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Dusty Boot Ranch

Discussion in 'Member's "BackYardHerds" Journals' started by DustyBoot, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. Nov 13, 2017
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Overrun with beasties

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    Guess it's about time I started one of these. We moved here in February and took some time to evaluate and get settled in. New perimeter fences started in August because they were in poor shape and wouldn't hold cows, let alone goats. It's been a long process, but should be finished today!

    We added three beehives in late May, too late to get honey for this year but hopefully they'll be well established for next year.

    Three Kiko-Boer doe goats arrived in August, along with their two Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd guardians. We've been using electronet fencing to create rotational grazing paddocks for them with good results so far. We bought a buckling in September but he didn't work out; replaced him at the beginning of November and I suspect we now have baby goats due in mid-April.

    Chickens and guineas arrived in early November and seem to be settling in well. Eight Rhode Island Reds, four guineas. The coop is on skids and we move it regularly so the birds have fresh pasture. They're surrounded by electric poultry net that's turned off during the day but on at night to keep predators at a distance from the coop. Eventually we may open up the fence during the day to let the birds range farther, but we want them well trained to return to the coop before we consider that. We also need to see how our LGDs respond to them. Our hope is to use the birds to follow our larger animals to help reduce bugs and parasites and hasten the decomposition of manure.

    Later this month we'll have a few steers arriving as some friends are renting our pasture and allowing us to see how cows do on the property. Depending on how it goes, we may decide to raise our own cows or raise stocker calves.

    Our next project looks like being meat rabbits. We've never eaten rabbit, but we're not too picky so I'm pretty confident we'll be happy with the results. We'll start small, though.

    Possibly on hold for spring is an aquaponics system. Do fish counts as herds?

    Not sure what else will end up on the agenda, but there we are for now.
     
  2. Nov 13, 2017
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 Herd Master

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    It sure sounds like things are moving right along for ya. It will be interesting to see if the electro netting will contain the guineas. I'm planning on adding some next year and would like to protect them better than just free ranging, but unsure about any fence containing them without clipping the wings. Hope the cow keeping goes well, so ya can get some of your own.....never raised fish, tho we do have a pond....so, I guess that counts....sorta.....:)
     
  3. Nov 13, 2017
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Overrun with beasties

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    Nah, the fence doesn't hold the guineas. They fly right over it if they want to. But so far usually only one or two flies over, and then circles the pen wanting back in with the others.
     
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  4. Nov 13, 2017
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 Herd Master

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    It is uncanny how they easily find their way out, but can't repeat the process to get back in....crazy little things they are, but so entertaining....:)
     
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  5. Nov 13, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Sounds like things are moving along at a great pace. looking forward to following along. :)
     
  6. Nov 13, 2017
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Overrun with beasties

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    Things started moving fast once they started moving!

    Went out to put the birds away tonight and the guineas were raising a ruckus. The chickens were all inside the coop for the night. The guineas had flown out of the pen and were running around outside distressed that they couldn't get into the coop. Had to open up the fence for them, then open the side of the coop because they wouldn't go in the little pop door. Silly things.
     
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  7. Nov 14, 2017
    animalmom

    animalmom True BYH Addict

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    Your plans sound like they will keep you busy, and fed (a good thing). My DH and I were city folk before all the animals, and had not eaten goat or rabbit knowingly so were were cautious about the prospect. Rabbit is delightful, tender, like veal. Older rabbit is great in casseroles or shredded in enchiladas or oh my word I'm making me hungry just thinking about it.

    Don't forget to put in something that is just fun... like a water garden. Doesn't have to be huge just something pretty and put in a few goldfish. Let me know when you do as I usually always have extra waterlilies and plants to share.

    Glad you are here! Looking forward to reading how things are going for you.
     
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  8. Nov 14, 2017
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Overrun with beasties

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    To be honest, as far as I'm concerned this is all fun! :) I love animals, so being able to have so many of them around without it being some sort of crazy hoarder situation makes me happy. I could sit and watch the chickens all day. And the house is really gorgeous -- we were fortunate in being able to buy something so much nicer than we expected or hoped for. But, I will have to come up with a fun project. I'll bet the kids would love goldfish.

    The fences were finally finished yesterday, and I slept well last night knowing it was done! They've been in progress since early August and I was beginning to think they would never be finished. My poor just-a-pet Border Collie is confused that suddenly she has a yard again (albeit a huge one). I appreciate being able to let her outside without having to worry that she might go harass the birds through their fence if I'm not watching. We moved the goats to a new section of the pasture and were able to make it much bigger because we used the perimeter fencing as one long side of the paddock. It'll be nice not to have to move them again so quickly. Previously if we wanted to move them, we haltered them and led/dragged them up to our small permanent goat pen, moved the electronet fences, then led them to the new paddock. This time we closed the pasture gate, took apart the old paddock, herded them into the new area before it was completely enclosed, and finished setting up the electronet around them while they munched away happily. So much simpler.
     
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  9. Nov 14, 2017
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Overrun with beasties

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    This afternoon, four guineas were happily wandering around outside their pen, so I let them be. This evening, one was back inside the pen and three were outside and unhappy that they couldn't get back in. At least one had the sense to fly back in? :pop
     
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  10. Nov 14, 2017
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 Herd Master

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    I was thinking about putting their coop area outside the fence, so when they fly over they will be inside the fence already and have an acces hatch cut into the fence back to inside tbeir coop.....:)