Aw, man! It’s the Seventies again! Bummer!

We’ve got the energy crisis, we’ve got the foreign quagmire, we’ve got the wacky economy. Wait a minute — It’s the Seventies all over again! I did the Seventies already! Hey! No flashbacks!

Admittedly, people are getting the details wrong. Hybrid cars that combine fuel economy and conspicuous consumption? Gross! A fad for piercings that leaves young people with more holes in them than Bonnie and Clyde? Double gross! What are people smoking? Read more...

Slipping a Mickey to Mice

Anyone with a farm has an ongoing rodent problem. I’ve noticed that other “alternative living” writers deal with this issue the same way they deal with everything — denial. (Of course, it helps that most of their readers live in the city.)

Once you’ve had an outbreak of rats in your brooder house and lose a whole batch of chicks to them (and you will — everything happens to you eventually), you won’t be able to regain the live-and-let-live attitude of yesteryear. But once you decide to make the area around hour house and barn a rodent-free zone, there are good ways and bad ways of doing it. Read more...

Sorry about the spam

I always take the “trust, but verify” approach, which means that instead of anticipating trouble, I wait to see what happens. Often in turns out that “abolutely necessary” precautions aren’t necessary. But sometimes it blows up in my face.

So I wasn’t too surprised when some spammer left “comments” on most of the posts, offering to sell you pills to put extra lead in your pencil. I’ve tightened up the anti-spam features of the blog to see if that helps. If not, there are other things I can try. Read more...

Coccidiosis on pasture? Impossible!

Man, I thought I’d seen everything. But this one’s weird. The life cycle of coccidiosis is interrupted if you move the chickens to a new patch of ground every day. Coccidiosis is a in intestinal protozoan parasite, and it depends on infecting and reinfecting the victims through feces. Not just any feces, either — feces that has been aged enough but not too much. The coccidia in the poop aren’t ready to reinfect the birds until they go through a life-cycle change, which takes about three days. With daily-move pasture pens, you leave yesterdays poop behind before (to get technical about it) the oocysts can sporulate. Read more...