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rotational high density grazing – small scale

2016/11/21 deej 0

I’ve ruminated at length about the pros and cons of goats (adorable miniature milk goats, and there are even Nigerian Dwarf goats in Australia now!) and sheep (ah the possibilities of non-tree-eating ruminants). I’ve talked about getting a house cow (still in the long term plan) and considered the cost versus difficulty versus milk quality and quantity of various breeds of all these animals. I’ve considered alpacas (beautiful silky suri fleece to spin) but decided that in the short term they’re too expensive for the returns they offer, and not friendly enough to get one just as a pet.   […]

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Pilgrim (or Settlers) Geese

2016/10/13 deej 0

Geese aren’t everyone’s idea of a great back-yard animal. I’ve heard all the stories – they’re noisy, vicious, aggressive, messy, horrible hellbeasts. But I have a confession to make: I’ve always kinda wanted to have geese. Since well before I saw the film Fly Away Home (about a little girl who rescues a nest full of orphaned Canada geese, and raises them, teaching them to fly and eventually leading them on an  epic microlight journey as she teaches them a safe migration route for their annual migration), I thought geese were adorable. I didn’t have any latent desire to have […]

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the hatching begins: 5 quail and counting

2016/09/28 deej 1

The first little peep hatched yesterday, and more hatched overnight. So far there are five tiny, baby quail chicks in the brooder. So fluffy!   Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica (not Coturnix coturnix – that’s the common quail from which the domesticated Japanese quail is derived), are a small, round bird kept for eggs, meat, and sometimes for their voices. I’m unsure about that last, since they’re not especially tuneful; they’re not a noisy bird, though, and I imagine their quiet chattering and the occasional trilling crow of the males could be a pleasant background noise.   Because quail are relatively […]

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June 8: animal profile – guinea pigs

2016/06/08 deej 0

Today is not a task-completion day. Everyone needs a day or two off every now and then, and the bed renovation had some bits & pieces to tidy up anyway. I’m aiming to start getting the cat furniture (climbing shelves and some whole-tree climbing toys made from trees removed during the house build) finished and installed over the next few days.   For the moment, though, here’s another animal profile: Guinea Pigs (Cavia porcellus), also known as cavies or cuy, although ‘cuy’ is usually used to refer to meat breed cavies. Yes – guinea pigs are kept as meat animals by many […]

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June 7: Animal Profile: Chicken

2016/06/07 deej 1

Not an activity post today, but it’s been a cold rainy day with no notable achievements beyond running a bunch of meetings at my day job. So instead, I’m writing about chickens.   Chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) are the archetypal poultry in Australia, the bird that everyone thinks of when they think of farmyards. They’re descended from the Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus), and gentic studies have shown multiple points of origin across South-, East and South-East Asia. Due to selective breeding, both for specific traits and for simple survival ability in different environments, there is a wide variation in size […]