Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: long term survival plans

Chickens For Urban Survival

Example of a backyard chicken coop

Out of all of the problems facing urban survivalist, fresh food and fresh water are probably at the top of the list. Sure there are lots of other problems, such as looters and other pest. But without fresh food and safe drinking water, life is going to go downhill pretty quick.

Why would chickens be a good choice for urban survival? They are easy to raise, they lay eggs just about all year long, the eggs are a good source of fats and protein, and if you need to, you can eat the chicken. The protein and the fats address at least two nutritional requirements of your long term survival plans.

Here is an interesting youtube video that talks about some of the aspects in raising backyard chickens.

Chickens are flock animals. Meaning they will not do well by themselves. If you are planning on getting some backyard chickens, plan on getting at least 3 or 4 of them. If you get 2 chickens, and 1 dies, then that puts stress on the lone chicken.

Chickens are Ideal Fr Urban Survival

New Survivalist Acronym World Without Machines

Saturday afternoon my dad and I made a trip to the camp to work on the tractor. As luck would have it, we needed a small hammer that was in a shed on the other side of the property. Dad gets in his truck to drive over and get the hammer. while dad was getting the hammer, I looked at the tractor and did some deep thinking about how dependent humans are on machines. Between the truck and the tractor, we have the foundations of modern society.

Without machines, we would not be able to plant tens of thousands of acres of land, would not be able to harvest corn or wheat, would not be able to transport livestock, would not be able to transport fertilizer to the farms, would not be able to transport crops to market, nor would we be able to drive to the market to buy the food.

Every part of our modern lifestyle is affected by machinery in one way or another.

Because machines are so vital to our modern lifestyle, I think we need to use the acronym World Without Machines (WWM) as often as we use SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, WROL (without rule or law),,, and so on.

Chickens are starting to lay eggs

Dozen fresh yard eggs

All of our hard work is finally starting to pay off, one of the hens has started to lay eggs. This means my family and I will have a source of fresh food (especially protein) during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation.

February 25, 2012 – got our first 5 chicks, 3 Black Jersey Giants and 2 Speckled Sussex. One of the Black Jersey Giants and 1 of the Speckled Sussex died.

March 3, 2012 – bought 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes and 2 Australorps.

Around March 7, 2012 – bought 4 Rhode Island Reds.

After it was all over with, my wife and I had 13 chickens.

Around March 21st or March 22nd the chicks were moved to their new coop. For the first few weeks the chicks were in a plastic box that was being kept in the bathtub. My wife and I take showers, so the bathtub is rarely used.

First chicken video posted on February 25, 2012

Six Month Window Post TEOTWAWKI

Pullet egg

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 6 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.

How Ready Is The United States for a Complete Collapse

WASR-10 AK-47 next to pine tree

How prepared is the U.S. for a total collapse?

Our lives are like a pattern – we go to work, get a pay check, pay our bills, buy food, repeat.

People have become so domesticated, we are like a family dog. The dog goes to the food bowl and waits to be fed. People go to the grocery store, or fast food places to buy food.

How would people react if the grocery stores were empty? Would people know how to grow their own food? Would people even have the resources to grow their own food?

Learning from experience

My chicken project has taught me a lot. The coop cost around $700. My 13 chickens at at 4 1/2 months old are eating almost 50 pounds of feed every 2 weeks. A buddy of mine asked what I would do for chicken feed during a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation.

My reply was the chickens would have to forage. Chickens come from a wild jungle fowl. Even though chickens have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still retain their instincts.

Bug Out Location Water Well Plans Part 1

Water well diagram for the Bug Out Location

How safe is the water source at your Bug Out Location? Currently, when we stay at the camp we have to either filter water from a nearby creek, or use water from a very old hand dug well. The old well is becoming less and less reliable, so its time to drive a new well.

There is a saying I like to use – without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist. A contaminated water source can wipe out a community in a matter of days, and that is just the way it is.

Water well diagram for the Bug Out Location

Here are the current plans

Use post hole digger to dig a hole around 3 feet deep.

