Livestock Animals You Should Start Raising For The Upcoming Economic Crisis

Charl M
By Charl M December 21, 2020 08:18

Livestock Animals You Should Start Raising For The Upcoming Economic Crisis

How much is a cow or a chicken worth? Most of us will answer that question in dollar terms. But what happens to the value of livestock in a world where money has lost it’s value, or hyper inflation sees the value of every dollar decrease daily? This article will ask that question to identify the best livestock to keep during an economic crisis.

Most people don’t appreciate how the relative abundance of food keeps food prices low. An economic crisis would change that, making food expensive and increase the value of livestock.

All livestock will see an increase in value. Seeing as most of us are familiar with cattle and chickens, this article will rather explore a few less obvious choices.

Scarcity

Relative scarcity drives the price of any item in the market. If food becomes scarce, the prices of livestock will skyrocket. The secret to not falling victim to this is two fold.

The first option is to have possession of whatever commodity is undergoing the price increase, and the second is to de-couple yourself from dependence on it. In the case of livestock, this means that you own the “things” whose value is increasing, and because you can eat your own produce, you don’t need to pay high prices for what you need.

But as the price of livestock increases, feed and medicine will also increase. Which could force you to sell livestock, or pay too much for medicine. That is why this article will look at animals that are tough survivors and can be free-ranged.

I a real crisis, livestock will attract criminals. You will need to factor this into your thinking.

Long Term Value

Imagine you have two hens, and intend to eat them. You could have food for maybe a few weeks. But what if you’re only eating the eggs? Or only drinking the milk from your cow?

Long term value depends on the ability of an animal to supply regular produce. The value of chickens will reside rather in their eggs, than in their meat. The value of cows; in their milk and ability to reproduce. A young steer or bullock, will only be useful as meat for a set period of time, and then you’re left with nothing.

Related: How to Preserve Eggs with Waterglass

Male Versus Female

In times of scarcity, a universal rule is that female animals have much more value than male’s. Except when it comes to male animals that exhibit exceptional genetic traits. But one male, can father a vast number of offspring with many females.

The first rule of livestock for economic crisis time’s is this:

Invest in a small number of really good male animals, and acquire as many genetically sound females as your resources can support.

Let’s look at the pro’s and con’s of individual types of animals.

The Best Livestock To Raise 

Livestock Animals You Should Start RaisingIf we’re talking about fowls, my focus here will be on ducks. Specifically, Khaki Campbell Ducks.

You will need to supply them with open water, like a dam or pond. I would suggest setting up a island or platform in the middle of the dam, and making the dam really deep. Condition them to sleep on the island with food and setting up their coup there.

The benefits of this is that it makes it harder for predators to reach them, including human predators. They can also escape onto the water in times of emergency.

Khaki’s lay up to 300 eggs per year, and make good parents.

Another reason a dam is a good this idea, is that you can also keep fish.

Livestock Animals You Should Start Raising

Fish will eat the ducks poop. You can also feed your fish chicken poop or the chopped intestines of slaughtered birds, keeping wastage to a minimum.

Secondly, the water from dams with birds and fish are much richer in nutrients and better for irrigation than clean water.

The final reason they are a good option is that they can be free ranged with ease. This will require a relatively large area, including water plants and reeds in your dam, but you will end up with a highly productive ecosystem that can stand alone and provide a lot of benefits, including the fish. I would start of with a few fingerlings of tilapia, carp and catfish in the dam.

Khaki Campbell’s can supply you with large numbers of eggs while increasing the nutrient content of your irrigation water and feeding the fish. Water could act as protection against theft. Khaki’s are renowned as meat ducks, so you can eat all surplus male animals. All in all, a good option for tough times.

Related: The Best Fowls to Raise for SHTF – Quail, Guineafowl, Chicken, Turkey, Emu, etc.

An Unusual Choice

Another suggestion is for pigeons. Yes, you read that right. I know pigeons are not livestock, but they have some value.

Pigeons

Some people call them rats with wings, because of the rate at which they can breed, an also survive on nothing but crumbs and trash.

Pigeons have a fair amount of meat, and are really low maintenance. Pigeon coups can house a large number of birds on a small area.

The first Rock Pigeons that came to the United States, came as food.

They start breeding young, and can have many offspring in a year. Pigeons tend to pair up and mate for life. Once you have established a small colony, you can open the coup up completely.  Pigeons will fend for themselves, but you will need to provide them with a reason to stay. Shelter, water and seeds from time to time will keep them sticking around.

The best way to eat pigeons is slow cooked in a pot. Pigeon stew or broth will be nutrient rich and provide a few inexpensive meals a week. Furthermore, you can keep quails as ground birds in pigeon coups. Pickled quail eggs are quite a delicacy.

