Homesteading and Survivalism

Ramblings Of A Bored Survivalist

Archive for March, 2012

Trying to raise chickens part 3

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 29, 2012 2 Comments

Chicken feeder and watererMy first batch of chicks turned one month old on March 25th. All of the chicks were bought within a week and a half of of each other, so lets say all of the chicks are within 10 days of each other.

When my wife and I bought the chickens we bought two water dispensers. One of the dispensers was used for food and one was used for food. The one used for food did not work very well. But then again, when the chicks were a couple of days old they did not eat very much either.

Waterers

The first two waterers bought were red and screwed onto a pint or quart sized jar. The chicks quickly outgrew the pint sized jar and had to be upgraded to a quart sized jar.

The quart jar lasted only a few weeks before a 1 gallon sized container had to be bought. Currently 13 chicks that are about 1 month old take about 2 – 3 days to drink 1 gallon of water. I keep the quart jar in the coop with the 1 gallon jar just as a backup. Within the next week or so the quart sized waterer will probbly be removed from the coop.

I imagine that the chicks will have to upgraded to a 3 or 5 gallon waterer before too much longer.

After the coop is finished, I am hoping to have a waterer in the coop and a waterer in the run. During the summer heat I want to make sure the chickens have access to water 24/7.

Related article – Trying to raise chickens part 1




Chicken Coop Project Part 2

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 26, 2012 0 Comments

Chicken coopThe first part of the coop was thrown together because rain was on the way. It was either get a section of the coop built and get the roof on it, or everything was going to get wet. Due to the rush, certain things were left off the coop during the first weekend, such as a vent window, the ladder,,, and a few other small details.

March 24 and 25 another door was added to the coop, the egg collection door was finished, the ladder was finished, and a vent window was added.

The second door was cut 24 inches by 24 inches square. The other door which measures 18 inches wide seemed a little narrow. The rugs of the ladder are spaced at 1.5 inches apart. To keep the spacing the same, I used a 2×4 on its side as a spacer. The problem is, 1.5 inches between the boards leaves a large gap for a snake to get through. To hopefully keep the snakes out, 1/2 inch square hardware cloth was stapled to the bottom to the ladder.

The ladder was completed, except for a draw string to raise and lower the ladder from outside the coop. But then again, I am thinking about not using a string and just reaching through the door to lift the gate by hand. Whether a string is used or not depends on how much chicken crap is on the ladder. If the ladder is covered with crap, its getting a pull string installed.




Prepping the Bug Out Location

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 25, 2012 16 Comments

survivalistA few nights ago I had a dream that has had me thinking ever since. The dream was about the US going through a nuclear war. The infrastructure had been devastated, no news was coming out of cities like LA or New York. It was as if life had been turned 180 degrees in the blink of an eye. We had limited internet, and we had electricity, but there was no news getting out about how bad the devastation was.

Part of the electricity in southeast Texas is provided by a series of 3 hydroelectric dams – Dam B, Lake Sam Rayburn and Toledo bend. In my dream, the electricity in my area was being kept on by those 3 dams.

When the food shipments had stopped, the local grocery stores were cleaned out in a matter of hours. What led to the shipments stopping, was the main computer systems that tell the trucks when to roll and where to go had stopped working. Since the trucking companies did not know when and where to deliver the products, the workers stopped loading the trucks.

Our society has grown so dependent on computer systems, we do not know how to do anything without them. The local Sonic can not even fix an iced tea without their computers being up. A lot of radio stations broadcast syndicated content, that content travels over the internet. Without the internet, a lot of radio stations would not even have a morning show. Inventory control for massive retailers are controlled by remote offices, and you guessed it, over the internet.




My Chicken Coop Project Part 1

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 21, 2012 0 Comments

Building a chicken coopA few weeks ago my wife and I picked up 5 chicks, a week later we got 6 more, a few days later we got 4 more. Two of the chicks died, which left us with a total of 13. Up until last weekend the chicks had been kept in a large plastic tub, which in turn was being kept in the bathtub. The chicks can not stay in my house forever, sooner or later they were going to have to go outside. On Sunday, March 18, 2012 the chicks moved into their new home.

It took about 2 1/2 days, but with the help of my wife and my son, we got the coop built.

Before construction of the coop started I probably spent 2 weeks thinking about the specs, how many laying boxes were needed, how large the coop needed to be, how it was going to be designed, square footage per chicken, types of lumber, how the chickens were going to access the coop, coop security,,, just lots of details were thought out.

One of the first things I did was get out on the internet and look at some chicken coop pictures. There are a lot of different designs out there, that is for sure. The plan I wanted was for the coop to be portable. The type of coop I was aiming for is called a “chicken tractor”. Its a type of coop that can be moved around the yard. Once I got some pictures, and got some ideas, it was time to start making sketches.

I took several pieces of paper and made rough sketches of how the lumber was going to fit together.




Picking a camp stove for a bug out location

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 20, 2012 2 Comments

Propane Coleman StoveSome kind of long term disaster has happened, you and your family have almost depleted the food and water reserves at your home, now its time to make a decision, stay or go? Its time to go.

Your family loads whatever gear, food and water you have left in the truck, car or SUV, then you hit the road. You get to the Bug Out Location, unload your gear, and now what? You cook a good hot mean, thats what.

Never underestimate the power of a good hot meal on moral. The smell and sight of cooking food does something to the human mind, it relaxes us. The effect of cooking food might have something to do when we led a hunter-gather lifestyle. The hunters would come back to camp with a leg quarter off a horse, deer or a chunk of meat off a mastodon. The meat was cooked over an open fire for everyone in the group to partake.

