quick easy way to fill me up.  And actually, there is good reason to believe from a nutrition science perspective that I could thrive on that (assuming that the chickens and cow are fed a healthy high-mineral diet) along with some properly grown greens (for Vitamin C) and a generous dollop of grass-fed animal fat (like half a stick of butter).  But I eat a lot more than just eggs and milk.   Jeez...
For years we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. This is a mistake. The government will bring forth no food by providing hundreds of billions of dollars to the agribusiness industry.  --Wendell Berry after the 2008 crash

 

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