A Grass Eating Livestock

GoatsWhat I love about goats is that they will eat weeds, leaves and bark before they start eating grass, which makes them perfect to keep alongside grass eating livestock like sheep or cows.

Goats provide highly nutritious milk, from which cheese can be made. Their meat is almost identical to that of a sheep.

Many Goats produce offspring three times in two years. On average, a doe will have 2 kids per cycle. For a male animal, I recommend that you buy a good Boer Goat Billy. As for female’s, I recommend Nubian and Saanen doe’s. Doe’s need to be bred in order to produce milk, and crosses between meat Billy’s and dairy doe’s produce the best meat producing offspring.

Goats are potentially not stolen as easily as sheep as they are wearier of people. If, however, you are milking your doe’s, chances are they will be very accustomed to humans, so you will need to lock them up in pens or barns for the night. Goats can be successfully fed alfalfa hay which will be good for meat and milk production.

The benefits are that you will have an animal that out produces sheep in both milk and number of offspring, while at the same time placing less pressure on your grass and eating a greater variety of vegetation. Also, if you have no feed left, goats can be free-ranged with more success than sheep. Just beware, goats will have to be kept in well fenced area’s, or they will relocate on their own. In the past, bells were hung around their necks for good reason!

A Great Protein Source 

RabbitsRabbits are an often overlooked source of protein. Hunters will tell you that there is very little meat on a rabbit. And that is quite true.

But some breeds have really good meat producing genetics. Californians and New Zealand rabbits are both great meat producers.

A big advantage is that rabbits are quite happy with very little roaming space. Rabbits can also eat left over salad scraps and vegetable cuttings, providing a way of recycling your waste into protein.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Humans have depended on animals as a food source for many years. And unlike plants, there are no poisonous animals. Every part of an animal can either be eaten or used.

The animals mentioned in this article are not typically thought of as livestock, but all make for good eating. If properly managed, goats and ducks could keep your family fed indefinitely.

In times of economic crisis, it will be your animals, rather than your vegetable patch that provides the all-important protein and fats we as a species need to survive. Best you re-learn what your grandparents knew to ensure that you will be able to survive with ease.

You may also like: 

How To Understand The Signals From Animals Just Before A Natural Disaster Strikes

4 Lost Survival Lessons From The Heroes Who Tamed The Great Depression (Video)

Modern EMP Protection Upgrades

How To Raise Mini Cows For Prepping And SHTF

12 Ways To Make An Extra $1000 A Month On A Small Homestead

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Charl M
By Charl M December 21, 2020 08:18
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62 Comments

  1. G.W. Long December 21, 15:16

    Another EXCELLENT Article Chari. Thank You.

    Reply to this comment
  2. TAL December 21, 18:09

    Pigeons are worthless, especially in rural farming areas. They eat more of other livestock feed than rats & mice and only have a thumb sized breast. Not productive at all, just a nuisance, like rats!

    5
    3
    Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty December 21, 22:26

      Rabbits and pigeons can be more useful in an urban setting than a rural one. Smaller animals that are relatively quiet and eat scraps and leftovers as well as traditional feed are a plus in that situation. Exurban dwellers such as yourself have more room and therefore more options.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck December 22, 03:44

        What Is Squab?
        Squab is the culinary term for a young pigeon, usually around four weeks old, that is raised for eating. Squab has been eaten in Europe and Africa for centuries. Pigeon is easy to raise and breed but does not take well to mass production techniques. Therefore, most squab that appears on menus at restaurants comes from small, local breeders. Yet squab is considered a most exquisite ingredient in cuisines as distinct as Cantonese, Moroccan and French. The simple reason for squab’s universal appeal is the delicate, succulent flesh, truly unlike that of any other bird. Squab is a dark-meat bird, like duck and goose, yet the meat is not nearly as fibrous, rendering it far more tender.

        Squab, or young pigeon, is often considered a delicacy and is served in fine dining restaurants. While there are more than 300 species of pigeons, only around five or six species from a category known as utility pigeons are raised for meat. Squab can be prepared similarly to other poultry by roasting, pan-frying, or braising.

        Obviously Tal has not paid $325.00 for a pair of squab breasts at the French Laundry. Check with Goobinator Gabby Nuisance to see how they taste. They probably taste better when paid for by the simple-minded taxpayers of Kalifornikadia.

        Reply to this comment
    • eganstew December 22, 04:18

      I do not eat just the breast but the whole bird and find it delicious. I like the squibs the best as they are very tender, but there comes a time with the old ones need to be replaced and cooking them in a pressure cooker is great..

