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6

You seem to be well aware of the "cooking applications" of lard, but just in case you haven't heard of it, I'm particularly fond of Schmalz a German spread made from lard, together with small amounts of pork scratchings/cracklings, apples and onions. (For example, see here for a basic recipe.) As for candles, you can make about 12 candles from 2 pounds of (...


6

Methods There are several methods of livestock disposal to choose from, each has its own benefits and drawbacks. While there may be no correct answer for everyone, there are better approaches - especially as we factor in sustainability. Inspiration for this Q&A layout is drawn primarily from Amundson (2013). While this book concerns husbandry (see ...


6

My wife and I have about 100 free-ranging chickens. For bug control, they are a mixed blessing. Chickens eat just about any kind of insect they can find, excepting small ants, and thank goodness they don't appear to eat bees. But they also eat frogs and lizards, which also eat insects. We try to create environments where the frogs and lizards can hide ...


5

Unless there is lack of upland habitat, for example if you live in a highly developed area, then the conversion of any wetland area to upland area would almost certainly have a net negative impact on the system as a whole. Freshwater wetlands are comparatively rare and have been disappearing rapidly. Populations of the plants and animals that depend on ...


5

I have an incomplete answer, but at least this is something to get the conversation started. At the bottom of your comments, you restate the question as "is organic any better because it costs more, meaning consumers buy less?" Throughout this sustainability Q&A forum, there is a misunderstanding that sustainability equates to the minimization of ...


5

We kept 70 - 80 wild guinea pigs in the back of our lot for perhaps four months. They free-ranged the pasture during the daytime and slept in sturdy cages at night. Every few weeks we would move the cages, till the manure into the ground, and plant a garden. Here are some insights: 1) The guinea pigs did a fantastic job of eating down about half an acre ...


5

Great Pyrenees (Pyrenean Mountain Dog) If you're in an area with a high-threat of animal attack (bear, wolf, coyote), consider 1-2 dogs specifically bred for the purpose of protecting livestock. This breed, specifically, has deeply-bred territorial instincts - which make it a desirable watchdog. They are capable of long-term, independent action and are ...


5

I would use a donkey. The dairy and sheep farmers I visited in the UK as a child used them, and there's a field of cows near me that has a pair of donkeys in it. When I go by on my bike, the donkeys clearly and obviously arrange themselves protectively between me and the cows. (We have coyotes and wolves near us - you can hear them howl at night and a ...


5

You can use it to replace oil when cooking things that would benefit from the pork flavour like soups. You can use it in any situation that requires deep frying. Chips taste especially nice when cooked in lard. It can be used as a wood preservative. It makes amazing pastries. If done properly and doesn't smell, you can add fabric dye and use it as shoe ...


4

Your question seems to be specifically limited to grain fed to livestock, even though a great deal of the feed grown for livestock is not grain, and most livestock are not fed, let alone fed grain. It's likely based on stories like this one saying "U.S. could feed 800 million people with grain that livestock eat, Cornell ecologist advises animal scientists". ...


4

Possums are not farmed in New Zealand or in Australia. They're an Australian native, where most species are protected. The brushtail possum that's a major pest species in New Zealand is only minimally protected in Australia as it's very common. To the best of my knowledge there is no possum real industry in Australia, just some experimental outlets. So ...


4

A good question, but one for which the answer will differ for different locations around the world. Here in New Zealand, for example, very little feed is brought in from outside of the farm upon which the animals are being raised (for cattle and sheep). Livestock are grass fed and the norm is for each farm to produce enough hay/silage to get them through ...


4

No. Hemp apparently was, for medieval Europeans, a generic term used to describe any fibre. Thus there is a bewildering variety of plants carrying the name hemp, including; Manila hemp (abacá, Musa textilis), Sisal hemp (Agave sisalana), New Zealand hemp/flax (Phormium tenax), Brown/Madras/Sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea), Indian hemp (jute, ...


3

Since asking the question I have been thinking about this quite a bit, and I believe the fundamental difference boils down to the balance between preventing and repairing negative externalities: cost[s] that [are] suffered by a third party as a result of an economic transaction. In a transaction, the producer and consumer are the first and second ...


