another newbie joining the flock

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11 years 7 months ago #25152 by KPax
Hi all

Just thought I'd check in here before I start asking questions all over the place.

I'm on just over an acre & a half with a pond in sunny Albany and I'm looking to start using some of my bare land to help feed the family (wife & 2 teenage omnivores + 1 psychotic cat & 1 chilled out cat & a few visiting ducks) and maybe even earn a little extra to feed the bills [;)] probably starting with some chooks - so I'll be hanging out in the chook house/forums most of the time.

In trying to figure out how to approach having livestock/small block farming I guess I'm most inspired by Joel Salatin/Polyface Farms and his philosophies so if anyone is using or has tried his somewhat controversial methods I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences especially if you think they are scalable to my situation.

Be seeing ya

KPax

PS if you think he's a complete nutter feel free to join in too :D
PPS just found out he's going to be in Napier, Havelock North & Wellie next month - too far for me to go - :( http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU1010/S00277/joel-salatin-visits-new-zealand.htm

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11 years 7 months ago #353208 by spoook
Welcome KPax, you live not too far from me :D
Chickens would be a good way to start, we have lots of information on the site that would be very useful.
What breeds would you look at?

There are no bad questions only those that are not asked.
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed"

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11 years 7 months ago #353223 by igor
Go for it KPax. A few chickens is a good easy start. Or, since you have the pond, how about ducks? The eggs are big and delicious.

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11 years 7 months ago #353233 by spoook
Mmmm, ducks???? Let me know if you go that way [;)]

There are no bad questions only those that are not asked.
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed"

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11 years 7 months ago #353458 by KPax
Hi guys, thanks for the welcome.

Spoook - I haven't made any decisions about breeds, although heritage breeds would be nice one day, I'd rather start off with a good layer breed for the eggs and good meat breed for the table. Recommendations welcome though.

igor - I really hadn't thought about ducks... interesting, I've never tried their eggs but have always loved the taste of roast duck!

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11 years 7 months ago #354451 by Blueberry
Hi Kpax
welcome to the bunch! Ducks are a great way to start with lifestock. They are not fussy where living conditions are concerned, don't get fleas as long as they have a pond. Don't even necessarily need a house, even though they do lay better if you give them housing. Feed input (and breed, obviously) will determine output (eggs), and most of them are dual purpose - layers and meat. The eggs are large, with a strong shell. They don't break easily, which makes them quite safe even for kids to collect. because of the porousness of the duck egg shell, it is important that the eggs are collected regularly (which is made easier with housing, I have to admit :D ).
Even though hubby and i can't quite agree there [;)], I think ducks are quite clever birds, some breeds are downright personable. Like any lifestock, they need routine, with regular feeding times and defined feeding spaces.

[;)] Blueberry
treading lightly on mother earth

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11 years 7 months ago #354454 by spoook
Kpax, if you are interested, you are more than welcome to visit to see our ducks. We breed Khaki Campbells, dual purpose, and Indian Runner, also dual purpose, one being entertainment value.

There are no bad questions only those that are not asked.
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed"

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11 years 7 months ago #354503 by KPax
thanks Blueberry for the welcome & the great info. You've given me lots to think about. Is there any risk of them just flying away though?
Yeah I'm a complete newbie but as spoook's sig says there's no bad questions :) & that's just my first one here!

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11 years 7 months ago #354504 by KPax
spoook - thanks! I'd love to. I've sent you a pm.

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