      Reply to this comment
    • eganstew December 22, 15:50

      Pigeons are wonderful as they taste great. Their eggs are large enough to eat and make things with. So what if they eat the feed from the other animals that are one less cost for you to buy them special feed. The best are Kings, Mondains as they are as large as a Cornish Hen.

      Reply to this comment
    • red December 23, 05:25

      TAl; Some Mexicans new to the area (in Penna) rented a farmhouse. Pigeons all over. they asked the landlord and he told them take all you want. They did. Every trip back to New York they had a load of pigeons, selling them for 5 bucks each for food. then they found an egg farmer with spent layers 🙂 niio

      Reply to this comment
    • PB- dave December 23, 14:52

      TAL, how are you feeding that allows mice, rats, and birds to get to the feed before your stock?
      And King pigeons are pretty big and tasty 🙂

      Reply to this comment
      • eganstew January 18, 21:48

        Any time you have stock animals mice will follow. That is why I encouraged cats on the farm. Sinc that time, I think I would like a small dog, but still would need a cat that would climb up into the rafters. I mostly fed the animals only to let them know where home was, but they were on pasture. That is except for the rabbits, but I settled that problem by putting them into a bend, one male to 5 females, and just harvest the babies when the time came.

        Reply to this comment
    • Leslie December 26, 20:37

      I would say that pigeons are more of a low profile livestock animal and as far as not much meat, they reproduce at a faster rate than some other species and you can harvest multiple animals to increase your bounty. Also, they would not draw the attention of theives as quickly as chickens or rabbits.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Mic December 21, 19:38

    As far as the article goes that is great.
    But not all of us can have animals, due to living in the city.
    Also there are the problems of combating predators.
    Coyotes(the animal), are becoming a common sight in many communities. They are smart,quick and tend to run in packs. They are know for taking down large game.
    Then come SHTF, you will have the two legged kind of predators, to deal with.
    So some suggestions on securing them from theft, might be nice.

    Also due to SHTF, expect a large number of now unattended livestock to be available. Many animals will run away at the sound of gun fire or if their homestead, farm, etc is invaded by looters.

    So you can also plan to increase your herd, flock or whatever or create one.. Assuming you know good methods of safely trapping or corralling the beasts.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck December 22, 04:11

      A friend of mine was very active in 4H. She helped her kids raise all kinds of livestock including a pig and a cow each year. She also raised llamas which she said kept coyotes from the other animals. She said as long as she had the llamas, the coyotes never bothered the chicken or other small barnyard animals.

      Although she lived in a suburban tract, she had contacted the owner of a large undeveloped piece of land adjacent to her home, less than a quarter of a mile from her house and gotten permission to have the animals on his land. She and her kids built the pens and installed the fencing and she “borrowed” water for the livestock from the 50,000 gallon tank that the city maintained uphill from the property.

      After the fire that devastated the city it was from her that I learned that the city had drained the tank, spent considerable money to rehab it and then never refilled it for some indiscernible reason. It would have been a great help had that tank contained the 50,000 gallons of water during the fire that destroyed so many homes in the tract where she lived.

      Reply to this comment
    • red December 30, 01:27

      Mic: Be wary of stray dogs, always, and many times that after SHTF. One thing about coyotes, they clear off stray pets. If hunting is good, they’ll breed year-’round.
      niio

      Reply to this comment
  4. Hillbilly December 21, 20:30

    Rabbits are a food source. In warm months, you can feed them tender grass. They will also eat lettuce from the garden and good hay.

    Reply to this comment
  5. left coast chuck December 21, 21:21

    I looked at the picture and scratched my head. There is all that nice green grass in the foreground and the donkeys are feeding on the dirt? Donkeys are smarter than that.

    Also no mention of geese. They make great watch dogs, lay big eggs and are a large bird for eating. Lots of fat.

    Watched a program on the Andes yesterday. They raise and eat guinea pigs.

    Reply to this comment
    • Chuck December 22, 00:10

      I’ll bet that someone threw some feed out on the ground. That’s why all the animals appear to be eating the dirt. It’s a good way to get them all in the picture.

      Reply to this comment
    • Watrpro December 22, 04:27

      Left Coast, someone through out sweet feed to take that picture. I raise donkeys. They snuffel in the dirt all the time but only look like that when corn or feed is scattered.

