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Self Sufficiency

Post by Phillip Gross on July 14th 2013, 11:42 pm

Anyone else doing any self-sufficiency farming, or full on farming for that matter? We've got plans of doing a lot, but so far have only done chickens. I started out with some hybrid egg layers from Tractor Supply Co a few years ago, but have since switched over to a heritage breed called "French Marans". They're a pretty good all around bird that still has brooding tendencies.

I was looking at getting into breeding dogs for a dog broker, but decided to back out of that deal. On the surface it seemed like a gold mine, but I couldn't shake an uneasy feeling I had about it. Over the years I've gone headlong into deals when I had that feeling and always regretted it sooner or later. Now I've got a couple areas fenced off with no dogs to put in, so I'm leaning towards getting some goats. My thought process is that I can still breed goats if breeding is what I want to do, but if things go bad in this country, I'd rather eat goats than dogs.... The plan is to raise meat goats, so we'll be eating some anyway that we don't sell.

Debating between getting Boer goats, Kikos, or both and breeding crosses. Although the Boers are bigger full grown than the Kikos, the Kikos wean off at a higher weight. So you don't have to spend as much on feed for the adults and you get more meat at butcher time for the kids.

I also want to get some raised garden beds going, but need to clear some trees out for where I want to put that. It'll happen in time. Just takes awhile to create a farm, even a "mini farm". Anyone else moving in a self-sufficient direction?
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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by ccm2361 on July 15th 2013, 12:10 am

Its something I am very interested in. But, owning no land of our own its out of the question right now.

It would be nice to have a garden & some Rabbits, goats & chickens.

Plus, I would love to get a draft horse & plow to plow some plots for crops (some to eat some to sell)

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Claymore on July 15th 2013, 1:28 am

Phillip, how much were you looking at paying for Boer Goats? I’m seeing them going for $550.00 to $800.00 or more.

I have some Kudzu encroaching on my property, and I was toying with the thought of getting some meat goats to hold the vegetation back and to use for goat jerky (as they are supposed to be in the same class as venison).

My concern is that, with the expense of Breeding Stock, and approximately 50% weight loss from butchering, it figures to $10.00 per pound for goat meat.

Also, in Special Forces Survival Training, our class was given a Billy-Goat to kill and cook. We were required to boil the meat for at least 20 minutes. After 3 days of not getting rations, I could barely get a mouthful of Boiled Billy-Goat down. It even made the onions that we boiled with the meat inedible.

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by red squirrel on July 15th 2013, 9:27 am

Chris, try growing the up side down tomatoes. Takes very little room, and no digging in the ground or ground space needed. Also, I have seen some around here grow tomatoes in a row of cinder blocks stacked 3 high. Use potting soil and plant stuff in the holes. Allows enough room for the roots to grow down. You can do other stuff in the same set up. Just some thoughts, and gets a start going. Especially for the kids.
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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Phillip Gross on July 15th 2013, 3:40 pm

There's actually a good bit you can do in "container gardens". They will require very regular watering in hot summers because they lose their moisture rapidly. Just Google it and you'll see even city dwellers with balcony gardens.
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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Phillip Gross on July 15th 2013, 5:53 pm

Claymore wrote:Phillip, how much were you looking at paying for Boer Goats?  I’m seeing them going for $550.00 to $800.00 or more.

You can get goats without papers for less than $500. I've seen them for $250ish, but yes, with papers will cost you! I may start out with paperless goats to see how it all goes before I invest in papered goats.  

Claymore wrote:
I have some Kudzu encroaching on my property, and I was toying with the thought of getting some meat goats to hold the vegetation back and to use for goat jerky (as they are supposed to be in the same class as venison).

My concern is that, with the expense of Breeding Stock, and approximately 50% weight loss from butchering, it figures to $10.00 per pound for goat meat.
From what I'm reading you allow the kid to nurse the nanny and then butcher it when it weans, so you don't have a lot invested in the kid. Obviously the more you pay for your breeding stock up front will effect how long it takes to get a return on investment. Luckily goats live 12-16 years if taken care of, so you can get quite a few kids born in that time.

