Ducks Don’t Know They’re Not Chickens

Did you ever go to dinner with someone who never once took a drink of beverage during the whole meal?  Did it seem weird to you?  Most people drink a beverage during the meal, but not everyone.  Chickens are like the person who doesn’t drink during the meal.  Ducks on the other hand, are like people who drink a beverage during their meal.

Ducks are good egg layers.Why are poultry drinking and eating habits important to preppers?  Because it will help determine how to house  ducks and chickens.  From the beginning, chicks and ducks raised together do great, from a social standpoint.  They don’t know about breeds.  But some important things to consider before making that decision come to mind.

  • While it’s a fair bet that most of you have eaten and like chicken and their eggs, it might not be true about ducks.  Before purchasing ducklings, closely examine why you want them.  If it is for their prized eggs, go for it.  Do the math about how many eggs you can use and sell per year.  If using the ducks as meat birds, be certain you like the flavor of duck.  Look on craigslist to find one to purchase for that purpose.  The duck may be expensive, but if you don’t like the flavor, at least there won’t be a whole flock in the barnyard waiting for you to eat them.
  • How many birds?  The more birds there are, the more feed, water, work and the more eggs and meat production.  It’s important to do the math before your buy your first flock of birds.  How many times last year did you serve chicken?  Or, how many pounds of chicken did you use?  What about ducks?  Did you prepare even one duck in the last 12 months?  Will you use duck in addition to chicken for meat or will you substitute one chicken for one duck?  Once you have done the math order the chickens and ducks to be delivered on the same day if they are to be housed together.  You can separate them later if you like.Chickens can lay almost as many eggs as ducks.
  • Are you going to sell the eggs?  Canvas the area to find out how many people will buy them.  You’ll be surprised how many people will say they want the eggs.  If you are going to have ducks, check local restaurants or bakeries too!  If a particular breed lays nearly 300 eggs a year, and you have ten birds, you will get close to 3,000 eggs per year.  That is nearly 20 dozen a month.
  • After you know how many birds, when?  Consider how often to butcher birds.  Some people do it once in the spring for the whole year.  Others in warmer climates do it two or three times a year. Birds ordered for butcher will be ready at the same time.  How old will they be when butchered?  This is important!  Breeds mature at different rates and max weight varies between breeds.  Do you want to be butchering chickens and ducks at the same time?
  • If you are going to use housing, what kind of housing should be used?  The more birds, the more space you need in order to maintain a healthy flock.  There are other things to consider such as which predatory wildlife needs to be abated.
  • Housing ducks with chickens will require a water system that provides constantly flowing clean water, or frequently cleaning the water container, since ducks leave floaters in the water as they enjoy beverages with their meal.  Water pans are not suitable for the water supply since ducks will get in and defecate in the water.  Chickens might get in the water, but they don’t like it and will get right out.
  • How much time do you have?  Babies take up a good amount of time, and chicks and ducklings are no different.  In a few weeks they will be old enough to be left alone all day as long as they have an uninterrupted supply of food and water.

While there is a great deal to consider before choosing to raise poultry of any kind, it is both satisfying and rewarding to know that you have a supply of eggs and meat as well as an income from selling your meat birds and eggs to customers.  Enjoy your birds!

Power of the Purse and Sequestering

Obama wants sequestering to hurt.Obama intends to make U. S. Citizens as miserable as possible during the sequestering.  But will he go so far as to affect the food supply?  He understands how effective the power of the purse is when it comes to forcing people to do what you want them to do.  So does all levels of government.    That is why punishments of all kinds almost always include some form of financial punishment to be paid to the punishing entity.  As a matter of fact, the framers of the constitution knew the power of money.  They wrote the constitution carefully to be sure not one entity had enough power to control the money.

Money is the tool of the government to control the citizens.  It started rather benignly with the first government assistance programs during the depression.  Why?  Because someone looked at the government and said, “Why haven’t you done anything about this?”.  That’s the same thing people in Europe said to the church about the plague.  Both entities tried, without success, to change the prevailing condition.  The church eventually reversed some of the edicts about what to do with sick people, but the government kept pretty much all of the “new programs” created during the depression.

Once a program was created, the next members of congress and presidents were loath to remove them because they didn’t want to anger the people who were depending on those programs, even if the current situation no longer warranted the program’s existence.  Then came the day when the government invented the department of education in order to control schools in every state.  It started out with grants to states’ school districts.  After a while the government started attaching strings to the grants.  Once the states were dependent on the money for the annual budget, the hook was set and now the government can tell states what will be done in their public schools.  And so it went also with the highway department and human assistance programs, just to start.

Which brings us to the food supply.  Meat processing plants all have USDA inspectors present to assure the products are safe for human consumption.  Well, sort of, but that is another story.  If the inspectors are not present, no meat can be processed.  This isn’t a big deal to the prepper who is ready for just such an event.  However, if you are not ready and the USDA does decide to pull inspectors for a week or two, things will be different in the store.  It is our belief that the inspectors won’t be pulled and that the USDA will cut in other areas as necessary.

Disrupting the food supply, if only for a couple of weeks, would be a big deal and a no win situation for Obama and his cabinet.  Congress does not determine where the budget cuts are made during a sequester.  The president does.  Rest assured, the president will attempt to say that the cuts are the fault of the Republicans.  Don’t believe it.  The fault will be with whomever decides what to cut within each agency and at whose instruction.

 

Consider these comments about the sequester and decisions being made:

 It’s the public’s trust that’s been broken “and since almost all food safety at retail is faith-based, the faith has been violated.” – USA Today

 

. . .  in regards to the government’s plans for sequestration and the meat industry. If you aren’t aware of what’s going on, you should be. After all, it could affect all of us. And to us in the industry, it’s a scary thing. – Jennifer Dewey

It is clear that department leaders are concerned about their particular branch of the government.  So are the people who raise, process and sell meat products.  As a society we can go without meat for a couple of weeks.  But, should the citizens be forced to do it because the people on capitol hill can’t play nice?

References:

The Power of the Purse: A History of American Public Finance, 1776-1790 by Ferguson, E. James published by The University of North Carolina Press Paperback, 1961 – 2011.

“Fear and the Three-Day Food Supply.” Pattern Literacy by Toby Hemenway. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013.

“Meat Supply In Danger…?” Chico Locker Sausage Co Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013.

“U.S. Officials: No Horse Meat in Our Beef.” USA Today. Gannett, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013.

“Obama’s Stealth Takeover of Your Burrito or Food Stamps Obama’s Nationalizing the U.S. Food Industry and You Didn’t See It Coming.” Before It’s News. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013.

Meat Production in Nevada for Preparedness

By Joshua Livengood

I have met several people who are having a difficult time figuring out their food supply in Nevada.  Specifically, their meat supply.  Since many rural preppers meat supply includes livestock grazing on their farm. it makes sense that people in Nevada would want to utilize their land for the same purpose.  Unfortunately, in the desert, it is acres per cow rather than cows per acre.  This means the herd of cattle could be vulnerable to straying out of sight of the farmer, and straying into the sights of wildlife.  In the event of some disastrous event, the cattle will also
Source: Nevada Preppers Network