Insert around an 8 inch PVC sleeve into the hole, sleeve will be around 4 feet long. This gives us around 1 foot above ground.

Take a 4 inch piece of PVC pipe, notch the end so that the pipe has “teeth”.

Build a cap with 2 water inlets.

Attach water hoses to water source and to cap.

Take a 2×4, drill some holes so that a U-bolt will fit though the board.

Back truck up to well site and drop tailgate.

Do we prepare in vain

Stockpiling survival gear, stockpiling food, stockpiling ammunition,,, are we prepping for something that will never happen? Has our time been squandered? Has everything we have done, been done in vain?

I consider myself to be active in the survivalist / prepping community for close to 20 years. In the late 1980s I became aware that I needed to be able to protect my family during times of civil unrest, so I started reloading and stockpiling ammunition.

In the 1990s I started stockpiling basic food groups, forming bug out plans, and started buying more firearms.

Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistFrom the early 1990s – 2012, what has happened in the world to warrant living a survivalist lifestyle? Have we had an outbreak of a new plague, we had the swine flu but it fizzled out, no nuclear war,,,. Overall, besides the twin towers being brought down, and the conflict in the middle east, the world has been a pretty peaceful place.

The first part of the 21st century has been a lot more peaceful then the first part of the 20th century.

100 years ago tensions where rising in Europe. Unknown at the time there was a World War just around the corner.

Prepping is a never ending process

In the 1990s my prepping plans included stockpiling rice, beans, ammunition and plans to bug out to the camp (my grandparents farm). From there my family and I were going to live off the land.

Times change, plans change.

My plans went from stockpiling mostly rice and beans, to stockpiling canned foods, #10 cans of freeze dried foods, planting fruit trees, food stored in mylar bags, stockpiling seeds, and having a chicken coop that can be loaded on a trailer and brought to the bug out location.

Without safe drinking water life as we know it can not exist. Because of that fact my family and I plan on driving a new water well.

Plans changed from cooking over an open fire, to building a bar-b-q pit large enough to cook a whole hog on. Hopefully the pit can act as a smoker, as well as a cooker.

Stockpiling Survival Gear at the Bug Out Location

Survival camp water well

A few weeks ago my wife and I, and some of our friends, made a trip to the Bug Out Location for the weekend. Spending time at the BOL gives us a chance to test our survival plans, see what works, what does not work and what we need to change.

Every few months I make up a bucket of gear to bring to the Bug Out Location. Sometimes I bring tools, sometimes its flashlights, sometimes its first aid gear, chains for pulling logs,,, and so on.

I want to share with yall what I am putting together for the next load.

Trotline string – cost $4.97 for 580 feet, 235 pound tensile strength. I guess I could order some 550 cord, but that stuff cost around $8 for 100 feet. 550 cord might get added to another shipment.

We need some simple cord for tying stuff up. On the last trip to the camp, the chain that works the flap of the toilet broke. We needed some simple cord to make the flap of the toilet work. My buddy used the cord off my ear plugs to rig the toilet flap where it would work.

Food Fatigue After SHTF / TEOTWAWKI

Stockpiling food for SHTF / teotwawki

Food fatigue = eating the same thing over, and over, and over, and over,,,. Eventually leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies; extreme cases of malnutrition can lead to death. Food fatigue, vitamin and mineral deficiencies go hand in hand.

Couple of examples:

Pellagra – vitamin deficiency caused by a lack of niacin. Seen in people who eat a diet of mostly corn based products.

Scurvy – caused by long term vitamin C deficiency.

Eat the same thing over and over and over,,, everyday, people develop food fatigue. When people get fatigued, they stop eating. When people stop eating, they starve and eventually die.

How do we prevent food fatigue? We stockpile a range of assorted foods, and we have a source of fresh food.

Lets say that some kind of long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation happens, what are your plans to ward off food fatigue? Are you stockpiling a wide range of foods? What are your sources of fresh food? What are your renewable food sources?

