Sunday, July 13, 2014
Sunday Reading - Sustainers and Livestock
Probably one of the most complicated areas of sustainable living we run into today is the planning, keeping and providing for livestock, not only now but long after this slow slide continues and becomes worse.
Many a prepper or homesteader keep livestock of some type but how many out there truly have made plans or secured the skills and resources needed to provide for that livestock self sufficiently? How many have figured out how much pasture they will need when the time comes that baled hay is no longer a phone call away for delivery? How many have the means to grow their own grain crops to sustain the livestock they own when the local feed store is no longer in business?
Not to say having more livestock now than you can permanently keep in a grid down situation is a bad thing but a Sustainer will generally know how much of that stock he or she can keep on their own and plans for dealing with the excess when the time comes.
As has been noted a few sustainer types can get around these considerations by being located near vast naturally occurring areas of animal production like oceans, lakes or rivers for fish or perhaps even extremely remote areas for hunting. Personally I wouldn't rely on hunting too much seeing how far wildlife numbers dropped in North America in the early 1900's but fish maybe a solid substitute for keeping your own stock.
Keeping livestock sustainably becomes once again a numbers game. How much grain of what type? How much hay is needed depending on the local conditions and what you can get yourself? Factor in how the local hay crop will degrade over time without liquid fertilizers. Learn to use a scythe. Have a pasture rotation system in place.
Overall these considerations become much more complicated than simply figuring out how many bean plants need to go into the ground or how many fruit trees we may need. The figures for keeping livestock sustainably will include all those calculations plus much more.
We do have one real advantage in keeping livestock after a collapse however. For the most part keeping livestock off of the roadways will not be as much of a problem as it is now which means a lot of wasted ground will become open for grazing.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!