Re: Natural forages for poultry

At 09:11 AM 1/16/97 -0500, you wrote:
Hi Dan,  looks good, my suggestions where appropriate,
>Well you can just dump the soft stuff in with the animals, though it may be
>easier to fence out the areas where they can't run than to keep lugging stuff
>to them.  whatever.  We are getting an old camping tralier (read caravan in
>other contries) abandoned on a place we are buying next to ours.  I plan to
>use it as a portable chicken coop, eventually drawn from place to place with
>an Asian water buffalo.  (There is a small third wheel on the front drawbar
>jack that I will replace with a larger one or maybe a double wheel like an
>old John Deer).  
>Busting up black walnuts is a job.  I've asked several engineering friends to
>design a wind powerd hammer that would do this but thus far no luck.  I'd see
>the deal as adding the husked nuts to the hopper and as the wind draws the
>hammer up a few nuts are delivered into the smashum chamber.  then the hammer
>falls.  It doesn't have to pulverize the nuts, just open them so the chickens
>can peck out the stuff.  As the hammer rises, the crushed nuts get dropped or
>expelled, the smashem chamber closes, more nuts get delivered to it, etc.
>  Kinda like an internal combustion engine, isn't it.
>If there is a permaculture engineer out there somewhere, please work this
>out.  I avoid actually inventing things whenever possible.  The device needs
>to be able to keep chickens away from where the nuts are crushed or we'll be
>crushing chicken heads too.  If one has enough wind, continual operation is
>unimportant.  The nuts aren't the only feed.

I'll pick up here, Good idea to not reinvent the wheel.
Go out and buy a  small to medium sized tractor with a dead engine, but with
a working PTO (power take off),  3 point hitch and lift, drawbar, wide front
and good tires (possibly chains) and brakes.  Cost should be reasonable
($50-500), buy a "parts tractor" from whatever is  the most popular local
brand.  Hitch by prefered method to local draft animals (bovine preferd)
and go.  I recomend modern safty gear (pto shields and roll over protective
structures, etc).  You make power by driving someplace, useing the tractor
as a fore cart and taking rotery power from the drive wheels out the PTO,
shift gears to change speed PTO ( I think  ;<).   It also should be possible
to take power in from a tredmill the oxen walk on to make power.   You can
now run semi-modern farm implements such as hammer mills, preferably
discharging on to pasture for you poultry.  My mill was $5.00 at an auction.
A gentelman in England uses this method to drive a rotovator and has good
sucess.  This certinally would help forage collection for stored feeds and
help feed those milking shorthorns in the winter.   The siccle bar mower
also makes and excellent brier trimming tool, especially if you can raise it
up and down on the fly.   There are also numerous old time tools suitable
for small holder use, often still in service in Amish circles and horse clubs.

>We have a species of oak that drops acorns a bit bigger than 00 buckshot.  I
>figure turkeys for sure and maybe chickens will eat them too.  Somewhat
>larger acrons, about the size of a 16 guage slug, are being eaten by our
>calves now.
>Also, I hope to develop a parabolic solar cooker for cooking predators that I
>catch stalking or killing my poultry (e.g. racoons--I can only eat so many of
>these.)  I'll cook 'em up and feed them to the chickens

Our local wild turkeys thrive in our oak savanahes (with plenty of local
farmer's corn mixed in of course), and I the domestic turkeys I raised were
agressive foragers.  Another food recomended by state bioagists is the
ubiqittous dairy manure, which contains plently of carbohydrates and more
 Here at UW the fruit pathologist has a plan to grow a rizobinos, persistant
clover call Kira clover in orchards to block the passage of the spores
causing scab in apples from the soil to the trees.  This could expand the
appeal of organic apples, which are now limited to the new scab resistant
varieties to aviod dealing with it.   Later in the season, after the spores
where done, the clover would not be needed and poultry and swine can clean
up clover and dropped apples and pests.  This gets them fatted up for the
holiday apple butter and smoked turkey  bus tours and then you pay the
banker and take a break until pruneing season starts. 

Mark Ludwig <mpludwig@students.wisc.edu>