Some good posts from other blogs

What I like about Gail Tverberg at Our Finite World is that she connects all the dots. I’m a dot-connecter too, but there are some dots, especially the financial system, I just don’t understand (I doubt whether anyone in the financial system understands it either).

When I’m talking to people about energy decline (I don’t do it often, because people just get mad at you if they think you’re telling them that this way of life is coming must come to an end), I’d like to be able to counter their excuses, buts and what ifs with cold, hard facts, which is why dot-connecting is important. Here’s Gail, connecting some dots:

A Forecast of Our Energy Future; Why Common Solutions Don’t Work

Another favourite blog of mine is Cassandra’s Legacy, written by Ugo Bardi, who lectures in physical chemistry at the University of Florence. An important dot to connect is the increasing cost of energy and how it translates to the increasing cost of doing everything from important stuff like growing food to useless stuff (my view anyway) like mining gold. Look at the table he’s posted and check out the cost increases over just three years, then think about how it relates to producing the things we use and need:

The problem with mining

Here’s another interesting post from Ugo Bardi. Check out all  those downward-pointing graphs. I’d love to see a similar set for Australia. It shows that collapse can be well underway, and yet the average person will not notice until it’s too late to do anything about it:

The other side of the peak: Italy’s collapse of oil and gas consumption

OK, here’s a post closer to home…about chickens. This blog was recommended to me by a friend in the US. The writer lives somewhere in the American north-west and is doing what is called ‘homesteading’ over there. I read her blog because I like the way she thinks everything through and gives the reasons for doing it. This post is about the way she manages her flock of hens.

More Chicken Work – Areas of Sacrifice

I don’t ‘do’ the deep litter system. My chooks are on dry sand—the natural sand of the area. It drains well, so there’s no problem with puddles and mud in winter. They love the sand for sand baths, but it gets compacted by their constant foot traffic. Each week I turn it over with a fork burying the poo and bringing interesting goodies to the surface. They love ‘turn-over’ time and will scratch in it for hours. It keeps them busy and a busy chook is a happy chook.

When the weather was really hot, I tipped a barrowload of leaves into their secure (locked at night) run and kept them damp. They enjoyed sitting on the damp leaves in the shade on the hottest days. I’m keeping that area covered with leaves from now on.

The outside run (not secure at night) is still sand, but it’s about 3 times the size of the secure run.  I’ve been spraying it with water on the hot days to keep the soil cooler. I’m thinking of the deep litter system there too. I don’t want to have to buy stuff, but I think I can generate enough litter from around the property. For a start, there’s plenty of mulched bracken. With the present hot, dry weather, the eucalypts are dropping masses of leaves and I’m raking the walking tracks in the bush and getting a barrowload on a daily basis. If there’s a lot of organic matter in the run I can spray it on hot days and it will keep cooler. There’s an offshoot to one side which is covered with a tarp for shade. I’ll leave that uncovered with litter and they can use that for sand baths.

I really liked this helpful comment from her:

“I keep adding bedding, and the hens keep turning it and breaking it down into useable compost for the gardens.  If I am lax in the carbon department, my nose will tell me in the morning when I open the door.  The smell that greets me should be an earthy, composty scent, if it is offensive then I know to add more carbon.”

I’m definitely going to give the deep litter system a go.

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2 Responses to “Some good posts from other blogs”

  1. narf77 Says:

    Our outdoor enclosed area is pretty big and it would take a heck of a lot of bedding material to cover it, let alone deeply. I am estimating at least 2 of those big round hay bales so that’s not really an option for us and the chooks are enclosed inside a concrete based hen house (to keep out the quolls) so again, a no-go with the deep litter.

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  2. rabidlittlehippy Says:

    I follow a chuck it in and let them eat it or it compost down policy. there are some broad bean stalks, the leftover uneaten bit from spring harvest that the chooks love scratching around under. They are sort of a deep litter system. I also rake out the goats pen into the chook pen and they go mental for days, scratching around for all the chooky goodies therein. That then sits and composts down whilst being added to with those little balls of nitrogen punch from the chooks. I can get in there and dig up want I want or need to put in the compost bin to age and lose the burn before popping on the garden. Still, not a perfect system. I’ve just scattered around most of a hay bale in the chooks shed (cement base – it’s what was already here when we moved) as the sheep and goats turned their nose up at the normal hay (they scoff lucerne like there’s no tomorrow) so the hens are in heaven in there today. 🙂 I’m working on shade for their run with tagasaste trees around the outisde along with a passionfruit vine and a mulberry tree. I’m also hoping to source and try growing some chokoes which will provide food for us and the animals, lots of shade for chooks, goats and also for the greenhouse and our house too and lots of leaves for chooks and composting later too. 🙂
    As for connecting the dots, I think it’s been made compliated purey so we don’t understand it. If the majority of people truly knew and understood the precarious Ponzi scheme known as our economy there would be a major collapse brought about by people getting self sufficient like rats off a burning ship. I just wish I could understand the dots too and that people undestood that the ship is already well and truly alight.

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