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Markbee 

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Hi

I currently have 4 hens, but looking to get another 4 for eggs and also classed as "pets" because O/H gives them names!

But I am trying to buy some more land to expand my hens for meat birds and pigs.
 

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Queen Bee
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My wife has kept Bantams for a few years now.
She buys hatching eggs every year hatches them out and when they are off the light gives them to friends.

Anyone ever done ross or cobb meat birds?
 

Widdershins 

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...i dont think whatever you do to a chicken, it will never become a pig! :p

I have 8 of the little darlings....all have their own characters...and they all have names!
 

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Queen Bee
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I told my wife she thought more of her chickens than me.

Her reply: what about your bees then :eek:
 

Hivemaker. 

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My next door nieghbour does turkeys and geese,that would be an idea if you can get this land.We or should i say my son does pigs only about eight at a time,but he is also slaughter man,gamekeeper,and now back to killing.
 

Frisbee 

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I've got chickens and turkeys.

There are about 30 ish laying or potentially laying hens, and I currently have 17 Sassos half grown. The Sasso is the modern equivalent to the Ross Cobb although Ross's are still available, I can get Sasso's easily and they don't go off their legs quite so readily. For the unititiated the Ross Cobb was renowned for putting on weight so rapidly it's legs eventually wouldn't be able to support it's own body.

The turkeys are an older female Norfolk Black, 2 young males one of whom is for the chop and a younger (I think) female - well it mostly looks like a female but sometimes I wonder:)

Soon (when I can get round to it) a pigglet will be arriving at my neighbours field, we are doing it on a 50/50 share as I don't own my field and can only have 1 pony and half a dozen chickens on it (;))

I have in the past kept goats - for milk and meat, a Dexter cow, for milk and meat, sheep, for meat, geese, for meat, ducks for meat and eggs. . . . . the list goes on, I would like to do more where I am but cannot expand for above reasons. I keep trying to dig a plot for veggies but usually fail miserably. Must try harder.

Frisbee
 

Hivemaker. 

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Frisbee you need a farm,with all the huge areas of arable in this country it would be nice if some of it could be broken down into small parcels of land ,for the increasing ammount of people that would like to just be more self sufficient,and have just smallholdings.better for the bee's as well.
 

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I had half a dozen ross/cobbs for xmas that a friend was looking after for me with about 50 birds they had purchased,I got a telephone call last week to say a fox had killed them all.

Good news is they have purchsed 7 weaners and have offered me one with a mobile slaughterman booked for next year.
 

Frisbee 

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Frisbee you need a farm,with all the huge areas of arable in this country it would be nice if some of it could be broken down into small parcels of land ,for the increasing ammount of people that would like to just be more self sufficient,and have just smallholdings.better for the bee's as well.
Nice thought. . . but unfortunately all this country used to be small parcels of land, farms have had to get bigger to earn a living - I know somebody will now come on and say that you never see a farmer on a bike. . . but during the second world war this country learnt the hard way about being self sufficient (as a country) and had to quickly learn to be as productive and economical as possible, the result is big farms which specialise in one or a few products. Hugh FW's wonderful "chickenout" campaign - which has it's heart in the right place, is a prime example. There isn't enough land in this country to free range every chicken we as a nation eat. As I keep saying I'm only a beginner beek but America seem to be way ahead in some things - moving vast numbers of hives to pollinate the crops. America and Canada have led the way in huge specialist farms, the dairy industry in this country look to certainly Canada for their prime breeding stock as they specialised years before us and are way ahead of us in breeding practises, so should we be looking to move bees more and follow the crops?

Phew I think I was on a soap box then. . . . sorry about that:eek:

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Polyanwood 

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I don't think that America is way ahead. Moving large numbers of hives for pollination is due to monoculture. Monoculture means they kill everything else (plant and animal) in the area and they use chemicals to keep the weeds and pests down. They have to put back in tonnes of artificial fertiliser as growing only one crop on the same piece of land for decades cannot be sustained. I did find Alison Benjamin's book a bit irritating, but did feel convinced by her take on that bit of it.

Most people would choose to to eat almonds tainted by pesticides and chickens full of antibiotics rather than not eat them. It is great to have a small holding. You are right though that there is not enough land for everyone to do it.

Have been telling friends about my squirrel hunting... they reckon this could be part of my quest towards greater self-sufficiency. They said I should contact Hugh FW as apparently he has squirrel on the menu at his London restaurant.
 