Ok, so what kind of stove do you store at the Bug Out Location? This needs to be at least a dual burner stove, something large enough you can cook a full meal on. I am partial to the coleman stoves. Over the past 20 years I have owned two liquid fuel stoves and 2 propane stoves.

One stove I own is the Coleman PerfectFlow insta-Start grill stove, the one with the built on griddle. After cooking some sausage on the griddle, the grease drain pan almost filled up, and the griddle was difficult to clean. The grease dried in the corners of the griddle and was difficult to get out.




Raising chickens is a labor of love

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 19, 2012 0 Comments

Chicks inside chicken coopMy wife and I are in 3rd week, going on 4 weeks of having chickens. One thing I have realized in this short period of time, raising chickens is a labor of love. Unless you are ready to check on your chickens everyday, feed, water, clean, inspect, worry about,,, don’t even bother.

From February 25 – March 18 the chicks were kept in a plastic box, that was in kept in a bathtub. On a daily basis I had to clean the tub, replace the newspapers, refill the water and refill the food. For the last week that the chicks were in the box I put some pine shavings down in the tub. This made matters worse as the chicks scratched the bottom of the tub and threw the pine shavings into the food and water bowls. The water bowl was the worse, as the pine shavings soaked up the water and stuck inside the water bowl.




Springtime survival gear preps

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 10, 2012 0 Comments

teotwawki survival gearSpring is here, that means its time to stock up on seasonal preps. The local feed and fertilizer stores are getting their seed shipments in, as well as baby chickens, fertilizer,,, and so on.

Some stores carry farm supplies all year long, some places carry them on a seasonal basis. If at all possible, find a place in your area that carries farm and livestock supplies all year long. Here in Jasper Texas we have 3 feed and fertilizer stores that carry farm supplies all year long.

Pickle’s
Circle Three Feed
Farmers Feed

Pickle’s carries a wide assortment of seed, pesticide and fertilizer. If you want to buy corn seed, this is the place to go.

Circle Three Feed carries a lot of farm and livestock supplies. If you want to buy chickens, feed, deer corn, this is a good place to go.

Farmers Feed carries a lot of everything. I have bought deer corn, chicks, seeds, 16 gallon drums,,, all kinds of stuff from Farmers Feed.

Even if the stores carry supplies all year long, there are still items that are seasonal, such as seeds and chicks. If you want chicks and if you want seed, get down to a local feed store and stockup before the seasonal stuff is sold out.




Capitalism VS Human Compassion

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 10, 2012 3 Comments

survivalistThe question is, can capitalism in the US survive in its current form? When human compassion, morals and values are cast to the side in favor of making money, then no, capitalism can not survive.

Capitalism can survive as long as there is no greed. The problem is, we have been taught that greed is a part of society. Almost daily we read about some bank, investment broker or some con-artist scamming people out of millions of dollars. Greed is so much a part of our society, that we are becoming desensitized to it. We expect banks to raise fees, we expect to lose money in our 401k, we expect to pay high interest rates on credit cards,,,,. We expect it to the point were its just a part of life. If you want an example, there was a scientific study that was delayed for 17 years by special interest groups. The companies were more interested in protecting their money, then the health and safety of the employees.

The problem is, greed should not be part of life.




Access to land and water

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 9, 2012 12 Comments

survivalistWhile watching Doomsday Preppers last week, I observed one major difference in the various plans, and that was if the plan included access to land and water.

Its one thing to stockpile 2 – 3 years of canned goods, food in mylar bags, freeze dried food, have a rainwater collection system, small backyard garden,,,,.

Its another thing to have access to several acres of land, able to have chickens, a nice sized garden for a variety of fresh veggies, various types of fruit trees, access to fresh running water and access to land to hunt on. Maybe even have access to water to fish in.

Two of the main differences I see between the various long term SHTF survival plans, is access to fresh food and access to fresh water. People may argue there are lots of other differences, but for this article I wanted to talk about two main topics – water and fresh food.




Trying to raise chickens Part 2

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 4, 2012 0 Comments

Raising chickensIf you have not read part 1 of this raising chickens series, please do so. Its been over 20 years since I have owned chickens, so this is kind of a new venture as I have fourteen a lot over the past 20+ years.

Week 1 – my wife and I bought 5 chicks. Within the first few days 2 of the chicks died. One of the chicks looked small and weak from the first day. One chick died on day one, second chick died on day 3.

Week 2 – on March 3, 2012 my wife and I went to a local feed store to buy some Production reds. When my wife and i arrived at the store, we were told they had sold the last of the Production Reds just a few minutes before we arrived.

After talking about what we should do, my wife and I decided to go to Farmers Feed on HWY 96 north of Jasper, Texas.

Farmers Feed did not have any Production Reds, but they did have several different types of chickens. My wife and I decided to buy 2 of each type of chicken, of a total of 6 chicks. Two of the chicks are Barred Rocks. the other 4 chicks, I can not remember the type. I will call the feed store Monday morning and ask what kind they are selling.




Reforming Public Schools

Posted by Kevin Felts On March 2, 2012 0 Comments

survivalistOver the past few decades there has been talk about how to reform our public school system. I am not an expert in schools, but I am able to form an opinion based on the available information. It is my opinion the public school system is past reform. We have allowed politics and greed to get in the way of teaching our children.

Lets start by being able to hire and fire teachers based on their job performance, just like the rest of the work force. Let me rephrase my post, how about we hire and fire teachers without unions tying the hands of the tax payers.

Get the unions out of the schools, and I bet job performance will improve.

When I was in 4th, maybe 5th grade, teacher hands out a bunch of papers, I complete the wrong paper first, teacher gets ****ed off, brings me to office, gives me a paddling.

Screw her.