      Reply to this comment
  6. IvyMike December 21, 21:50

    I’ve always resisted the idea of raising animals for food, the trouble and expense of it aren’t a good fit for me. So I don’t have hands on expertise, but it seems to me most rural subsistence cultures have always depended on pigs for their food supply, with the exception of desert peoples who favor sheep.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck December 22, 04:02

      And goats, Mike. Goats can live on forage that would starve out other foragers. I am no sheepherder, but part of the range wars between cattle growers and sheep herders in the early days of the settlement of the West was because sheep crop so close to the ground that many times it ruins the range for other animals to graze behind them. Goats can eat almost anything that grows in the ground. Some political entities are finally wising up and hiring goat herds for weed abatement to hold down the danger of urban wildfires. Also, the goat poop while they are abating the weeds helps enrich the soil. Reports indicate that it isn’t quite a fragrant as cow poop.

      I have always remembered a case from many many years ago. Some folks bought homes in a tract in Orange County just across the county line from an area called “Dairyland” in Los Angeles County.

      As an aside, at one time, Los Angeles County produced more dairy products than Wisconsin.

      Just across the county line in “Dairyland” there was this rather distinct brown mountain. Yep. You guessed it. When the wind was right, the atmosphere was wrong. The homeowners brought suit in Orange County, but alas, Orange County lacks jurisdiction in Los Angeles County and voters in Orange County didn’t have a lot of clout with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, especially when all the testimony was that the large brown mountain predated even ground breaking for the tract in OC.

      I always wondered what the homeowners thought when they looked out the back windows of their homes and saw a mound almost 100 feet tall and extending for about a quarter of a mile. And, of course, the bovines that produced that brown mound were not too far from it either, so they added to the fragrance in the air. And, can you say “flies?”

      The defense of the sales agents for the tract was that the mound was so patently obvious it was not necessary to point it out to even the dullest witted prospective home buyer. Don’t know whatever happened, but I do know the motion In O.C. Superior Court to have the dairy owners compelled to abate the mound died for lack of jurisdiction. Can’t remember who the brain dead attorney was who filed in the wrong county. With him guiding the litigation, I suspect it went nowhere.

      Reply to this comment
      • Govtgirl December 25, 12:08

        LCC-
        I wonder if they were shown the land on a day when the wind was right. I remember almost buying a lovely brick house for a great price. The realtor showed us around on a Sunday. A few days later we went back, checkbook in hand, for one more look. We had wondered why the jalousee windows didn’t open. Discovered they had been glued shut because it was directly under a busy flight path. Deafening! Dodged that bullet.
        Merry Christmas.

        Reply to this comment
    • Oracle December 26, 19:53

      IvyMike, consider raising ducks and chickens. You can use the eggs and increase the stock if you choose, without slaughtering them. I keep mine as pets for now, haven’t eaten any… yet. I have 22 chickens (2 roosters) and 3 ducks (1 drake). Averaging about 21 eggs per day. If you do the quick math, rounding down, that’s 630 eggs per month or 7500 per year. Feed is running me around $37.00 per month, made up of, mixed grains, chopped corn, and a laying mash. I have them semi-free ranging in a half acre fenced off area. I close them up in a 5′ x 14′ wooden “chicken house” at night to keep the predators out. They are happy birds, and I get a chuckle out of their antics. We are able to keep some neighbors supplied with fresh yard eggs too. There are eight of us in our tribe, including three women who all bake, so the eggs don’t go to waste. btw, duck eggs are called a “baker’s secret”.

      Reply to this comment
  7. LALA December 21, 21:55

    You forgot to take into consideration veterinary fees & the cost of equipment to prosess the animals involved.
    Chickens require expensive equipment and time to get a usable product. Goats require more maintenance like zinc & de-worming. A better choice would pekin ducks they shed their feathers naturally in 45 days if i remember correctly & reach 8-10 lbs a little after the 45 days but are around 6-8lbs in 45 days so if meat and eggs are the answer a good meat bird and good egg birds mixed would be best. Hogs require little maintenance and can reach full size in under a year,look into it further as their are obstacles to breeding with the males so a stud service would come in handy if possible finance wise. Cattle can be a problem health wise so Scottish highland cows would be a good choice as they have minimum maintenance health wise. New Zealand rabbits are th best in a survival situation, they reach a healthy weight quick breed rapidly, they eat grass, hay etc. their feces can be used as a potent fertilizer & their urine is a natural bug repellent so keep these in with your other animals, you kill 2 birds with one stone. Learn how to make natural probiotic bacteria from rice to use as a natural digester of farm waste to keep all animals healthy. Learn to produce brows gas from waste material by “Anabolic Decomposition” you can use for heating or cooking. Be careful when using any hho or other gas as it corrodes the engine, but electricity can be generated other ways with it. Look into things before making any decision and look all around to get a better understanding of what can be expected both good and bad.

