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Prepping For SHTF

Tag: chickens

Losing Chickens To Predators

Over the past couple of weeks I have lost several chickens to predators. Several of them have gone missing, with just a few feathers in the chicken yard. From the trail of feathers, something drug the chicken from the chicken house.

It is not a chicken hawk, because there is no body. Chicken hawks do not eat the bones.

A trail camera in the chicken yard showed a couple of raccoons and an opossum.

Opossums will not drag a chicken off. It will eat the chicken in the chicken house.

Developing Self-Sustainable Farm More Difficult Than Expected

When I moved to the farm almost 3 years ago I thought this was going to be easy. Build a nice chicken yard, build a chicken house, plant some fruit trees, and things will be off and running. Then I can work on the pole barn, barn, and fence in a few acres for goats and cattle.

Lets just say things have not been going as planned.

Fruit Trees Have Been a Failure

Either from disease, drought, drowned from too much rain,,,, whatever the reason, my fruit tree project has not gone anywhere near as expected.

A plum tree my kids and I planted several years ago died. A second plum tree is not doing anything. It is not even hardly growing.

Peach trees are not growing as expected, or died. Out of the several peach trees that were planted over the past few years, only one has grown and is producing any peaches. This year that one peach tree is not doing anything.

Fig trees died from the summer drought of 2015. June, July, August and September 2015 we got very little rain fall here in southeast Texas. I did not keep my young fig trees watered like they needed, and 3 out of the 4 died.

One of the blueberry bushes died.

Tacticool Has No Place in Prepping

While visiting various AR-15 forums and other firearms forums, I see a common trend that only the best is good enough. Only the best AR-15 is good enough, everything else is junk. Only the very best magazines are good enough, everything else is junk. Only the very best ammunition is good enough, everything else is junk. Only the very best optic is good enough, everything else is junk.

When prepping for a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event, do you apply that same philosophy to all aspects of your preps?

Do you have the best tiller? Do you research the parts used to make that tiller, the manufacturing process, the heat treating, the hardness of various metals, what about stress test on parts used to make the tiller?

Do you have the best garden rake or hoe? Do you research the metals and the manufacturing process used to make your garden tools?

Do you have the best axe money can buy? Do you research the metals, hardness, manufacturing process of your wood cutting tools?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf8yp8Ew–Q

Do you have the best chickens? Do you research the breeding process of the hatcheries? What about the genetics of the chickens? If you want an exact chemical analysis of your AR-15 parts,l do you demand a DNA test on your chickens?

If you demand the very best of the best of the best for your tacticool firearm, what about your other preps?

Shouldn’t feeding your family be as important as protecting them?

Chickens Are Their Own Worst Enemy

Chickens would be great farm animals for SHTF if they were not so stupid. The honest truth is they will find a way to get themselves killed.

Build them a nice cage and they will find a way to get out.

They will wander away from the flock and get killed.

They will stay out to dusk, right when coyotes start looking for an easy meal.

They will spill their water.

They will crap in their food and water.

They will crap in laying boxes.

They will roost in high places so if they fall at night they will be hurt.

They will eat stuff that makes them sick – free ranging eating weeds, rocks, pieces of glass, etc.

They will free range out in fields where hawks can see them. They chickens can have all kinds of weeds and cover to forage under. But no, they have to go out in the open away from the flock so a hawk can get them.

Meat Production After SHTF

There are all kinds of articles out there talking about meat after SHTF. You want to know what is missing in a lot of those articles? Exact details.

Awhile back we talked about how many chickens would be needed for SHTF. I would like to do this article in the same manner as the chicken article.

Lets start with one very important question, and that is how much meat does the average person eat? To find the answer lets turn to the US census.

Per Capita Consumption of Major Food Commodities

Average US meat consumption in 2009:

Commodity Weight / Number
Red Meat, includes beef, veal, lamb and pork. 105.7 pounds
Poultry, includes chicken and turkey. 69.4 pounds
Eggs 246 eggs

For right now lets exclude eggs and focus on red meat and poultry. We will talk about eggs later.

Uncle Sam Wanted You to Raise Chickens

There was once a time when Uncle Sam (the U.S. Government) wanted people to raise chickens. This was especially true in times of war when our troops needed food.

