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 Post subject: Zoombie Redoubts
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:40 am 
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Mdiehl likes this name ... I'd prefer something else ... like farm/ranch development ... but same idea. Will start posting some of our activites in this vein here instead of in shooting thread. We are entering a new phase of activity so there will be more going on in this area.

==
We have e. coli problems in Kansas, but these are usually due to pasture run off getting in the water supply (cow pies). I've not heard of alfalfa related source previously.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/25/health/alfalfa-sprouts-e-coli/index.html

Quote:
Nine people in Minnesota and Wisconsin have become ill from E. Coli, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday. Two of the individuals have been hospitalized.

Alfalfa sprouts from Jack & The Green Sprouts in River Falls, Wisconsin, have been linked to this outbreak.

"Of the eight ill people who were interviewed, all eight reported eating or possibly eating alfalfa sprouts in the week before illness started," ...

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 Post subject: Re: Zoombie Redoubts
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:45 am 
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E. coli (aka shit) inhabits every crevice of the earth. If you don't properly clean what you eat, or disinfect your water supply, it will inhabit every crevice of you too.

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 Post subject: Re: Zoombie Redoubts
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:15 am 
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Fresh vegetables are a recurring source of E coli outbreaks.

Spinach, sprouts, peppers, cucumbers...etc. Usually it is traced to irrigation water or organic "fertilizers" or no shitters for the farm workers :) "Downed fruit" is another source.
The Chipotle outbreak was fresh factory-chopped onions

The problem is that uncooked vegetables are impossible to completely sanitize.

I don't buy bagged spinach or pre-chopped fresh vegetable products because you are harvesting E coli from dozens or hundreds of plants plus the processing machines. Buy whole head spinach, throw out the outer leaves and then wash well. Buy whole onions. Don't buy pre-chopped salad mixes...you are just asking for a hole in your colon. Ditto bean sprouts. 4 oz of bean sprouts have about an acre of E coli loving surface area.

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 Post subject: Re: Zoombie Redoubts
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:14 pm 
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Can Kansas survive ???

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Zoombie Redoubts
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 4:45 pm 
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Can anyone with a brain survive!?

Quote:
... An Italian economist says his flight was delayed after a fellow passenger saw him working on a differential equation and alerted the cabin crew. ...


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36240523

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 Post subject: Re: Zoombie Redoubts
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 1:03 pm 
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Over the past 2 months, I've done a lot of work on our fences to get them ready to put cattle back on the land. We will be getting 10 steers for the season ... any day now. And then in the fall we will sell those (butchering one) and acquire 5 cow/calf pairs as our seed stock for a 365 day a year cow/calf operation. The cow/calf "herd" will grow up to maybe 20 during the year and then we will cull back down to most productive (producing offspring) each fall.

Fence work involves chain sawing branches and trees and sapplings away from the fence ... "clearing the fence" ... the chain sawing is actually the easier part ... the harder part is disposing of the cut branches, etc. At least that part takes the most time.

Then you may have to remove old damaged portions of the fence ... and rebuild corner posts and then restring the wire on the steel fence posts. Then a few large water barriers need to be rebuilt with each one of those being a custom solution depending on the terrain. I can do about 90% of this by myself, but I can't dig the whole for the corner posts. I get a neighbor to do that with his skid loader and auger attachment. And hanging cattle panels over the main creek barrier was a 2 person job as well.

But it has been great to be able to get this done and learn how to do most of it myself. About half my learning came from you tube and the other from a different neighbor.

Completely clearing and repairing our 4 miles of fence will take me about 3 years (I estimate) but it will be a lot easier to maintain once that is done. But the fence is now minimally ready for the 10 steers and that was the immediate requirement.
==
For the past month, we have not bought any tomatoes ... our green house is now producing our tomatoes ... other items are being produced as well ... lettuce and peppers for example ... but the steady supply of tomatoes is a big milestone in my book.

==
I'll post some pics of the above.

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 Post subject: Re: Zoombie Redoubts
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 2:58 pm 
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I considered raising beef a few times but I can never get past the economics. Do you have a (pre Zombie) economic model in mind ? For example will the startup cost (fencing) + starting herd purchases + misc costs (vet bills etc) ever come close to a payback ? How much can you sell a yearling for ? Please give me some insight...

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 Post subject: Re: Zoombie Redoubts
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 3:35 pm 
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A yearling can easily fetch 120 bucks per HWT (hundred weight) and a yearling can easily weigh in at 6-700 lbs. If they are on good grazing and gain 1.5 lbs or more per day.


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 Post subject: Re: Zoombie Redoubts
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 3:37 pm 
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Well, here is a rough version ...

==

01 - Cow/Calf is full time "production" model. You start with several "pairs" (cow/calf pairs) ... right now at $2 per pound and 1200 pound cow and a 300 pound calf would cost $3k. So in our case, with 5 pairs, we would start by spending $15k. At the end of the first year, we would have about 15 head as the 5 cows would be mated to a bull have have a calf. We would cull at the end of the season and have 10 head remaining. The first year, we might cull one cow, 1 heiffer and 3 calves, we would probably butcher the cow and sell the heiffer and calves. So at 900, 300, 300 and 300 they would bring $1,350 (selling prices are usually 75% of buying prices - so I'm discounting). Remaining we would have 4 cows, 4 heiffers and 2 calves. The selection would be based on indicators as to which cows, heiffers and calves would be most likely to bear calves in the future and on disposition. At the end of year two, we would hope to have 8 cows, 2 heiffers and 8 calves. We would butcher one cow, sell 3 cows and 2 heiffers and 2 calves, keeping 4 cows and 6 calves. We would get $3000, $3000, $3000, $1800, $1800, $600, $600 or $10,350 (final price discounted).
We would continue in this way each year. We would break even in the third year.
I don't consider fence maintainance to be part of the operating cost of the cattle operation as we need to maintain the fence anyway, it is part of the property and part of the value of the property. Maintaining the cows costs a few hundred a year in minerals and vet bills and bull stud service. We would not have a bull, all male calves would be culled. There was capital cost in getting the stock trailer, that cost $5k, but it should last 20years, though there would be maintenance cost, mostly tires.
There will also be capital cost in the corral and the "squeezer" (or chute).
My estimate is $1,000 per year for the minerals, stud and vet bills. But we believe that conservatively we can clear $3k per year from the 4th year and have one full cow's worth of meat, which we would share half of that with our neighbors, maybe more.
A larger operation could be more efficient.

02 - Not Cow/Calf, is what we will be doing with the steers. We will get them in the spring and sell them in the fall. They will be on the land about 5 months. We hope to increase their weight from 600 pounds to 1200 pounds and if we do, we could gross $600 per steer, or net maybe half of that. But of course, in our case, that would just help us with the cow/calf purchase plan we have right after we clear the steers off the land.
But there are people around us that run "not cow/calf" on their land year after year. I don't think they make much and sometimes they might lose a little, but that's what this land is best for, so that is the business in Wabaunsee County.

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 Post subject: Re: Zoombie Redoubts
PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 4:23 pm 
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Yes the cow / calf plan sounded like a little too much "farmering" for me... Not sure if I would enjoy administering to pregnant cows with those bicep length gloves...

But the not cow/calf plan is what I was most interested in. I have about 10 acres of prime grass that I could just turn them loose on for 5 months. Could you elaborate on the $600 gross / $300 net equation ? How many could I safely pasture on 10 acres ? Unlike you the cost of fencing is a big part of my equation... I think I could work with a neighbor's help, so I wouldn't need a stock trailer ...etc... Any ideas appreciated..

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