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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:00 am 
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Here's a curious angle:

What about horses vs tractors?

Ok, we'd need big horses and they'd take up major space on the colony-ship. But it's still a interesting(to me, anyway) match-up.

TRACTORS:
Varying degrees of pollution: with electric keeping it to the lowest level.

Probably less 'weather dependant' then horses.

probably not a lot of local predators going to try to eat them.


HORSES:
Will have to be fed--not a show-stopper but a consideration.

While in-transit to Zeta; will require more space and care then a tractor. I have misgivings about keeping such mighty critters confined for weeks. Granted, way back when they crossed the ocean with horsies as cargo, but still....

Are capable of producing a usable 'green'product....manure.

#1 advantage over tractors.......capable of producing more horses all by themselves.

Their size is the main factor against them. Other then that; I think most everything is a plus.


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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:34 am 
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I'd go with horses because they can reproduce and replace themselves, and tractors can't. You wouldn't necessarily need huge horses, some of the smaller breeds such as the Canadian Horse are excellent multipurpose animals and easy keepers.
http://www.chhaps.org/cdnhistory.htm
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The Canadian Horse is a true national hero. It is a heritage breed older than Canada itself, descending from the first horses to set hoof on the shores of New France in 1665. Like the habitants who depended on it for their survival, the Canadian Horse has struggled for its survival and identity in the face of mechanization, market forces and acculturation. Long ago dubbed “Le petit cheval de fer” or ‘the Little Iron Horse” because of its ability to out-pull pound for pound, any other kind of horse, the Canadian deserves to be respected, conserved and treasured as a living part of our nation’s history. In April 2002, the breed was recognized, by law, as the National Horse of Canada.

Just what kind of horse is the Canadian? Surviving books and artwork from the past tell us that the Canadian Horse was just like us - a spunky, tough breed unsurpassed for its ability to survive and flourish in harsh conditions. Eighteenth century historian Etienne Faillon, perhaps best captured the image of the breed with his words ``small but robust, hocks of steel, thick mane floating in the wind, bright and lively eyes, pricking sensitive ears at the least noise, going along day or night with the same courage, wide awake beneath its harness, spirited, good, gentle, affectionate, following his road with finest instinct to come surely to his own stable''.


One of the breeders working on compiling a breed history once sent me copies of the historical documentation that she was using. One diary was from a logger who complained that his Canadian Horse stallion was such a hard worker and so strong that the Belgians he used to team with it died of overwork trying to keep up. Justin Morgan's horse Figure, who out-pulled and outran the horses he competed with was certainly a Canadian Horse stallion (although Morgan breeders pitch a fit when you point this out to them). DNA testing by the University of Guelph has confirmed the origin of the Morgan breed as being the Canadian Horse. So, a work horse for your story needn't be a huge hayburner.


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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:57 am 
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Highly interesting, Supertwist!
Maybe they could work!


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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:05 am 
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Horses would be best, as Supertwist says, self replicating and they can forage at least part of their own "fuel" supply.

Did you ever see the Sci-fi series Firefly or the movie made about it called Serenity? The same concepts were used there. The high tech was available but the lower tech was the basis for the initial colonies because it was more robust and required little to no outside support. A colony can provide a blacksmith, which can make a horse shoe, easier than it can provide a facility to make a tractor wheel. Materials, fuel, labor, and structures all can be more easily provided based on a lower technology level.

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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:17 am 
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Wayne, I loved Firefly! (I got the dvds)

the thing I liked about it was it tried to show 'real' life in the future: It wasn't all expolration and being noble. It was mostly about just trying to get ends to meet and making a living.


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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:29 am 
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Wayne Stollings wrote:
Horses would be best, as Supertwist says, self replicating and they can forage at least part of their own "fuel" supply.

Did you ever see the Sci-fi series Firefly or the movie made about it called Serenity? The same concepts were used there. The high tech was available but the lower tech was the basis for the initial colonies because it was more robust and required little to no outside support. A colony can provide a blacksmith, which can make a horse shoe, easier than it can provide a facility to make a tractor wheel. Materials, fuel, labor, and structures all can be more easily provided based on a lower technology level.

