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Best Livestock Options for Survival

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posted on Apr, 21 2008 @ 07:12 PM
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I've been thinking about this myself, not only for survival, but just to keep from eating meat that has been fed chemicals.

I am thinking goats--they come in different sizes depending on the breed, and eat weeds that other animals won't eat. Chickens eat anything--grain, bugs, etc.. Realize that there are different breeds of chickens. I'd get an all purpose breed that has meat and produces eggs. The last one I am really thinking of is guinea fowl. They are from Africa, easy to buy here, ugly, noisy, but I've heard they are tasty. They are a lot like chickens--fly a little, eat everything.

The experience I have had is that rats will attack chicks, coyotes will attack everything smaller than they are, including pets. hawks will get chickens, etc.. The lighter colored the animal, the more likely it seems to get picked off.

If you have a bit of land, you can keep a donkey to ward off the predators. The drawback I heard about them is that they might regard a newborn animal as an intruder and try to kill it. Also, unless you live in a rocky place, the feet will need to be trimmed.




posted on Apr, 21 2008 @ 08:45 PM
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I can't tell you much about poultry,sorry.

Sheep are just looking for a place to die!

Goats are hard to keep in. Both goats and sheep will need a mess wire fence if you hope to keep them in and if there is not good grazing you will have trouble.

Goats and sheep will need about a pound to 1 1/2 lbs of grain /day, plus a little hay for roughage, maybe 2# if large.
The goats that I would get are Spanish goats these goats have an udder like a cow, four quarters and will have 2 to 3 kids and can be bred twice a year.

Now there are dairy goats, Google it for breeds. A good dairy nanny will give you about 1/2 gallon of milk/day but will require more feed, well maybe.

What ever livestock and pets you take, you will need to feed them. Got H2O?

As far as antibiotics, poultry I think water soluble terramycin and that's about all I know there. For sheep, goats, cattle, horses, dogs,cats, penicillin will work on a lot of things and its cheap, there is 24 hr stuff and 48 hr stuff get the 48hr. I would keep some terramycin injectable the 200 mg stuff. It will work good on the sheep, goats and cattle. Maybe some sulfa boluses.


Did I tell ya that sheep are stupid and just looking for a place to die?

Roper



posted on Apr, 21 2008 @ 08:54 PM
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I have 3 pack goats (previously 5) and I must say if it came down to it I would want my goats with me for more than just eating. Our goats are Alpine-Saanen crosses, and each can carry about a quarter of his body weight. They each weigh near or above 200 lbs, so that's a lot (roughly 50 lbs per goat) I don't have to carry. The males we have are all castrated and were all bottle-fed so they're extremely friendly and loyal. They leave little trace when we're in the wilderness and even though I've never tested it, I've heard a goat in good shape can go up to three days without water. Whenever someone we don't know comes near on the trail they jump up and stare at the person and bleat a little, and they're much more aware of their surroundings than I am. If I really had to I would eat one, but I would rather keep it around to help carry my things and let me know when someone was near if I was living in the back country. The only problem is they are vulnerable to predators; our other two, a girl goat and another male, were both attacked by mountain lions in our fenced-in pasture and killed.
If I had to "bug out" and hide out somewhere in the mountains, I would rather have my goats with me than any other animal.



posted on Apr, 21 2008 @ 09:35 PM
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How about raising edible insects too? at least as so many people will be squeamish about eating them you'd either be the only one willing to eat them, and a source of food, will more than likely be overlooked by those looking for more 'conventional' fayre



posted on Apr, 21 2008 @ 10:02 PM
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Pigs.


Pigs are omnivores. While I don't recommend feeding them literal garbage, I do think they will make better use of garden waste than the compost heap, because they are faster and grind their nitrogen into the soil with no effort from you.

Pig poop
It is "hot" in terms of nitrogen, far richer than cow or even horse manure. and the pigs work it into the soil

Pigs will clear land for you.
Pick up an old agricultural text from the 19th century, and read a bit of their praise for the pig. They will uproot ALL weeds, and will even girdle larger trees if they are hungry. Something the homesteader should be thinking of.

Pigs are prolific.
I was raising pigs for money for a couple of years. We had five sows and two boars. The first year, each sow had at least three litters each, and each litter had at least 8 piglets. I bought my first car with my "pig money." I sold the piglets for $75 a piece, twenty years ago, when that was good money.