    Reply to this comment
    • Farmer Pam December 22, 11:18

      This article is a good starting point for people to research what could work for them..
      Keep in mind animals are an investment for your families future meals. They cost money to feed. Start small.
      I raise meat rabbits, Welsh harlequin ducks, many kinds of chickens and Nigerian Dwarf goats.
      First I will speak to vet bills, there may be a few with the goats. Like if you want them disbudded and don’t do it yourself is an example. Also, I had a doe that I had to pull all 3 kids. I did go to my vet and get an antibiotic shot for her. Yes, they need dewormed but not necessarily monthly. They Need hay everyDay. Rabbits Need rabbit food to stay healthy and produce healthy babies. Chickens and ducks should be closed in at night to avoid being eaten by predators. Again, research and start small. I spent a couple years collecting metal trash cans for everyone’s feed. I bought a few more this year and try to keep a couple months here at a time. Be encouraged with patience and planning you can prep for your family.

      Reply to this comment
    • egansstew December 22, 16:04

      I have raised animals most of my life. Most of my education came from watching my dad and grandfather how they treated the animal. When I was on my own, I purchased a lot of books and read about nutrition and what to do when problems arose. I did use a vet at times when it was something I could not, did not have on hand, but for the most part rarely did I call in a vet. I used common since and what I had available. I did not want the vet shooting the animals with needles as I was doing my best to raise the animal organically without substances. There was a few times when the animals were wounded I would use penicillin but then the animal was not good for food, and even though I kept them for breeders, I wondered what it was doing with the offspring. My regret was to use Roundup for keeping the place beautiful, and never occurred to me that when the animals were on that part of the yard what the Roundup was doing to them. Shame on me. When we raise animals we need books. lots of books. You will find one book say this and another say that so you use your judgment and find what works for you.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Chuck December 22, 00:08

    Interesting and informative article. We have raised goats for years and we very rarely have any medical issues with them. We also have a few sheep, a pig, cattle for milk and meat and chickens.
    One comment though. Alfalfa is not good for goats. It is too hot for their stomachs and can cause problems if they get more than a little bit. Also alfalfa is usually pricey. Give them cheap hay because they do love weeds.
    We’ve only had cattle for the last couple of years, since we’ve had more land. Goats are great if you have small acreage as well.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Prepper In Training December 22, 02:19

    My grandkids are in for a rude awakening. While I have chickens, ducks, geese, pigs and cows, I also have some horses and a donkey. I won’t starve to death, but I may die laughing at the kids expression when they find out what donkey meat tastes like.

    I don’t plan on butchering the bigger animals, but I also didn’t plan on our world to be in such a mess that conveniences would disappear so quickly. While I have a lot of room and enough animals to survive for a while, I don’t know how fast others will feel entitled to the fruits of my labor and try to take it from me.

    This article and the accompanying comments definitely give food for thought of alternative protein sources. Pigeons used to be plentiful around my area, but hawks and other things have caused the population to drop. I guess I will need to research opossum and armadillo recipes before SHTF.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck December 22, 04:26

      Prepper: Here’s some advice on preparing armadillo:

      The Armadillo is just like every other animal except that it has a shell around it that makes it very convenient for cooking. The animal should first be gutted and all the entrails removed and set aside for other survival uses. Once the animal is gutted and well cleaned then we are going to stoke the fire up and use the flames to singe all the hair off it’s body. Once the flames have burnt the hair off then you need to scrape off some coals to one side to create a cooking fire. Then set the armadillo in the coals with the shell facing down into the coals. This shell will help us cook it without losing any of its fat to fire. It is really essential is survival that you don’t allow fat to drip into your fire being wasted. So by keeping the shell on this will preserve all the calories in the meat. You need to slowly turn the animal so that it cooks evenly all over the shell and make sure that the stomach area meat is well cooked. This is not an animal you can afford to eat medium rare because just like pigs they have parasites and diseases we must be mindful of. Make sure you cook it well done and that all the meat is cooked evenly over the whole carcass. If one section of the meat is not done then don’t eat it and re-cook that area for safety. You can also slice the excess fat off the animal and render the fat for later use. This will provide you with lard that can be saved for other cooking projects later. This fat can also be used to burn as a bush candle if light is needed at your camp.

      Another website talked about leprosy or Hansen’s Disease which armadillos apparently carry. The upshot of the article was that properly handled and cooked, armadillo was no danger to humans catching leprosy from them. And apparently not all armadillos have leprosy. Inasmuch as that is an externally visible pathological condition in humans, I would think it would also be visible in armadillos so infected. But if that is the million dollar question, don’t call me as your expert, better line somebody else up to definitively answer that one.

