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Old 11-14-2012, 11:22 PM
Oremrunner Oremrunner is offline
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I didn’t see sheep mentioned, Sheep have been kept as livestock since biblical times, They are much like goats in that they will eat just about anything and they can also be milked. Not necessarily a better option but a different option.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:24 PM
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I didnít see sheep mentioned, Sheep have been kept as livestock since biblical times, They are much like goats in that they will eat just about anything and they can also be milked. Not necessarily a better option but a different option.
you are dead wrong
goats are browsers
sheep are grazers

sheep need grass, goats need more than grass **** that up and youll be wondering why the sheep you let go int he woods are dead and the goats you left in on the golf course at your bol are dead
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:25 PM
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yes sir
from wikipedia for what thats worth
They have Ham in Spain that is cured for five years, and it is yummy stuff.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:29 PM
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you are dead wrong
goats are browsers
sheep are grazers

sheep need grass, goats need more than grass **** that up and youll be wondering why the sheep you let go int he woods are dead and the goats you left in on the golf course at your bol are dead
When we had sheep they ate everything they could get to, Grape vines, Flowers, The lawn, the weeds literally anything. You may be right in that it is not good for them but they did eat everything.. We had to keep them penned or it was destruction of all things green.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:35 PM
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Sheep aren't bad, they are just weak. One thing about them, is that they are grazing animals and will only eat the green... not the roots like a goat will. If you have goats, you better have enough land and greenery or you'll have bare land in short notice.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:36 PM
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How do you ensure their survival in more northerly climes during winter months? Southern Canada where they have to be dormant for half the year.
Healthy bees left with enough food (how much that is up in Canada I don't know) can survive just fine up there. They don't really go dormant, if by dormant you be hibernating. Bees cluster, but they are still busy. They continuously flex their wing muscles and produce heat, this is what keeps them from freezing. So as long as they have enough food, not too much moisture they are fine. The key is the healthy part and bees that are acclimated to the area. Bees from Texas might make it through your winters or they might not. Bees bred for multiple generations in say Maine would do better up there. Good Luck
Rod
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by FarmerJohn View Post
you are dead wrong
goats are browsers
sheep are grazers

sheep need grass, goats need more than grass **** that up and youll be wondering why the sheep you let go int he woods are dead and the goats you left in on the golf course at your bol are dead
This is spot on. My mother-in-law raised sheep for years. They eat at ground level and need a good pasture. I've goats for a year and a half. They eat what is off the ground. Her pen is a lush green example of the false notion that goats will eat anything. They won't, well at least not the dairy goats. There isn't a speck of green on any tree or bush she can get to though.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:51 AM
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We keep trying different livestock, it takes a while to work out your 'best balance'.

There is no one best animal.

Chickens, cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, bees. Each of these have issues and problems, as well as benefits.

Next we want to try doves.

In all likelihood a SHTF diet will be more focused on foraged greens and veggies. Meat should be a very tiny portion of what you eat. When processing meat you can use various methods for preserving that meat.

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Old 11-16-2012, 12:32 AM
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This is spot on. My mother-in-law raised sheep for years. They eat at ground level and need a good pasture. I've goats for a year and a half. They eat what is off the ground. Her pen is a lush green example of the false notion that goats will eat anything. They won't, well at least not the dairy goats. There isn't a speck of green on any tree or bush she can get to though.
one side note and this is something were probbably going to be doing soon

is its good to have a cow come in after goats when you rotate pasture as they dont get same paracites so when you do your 90 day fallow period you can run a cow in it were thinking about getting one jersey for this purpose and just artificialy inseminate each year

a good paracite managment plan is vitally important to healthy livestock
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:36 AM
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Chickens and rabbits all the way. They're small, reproduce quickly, forage, and not only can they be used as food but also barter.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:39 AM
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I had goats, Alpaca, pigs, and chickens growing up- alpacas wool has very similar warmth properties to sheep's wool and does not irritate like sheep's wool does. They can be used as pack animals and are aggressive enough to keep predators away from your other livestock. Pigs are obviously high in fat which can be rendered into many useful products. Salt cured pork will also keep for a long while. Chickens are great because not only can you eat the meat but they also obviously produce eggs which is a very good survival food. Goat meat is actually very tasty, they can be used as pack animals as well and their milk can be used to make anything cows milk can...its considered by many to be very good for you and even better than cows milk. Don't forget the lessons the Indians; when you kill use as much of the animal as you can! Feathers and fur can be used for fish lures and arrow fletchings, bone for tools and weapons.

The best part is that all of these animals, save the pig, are quite mobile and stand up to life on the road very well. They pretty much all feed themselves too, as long as you provide them a place.