Pig meat.
While dressing out a boar is no joke, the meat can be cured using only the most basic of techniques: salt, sugar, and woodsmoke. Others have posted about curing a ham for 6 or even 9 months, without refrigeration, in the Southern USA.

Pigs are not dirty by nature, regardless of what some religious traditions teach. If you give a pig a choice between a mudhole and a kid's wading pool of clean water, the pig will never go in the mud at all.

Pigs are more intelligent than dogs.
They will alert you if they sense strangers or predators nearby. They can be trained like a bloodhound, and are good swimmers.


In sum, if you are looking at rebuilding a community, giving away piglets is one way you can help your neighbors, and teach them independence at the same time. They are cheap enough that even really poor families can afford to keep a pig.


Just a thought for those who are interested.

All the best.
.



posted on Apr, 21 2008 @ 10:23 PM
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dang.
Now I want a pig or 3...........

As long as pigs exist I will never be a vegetarian....yum yum YUM.


OH and BTW BenHeratic.........check out the information Martha Stewert has on HER chicken coup....

marthamoments.blogspot.com...
www.craftster.org...
www.the-coop.org...

it was a thing of beauty and designed to be hosed out and cleaned easily....
It was a concrete structure with squareish HOLES in the walls all over, that you would install a frame for them to roost on.....and toss straw all inside. You can take the frames out and just hose the whole thing down for cleaning...
I don't pay to much attention to Martha Stewert but her chicken coup design was fantastic.

[edit on 21-4-2008 by theRiverGoddess]


MBF

posted on Apr, 21 2008 @ 11:16 PM
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How about guenies instead of chickens. They are more hardy than chickens and better than a watchdog. My uncle had chickens and guenies in pens and when it got too expensive to feed( he had about a hundred of each)he asked us if it would be ok to let them run loose on our farm. The foxes, hawks and owls got the chickens pretty quick. There are 4 guenies running around now and the only thing killing them is old age. They have been running loose for at least 7-8 years now. If we had not had a lot of cats around here, the guenies would have taken over the place.



posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 03:24 AM
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I personally would go with the pig idea. Eats everything and breed like there’s no tomorrow. Chickens only for the eggs and because they can potentially look after themselves. Sheep only for the wool I would guess. A previous poster said sheep are dumb. I would agree mostly but my old man was a farmer for quite some time and he was always telling me about sheep being rather smart if they were brought up away from the flock but soon returned to the “looking for a place to die” once integrated into the flock again.

1: Pigs
2:Chickens
3: Goats
4: Sheep


That donkey idea sounds really interesting too.

Cows would be a luxury as other people stated.



posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 03:44 AM
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I think it would depend a lot more not on what the positives of any option would be but what the possible negatives would be. I also think that the extent of the event it is you're trying to survive would also be a major factor in this equation (thus deciding the positives and negatives of each choice).

Lets just skip right to a worst case scenario, total break down of society as we know it for this purpose.

You'll have a hard enough time finding food and water for yourself on a daily basis, let alone large stock animals. It seems more logical to me that smaller, rapidly reproducing animals would work the best.

The notion of predators was brought up earlier in the thread. A starving human being without an operating rule of law guiding their actions would be the most dangerous predator of them all. It's kinda hard to hide the larger animals and chickens make a lot of noise. If you're raising these animals -strictly- for a survival scenario then you really don't want an animal whose presence is easily spotted on your property.

So...as brought up a couple times earlier I think rabbits would be a great idea!

They're virtually silent, resilient to cold weather, and they can be "grazed" in a less obvious manner than larger animals. They're also an excellent source of meat and their fur is extremely warm. Most importantly the amount of water and food that would have to be stored for wintering, if you live in a climate that gets cold, would be quite small comparatively.

And best of all they reproduce "like bunnies".


I stumbled across this subject because of the blog mentioned in the article Loam posted about food rationing. Here's the article on raising rabbits for survival I found on that site:
Raising Rabbits for Meat.



posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 04:52 AM
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If the social system goes to hell, your next door neighbor will be inviting you over for dinner for the main course.

The rodents (bunnies and guinea pigs) are okay, but make hell of a mess.

I had some as a kid so I do know.

But bugs, might work.

Aren't crickets a good choice from the local pet store?

[edit on 22-4-2008 by Ihavenoidea]



posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 06:10 AM
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It completely depends on your situation of course.

If you havea small back garden then i say chicken are a great idea. They provide eggs nerly every day which are a great source of protein, fat and tons of vitamins and minerals. They are easy to look after and require minimal amounts of food. When they get to old to lay you can boil them up in a stew as well.