      I learned something. I didn’t know armadillos had hair. I thought they were scaly sort of like a turtle. I must admit, however, that I have never been close enough to an armadillo to examine it for hair, so I can’t make any positive statement one way or the other.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck December 22, 19:02

        I think I should add that advice on cooking armadillo is not from first hand experience but was copied from another website on preparedness. I think the article was serious. I don’t think it was tongue in cheek.

        Lots of folks turn up their noses at strange foods but if you won’t at least try them, then you haven’t ever been hungry enough.

        Reply to this comment
      • Oracle December 26, 20:06

        LCC, armadillos stink… before and after cooking them. Letting them shower with you is not an option. Fermented hot sauce covers most of the stink after you cook them. LOL. I don’t kill them due to their being a life saver for lost hikers and hunters. If you ever get lost in the woods, find an armadillo and follow it. It’s headed straight to the nearest paved road so it can get run over and lay there with its feet sticking up.

        Reply to this comment
        • Hawthorn December 29, 19:01

          Oracle,
          I remember a season of Master Chef once had a female that cooked road kill. She said remove the shell. Maybe that helps with both stink & taste? Never had one but have been warned they bite. Possums are another one in that “eat if you have to” category.

          Reply to this comment
          • eganstew December 30, 18:58

            Talking about “roadkill” I spent a lot of time with my grandfather as a child. He would see a chicken in the road and head for it. Once hitting it he would walk up to the house and ask if that was their bird. They would say no and we would take it home for dinner. When I think about it now it is funny but not at the time. Back then cars only did 35 mph so we could have avoided the bird. Not sure what you will think about this. There was another time when a pheasant flew into the car so it was picked up and eaten other than let it rot on the road.

            Reply to this comment
            • Miss Kitty December 31, 04:50

              Eganstew
              Ya gotta do what ya gotta do to stay alive. He’s lucky nobody saw him run the bird over and came running out to the car shotgun in hand or he might have wound up as pig feed.
              Otoh, they should have kept the chickens penned up better. Or maybe they were strays – can chickens go feral and survive in the wild?

              Reply to this comment
              • eganstew December 31, 11:17

                Yes, chickens can go farel. At one time they were in the wild and people gathered them up and domesticated them. In fact, my chickens were mostly that way as I penned them up at night for their protection and let them out to roam the pasture. I gave them little fed, just enough so they knew this was home.

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              • red January 1, 01:46

                Egan: Yeah, they have flocks of feral chickens down here in towns. They’re a wet tropics bird and need more water than quail or wild turkeys. Rabbits and hogs are ‘way worse for it. niio

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    • Oracle December 26, 19:57

      PIT, it’s time to shoot the hawks. You don’t need them competing for food you will need to feed your family.

      Reply to this comment
      • red December 27, 00:12

        Oracle: I don’t agree. Shoot the predators and what’s left? Snakes, rats, mice, and so on. I saw what was left of setting hens after rats found them. A neighbor had been shooting hawks–she had no poultry but thought they were vermin till her farmhouse was overrun by rats. It’s the same where they got rid of wolves. Now coyotes are a plague and a lot worse than wolves were. niio

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        • Oracle December 27, 12:16

          Red, we have a huge barn cat, no rats or mice around here. I know he’s doing his ratting job well because he deposits their broken carcasses on our porch at night.We shoot the coyotes too. If things get bad enough, we’ll eat the cat; and let the rats breed. Rat is good fried crispy with ketchup and hot sauce.

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          • red December 28, 00:02

            Oracle: One, OK. Toms like to wander. They tend to get eaten by copperheads and rattlers. Rodents attract snakes. While a few around isn’t a bother, more than that and they’ll get bad. One good thing, pigs do love the taste. As for coyotes, they make nice fuzzy underwear. They do tend to clear out stray dogs, tho.
            God gave us predators for a reason. If my people aren’t bothered by them, why are other people? The Brits wiped out wolves. Now they have a lot of fox and a problem with rabies.
            Where I live, summer people come in from the city and when they leave, they abandon their dogs. Even pit bulls can’t handle a pack of coyotes in the brush. While I despise liberalism, I agree all dogs should have a nose print done when they’re licensed.
            And, picked up a security door today, $50.00 but man, she lived deep in Tucson. She has 3 more and I’m tempted to buy all of them. If the pedo gets in, they’ll sell for twice that in a year.
            niio

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            • Govtgirl December 28, 05:56

              Red-
              Cane toads.

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              • red December 30, 01:22

                Sonoran toad. Those are ‘licker’ toads. Kids get a buzz from toxins in their skin. The dachshund tried to eat one and wound up staggering around for an hour. He was not impressed, and every time after that when he found the toad, he squirted all over it. niio

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      • Miss Kitty December 27, 03:02

        Oracle
        Ummm…I thought hawks were on the protected species lists. Besides, as Red points out, they also eat a lot of pest species that do more damage than they do. Best to give your chickens a covered run so they don’t get picked off.

