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Good news is that we will get a couple of weather systems in that could bring a few inches of snow and a few inches of rain over the coming week.
Thanks for the link and insight. Good to know some of the issues we might be facing here in the West. It does give me pause to think about our last onion crop that seemed to have a high amount of moldy under wrapper. I had chalked it up to how we dried and stored them but maybe it was a fungus issue. Hopefully this year will be better..
I would evaluate how many levels of protection you can put in while still making your chicken setup cost effective.
1) First thing is securing your coop as much as possible. And this may include having to "lock up" the chickens at night. That is probably the easiest way to prevent nighttime hunts.
2) Electric fencing can also be a good deterrent to night time predation
3) Livestock guardian dog – We have a 1 year old Great Pyrenees and she is really starting to prove herself and her breed at protecting the flock. And it is always funny to see a chicken walk over a 90 lb dog as she sleeps during the day for her night shift.
Hope this give you a few ideas to start the discussion.
As a fellow gardener living in Northern California, the current drought conditions are of great concern and discussions are happening daily about it.
Here is a recent news posting from our local irrigation district about already starting to implement measures to conserve:
NID General Manager Rem Scherzinger said Friday (Jan. 10) that the district is asking all water customers to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20 percent.
“Working together, we can help preserve local water supplies and be better prepared if we don’t get some rain and snow,” he said.
While NID water storage levels remain near average for this time of year, this year’s dry winter has not produced a snowpack that will refill them in spring and summer. As of Thursday (Jan. 9), district reservoirs held 146,619 acre-feet of water, which is 92 percent of average for the date but just 59 percent of capacity.
Seasonal precipitation at NID’s Bowman Reservoir (elev. 5650 ft.) had reached just 8.39 inches, or 29 percent of average by Jan. 9.
In a Jan. 8 report to the NID Board of Directors, Scherzinger said district staff is planning for dry year operations. “Staff is reviewing measures that might be necessary if we have to implement our drought contingency plan,” he said. “While we are counting on our customers to voluntarily cut their use, mandatory reductions could become necessary.”
We are really concerned about where the water is going to come from if the snow pack is not there this year and into the future. And we moved to this area because of the high annual precipitation level. This then gets me really thinking about what the other large cities down stream are going to do? I know my parents down in San Diego don't expand their small garden because of the cost of water. And rainwater harvesting there won't get you very far on the scale they could put in.
Lots to ponder and try to plan for in the moving target of being resilient. Time to get spring seedlings going!
Woodman – love the idea of using the lamp to keep the water from freezing. At our previous home in colorado we would lug out water daily to fight the the really bad cold snaps (high of 20). And those times would be when I would feel bad and set up the lamp. Make using all that power worth the cost.
One question I would pose to the group – Any thought on water supply and low temps when the power goes out? I think about all the snow load and ice storms the east has gotten in recent years and wonder about keep the animals healthy and happy without power. Sounds cold and tiring.
As I chatted with Amanda today – I am sorry and happy to report yesterday was a shorts day. 🙂
Drought conditions in the west are still severe though 🙁
When I first saw this my initial thought to your question was – Chicken Food! Does anybody know if these big uglies are good for the chickens to eat?
Wendy – I am curious to learn more about the dairy operation you described. Did you inquire what type of dairy (cow or goat) and if they were going to be under the radar or a licensed commercial operation? From the readings I have done – dairy operations are a hard way to go at a small scale if you are going the commercial / licensed route. But things are a changing. 🙂
I know I am $25 richer this week for selling for dog food dairy products. Cats and dogs just love fresh made goats cheese!
Just posted a daily prep with a link to a list of 100+ heirloom seed companies. Happy planting folks.
Dave – sounds like your english shepherd is doing the job perfectly.
About 9 months ago we got a Great Pyrenees livestock dog and she is "on duty" every night at about 8 pm. From about 2 months old she has been true to her breed and has been exactly what we needed to help protect the goats and chickens. Now our biggest threat to our chickens is climate change. With the weeks of 100+ temps (one day 111 degrees) we have lost 3 birds. Just dead.
There are only 2 drawbacks of having this extra special member of the homestead: We have to consider the extra resouces and preps for her (food, water, care) and she loves to bark when on duty. She lets everything know that she is there and standing guard. From the second she swallows that last bit of night time food till the rise of the sun – she will bark intermittently. Takes a bit of getting used to. We are having to help train her not to bark at anything and everything she sees or hears. But the evenings are cool and sleeping under the stars has been fun. She doesn't bark as much if we are there to support her.
Just thought I would share our latest effort on the homestead.
Begin Rant –
The following news piece has been making the rounds and for some reason it has been hitting a nerve more than usual with me.
From what most sites state, the SWAT team was used to raid an organic farm because they were suspected of growing Marijuana and had code violations for the condition of the 3.5 acre property. Plants were destroyed and taken, building materials removed, and no evidence of drugs found. One of the members of the farm was arrested for an outstanding parking ticket. Others were held for hours while a search was conducted.
Really? Have we reached such a low point that we have to use our valuable resources on such things. Do I need to worry about my wood pile being stacked properly for fear of my kids being held at gun point. Is there no common sense or reasonable thought processes left with those who have positions of authority? Probably would send the National Guard out after they see my pile of pallets and hops plants growing.
Really? Taking blueberry and tomatillo plants? Cutting down native grasses? Do you think the police took the cardboard to the recycling center after they removed it from the property? 🙂
I just have to shake my head. Negative thoughts cleared. Back to building a better future for my kids. Maybe I can get them to go stack the wood. 🙂
– End Rant