I have to disagree as with cows (or a facsimilie thereof) you actually utilize more of the animal for food purposes. You wold have all the regular meat plus many of the internal organs as well. Plus, of course you have the hides. The feces may be used as fertilizer or as fuel (I think I read that somewhere). Then you have the milk as well. It makes better sense as far as full utilization of the animal.


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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:33 am 
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Finding the right balance is a challenge, isn't it? I love discussions like this, becauseeveryone comes in with a slightly different take on things!


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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:43 am 
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animallover wrote:
Wayne Stollings wrote:
Horses would be best, as Supertwist says, self replicating and they can forage at least part of their own "fuel" supply.

Did you ever see the Sci-fi series Firefly or the movie made about it called Serenity? The same concepts were used there. The high tech was available but the lower tech was the basis for the initial colonies because it was more robust and required little to no outside support. A colony can provide a blacksmith, which can make a horse shoe, easier than it can provide a facility to make a tractor wheel. Materials, fuel, labor, and structures all can be more easily provided based on a lower technology level.

I have to disagree as with cows (or a facsimilie thereof) you actually utilize more of the animal for food purposes. You wold have all the regular meat plus many of the internal organs as well. Plus, of course you have the hides. The feces may be used as fertilizer or as fuel (I think I read that somewhere). Then you have the milk as well. It makes better sense as far as full utilization of the animal.


In this context I believe you might be referencing oxen or water buffalo instead of horses. Actually the same thing holds true for both. Mares milk can be consumed as can horsemeat. There are benfits and drawbacks with each choice, such as speed of transport using horses is faster than oxen and the harness system is lighter and more compact too.

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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:49 am 
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Here's as I see it:

Cows= Milk, meat, hide, manure

Horses= work, manure, hide(?)


You've made some thoughtful observations, Animal Lover. Basically, it seems to come down to horse work vs. cowmilk. If we go with cattle, then there's less reason for goats. Personally; I'm leaning to replacing cattle with goats and sticking with horses.

But..... are goats more effective in turning plants into milk then cattle, mewonders?


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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:21 am 
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Have you thought of studying the problems faced by the early settlers, or the sects that have distanced themselves from the 20/21st centuries ?

IMO many questions you ask may already have been answered .


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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:55 am 
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Quote:
Cows= Milk, meat, hide, manure

Horses= work, manure, hide(?)


You've made some thoughtful observations, Animal Lover. Basically, it seems to come down to horse work vs. cowmilk. If we go with cattle, then there's less reason for goats. Personally; I'm leaning to replacing cattle with goats and sticking with horses.

But..... are goats more effective in turning plants into milk then cattle, mewonders?


The cow could replace both the goat and the horse. The cow or oxen can be hitched to a plow or other machinery to do the farming work, thus increasing the amount of produce grown. They'll provide fertilizer, milk, and meat. The key would be can they take the heat, lack of quality grazing ground, and limited water supply as well as goats.

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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:06 am 
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What a odd battle! It's horse vs cattle vs goat! I suspose one way out, is to have some of all; certainly we need(I think) at least two of the three.


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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:09 am 
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Ok. Let's hear some views on this critter match-up:

FOWL VS PIGS

Fowl= useful in small pest control(Ducks especially)
lay-eggs
meat-source

Pigs= Tough and will eat wide range of food
Meat-source

which suits better?


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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:20 am 
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Iowanic wrote:
Ok. Let's hear some views on this critter match-up:

FOWL VS PIGS

Fowl= useful in small pest control(Ducks especially) Your colony has rats??
lay-eggs
meat-source Feathers for use in pillows, inside jackets, etc

Pigs= Tough and will eat wide range of food
Meat-source

which suits better?


This is so hard as you need different food sources for different nutritional needs.


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 Post subject: Re: Over-herd
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:29 am 
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Sorry, Animal lover, about 'the small pest control'. lol!

What I meant, is I've heard duckies really mow down slugs and small insects. I've also heard that they're used in Asia to 'patrol' rice fields for naughty little insects. Seems a very useful ability to have on a organic farm. Why waste pesticides when ducks can get the job done?


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