Frisbee 

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Squirrel is very nice to eat. . . can't remember if you tried it or not? IMO it's nicer than rabbit, but of course not as much meat.

I'm quite into roadkill - I picked up a Muntjac a few weeks ago, so far I've had a stew from the flank and neck, a roast from the shoulder and another stew from the other shoulder and pate from the liver. i don't really like rabbit anymore, having sickened myself of it when I keep a few for meat, but I'll always pick up a hare or pheasant if it's not too squished

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Widdershins 

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...dont like rabbit, cant remember why, but know it made me ill when I was a child....
Hubby would like to try Rabbit and Squirrel - not together though!
 

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Had duck on Saturday evening,best I have ever had.

I have a relation who is the local gamekeeper so Venison is always in my freezer.
 

MJBee 

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I was told that if you knock a deer down you are not allowed to pick it up, but if you come across one that has been knocked down you CAN pick it up!!
Some crazy but still valid ancient law.

Re your duck, admin, My OH saw Wigeon on a menu and commented "Look they cannot spell pigeon" I nearly choked on my pint:cheers2:Mike
 

Frisbee 

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I was told that if you knock a deer down you are not allowed to pick it up, but if you come across one that has been knocked down you CAN pick it up!!
Some crazy but still valid ancient law.

It would be classed as poaching, so yes still a valid law. :)

Frisbee
 

george 

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Very late to this thread but fyi .
Deer knocked down as road kill cannot be picked up by whoever hit it . If you do come across one , it needs to be gralloched inside an hour or two of death . I clean mine straight after being shot so as not to contaminate the meat . If you wait too long it will have rancidised and be particularly unpleasant to eat .
This is not the same as having a strong gamey flavour which is achieved by hanging after it has been cleaned . If in doubt , dont risk it , more people have been put off eating what is one of the best meats available by being served badly butchered or cleaned venison than anything else .
And one final warning , if you do decide to chuck it in the back of your car , touch the eyeball with something to check for a reaction . I know of more than one person who suddenly found a 'dead' deer leaping around in the back of the car . Funny as hell , but potentially not .
George
 

Brosville 

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I've only just noticed this thread, and read someone saying that there wouldn't be enough land to "free range" all the chooks we need - sorry, having been a free-range egg farmer, that's utter nonsense!
I could launch into reams of the "whys and wherefores" of extensive (free range) production, but in essence "small is beautiful" - we now have to consider "sustainability" pretty much top of the list for future farming - what has made "economic sense" for many years (based on cheap fuel, and fuel-dependent monocultures) makes no sense whatsoever in a world without "cheap" fossil fuel and it's products.
Having kept hens on a reasonable scale in as natural a way as possible, disease is virtually non-existent in comparison to the animal Belsens (it ain't rocket science - good housing, good food, clean water, cared-for ranging areas.........), and there are schemes at the moment that sensibly return to "multi-layer" horticulture/farming whereby rather than chemicalised monocultures you can use the same patch of land for trees, crops, and livestock, AND increase the fertility by returning to crop rotation.
So rather than a "silly bunnyhuggers" idea, free range is ultimately the "only way to go" (and the sooner it happens, the better!)
What's stopping it? - all the usual suspects, especially "Big Agrochem" who make a small fortune out of toxic chemical nostrums to keep the poor animals alive in the appalling conditions of factory farms (and their "gone native" buddies in DEFRA, the NFU and government..)
Now where have I come across something similar?................
 

sahtlinurk 

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after 2012 free range is the only option to go. Thanks god they don't have to be organic...

I just witnessed one case in organic beef unit where half the hoof had to be cut off from the bull. in human perspective it means half the foot. after a week when we removed the bandage the wound was absolutely rotten. An what did they do? covered it with manuka honey! didn't believe my eyes. animals are suffering in organic system... but don't taste any different. Why why why?

Lauri
 
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Brosville 

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That's an utter nonsense! Welfare standards in organic farms are WAY higher than in "conventional" farms, what you witnessed was bad husbandry/veterinary treatment (which most certainly shouldn't have happened on any farm)- organic farming does not preclude proper humane treatment of animals, that was just crap treatment and after-care!
I can honestly say that all the time I was in farming, when although we weren't registered as organic, we stuck very much to the ethos, no animal ever suffered as a result of the choice of type of farming - firstly because the rate of disease is far lower if they are properly housed, fed and exercised, and as it is far more labour intensive, you can keep a careful eye on all your stock, and isolate and treat any sick animal immediately (instead of relying on a constant blanket bombing of antibiotics).
 

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