Claymore wrote:
Also, in Special Forces Survival Training, our class was given a Billy-Goat to kill and cook.  We were required to boil the meat for at least 20 minutes.  After 3 days of not getting rations, I could barely get a mouthful of Boiled Billy-Goat down.  It even made the onions that we boiled with the meat inedible.
Once again, butchering at the time it weans off will produce a very tender piece of meat. Eating an old rooster would be disgusting too. A mature male is never fun to eat. Boiled meat is a nail in the coffin of taste anyway!

I've eaten a LOT of goat in my time (for an American). I ate it for the first time on a missions trip to the Bahamas as a teenager. Then I ate it almost daily for the couple months I was in India. It does taste different than beef, but if butchered at the right time and prepared correctly it can be very tasty!
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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by RRCmdrBennett on July 15th 2013, 7:21 pm

Another option for indoor areas without land is aquponic gardens with fish. Fish waste fertilizes the soil.

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Phillip Gross on July 15th 2013, 7:24 pm

Yeah I'm aware of aquaponics, but haven't looked too seriously into it yet. I'd like to though. Just too many things to do....
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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Claymore on July 16th 2013, 8:25 pm

Phillip,

So how do you feel that you’re coming out with the chicken farming?

My family had chickens 55 years ago, and I found them to dirty, stinking, destructive birds that are way too much work to justify the cost compared to what you can get a dressed bird in the store for. (But I may be a bit jaded, because they destroyed my wading swimming pool by pecking hundreds of holes in it.)

I also had to shoot marauding dogs that decided to have fun one night by digging under the wire and killing my wife’s grandparents’ flock. We got to bury about thirty dead birds from that incident.

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Claymore on July 16th 2013, 8:29 pm


Oh, yeah!

And my mother left the cover off of the feed barrel in the chick brooding coop and went into town on a hot summer’s day. The juvenile birds all started jumping into the feed barrel and smothered each other. When Mom got home, she found a 55-gallon drum full of dead fermenting pullets.

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Claymore on July 16th 2013, 10:35 pm

Phillip Gross wrote: but if things go bad in this country, I'd rather eat goats than dogs....

Good Point!!!!!

and besides that:

Goats can pull a Dog-Sled. But then it would be.........a............Goat-Sled?

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by RRCmdrBennett on July 17th 2013, 7:36 am

Only advantage to cata n dogs is they are more plentiful than goats.

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Claymore on July 17th 2013, 6:17 pm

I just checked the web site of a place that has Boer Goats in Alabama.  I thought that I might buy some of the meat, to see how we can work with it.

For Butchered Goat Meat, they want $14.00 per Pound!

Good Grief!  I can buy Filet Mignon for that price and make Jerky out of it.

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Phillip Gross on July 17th 2013, 11:06 pm

Claymore wrote:Phillip,

So how do you feel that you’re coming out with the chicken farming?

Claymore wrote:I just checked the web site of a place that has Boer Goats in Alabama.  I thought that I might buy some of the meat, to see how we can work with it.

For Butchered Goat Meat, they want $14.00 per Pound!

Good Grief!  I can buy Filet Mignon for that price and make Jerky out of it.
I feel like the response to both of these posts is roughly the same. I've put a lot more into infrastructure, livestock, and feed than I'm seeing a return on right now. The only tangible benefit I have right now from my chickens is much better tasting eggs. They also make recipes better when your eggs are fresh. There's also the "health factor" in that my chickens are fed better than commercial grade poultry thereby giving me a healthier product. The same will be able to be said when it comes to the meat from my future goats.

Other than those points, the return does not justify the investment.... yet. Over time I may be able to recoup the investment on infrastructure (which is by far my largest investment), but that's questionable at best.

There is, however, one possibility that will make all of this very profitable. A real economic crash. What happens when they can't kick the can down the road anymore? Then my goats, chickens, and veggies will be worth their weight in gold (maybe more....).