If you have a large property with a few acres then why not introduce rabbits, (if it's allowed in your area, don't introduce an alien species!). Rabbits will take care of themselves afterall and breed like, well like bunnies.

Goats are a very hardy animal, they can be raised on poorer grass than other animals (like cows), they produce milk, decent hides and plenty of meat.

Dont' forget birds, pigeons for example can be kept and shot when you need one, if you provide them somewhere to live they'll go out, eat all day and come back ready for the pot. Be careful though if you have crops of course, you'll need to protect them.

Those are my thoughts anyway



posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by leafdarking
 


Pack goats. I never thought of that.

If any of you would get a small mule or a castrated llama these would help with predators.

Roper



posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 12:23 PM
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I'd stay away from sheep unless you have a lot and I mean a lot of pasture land you can move them to and from....

I was raised on a cattle ranch and yes there is a bit of bad blood between cattle men and sheepers... the argument is always while a cow will crop the grass at ground level it will grow back and in time make more food for the cow.... sheep will pull up that grass by the roots and nothing grows back...
something to keep in mind.... However if to put too many cows in to small an enclosure the same thing happens...

PS. I can feed my family of 4 teens for half a year on one side of beef... you dont need a lot of cows to get by...



posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 04:09 PM
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Two words, greenhouse and rabbits.

You grow food crops for yourself and for your rabbits, the rabbits live inside the green house either in wire tunnels that are snaked around or in long pens with a small grazing patch attached. A bunch of rabbits in a greenhouse produce alot of cO2 that your plants happily soak up, the rabbits are little fertilizer factory's, they poop alot and it makes great soil additive. You then selectively breed the strongest healthiest rabbits and in a short amount of time you have a meat factory.

With just two females and one male you can supply yourself with 200lbs+ meat per year, and they can be fed largely on weeds and grasses that would normally be wasted.


I would also look into beekeeping, free sugar in a time of no sugar is a good thing no matter who you are.

I HIGHLY recommend a book called "The concise guide to self-sufficiency" by John Seymour www.amazon.co.uk...

[edit on 22-4-2008 by Retikx]



posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 04:38 PM
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Originally posted by citizen smith
How about raising edible insects too? at least as so many people will be squeamish about eating them you'd either be the only one willing to eat them, and a source of food, will more than likely be overlooked by those looking for more 'conventional' fayre


What kind would be the best for this?

Crickets, worms?


I don't see eating a roach anytime soon though



posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 04:51 PM
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reply to post by Ihavenoidea
 


My initial thought was to start a worm-farm...they'll be happy enough in a heap of compost to be prepared fro the next season of veg on your patch. Seive out the compost when ready, and keep a proportion of worms to one side for food...

The best method of consumption that i've read up on is to slow-bake them till theyre dry either in an oven or on a stone by the side of the campfire and grind to powder to add to soups etc for a protein additive

[edit on 22-4-2008 by citizen smith]



posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 04:53 PM
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reply to post by Ihavenoidea
 


Ant larvae is fantastic and very high in protein. You need a tarp thats all, make a shaded edge on the tarp by curling it over, dig into a big nest, throw a few shovelfuls onto the tarp and the ants will collect the larvae and bring them into the shade you've created. thus separating the sand and ants from the edibles.



posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 04:54 PM
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One horse, one goat and a few chickens. If you don't have children, you don't need the goat. The horse will provide transport, fertilizer and meat if absolutely necessary. The chickens will virtually look after themselves and provide you with protein most days.



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 06:17 AM
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If you live in a well watered area, you should consider catfish and trout in your stock pond or tanks as we call them down here in Texas. We've got a spring fed pond that's virtually a grocery store( cattails, crayfish, bullfrogs, all manner of birds and mammalian wildlife) . If you have enough area to create a pond, you should build one.



posted on Apr, 23 2008 @ 08:39 AM
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Originally posted by kosmicjack

What about disease? Any standards of care recommendations there? No sense surviving the the apocalypse only to die of bird flu.


dis - ease is a lack of love.

Love your livestock like kin; feed them the best organic feed; provide cleanness and warmth and plenty of water; stroke their coat, they will have no disease.... for everything else there are natural remedies.

guinea hens are excellent free range tick eaters for the woodlands
rabbits are easy to breed in captivity for food but require fencing or cages to keep out of your garden
chickens require a hen house of some kind to keep dry but are well worth the morning eggs


Sri Oracle




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