Stockpiling Food

Surviving a Long Term Disaster

Wild pigs taken off a hunting lease in Southeast Texas

As Hank Williams Jr. said in the song “A Country Boy Can Survive”, I have a shotgun, a rifle, a 4 wheel drive and country boy can survive. I can plow a field, I can catch catfish from dusk to dawn, aint too many things these boys cant do, a country boy can survive.

To some people the lyrics of “A Country Boy Can Survive” are just that, lyrics. To others, its a way of life.

Awhile back I read a survey that said the average U.S. citizen is at least 2 – 3 generations removed from farm life. Some kind of long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation sets in, people are forced to return to rural life, 2 – 3 generations is a lot of relearning.

How many urban dwellers have ran a trotline?

How many urban dwellers have skinned a deer?

How many urban dwellers hunt and fish from dawn to dusk?

How many urban dwellers have access to rural land where they can setup a Bug Out Location?

Prepping For The Everyday Person

AR-15 SHTF Survival Rifle

Some people take prepping a little too far. They prepare for the worst regardless of where they are at or what they are doing. I agree with having a get home bag, but on the other side of the coin there are people that keep a complete Bug Out Bag along with a small arsenal in their vehicle.

Reading what some people post in forums, its like they are prepping for a zombie invasion to breakout at any second. Unlike what is portrayed on TV, the majority of preppers do not live on the fringe of society. We are everyday people living in the cities, suburbs and rural areas all across the world.

When people look at prepping, they get on the forum and get a little overwhelmed by what they see. It is easy to forget that some of the members of the forum have been prepping for decades.

Prepping is not for the lazy. Sure you can buy some rice and throw it in an airtight box, buy some canned foods and think you have a well rounded survival plan.

Chicken Coop Project Part 4

Chicken Coop Perch

A few weeks ago someone posted a comment on one of my chicken coop videos saying the chickens may fight to get to the highest perch. After thinking about it for a little while I decided to redo the sloped chicken perch and make all of the perches the same height.

With making the perches flat, instead of slopped, this would also provide more room for the chickens.

Friday April 13 braces were installed around the bottom of the coop. After the braces were in place, 36 inch tall by 1/2 inch square hardware cloth was secured around the bottom of the coop. 3/4 inch hot dipped galvanized staples were used to secure the hardware cloth. The staples were spaced about every 6- 10 inches, and on alternating rows on the hardware cloth. If all of the staples are on the same row of wire, there seems to be a lot of slack in the hardware cloth. Alternating the staples seems to help with the slack.

Saturday April 14 my wife and I went a birthday party / crawfish boil for a buddy of mine. At the party, my buddy boiled 250 pounds of crawfish. On the side he had sliced brisket, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, sausage, potatoes, corn,,, it was just an amazing feast.

Sunday April 15 is when my wife and I reworked the perch of the chicken coop. We caught the chickens and tossed them down the ladder and into the bottom section of the coop. The ladder was pulled up and secured so the chickens could not come back up the ladder.

My Chicken Coop Project Part 1

Building a chicken coop

A 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.

Stockpiling TEOTWAWKI Fishing Gear and Juglines

Texas channel catfish caught in the Angelina river

Survivalist, are you stockpiling fishing gear for SHTF? Also, are you stockpiling gear to make stuff like juglines and trotlines?

The past 2 days I have been working on juglines for an upcoming camping trip. When I started thinking about how much time and effort I put into getting the juglines ready, I was a little set back.

After talking to my wife, I probably put 6 – 8 hours into redoing, and working on the juglines. The lines had not been used since June 2011. I changed the lines out, added some PVC pipe to the noodles and replaced the J-hooks with circle hooks. When I started cutting the PVC pipe, I was using a hacksaw. After cutting a few pipe, I dug the skilsaw out and started using the saw instead of the hacksaw.

For the sake of discussion lets say this happened after a SHTF / teotwawki event. I would have had to use a hacksaw to cut the PVC pipe. But then again, its doubtful I would have had any PVC laying around. To make the noodles for this weekend I used some 3/4 inch PVC I had in the shed.

Without PVC pipe I would have threaded the line through the middle of the noodle.

Stockpiling Fishing Gear

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018