The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Tractor Supply animal swap

Tractor Supply animal swap Oct 2012

The Tractor Supply animal swap had an impressive selection of livestock.

We ended up trading an Avian Aqua Miser plus 25 dollars for the above trio of Rhode Island Red hens.

Two full sized turkeys were going for 50 dollars and someone had 3 dollar hens.

I'd say it was 10 times more fun than if we would've gone to the County Fair.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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What fun! I think those reds look very healthy! ThEy are lucky to get such a good home!

By the way I tred creating a user page- it didn't appear to work for some reason - possibly our lousy connection out here in the boonies.
I'm almost done with my kill mulch- we are so far from town that it is hard to get cardboard or newspaper, so I can only see what I can scrounge when I make my weekly trip. About two thirds done, with at least the first layer of high carbon mulch to cover it. Will be interesting to see how this method works in this arid climate- things do not rot here easily.

Comment by Deb Sat Oct 6 19:22:30 2012
Deb, if you have an Aldi's store in your town they encourage people to take the boxes. Their stuff comes in by the skid and cases. Thats where I go
Comment by Irma Sat Oct 6 20:22:09 2012
I wish! There is only ONE grocery store here- an hour one direction or two hour the other way! Their boxes aren't great- mostly small, so the newspaper has been my friend. They let me take bundles of old ones- they just don't have more than a few bundles at one time. It's easier layering newspapers than bunches of little boxes! I wet them first so they don't blow away.
Comment by Deb Sat Oct 6 21:28:00 2012

Very nice looking girls! You'll get tons of eggs from them.

I'm curious, do you know where they cam from? Are they hatchery stock, or where they bred by the person you bought them from? :)

I prefer the nonindustrial RIR. You only get a handful less eggs, but more meat, very scrappy, they'll sit for you too if you let them.

Comment by t Sun Oct 7 01:14:00 2012

Deb and Irma --- Finding cardboard or newspaper is the sticking point for us too. I agree with Deb that grocery store cardboard is subpar. We're lucky that our microbusiness produces a lot of packaging, and it all goes into the garden. :-) Someone else suggested liquor stores as a possible source of high quality boxes, assuming you don't have a refrigerator store nearby.

T, Sounds like we got lucky! The guy we bought them from is a major enthusiast and he hatches his own from breeding stock he's kept. I didn't think to ask him where those chickens originally came from, but was very impressed when he told me that his chickens free range and the Rhode Island Reds hunt further than anyone else for bugs. I'd be thrilled if one or more of them went broody in the spring!

Comment by anna Sun Oct 7 08:07:30 2012
It's probably a good thing that we couldn't go or else we would have returned with livestock that we're not prepared to care for yet! ;)
Comment by mitsy Sun Oct 7 09:57:16 2012
Mitsy --- Yep, it was dangerous there. I almost came home with a couple of silkie pullets and one guy tried really hard to sell me sheep. :-) I definitely recommend you checking it out, though, if you think you can keep your purchases in check.
Comment by anna Sun Oct 7 14:29:33 2012

Out of the 15 or so breeds that I raise, the rir are the ones I enjoy the most. They were the first chickens I got. By far the most intelligent breed aswell. In the morning theyre the last ones to come running for pellets, because their crops are already full.

Comment by t Sun Oct 7 22:13:20 2012
t, Rhode Island Reds were on our short list of varieties to try last year, but we fell in love with the australorps before we got there. I'm happy to see that we can tell their eggs apart from our hens' --- RIR eggs (or at least ours) seem more elongated --- so we'll be able to see who does what. Right now, the RIR are doing great for quantity, but their yolks are yellow instead of orange. Hopefully a week of our intense pasturing will have them up to our quality standards too!
Comment by anna Mon Oct 8 07:41:09 2012

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