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Thread: Homesteading, Living Off Grid, and Other Alternative Living

  1. #11
    Honorary Supporter Dez's Avatar
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    Re: Homesteading, Living Off Grid, and Other Alternative Living

    Corbin, that actually raises a question for me-- if I eventually keep poultry, I would want to do so for both eggs and meat. Did you dispatch your own? And if so, how do you learn how to do so humanely and quickly, as well as all the cleaning required?

  2. #12
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Homesteading, Living Off Grid, and Other Alternative Living

    [quote author=Deseret link=topic=256.msg2687#msg2687 date=1287086183]
    Corbin, that actually raises a question for me-- if I eventually keep poultry, I would want to do so for both eggs and meat. Did you dispatch your own? And if so, how do you learn how to do so humanely and quickly, as well as all the cleaning required?
    [/quote]

    Scott duck hunts, he's done tons of that--learning the cleaning and whatnot could be easily done from someone that hunts. Also, from what I understand from my grandmother, its not that difficult to kill them--you grab 'em by the feet and either wring their neck or chop their head off...those are both the quickest way to do it.

    Believe it or not though, you can google "how to kill a chicken" and there are youtube instructions (I did not link them for obvious reasons)
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  3. #13
    Honorary Supporter Dez's Avatar
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    Re: Homesteading, Living Off Grid, and Other Alternative Living

    Wow...now that is something I never thought to check on YouTube for...I gotta hand it to you, Thal.

  4. #14
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Homesteading, Living Off Grid, and Other Alternative Living

    [quote author=thalassa link=topic=256.msg2685#msg2685 date=1287086056]
    I've read that Indian Runner Ducks are a good choice--versatile for both mean and eggs and relatively easy to care for...do you have any preferences?

    Rafe, here's the one of the links I had bookmarked on heritage breeds http://www.albc-usa.org/
    [/quote]

    Runners are great looking ducks - very funny to watch them run - and wifey keeps looking at them, but she's never actually gotten any, so I don't know. By the way, they don't swim at all. They drown if they get into deep water :

    Our ducks are all mutt ducks. They're mostly Rouen (the ones that look like mallards), but so mixed that they range in color from dove grey to brown - and several have rings around their eyes. Very cute animals.

    I really like fancy breed chickens though. I’d really, really love to get a Golden Phoenix when we get room in one of the coops. Here’s a link. This hatchery also has a HUGE selection of poultry breeds: http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/phoenix.html

    [quote author=Deseret link=topic=256.msg2687#msg2687 date=1287086183]
    Corbin, that actually raises a question for me-- if I eventually keep poultry, I would want to do so for both eggs and meat. Did you dispatch your own? And if so, how do you learn how to do so humanely and quickly, as well as all the cleaning required?
    [/quote]

    Now it’s time to confess that I’m a sissy. I really don’t like to hurt animals, so I won’t kill them (I don’t hunt either. I’ll shoot a weasel or martin when I have to, but would prefer not to). When we had meat birds, we sent them to the Amish people for the execution. They do it for a dollar per bird (apparently, Amish people have a lot of repressed hostilities and enjoy killing chickens). Also, there is the chicken killing bus that comes around. It’s a truck outfitted with an automated killing and plucking system. You won’t want to watch it in operation - it’ll put you off meat. I think it is actually more humane to do it by hand.

    If you live in a farm community, it shouldn’t be too hard to find somebody who will show you how to do it. Most people buy straight run chicks (mixed gender) in the spring from the local farm supply store (usually around a dollar per), then butcher all the cocks when they get big enough to eat, and keep the hens as layers.

    I think ringing their necks is the preferred method because they don’t run around afterward (no joke. They really do run around sometimes after you cut their heads off).
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

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  5. #15
    Copper Member Celest's Avatar
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    Re: Homesteading, Living Off Grid, and Other Alternative Living

    CHICKEN KILLING BUS??
    What you see depends on what you are looking for.