Unfortunately those days are far behind us. If a city dweller tried to raise chickens today, they would probably be sued by the city and forced to get rid of the flock.

What does that say about us as a nation when we turn away from time honored traditions of raising our food, only to become dependent on a grocery store?

I often wonder how the typical city dweller would act if the grocery store shelves were empty? How would society react if the government started rationing food like what happened in World War II?

Around 2002, 2003 I was working in Kingwood Texas. There was a drought going on and the city issued an order for people not to water their grass or wash their cars. One day I arrived at a customers house while he was watering his lawn. I asked him if he knew about the water restrictions. the customer said yes. He went on to tell me that he did not care about the restrictions or the fines, he was going to water his grass.

Building a Homestead for Surviving SHTF

How viable are your long term SHTF survival plans? That is a question I kept asking myself while a buddy of mine and I were talking. The discussion was about water, livestock, food storage,,, just your basic stuff. In reality, how viable are those plans for a complete collapse of society?

There is an old saying, “plan for the worst and hope for the best.” My TEOTWAWKI survival plans are based off of a complete collapse scenario – no water, food, electricity or fuel from the outside world.

One way I am looking at arranging my farm is like a medieval farm, that is the only way I know how to describe it. The goal is to supply our own water and food, but in a primitive format. Today it would be called organic gardening.

Water At The Homestead

The first issue we have to address is water. Without safe drinking water life as we know it can not exist.

The plain is to have a well drilled, and to have an electric water pump put on the well.

What Did We Learn In 2012

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistAs 2012 is drawing to a close, lets take a few minutes to reflect. What did we learn and where do we need to go from here?

What did you learn in the past year?

I learned a lot about chickens – difference in the various breeds, how much room they need, chicken coop design, chicken yard size and nutrition requirements,, only to name a few.

What I learned in the past year is only a drop in the bucket. After my wife and I get moved to the homestead we plan on almost doubling the size of our chicken flock. Currently my wife and I have 13 hens and no roosters. After we get moved we will probably increase the size of the flock to around 24 or 25 hens, and one rooster.

The next step in my chicken project will be to develop a self-sustaining chicken flock.

Once the flock size is increased, the chicken coop will probably be too small. One of the next steps after getting moved will be to build a larger coop. But we are getting way ahead of ourselves.

How Many Chickens Would You Need For SHTF TEOTWAWKI

Chickens are one of the best livestock a family can have for a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation. Chickens (depending on their breed) are excellent foragers, they can eat just about anything, do not need a lot of care, and produce food in the form of eggs almost daily.

If you and your family are prepping for a collapse of society event, how many chickens would you need?2 Rhode Island Reds with 2 Barred Rocks in the background

Before we can get close to answering that question, I feel there are some questions that first have to be answered.

Land – Do you have a backyard of nothing but grass, do you have wooded property, open fields that cattle, goats or horses roam in?

During a long term SHTF event, chances are the feed stores are going to be closed, that means you will not have access to commercial grade feed. It achieve their maximum egg production, chickens need a balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals. The calcium the eggs are made out of does not appear out of thin air.

This is where the quality, and variety of the land comes into play. Chickens need seeds, bugs, green leaves,,, just a wide variety of food sources.

My chickens laid their best when they were able to free range and had access to commercial grade laying pellets. During this time, they were laying around 8 – 10 eggs a day in August and September 2012.

Livestock and Firearms for SHTF

Lets say SHTF tomorrow, what would be your top priorities? Besides safe drinking water, food production and property protection is at the top of my list.

One of the questions I ask myself, how do you develop a sustainable food supply, and at the same time protect your property? Well, its not really “how”, but where do you divide your resources to best serve you and your family.

Lets say you have $20. Would that $20 serve you better as ammunition, or through livestock such as chickens? What about tools and fencing supplies? Would that $20 serve you well as a hammer, wire cutters, staples for fencing wire, or as barbed wire?

If you have a few million dollars to spend, we would not have to be asking these questions. We would just buy the land, and buy all of the supplies that we need.

Unfortunately, most of us have limited resources. Due to these limited resources we need to spend wisely. And thus we ask questions to find answers.

Firearms

Then comes up the classic debate, would that money be better invested in food, livestock or ammunition?

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