Sound crazy to prepare for a possible crash? No crazier than any other insurance policy that would help in any other "crash". If nothing bad happens and you keep your health then insurance is a huge waste of money, but when you need it....

If nothing terrible happens then some would say that I've wasted a lot of time and money on my mini-farm. But I think it will still have been worth it. It is a tool that helps my children learn responsibility. I rarely do the daily task of feeding, watering, and collecting eggs. The kids do that. So many kids today don't know how to do anything unless it involves a TV or video game. Wash poop off eggs???? A lot of kids these days would freak out about that. Shovel poop? Out of the question! No, my kids are learning work ethic the same way people did for centuries. And I think our culture could use a lot more of it.

So that's why I'm willing to put out money on all of this. Long term benefits. Wink
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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Claymore on July 17th 2013, 11:15 pm

Good Philosophy.

You mentioned Insurance. I once read a bit of wisdom on the Internet:

"You can never have too much ammunition."
(Except during a House-Fire)

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by RRCmdrBennett on July 17th 2013, 11:37 pm

I feel same way about ammo and it appears a lot of others do as well.

Philip, what you said about insurance really explains why Muslims call insurance, "harem" which means gambling. Which is why Obama's muslim brothers get exempted from Obamacare. Sometimes I wonder why i pay for insurance I'll never cash in on.

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by ccm2361 on July 18th 2013, 12:00 am

  police 1 




 

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Claymore on July 18th 2013, 12:19 am

OOOH! Good Point!

Now, I will admit that I brought up Phillip's term "Insurance".

But..................

Dan turned it into a Full-Fledged Wabbit-Hunt!!!

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Christi on July 18th 2013, 10:36 pm

red squirrel wrote:Chris, try growing the up side down tomatoes. Takes very little room, and  no digging in the ground or ground space needed. Also, I have seen some around here grow tomatoes in a row of cinder blocks stacked 3 high. Use potting soil and plant stuff in the holes. Allows enough room for the roots to grow down. You can do other stuff in the same set up. Just some thoughts, and gets a start going. Especially for the kids.  

That sounds like a great idea, I never even thought of container gardening... Embarassed     .....oh well maybe we can find some plants still. we will look this weekend.
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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Claymore on July 20th 2013, 11:38 pm

I am currently raising High Speed Beef on my property.

I intend on keeping it fresh until November.

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by RRCmdrBennett on July 22nd 2013, 6:41 am

Claymore wrote:OOOH!  Good Point!

Now, I will admit that I brought up Phillip's term "Insurance".

But..................

Dan turned it into a Full-Fledged Wabbit-Hunt!!!

It all relates to being self-sufficient. The topic can be very broad.

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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Phillip Gross on July 23rd 2013, 11:57 pm


Here's my goat barn that I've been working on between thunderstorms... Hopefully I can get it dried in soon and get some goats! Wink
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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Christi on July 25th 2013, 11:07 am

 Phil.
I wanted to let everyone know how our garden is doing, we have a tomato plant and 2 pepper plants all 3 about 4 feet tall, some herb plants, and about 14 strawberry plants that we planted in a bucket. Another bonus....some plants even came with some veges already on them, so we could put some of our groceries back. I am so looking forward to trying baked tomatoes with basel and mozzarella cheese on them.
Well anyway thanks for "planting" that seed to garden.   Guitar 
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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Phillip Gross on July 25th 2013, 9:10 pm

COOL!!! Glad to hear it!

I'll have to post an updated pic later of my goat barn. I have found what I want to start with. Hopefully they'll still be available when I get around to getting them Saturday. I found a Boer buck and a Kiko doe. Both are pure breeds so if I want to get a Boer doe and a Kiko buck later I can produce more pure breeds. The reason I want to cross breed is because they wean off at a heavier weight than a straight Boer.
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Re: Self Sufficiency

Post by Phillip Gross on July 25th 2013, 10:12 pm

Still not finished, but far enough along so I can get my goats. The far half has a wooden floor where I'll store my hay and other feed. The closer half will be divided into two stalls. The whole shed is 8x20.
[img][/img]
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Re: Self Sufficiency

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