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        • Oracle December 27, 12:30

          Miss Kitty. I have 200 square feet covered inside of a 7′ high hurricane fenced area. They go in there if they feel threatened and are quick enough. My semi-free range fenced area is a half acre, too big to cover. The Wildlife Code of Missouri includes a “trump” rule that allows landowners to protect their property by trapping or shooting some species of wildlife, hawks included. I only need notify the Missouri Dept. of Conservation after its dead, if I feel like it. Federal laws don’t have much effect here in the Ozarks. E.G. This is moonshine still country.

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  10. left coast chuck December 22, 03:35

    Interestingly, readyfood.com posted an article “Eight tips to help your chickens lay more eggs” just a little while ago. If you are presently raising chickens or plan to in the future, it is worth reading.

    In an end of the world situation, coyotes, feral dog packs, coyote-dog hybrids and in the more northern states, wolf-dog hybrids and wolf packs are going to be a major problem. Folks are going to be very sorry they let the bambiests prevail in re-introducing wolves back into the lower 48. There were very good reasons our ancestors drove them into extinction.

    Every time I see a missing cat poster, I know that good ole Wiley scored another cat allowed to roam at night. Mouth breathing city dwellers never seem to learn that Kitty is lower down on the food chain than good ole Wiley. They think it’s cruel to keep city dwelling Kitty in at night. If Wiley doesn’t get Kitty, the bobcat that roams the neighborhood doesn’t brook competition in its territory.

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    • Miss Kitty December 27, 03:09

      Unfortunately, Kitty most often gets run over because her owners were too cheap and lazy to get her fixed, and put her outside because she was in heat and crying. Or him, because he started spraying to mark his territory (which is the entire house and everything in it).
      Some people shouldn’t have pets.
      Then again, some people shouldn’t be allowed to breed themselves and perpetuate their Stupiditude to the next generation.

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      • Oracle December 27, 12:41

        Miss Kitty, I had a Siamese tom cat many years ago that lived inside with me in the city. He sprayed my suede leather jacket.. only once. Had him cut, threw the jacket away. He still hates me.

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    • Oracle December 27, 12:36

      LCC, we let our Big Tom roam freely, he has his claws. He’s been in a scrap or two, not sure with what. My nearest neighbor who lives about a half mile away and I shoot thermal for coyotes. Had a pack migrate here a year ago, all gone now.

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    • red December 27, 13:17

      LCC: If someone loves coyotes, the last thing they want around is a wolf. Wolves kill them. Where there are no wolves, coyotes become the major predator, even chasing grizzlies off kills. Wolves tend to learn fast and to avoid trouble when they can. Coyotes will outbreed recourses by having a half-dozen pups a year. No one respects a coyote, their name has been a curse for centuries. wolf, tho, was always given the same designation as human. My ancestors had a lot of livestock, and rarely did one fall prey to a wolf. We always made a home near a pack because they chase off kitties, like mountain lions and bobcats, which will decimate a flock or herd and will take a human as prey. In times of famine, old animals would be driven to where wolves denned and killed there for the wolves. Call it a thank-you for all the good they did for us. And now, no wolves in PA, but they do have a lot of coyotes, stray dogs, and razorback hogs, all of which will kill a child, calves, colts, and you.

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      • Oracle December 28, 17:46

        Okay, Red, I’ll play along. Why would anyone love coyotes?

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        • red December 30, 12:27

          Oracle: who loves coyotes? Not me. they do kill off stray dogs, tho. And stray dogs are deadly with little fear of people.
          Liberals see them as idiot fuzzy moronic children. I see them like the old times always did, eater of infants, and thief of souls.
          Love wolves, definitely. They eat coyotes. Ranchers are beginning to accept–with caution–the reintroduction of wolves. Areas where wolves have been for years trend to be pretty much coyote-free. But, I would like to see states pay for livestock losses to wolves and offending wolves killed not relocated. More, no Brahma cattle. Bull will not defend their cows or calves like other breeds do. Those ranchers can lose 15% of the calf crop where on the other side, Longhorn owners might lose 2-5% at most, and most of that due to missed breedings or injury, not predators.
          What does a Longhorn call a coyote? Horn warmer. A grizzly bear? Fuzzy medicine ball. Mountain lion? Footrest. I worked with both, and favor the Longhorn and all the variants like Missouri Hill Cattle, Creollo, and Corrientes.
          Wolves? LOL, they learn fast to stay away from Bossy Longhorn. niio

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  11. red December 23, 05:33