3

More uses... Lard or the fat can be made into Lardo - or cured pork fat (Italian name). This is done without rendering it. It's remarkably tasty. There are many versions of this around the world. Lard can be 'cleaned' to remove much of the pork flavor too, and then is usually for nearly everything. You can look this up, but is mostly a process of ...


3

My father's goats love pine, not just the needles but the young and flexible twigs too. So much so that most of the pinetrees in the feeding area lost the branches under 1,5 meters or so. They never had a miscarriage, but had a lot of false pregnancies. I do not know if those have anything to do with pine.


3

I have been told that pine is a natural de-wormer for goats. I always give mine a few descent size branches when they show signs of worms. They usually will try their hardest to get to the branches even when they have plenty to forage on. Never had any issues and the worm problem is usually eliminated.


2

Some pines can act as abortifacients and possibly cause renal damage because they contain isocupressic acid. Ponderosa pine is the one I know of, because we have some near our goat pasture and have to keep them fenced out of it. I have heard that juniper and a few other conifers might have this problem too. On the other hand, our goats love douglas fir ...


2

There is quite a lot of info on the web in general, from this big list of poisonous and ok plants (repeated in various places with no source or attribution - pine is on the ok side). A more definitive answer comes from this summary of two research papers containing this excerpt: No abortions occurred, however, toxicity was observed in the 3 treated groups....


2

Audibon Magazine distilled the following from Bat Conservation International: Here are some tips for installing a bat house, from Bat Conservation International, a science-based bat conservation organization. Design. All bat houses should be at least 2 feet tall, have chambers at least 14 inches wide, and have a landing area extending below ...


2

Main considerations: source of materials. Obviously more oil is a bad thing. This casts aspersions on any plastic too. Longevity. A shoe that lasts for 10 years is a 20 times the value of one that lasts for half a year. Cost of making. Cost is a measure of crystallized sweat. Energy. Labour. Cheaper is better. Cost != Retail Price, although ...


2

I suspect your best bet is to start another gaggle. Wild turkeys are capable of flight, but aren't built for long distance flying. Much depends on the width of the river. If it's only a few feet, I would expect them to cross. Work on habitat for them. Put out patches of corn on your side of the river. Make sure there are trees where they can roost ...


2

Pretty much everything is toxic if you have too much of it. Water, for example, can be toxic to humans. The trick to not going insane in this world is to stop looking at lists on websites that claim things are toxic and just approach the issue with logic and caution instead. If there is no grass in your paddock, your sheep are starving, and you put up a ...


2

Google is your friend. Use it. search cold weather ducks http://thriftyhomesteader.com/2013/11/cold-ducks-keeping-ducks-in-winter.html The above is in the Olympic mountains at 1000 feet. Heavy snowfall. Lows in the teens (F) Khaki Campbells and Blue Swedish. http://wholefedhomestead.com/what-temperature-can-a-duck-survive/ Peking Ancona ducks. ...


2

There are a few chapters of a good book that come to mind about the state of Confined Animal Feeding Operations or CAFO's. The book is called "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan Much of the corn and soy in the united states is subsidized by our government for use in feeding at CAFO's which are not at all local, feeding corn to ruminants like cows ...


2

I'm not aware of any dog that can go up against a brown bear and survive. Even wolves have trouble -- a brown bear can easily steal the kill from a small wolfpack. Your best option is probably a noisy dog that can alert you and let you take whatever non-lethal measures you feel are appropriate (rubber bullets, bear spray, etc.) And be ready to follow up ...


1

Our World in Data recently put together an interesting chart on this topic. From the article "You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food? Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local": The article provides a specific (extreme) example for someone in the UK getting beef from their neighbor, vs a ranch in Central America: ...


1

Summary: choose natural materials such as hemp, jute, organic cotton, or bamboo, preferably from a manufacturer that uses vegetable-based dyes, is fair-trade certified, and is working on reducing its environmental impact. Try to find shoes that last long and only buy new when you really have to. The biggest environmental impact of shoes comes from the used ...


1

Many kinds of animals can be used, but chickens are most often selected to patrol the floor of a food forest. I used to allow my hens to have full run of the yard all the time, but they were way too destructive. Now I just let them out for an hour or two when I'm there to supervise. I encourage many kinds of sprawling plants like day flowers, gogi berries, ...


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