Sunday, April 15, 2007

Farmers at Risk

If you haven't been paying attention to what is happening to the farmers across American, you should.

There are so many issues coming up that addressing it in one post would border on lunacy. The thing to keep in mind is that farmers are being pushed to the brink by the companies that many people think we should support. To give just one example of a company that is doing it's best to blackmail farmers through lawsuits to increase it's bottom line let's look at Monsanto and they're patenting seed (some of which they never produced). Here is a video that you should watch, if not you have no right to complain about your food quality and the scariness called genetically modified foods or GMO for short.

Here's a quote by the Director of Corporate Communication of Monsanto
Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food, our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job.
Phil Angell
and another
Agricultural biotechnology will find a supporter occupying the White House next year, regardless of which candidate wins the election in November.
Monsanto Inhouse Newsletter
October 6th, 2000
or how about this quote related to GMO
If we started really asking the right questions we would stop this technology for the next 50 or a 100 years.
Dr. Ignacio Chapela
Microbial Ecologist
University of California Berkeley
The joy from this company goes on.

UPDATE: Embedded movie removed, apparently it was posted on Google Video w/out the consent of the company which created it so it was removed however you can order it here or look for screenings in your area. There are also people posting it on youtube since I'm not sure if it is with permission or now I'm only posting the search, it appears in most cases it is broken up into parts.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Building Chicken Coops & Brooders

If you're like me you want to make sure your chickens get the best brooder and/or coop for the best price. The challenge is finding the best information that meets your needs. The more I interact with farmer/rancher types I discover that many have a unique approach but it comes down to making due with what is in front of you instead of using some cookie cutter approach. I'll try to keep adding to this post the plethora of stuff I'm finding on coops and brooders out in the vastness of cyberspace.

Electric Lamp Brooder
Cheep and Easy Chick Brooders

Barn Pen Construction
Small Scale Poultry Housing
Chicken Coop Plans
Small Hen House
Moveable Pen For Fowl
Broiler Housing
Poultry Housing
Chicken Coop Designs
Bantam & Gamebird Breeder Cages
A Hand-Portable Chicken Coop You Can Stand Up In

NOTE: Chicken Coop Clipart from

3 More Pullets Died Today

Well it appears that the learning process continues, unfortunately at the cost of more baby chicks lives. The chickens at our place are probably starting to feel like they're marked...much like the chicken on the left. We had been doing everything we'd read about with the pullets and they are now outside confined inside the coop that the normal chickens live in at night so they can start seeing each other and interacting. Well last night it jumped from about 80 to in the low 60s and apparently there were some breezes as well. Last night was one of the few nights that we didn't turn on the brooder lamp because we thought they were feathering out nicely and didn't need to have external heat anymore...apparently we were wrong.

When my wife went out to let the big chickens out of the coop this morning and let the pullets run around the coop during the day (which is our normal procedure now) she noticed a few had died. It is obvious by the condition of the dead pullets that they had all stacked onto each other trying to stay warm.

Another sad note of today's deaths is that one of the pullets that died was one that my daughter had claimed who had lost her pullet as I discussed in a previous entry. Unfortunately this is just how things come together sometimes but we've realized that we need to figure out how to have chickens breed naturally as intervention by man seems counter to how God intended it.