    Much thanks, Chari! While I like the ducks, I think chickens make better subsistence birds for eggs. Muscovy ducks are better meat birds, prolific, and eager to defend themselves and their young. Muscovys were never as ‘domesticated’ as most breeds but always let to fend for themselves. Right now they’re the most popular farm duck in the world. Pigeons, Runts are bred for meat, squab and adults. Dual purpose rabbits are better because the fur, tanned, is worth as much as the meat. Texas aggie developed a meat rabbit, ALTEX, that can take the heat where most breeds suffer heart attacks in our southern paradise. niio

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  12. Govtgirl December 25, 12:19

    Thank you for this article as I know almost zip about livestock. I thought that you couldn’t mix different species, but read an article after this that explained you could and the cattle might protect the goats from predators like coyotes. It then talked about the intestinal parasites animals have and worming them. Seems as if there is a steep learning curve to raising animals, just like trying to grow your own food takes a lot of know-how( and hard work.) can anyone recommend a basic raising animals for dummies book that might pick up where this intro leaves off? Thanks.

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    • red December 30, 12:03

      Gov: The loonie left is always frightened of crossover diseases. They’re so nutty, in PA, if you sell to a co-op you cannot mix even dairy animals and feeder steers. The little moron joke is they can’t see past last year, and never mind all animals we raise lived in mixed herds for thousands of years with no problems. biologists in the family ignore them because it’s A) communistic and B) stupid. PA is a major exporter of animal products to Europe, and Europe demands they obey their rules, tho they do not force farmers there to follow these same rules.
      BTW, communist because the USSR and chicoms demand uniformity on farms to be better able to control them. And, look at China today. where rice was raised, the rivers are overflowing an wiped out most of their crop. niio

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      • Govtgirl December 30, 15:17

        Hey red,
        Would like to ask you a question. We had the worst turkey this Christmas. Bought it from the local Safeway. It was the Safeway brand and the package said it was a young organic turkey.
        I read what organic means. We wanted a small turkey; it was 11.8 lbs. it was tasteless. Did not expect it to be the pristine white you get with the salted and fatted Butterballs, but was a little mottled. We threw out the rest as just did not feel good about it. I am fairly frugal so that action is quite telling.
        Okay, now the question: Is it correct that a bird could be underfed so it would be a desirable size and not well cared for, neglected and meet the requirements for organic? Many stores charge more per pound for smaller birds. I think organic could , under some circumstances, mean not so benign neglect.

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        • red January 1, 00:32

          GG: No, they either slaughter at the right weight or raise small turkey breeds. Tasteless usually means a standard bird was killed too young. Next time, go kosher. It sounds like someone was rough with the bird before it was slaughtered, that it had bruises. Did you check the liver? Spots indicate a sick bird. When possible, buy from a farmer. Then you know who gets the baseball bat. Happy New Year! niio

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          • Govtgirl January 1, 02:49

            Liver looked fine, but didn’t eat any organ meat. Will have to cultivate one farmer acquaintances. Happy New Year to you too.

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  13. Elizabeth December 26, 17:29

    Can we learn the correct use of apostrophes or won’t we need that in an economic crisis?

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    • Oracle December 28, 15:54

      Elisabeth, now if we can only get every one to presignify to whom they are speaking in their comments here. 🙂

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    • red December 30, 12:08

      El: You and my mother! For possessives, yes. For contractions, most of us would be better off without them. Won’t to wont and so on. the only exceptions for us would be can’t. A cant is a slant or a cant hook 🙂 I’d (another exception, id is soulish) like to see us modernize our English, as well. Original spelling was phonetic, but how many words are no long pronounced as they were 500 years go. niio

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  14. eganstew@yahoo.com December 30, 19:06

    Living on a farm for a number of years, I found that my neighbor’s dog was more of a problem than the wild birds and animals that might find my animals. I found the neighbor’s dog would gather his friends and for a good play come and kill or main the animals. Most of the time they did not eat their kill but they were just in for the cash so they could main a whole herd, whereas the wild animals would kill and eat just one animal. I tried to be nice to my neighbor and let them know their dog was a problem, but they assumed the dog was free to roam wherever they wanted, so I had to take matters into my hands and I believe this is permissible in many places.

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  15. Arge January 18, 21:39

    Miss Kitty
    I am now 70 years old, but I remember my grandfather telling the story of how at one time a neighbor accused my grandfather’s dog of running ( AKA endlessly chasing cattle around the field) his cows. My grandfather didn’t believe him, but got up an extra hour early the next morning before morning chores (cow milking), to see his dog come home from the neighbor’s and lay down on the back step, as if all was well. My grandfather took his beloved dog out and shot it.

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