Only thing i'd ad to that list is rabbits for reasons already stated.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:46 AM
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What's this now? Really? I know frig all about preserving pork, can it really be cured to last years unrefrigerated and uncanned?
See: Smithfield Hams. They're sold unrefridgerated in muslin bags around the holidays. They're hard and salty but boy are they GOOD!
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:50 AM
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We have Miniture Cattle, (they eat less and take way less pasture, they're also small enough I can butcher myself), Chickens, Ducks, and Geese. Each fill a need that helps feed us year 'round. I also hunt for Venison and Pork to suplement our domestice animals.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:17 PM
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We have Miniture Cattle, (they eat less and take way less pasture, they're also small enough I can butcher myself), Chickens, Ducks, and Geese. Each fill a need that helps feed us year 'round. I also hunt for Venison and Pork to suplement our domestice animals.
you got dexters or devons?
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:56 PM
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We currently have beef cattle, goats, and chickens for food, we do not believe in eating rabbits or pigs. We also use mules as work animals. the cattle take a lot of resources and would switch to dairy if things got bad.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:50 PM
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you got dexters or devons?
Neither, Zebu.

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Old 11-16-2012, 02:56 PM
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Just some random thoughts -

I like meat. I sometimes eat meat for dessert after dinner. But intellectually I have to agree w/ Fight4Freedom; on a petro energy/nutritional calorie return basis, vegetarianism is more cost/effort effective than meat heavy diets in small scale operations. (Unless you've got access to free prime grazing land for beef or acorn forests or cheap high quality calories for pigs).

As several posters have said w/ specific examples, the quality of the meat (and health of the critter) is directly tied to the feed provided. So planning to go cheap on the feed is a false economy. If you don't have the right feed for the critter (and that includes the rabbits), it probably won't pan out.

(I had a rabbit for several weeks as a kid, part of the sicence program at my urban elementary school. It ate the grass in my backyard and got the runs.)

Re feeding bees, one study implied a link between high fructose corn sweetner derived from GMO corn containing residual neonicotinoid insecticide with bee colony collapse. So you can't even go cheap on feeding the bees over winter, and bee raising may be contraindicated for you if you're near commercial crops w/ pesticides or GMO crops that have incorporated insecticial properties.

Re smoked meats, they can last years, just cut off the exterior layer before eating. But even though the smoke layer and dessication prevents bacterial activity, the nutritional value will probably deteriorate over time unless it is kept at a decent temperature. Be sure you know the best use by date and/or have the proper storage.

Not familiar w/ your setup, but whatever critter you go with, its demands/inputs and outputs/offal should integrate w/ the strengths of your existing spread (e.g., whatever crops you grow in excess should be the inputs). If you have water and space, you may want to add crawfish ponds (or other aquaculture) and feed them the offal. Think Biosphere 2 (or the Chaco Chicken episode of X-files - the chickens, not the cannibals. Who knew chickens had so many useful by products?).
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:33 PM
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Just some random thoughts -

I like meat. I sometimes eat meat for dessert after dinner. But intellectually I have to agree w/ Fight4Freedom; on a petro energy/nutritional calorie return basis, vegetarianism is more cost/effort effective than meat heavy diets in small scale operations. (Unless you've got access to free prime grazing land for beef or acorn forests or cheap high quality calories for pigs).

As several posters have said w/ specific examples, the quality of the meat (and health of the critter) is directly tied to the feed provided. So planning to go cheap on the feed is a false economy. If you don't have the right feed for the critter (and that includes the rabbits), it probably won't pan out.

(I had a rabbit for several weeks as a kid, part of the sicence program at my urban elementary school. It ate the grass in my backyard and got the runs.)

Re feeding bees, one study implied a link between high fructose corn sweetner derived from GMO corn containing residual neonicotinoid insecticide with bee colony collapse. So you can't even go cheap on feeding the bees over winter, and bee raising may be contraindicated for you if you're near commercial crops w/ pesticides or GMO crops that have incorporated insecticial properties.

Re smoked meats, they can last years, just cut off the exterior layer before eating. But even though the smoke layer and dessication prevents bacterial activity, the nutritional value will probably deteriorate over time unless it is kept at a decent temperature. Be sure you know the best use by date and/or have the proper storage.

Not familiar w/ your setup, but whatever critter you go with, its demands/inputs and outputs/offal should integrate w/ the strengths of your existing spread (e.g., whatever crops you grow in excess should be the inputs). If you have water and space, you may want to add crawfish ponds (or other aquaculture) and feed them the offal. Think Biosphere 2 (or the Chaco Chicken episode of X-files - the chickens, not the cannibals. Who knew chickens had so many useful by products?).
bees are easy dont take all there honey and you dont have to feed them in the winter
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:35 PM
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Just some random thoughts -
As several posters have said w/ specific examples, the quality of the meat (and health of the critter) is directly tied to the feed provided. So planning to go cheap on the feed is a false economy. If you don't have the right feed for the critter (and that includes the rabbits), it probably won't pan out.
people have survived millions of years on free-range animals...the difference today is that we have animals in areas they should not be. where I live; south central KS, free range is perfectly fine given you have the land that has not been developed for farming...which is getting harder and harder to find. I think people will find just how much we have been indoctrinated into believing that we been fancy fertilizers and feeds. You have to remember the reason they made all of that; to get more out of their livestock/crop. I guess as usual it just depends on where you live.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:49 AM
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my only worry with bees is in the south theres a chance that they could become africanized,,,then they get to be agressive around the hive,,,can lead to some bad problems,,,

of course if TSHTF then maybe a few hives of agressive bees would be a good thing,,
wouldnt need to worry about them as much
could be used as a defensive measure[think trip wire to a spring loaded knocker on hive]
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