Some kind SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation has happened, how long will take you to get your food production up and running? How long do you think it will take you to plant your garden, get some livestock, build a pen to keep your livestock secure from predators… etc?
I learned something today, or rather something happened today that helped me set a six month timeline as the post SHTF window – my wife and I got our first egg.
We got your first chicks on February 25, 2012. the first batch was 3 Black Jersey Giants, and 2 Speckled Sussex. Within a couple of days of obtaining the chicks, 1 of the Jersey Giants died, and 1 of the Speckled Sussexs died. This left 2 Black Giants and 1 Speckled Sussex.
1 week later (March 3) my wife and I obtained 6 more chicks – 2 Barred Rocks (aka Plymouth Rocks), 2 Silver Laced Wyandotte and 2 Australorps.
Around March 7 my wife and I obtained 4 Rhode Island Reds.
All 13 of the chicks were around 2 days old when they were bought.
From the day we bought our first chicks (February 25), to the day we received our first egg (July 14) was almost exactly 4 months and 3 weeks. We bought the first set of chicks on a Saturday, and we received our first egg on a Saturday.
The first egg was rather small, maybe 1/2 the size of a average large egg you buy at the local grocery store. My aunt calls the first eggs “pullet eggs”.
Hopefully, over the next few months egg production will pick up as more chickens start laying, and the eggs will increase in size.
Over the past 4 months and 3 weeks the chickens were also being fed commercial feed specially formulated optimal growth. If this was during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation, and the chickens were having to forage. You could expect the chickens to grow slower, and egg production to take longer as compared to being on commercial feed.
The 4 months 3 weeks on commercial feed for our first egg + trying to find resources during a SHTF situation + having to use manual labor to put everything together, lets just say 6 months.
Keep in mind, people are not going to hand over their resources during or after a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation. If someone has chickens or goats, and you want some of those chickens or goats, you are going to pay a premium price.
My wife and I have 13 chickens. If someone down the street asked about my chicken flock, there is no way I would sell a couple of my chickens. Well, that is unless you had something that I needed. Eggs on the other hand, I would sell or barter for the eggs.
A lot of armchair survivalist say, “if SHTF, I am going to plant a garden, or get some chickens, or get some goats,,,, and so on”. That is nothing more then an unproven theory. There is a big difference between theory and practical application. If you “really” want to prepare for a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, then get off your butt and do something.
[Related Article – Survivalism as an experience instead of a theory]
Testing Theories As We Can
Awhile back my family planted a community garden. We worked cleared the weeds, tilled the soil, spread fertilizer and planted the seeds. We planted the potatoes in late February, and harvested them in late May. Sometimes it takes closer to 4 months for potatoes to grow, instead of 3 months.
Besides radishes, most plants take 3 – 4 months before they start producing food.
3 – 4 months + deciding if its a long term or short term disaster + clearing the fields + gathering fertilizer (making mulch piles) + finding seed,,, lets just say 6 months.
Lets say there is an outbreak of a new disease. Its going to take a couple of weeks before the full effect to be known. From there, it might take a couple of weeks for basic services to break down. How long do you stay at your home before you head to the Bug Out Location? It could be 3 – 4 weeks before your long term survival plans kick into full effect.
The Six Month Theory
The only way I could test the six month theory is to leave my job and move to the Bug Out Location. Since I have to pay child support every month, that would make me a dead beat dad and the attorney general for the state of Texas would have me thrown in prison.
I would love to setup a cabin and live off the grid like Henry David Thoreau did while he was writing Walden, but it is just not practical in this day and age.
From past experience, I estimate it would take at least six months to plant a garden, grow the garden, harvest the seeds, and then preserve the food.
Watching how the flu season circulates, it would take around six months for a disease to burn itself out.