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Showing posts from September, 2015

Why I am going to do this

Every day that passes I am more and more sure that this is what I want to do, even through every day I learn how little I actually know about what I plan on doing.  After almost 45 years I have decided that on the whole I do not like most people.  I do not like playing the games of what is people's motivation that and what is it they really want, I am tired of people always trying to play games to get ahead and that is what has driven me towards the decision to retire from the military and not pursue civilian employment when I get out even though I would have no issues finding a well paying opportunity. I am not foolish enough to think I will be able to do this on my own, not as efficiently as I would like to anyway and I am sure I will be counting on family to help with advice and experience if nothing else (not to mention usage of equipment would be appreciated!!).  But on the whole, I will be the one responsible and I will be working for myself and I will be the one responsibl


This week I received a small surprise in the mail, a month or so ago as a part of my Mother Earth subscription I ordered a "Pack" of 6 additional one time publications but I had pretty much forgotten about it..  In reality I ordered them for the chicken based magazine and and the one about self reliance skills.  One of the additional magazine however was one in raising backyard rabbits.  Raising rabbits was really not something I had considered as everything I had seen previously with raising rabbits was raising them in individual cages which was something that goes against most of what I wanted to do with raising animals as the goal is to raise them as humanly as possible as close to a natural situation as I could. Reading the publication how ever did open my eyes to something I had not realized before, one was how much protein one set of rabbits could generate in one year.  Where a cow can basically generate about 40% of her weight in a calf in a year a doe rabbit can pro

Feed crops

Well, this is one of the hardest subjects I have had to research, there is just not as much out there as I would like for the area I will be working in.  There is no shortage of small farms out there who are raising animals on forage but very few of them are growing their own winter or supplemental feed to be totally self sufficient.  Perhaps I should take that as a hint however I am not, always did have to learn things the hard way.  My sister-in-law Roxy has been asking about when I was going to make this post, I think just to show me how much coordination and planning was involved.  I will say this much, yes it is intimating, almost like a jigsaw puzzle to figure out the best way to make it all fit together. In total I will have 4 three acre plots I have set aside for a crop rotation for animal feed. Each year the crops will rotate one field in so that the same crop is not planted on the same ground except for once every 4 years.  When I looked at the crops it was with the intenti

Managment Intensive Rotational Grazing (MIRG)

One thing that was similar in the farms I visited when I was back in the states was the usage of Management Intensive Rotational Grazing (MIRG).  Basically what this is is the usage of multiple small paddocks to feed your livestock rather then one large field. Using MIRG you will basically put your livestock in the small paddocks  until they eat about 1/2 of the forage  in that small paddock and then you move them to the next one leaving the one just left untouched for about 30 days, long enough to let it fully recover before you put the cattle back on to that one.  There are multiple benefits to this plan. 1. Cattle are mostly only eating the top portion of the plant that is growing in the stage where the nutrients are higher 2. Less chance the animals will over graze one area leaving it barren and susceptible to weed growth and longer recover times.. 3.  Increases the carrying capacity of a set acreage 4. Breaks the parasite cycle reducing the chances or animals developing para