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Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:59 pm
by Elew
Hahaha, you guys crack me up with the chicken talk :D I had a friend a while back who had a chicken pet. She kept it indoors, it had chicken diapers and the whole bit....but most people I know keep them for eggs and soup.

We are more northern in general, like we have always lived in the northern US, and most people seem to have insulated chicken sheds. They are raised up on cinder blocks and are basic sheds with a door on each end, linoleum floor for easy hose down cleaning. These are coop sheds with solid walls so you just go in to collect eggs. The roost boxes are just like shelves built along the walls, and the feed lives in 2 - 6 gal storage buckets (just like the ones we store grains in) up on the top shelf all around the shed. No rats, because they cannot smell it through the buckets. And everyone who gets eggs from the chickens also keeps a 'chicken bucket' in their home to put food scraps daily when going for eggs we feed the chickens all the fresh food scraps. Most people I know have 6 - 8 ft solid wood fences around the chicken yard, with a wire fence secured around the bottom that is buried down 2 feet into the soil to prevent digging critters from getting in. Most of the yards are uncovered, but some are framed in with wire over them to keep out flyers. One lady I know who has had chickens for about 40 years, has a front and back yard for the chickens. She alternates which yard the chickens go out into each year. The one they are not in gets seeded to grow grasses and food for them.
So there are my observations on other people's chicken coops.

For me today, I just ordered a cheese making kit and cheese press. I pick one new skill to learn each year, and this year is cheese! I found one place in AU who seems the best starting place for me
He has nicely done videos on youtube and for the press and first kit to learn with (including shipping from AU) it cost me USD 203.00. To find the same in the US I priced it at over 300 and the kits here are no where near as good, at least that I could find.
From there I might get his hard cheeses kit...but for the most part after the first kit I will know what to order and can fill in as I need to.

Last year I did rug hooking, and so this year have a couple larger rugs in the design stages...I will be getting wool to dye and working on making them this year. I figured with the Eddy Minimum coming in, warm wool rugs would be a good thing to be able to make. I made a floor pillow for out grand daughter to learn on. I have a post on it here if anyone is interested in learning

But anyways I will log the cheese making progress in blog posts too as I learn...

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:35 pm
by Andy F
CreoleGenius wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 2:27 am
A person that has 12V power tools is one that thinks a lot about preps. I have some good inverters, but maybe they are not efficient use of battery power.
No, hadn't given much thought on prepping. I wasn't always into prep'n until the last few years after 2012 watching Solarham & the lack of sunspot issues I noticed.
After they came on market, 12V tool wants came naturally after a long history of being in the field, buying to-go tools and want/needing Solar to run basic AC electrical when out & about.

A big part of using Solar is good timing. The trick of using less efficient inverters (assuming it works OK to run your tools, where some electrics are picky & won't work w/o a pure sine wave AC) would be to use inverter's in the hours before high sun, to allow time to recharge batteries before dark. 1/2 hour after daybreak is good start time here in AZ. Panels keep battery bank charged while using.
You could measure the power your inverter consumes under no-load to measure 12 VDC current with a shunted meter inline from Battery + to + input to Inverter. If it has current, it's using power. One way is use hand to feel the amount of heat an inverter generates. Heat is lost power consumed just to power the Inverter under no-load conditions. I use an Etekcity laser temp gun to check if components are running hot. Handy gadget.

Today? I'm still working on electrical, and still planning for upcoming seed orders. I'm still researching to buy some sprouting containers. Mason jars only go so far.

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:16 pm
by dirtmurphy
Today I took a fecal sample from my chickens to my vet. All part of monitoring flock health. I also had a less than satisfactory experience with the wood stove installers.
Yesterday I traded some canned apples for some black walnuts. I want to experiment with making nut milk from them at some point this winter. I have some of them curing in the greenhouse now and need to process quite a few more bags of them tomorrow. I've really noticed the price of nuts going up big time over the past couple of years, so this has been a big priority. Black walnuts are a great source of protein and oils, and people typically don't utilize them so they're abundant.

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:23 am
by Andy F
This evening I got sidetracked on Chickens, namely, coops. This video is great build of a protective winterized chicken coop. I really liked the funny moptop chicken :lol:

Maybe we could use a separate topic for All Things About Chickens, Coops, Planning Coops, Raising Chickens for Eggs
You all are sharing some very helpful information on chickens. Don't like seeing all your valuable learning info get lost in a thread.

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:55 am
by Andy F
dirtmurphy wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:16 pm
I want to experiment with making nut milk from them at some point this winter.
Hey dirtmurphy, Ima wondering if you could freeze the leftover nut pulp in Zip bags small quantities, and then thaw them out and feed the pulp to chickens?
I'd not heard about that, might make some fattened up "happy" chickens though. Now wondering if chickens would have any allergies to the nut pulp? Any thoughts on that?

Egg shell calcium Long ago, as I bought Organic eggs, I'd wash the shells, let them dry out in very low heat oven, and then put them in a grinder. I use a teaspoon of the Calcium powder in my smoothies. I'd also read this evening, over at Morning Chores website, to feed the ground up shells to chickens to prevent thin shelled eggs. For chickens, it doesn't need to be a fine powder grind.

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:24 am
by dirtmurphy
Agreed. I was thinking that today. I do give my ladies crushed egg shells, but I dry them in the sun. They're only being dried to kill bacteria, and the sun will do it for free and not heat up the house in the process :) .

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:18 am
by SmartLikeTruck
In the last week

Cast and fired 4" j-tube rocket core with flyash geopolymer ceramic, the performance isn't terrific but 4" and smaller j-tubes aren't known to perform real well without a good chimney behind them. This will give me a good baseline to compare the 4" batch box to. This j-tube was made with 2 monolithic casts which cracked more than I would like, will make batchbox with a higher part count of simpler castings to prevent cracking.

Turned and added to the compost heap once it got a little over 120F and then started to decline, heap is now double the size.

GW harvested this years garlic, unfortunately our first frost was a pretty hard one and it killed the garlic flowers before they could go to seed. Was really hoping to collect seeds to take advantage of acclimatizing epigenetics through the seeds. Made a wooden raised bed for replanting for next years crop, this should make it easier to add hoops and poly for an earlier spring start.

Cut more brush for compost, mulch and rocket fuel.

Been geeking out a bit on led growlights with and growmau5 channel on youtube. Dont! Do! Burples!

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:33 pm
by Andy F
Today at daybreak, I finished up a plumbing upgrade I'd been putting off for about a year now. It is done, I think, I hope.
Our typical end of September cool down in AZ has started, noticeable lower temps this afternoon.
I was thinking, Winter will likely have a few more than usual nights below 32F this year. Maybe an early winter here?

Finished up my sprouting seed list, getting 7 different seeds. I will try broccoli seed sprouts, and get 25 lbs of Hard Red Wheat.
Still looking at & deciding on a couple sprouting containers, easy care, durable.

Here's a funny I read somewhere about broccoli heads and chickens.
Tie them up by the stems, and let the chickens peck at it. It entertains the chickens.

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:22 pm
by CreoleGenius
Today, the Mean Old Moderator banned some innocent spammers and deleted their posts forever.

Re: What did you do to prepare today?

Posted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:26 am
by Andy F
My lazy Monday came and went. I did create a new To-Do List, and placed my 7 seeds orders.
It is an all inclusive list of small things to do and on up to time and labor intensive jobs/projects.
I did something different, I put a red-inked star on those I wanted to get done first.
Today, I'm tackling my list. I'll enjoy crossing off those tasks as I finish.

I have Mung Beans sprouting to use in veggie stir fry on Friday.