[Homestead] Silvopasture here I come
erthnsky at bellsouth.net
Fri Nov 14 15:43:40 EST 2008
Just bought some hazelnuts and honeylocust and one Stayman Winesap Apple
from Arbor Day Foundation. I had 3 hazelnuts before, but two died so
the new hazelnuts are replacements. Since they are bushes, and I don't
want to have to share with the deer, I am growing these inside the
garden fence. I will also put this apple inside the fence. My other
apples are outside the fence. The honeylocust trees (5) will go into
the front pasture, on the dividing edge of the remaining pasture. If I
have livestock in the front pasture, I want to be able to just rake the
pods out of the tree area and into the animal area without much work.
There will be a temporary fence between the two areas until the trees
are mature and can withstand browsing/grazing/trampling by whatever
animal I happen to put in the front pasture.
I don't know that I mentioned this a few days ago, but I spent Tues? in
the front pasture planting black walnuts. I dug 15 holes (no small feat
in solid rock) and put 4-5 walnuts, husk on, into each hole. I've got
them on the perimeter of the pasture on the NE corner in the same
general area as the source tree. Since I will be planting additional
trees out there soon, I wanted to keep the juglone salivating walnuts on
the periphery to mitigate their toxic effect on the other trees.
I'm still looking for a good source for the complementary ash trees.
Also today, I bit the bullet, spent the last part of my severance check
and ordered my Paulownia trees. Tvo would be proud as you may recall he
really pushed these trees. Fifty trees should arrive in late April. I
have a lot of hole-digging to barter out (we will be splitting wood for
hole digging) and a lot of circle fencing to make to protect them from
deer. You may recall that I recently restored the old buckpen area so
that it could return to its natural state it is the shooting range area
if you are looking at the Myspace pictures
I have fencing from that area that I intend to reuse to ring the trees.
This is not a job I am looking forward to doing as it is very difficult
for me to cut fencing, especially the red top type stuff I have. The
gauge of red top is so thick that I almost don't have the hand strength.
Five months = 150 days = one circle needs to be made every three days,
or more. I can handle that if I stick to the plan.
I am now 11 days into incubating 28 eggs. The noise is driving me
crazy, but I just remind myself that this is food and that it is all
very worthwhile. Yesterday, I candled them, and if my candleling is up
to par, I only saw 2 suspect eggs. Gosh, I hope that holds because I
really need these birds.I'm going to try to hatch more after this.
Here's my math on this project. Hovabator holds 28 eggs. Assume 100%
fertility. Half will be roosters, half pullets. So 14 roosters for the
freezer per batch of eggs, which would be 28 roosters total or the
equivalent of 1 chicken every other week for two Hovabator incubation
batches. Since I have use of the Hovabator until Spring, I am going to
try to hatch as much as I can. If I can get 4 hatchings in, that would
be approx 56 roosters...assume 50% fertile/loss, then that is still a
chicken every other week. I should be able to brood these in the
greenhouse, and incubate the next batch. By the time the third
incubation has hatched, the first set is 9 weeks old and even in the
cold, I can tractor them until they are large enough to butcher. These
are not specifically meat birds, so they don't have a fast growth rate.
These are simply mixed heavy breeds. If I end up with a million
pullets(what a curse<g> NOT) I'll trade them for meat or put them in the
freezer, too. It seems like my best home incubation percentage was
around 60%, but this incubator has a turner and seems to be keeping the
temperatures very even. I haven't seen much fluctuation at all, and I
have two thermometers in there just to be sure..
Well, to escape the hovabator noise, I am going hunting today. It is
overcast and chilly. No wind, so hopefully they will come down to the
back pasture and I will be able to tag one. We have 100% chance of rain
between now and tomorrow night, so maybe they will feed now in
preparation to hunker later. I saw a nice 8 point buck with two does
“Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to
hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda
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