  6. #16
    Supporter Raphaeline's Avatar
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    Re: Homesteading, Living Off Grid, and Other Alternative Living

    Whoops... by the time I got around to answering the thread (it's been open all day) there are three new replies. I'll handle this first, though.

    I want chickens for meat AND eggs - I plan on taking the chicken to a butcher to slaughter. But I primarily want to focus on eggs. What I'm thinking of doing is getting breeds that are dual-purpose ... although I kind of dread the idea of getting used to them, raising them, feeding them, and then eating them. I mean, that's the whole point of this change, to get connected to my food a little more, but still, I'm wary.

    I'm thinking we might have a building we can use as a coop, otherwise we'll have to build one. Still working on what we're going to do with them! The person I'm going to see sometime soon has a pretty interesting set up, I'm hoping to kind of imitate what she's got going on (a coop and fenced in area) but make it more secure because we live in the woods - plenty of predators around. My mother's guinea fowl wanders around, but they're down to six from about twenty last Fall.


  7. #17
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Homesteading, Living Off Grid, and Other Alternative Living

    Rafe...I'll have to check...I might have ditched it in the Great Book Purge for the band fundraiser...but I have a book on raising animals
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  8. #18
    catsraven
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    Re: Homesteading, Living Off Grid, and Other Alternative Living

    I have chickens and a garden. Im still trying to get a milk cow.

  9. #19
    Honorary Supporter Dez's Avatar
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    Re: Homesteading, Living Off Grid, and Other Alternative Living

    [quote author=B. de Corbin link=topic=256.msg2767#msg2767 date=1287098416]
    They do it for a dollar per bird (apparently, Amish people have a lot of repressed hostilities and enjoy killing chickens).
    [/quote]

    That just made me laugh so. hard.

    The local CAL Ranch store was selling chicks at Easter for 50 cents each, so I know there have to be some people who know how to do it...I'll just have to find the right people to ask

  10. #20
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Homesteading, Living Off Grid, and Other Alternative Living

    [quote author=Raphaeline link=topic=256.msg2792#msg2792 date=1287103191]
    I want chickens for meat AND eggs - I plan on taking the chicken to a butcher to slaughter. But I primarily want to focus on eggs. What I'm thinking of doing is getting breeds that are dual-purpose ... although I kind of dread the idea of getting used to them, raising them, feeding them, and then eating them. I mean, that's the whole point of this change, to get connected to my food a little more, but still, I'm wary.[/quote]

    That's my problem. We treat them more like pets than livestock. Fortunately, we're not farmers, so it isn't a problem. My dad's advice is "Don't give them names."

    [quote author=catsraven link=topic=256.msg2797#msg2797 date=1287103562]
    I have chickens and a garden. Im still trying to get a milk cow.
    [/quote]

    How about a goat? They give more milk than cows, and are very easy to take care of.

    [quote author=Raphaeline link=topic=256.msg2792#msg2792 date=1287103191]
    I'm thinking we might have a building we can use as a coop, otherwise we'll have to build one. Still working on what we're going to do with them! The person I'm going to see sometime soon has a pretty interesting set up, I'm hoping to kind of imitate what she's got going on (a coop and fenced in area) but make it more secure because we live in the woods - plenty of predators around. My mother's guinea fowl wanders around, but they're down to six from about twenty last Fall.[/quote]

    We have a lot of problems with ‘coons here, and occasional problems with martins or weasels. You can keep the ‘coons out with a physical barrier - a fenced in yard (you have to fence the roof as well), but weasel-like animals have to be killed because they can squeeze through very tiny holes. It’s also useful to get a big, mean goose, especially if you have ducks. The goose will do it’s best to protect them, and leads them around like a herd. If you have chickens, keep the biggest and meanest cock - he’ll also try to defend his ladies - but neither a goose nor a cock are proof against a hungery mother raccoon.
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

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