From The Memsahib: Asian Avian Flu and the Home Poultry Flock

Here at the Rawles Ranch the chicken-loving Memsahib couldn’t help but be dismayed when her DH suggested the immediate sale of her sizable flock of terribly cute and tame chickens.  So off to the internet in search of answers… Wild birds can be the carriers of Avian Flu to domestic chickens and turkeys.  Bird flu can be spread from country to country by migratory birds.  Waterfowl can carry avian flu without clinical signs of infection. With that said, how can any government in the world keep the Avian Flu from reaching their shores? To prevent Avian Flu infecting your home poultry …




From The Memsahib: Countryside and Small Stock Journal

Another issue of my very favorite magazine just arrived and I wanted to tell you all about it. It is “The magazine of modern homesteading”: Countryside and Small Stock Journal. Unlike most magazines out there, C&SSJ has a very low ad to content ratio. It doesn’t waste page space with lots of pretty photos or other fluff like the other “country” magazines. And it is written by the subscribers. C&SSJ is 130 pages full of practical information! The Nov/Dec.2005 issue contains full length articles about purchasing and using a masonry stove, how to build a “cut back” thermostat to reduce …




Letter Re: Feral Dogs, Pre- and Post-TEOTWAWKI

Hello, This link is to a newspaper story from Johnson County, Iowa, regarding a huge pack of feral dogs that is terrorizing a small town, West Liberty, about 15 miles southeast of us. Iowa City, the “capitol” of Johnson County is an extremely anti-gun, liberal town and this is an interesting battle about wild dogs, self protection, property rights etc. Thank you for everything that you write and promote.See: http://www.press-citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050909/NEWS01/509090313/1079




Letter From “Buckshot” Bruce Re: Feral Dogs, Post-TEOTWAWKI

I started writing about this topic after reading that there are 100 millions dogs in America, back in the fall of 1998. Every year people e-mail with more true dog attack stories. Since that time I have put them in my newsletter. The first three articles are still posted here: www.survival-center.com/buckshot/dogs.htm Now, in today’s climate of terrorist attacks, hurricanes that could cause an economy collapse changing America into chaos I think it might be something interesting to share. The premise is the majority of the people in bad times would let their pets go to fend for themselves. These pets …




Letter RE: The Myth of Copper Toxicity for Sheep and Goats

Jim, I wanted to let you know that a correction needs to be made in your statement that copper is toxic to sheep and goats. I own dairy goats on our homestead. Copper is indeed toxic to sheep, BUT COPPER IS CRITICAL FOR THE GOOD HEALTH OF GOATS.  In fact copper sulfate is given as a supplement at times, especially with the darker goats to keep them from turning chocolate brown instead of the black coat color they should have. The belief that copper is toxic to goats is a common misconception and I have had nearly knock down drag-down …




From The Memsahib Re: In Favor of Dairy Goats

Some of our readers have been very kind to add their input about goats. I appreciate your comments. First, The Goatlady recommends Nubian Goats to make goat butter: “I have raised goats for many years and the cream does rise to the top just not in the quantities one gets from cow’s milk. The richer the milk the more cream hence the Nubian popularity as a diary goat. Nubians have the most butterfat in their milk for making butter. But more importantly, Nubian milk is the very best for making hard cheeses i.e. cheddar, swiss, etc. Very difficult to make …




From The Memsahib: In Favor of Dairy Goats

Getting any dairy animal is a very big commitment. But I believe they are a valuable part of your livestock preparedness. Even more importantly, I believe that goats are the best dairy animals for the survivalist. My reasons to recommend goats over cows for a survival situation are as follows: 1. A dairy goat costs only about one fifth as much as a dairy cow. 2. Five goats can be fed one the same amount that it takes to feed one cow. 3. If your dairy cow dies, then you are out of luck. But the odds of losing all …




Letter from The Bee Man

Letter from The Bee Man (SAs: DIY Veterinary, Relocation, Survival Tools, and Survival Firearms) Hello Jim & Family, I’m glad to see your Blog Site has taken off with such success! I’ve passed on your site address to several other people in hopes to get some advertising to come your way. I also hope you and your own are doing fine. It’s hot and very dry here now. Got those brush fires to contend with. The yellow star thistle is waist high on the hills. I believe your timing of your Blog Site is about right. We’ve had numerous inquiries …




From The Memsahib: Selective Breeding

Selective breeding of small livestock is important to the survivalist because you will not be able to get replacement livestock from other sources if things get truly bad. You will have to maintain your own breeding population to replace those animal you consume, are killed by predators, die of disease, or even old age. The first principle is that you will keep only a few male animals and a preponderance of female animals. The females of course gestate. The more females you have the more offspring can be produced. You will need some males. You certainly would want to have …




Letter Re: Raising Rabbits as a Protein Source for Tough Times

Jim, Glad to see your Blog page starting up. I wish you well with it. To add to your son’s warnings on a rabbit meat-only diet: Eating strictly rabbit meat, the lack of fat causes the human body to start to crave. Early mountain men & wilderness travelers found this out the hard way. It is sort of like a salt craving: One’s body goes through some hard times when this happens, up to including malnourishment symptoms. By the way, it is noteworthy that “New” vegetarians experience these symptoms until their body becomes accustomed to vegetable fats. This can be …




Letter Re: Small Livestock on a Budget

Howdy Jim & Memsahib, Regarding getting rabbits free after the usual Easter bunny buying frenzy – great idea. Get them producing, and optimize your cage designs at the same time by using those Easter bunnies as test subjects. One notes however that the “pet” rabbits are generally not designed specifically for meat production, and there are oftentimes sizeable efficiency differences between the breeds. As soon as possible, consider sourcing true breed lines that are designed for meat – you’ll kick up production quite a bit. Using the 4H as a source is probably the best idea – depending on where …




From The Memsahib: Small Livestock on a Budget

I suggest that when in comes to small livestock equipment, start out with used equipment and/or build it yourself. If you want new, your local feed store is likely to have fair prices. But do not buy your equipment at a big chain pet store. Compare these prices. Used rabbit cage at a garage sale: $10 with everything included. Build your own: $20. Buy a similar cage at the chain pet store: $75! The handy person can construct much of the necessary equipment themselves. But if you want to buy it, I have some suggestions for you. A great time …




From The Memsahib: Raising Rabbits as a Protein Source for Tough Times

It was the late 1930s, the Nation was still in the throes of the Great Depression. Jim’s grandparents and their three young children were getting by on Grandfather’s teaching salary. Then he died suddenly of a heart attack leaving Grandma Julia a widow and the children fatherless. Julia had to go to work. But, not only were women’s wages lower, but she had the added expense of hiring child care. Jim’s mother tells us that they raised rabbits in pens in their backyard to supplement their mother’s meager grocery budget. She and her little sister gathered grass from vacant lots …