Friday, September 23, 2011

Feeding Dairy Goats From Forage Only

As we continue in our journey of learning about farming and ranching we realize that conventional ways of raising animals may not be the best path for us in some cases. In our situation it is our intent to not only raise animals for our family to consume either the animal or the products of the animal (eggs, milk, etc) but do it in the most sustainable way. For example most people raise diary goats on grains with some land for them to browse but have never done so with minimal grain inputs.

There are plenty of posts on forums where many people offer the opinion that it can't be done or your goats will produce milk but eventually will have health issues. After reading quite a few blog posts and searching Google I finally came across an article titled Forage Based Dairy Goat Management from Langston University in Oklahoma. If you're interested in reducing your feed costs for your bucks and dairy goat herd take some time to read the linked article.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Gravity Fed Bell Waterer for Poultry

If you have chickens and want the ability to provide clean water on a consistent basis this is your lucky day. For a quick background we have ~20 acres and do rotational grazing for poultry, goats and sheep and do not run electric or water out to their location. We have been using the 5 gallon waterers from TSC however they tend to suck nasty water back into the reservoir when filling. Even though we were rinsing out the water in the lip of the waterer the design of the waterer causes it to suck the bad stuff into the reservoir when filling the water in the 'lip' and makes the reservoir water stink.

The solution is the gravity fed Plasson waterers. Although some may call it an automatic chicken waterer I would hesitate because it doesn't carry the water out to its location and fill itself ;) We looked around and found a supplier online offering them, they aren't cheap but they work great. It takes a little fiddling to get the spring adjusted correctly to keep the waterer full to the level we're satisfied with but the entire process took less than 5 minutes. We are not affiliated with this company in any way except for being a customer. We ordered the Breeder waterer but there was another model that also worked with gravity feed but between the two we preferred this model, if you would like to know the other model use the chat feature on their website. QC Supply (SKU# 275030)