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Over-herd
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Author:  Iowanic [ Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

Does this make sense.....

You have pasture, planted with clover. First you run goats thru. They chow down(?) and leave charming little 'gifts'.
Next, you run chickens thru. They feed off the insects drawn by the goat-gifts and leave some of their own.
You then follow the chickens with bunnies, who go over the pickings left by the goats and again, contribute to the growing gifts.
You run the chickens thru one last time.

Then you plow the pasture under to be planted for crops.

Workable? Do I have the correct order om running the critters thru?

Author:  sammyd [ Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

If you want real pioneer type stuff you have your pigs run through the rough land first. Tilling it up in their search for anything edible. The chickens could be right in with them grabbing bugs and larva as they appear.
If it has dense bushes you can have the goats in there working on them. Goats are not known for being grazers, they browse.
Once the land is established as decent pasture you could introduce cattle. A dual purpose breed would fit the bill nicely. Something that provides milk but has decent meat to bone ratio for meat. The milking shorthorn is an example. Overall I'd prefer having cows to just goats for the amount of manure produced. A few berries from a few goats is nothing compared to the piles you get from a well fed dairy cow. And the land will be better for it.
Chickens can stay on the land all the time, you shouldn't have to take them off when you run a different species through. I keep mine out with the cows and goats all the time. If your pigs were in confinement you might have a problem but I think a pasture pig would leave them alone.

I really do like rabbits but I'd stick with chickens just because they will provide some bug control for your gardens/fields. While bunnies will just eat all your forage.

Author:  sammyd [ Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

As for some of the esoteric species mentioned,
Sheep are often used in pasture rotation after cattle, they eat closer to the ground picking some of the stuff cows can't graze and their parasites don't transfer from species to species.
Horses are pretty but cattle will do the same work just at a slower pace usually.
I wouldn't want to try to milk a beefalo.
And esoteric species are usually that for a reason and may not be suitable for something that is life and death.
I would stick to the tried and true animals that our ancestors used if my life was on the line.

Chickens will eat mice and even baby birds. They are true omnivores.

Author:  Iowanic [ Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

Very interesting feedback, Sam! And from someone who knows, too.
Back to thinking :-k

Author:  Iowanic [ Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

Smmyd; I can see where you're coming from on using 'tried and true' animals.

One of the aspects of this sort of 'what-if' scenio is you have to think of all angles. Example; these critters all have to be transported to the planet. Can you imange what conditions wil be like in those holding areas after, say, a month?

So, all animals have to be compared to benefits to drawbacks and the amount of 'cargo space' taken up ends up figuring in there somewhere. That's why I find goats are a good chioce over cattle; you can just get more in the same space.

How milk-production would hold up in comparsion might be worth looking into, though.

Author:  sammyd [ Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

Goats can lactate longer than a cow if they miss a breeding cycle. Cows usually experience a big drop around 10-11 months into their lactation when they should be drying up for their next birth.
I've heard of goats milking for 2 years without being bred back.
A decent dual purpose breed cow should give 40 pounds of milk a day a goat may give you 8 if she's a really high producer. These figures may drop a bit if they are on pasture with out a lot of extra grain.
A cow will provide you with 1 calf a year. Goats are good for twins and triplets are not too uncommon. Most cycle according to the length of the days, breeding in fall and kidding in spring but there are some that can be bred year round.
Well fed steer calves can make 600 pounds of meat at 18 months Ours do regularly. I'm not too up on yields on meat goats (yet).

Author:  sammyd [ Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

If I was looking at small, easily transportable, useful, and abundant I'd look at pigs chickens and goats.


If the colony would have somewhat advanced facilities I would also look at 1 or 2 cows and a bunch of straws of semen for AIing the cows or frozen embyos for genetic diversity. But then I really like cows and would try anything to have them included.

Author:  supertwist [ Tue Dec 04, 2007 1:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

Your ship would only need a few females of the various mammals along with frozen embryos and frozen semen for implanting & breeding once the destination is reached. This way you'd risk fewer losses during transport and provide for enough genetic diversity to start healthy herds. Technology for AI in rabbits isn't well developed at the moment, but it has been done.

I'm not sure about the poultry, though. How long can fertilized eggs be kept viable without incubation? It would be better to transport fertilized eggs than live birds except for a few females to provide eggs during the trip, I would think.

Author:  Iowanic [ Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

You folk are making way too much sense, LOL!

Yeah, AI has a lot going for it; it's been used at least once in a sci-fi story written by someone else.

This has made me rethink my 'landing order' concerning the colony. I thought one fairly small recon flight then a big colony ship.
I'm thinking now of three or four increasing in size as the series went, flights. One of those flights would be a 'agri' flight, to establish the basics for the following farmers. This flight would be mostly livestock, so the main colony ship will be mostly colonists.

Author:  Wayne Stollings [ Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

Iowanic wrote:
You folk are making way too much sense, LOL!

Yeah, AI has a lot going for it; it's been used at least once in a sci-fi story written by someone else.

This has made me rethink my 'landing order' concerning the colony. I thought one fairly small recon flight then a big colony ship.
I'm thinking now of three or four increasing in size as the series went, flights. One of those flights would be a 'agri' flight, to establish the basics for the following farmers. This flight would be mostly livestock, so the main colony ship will be mostly colonists.


The colony ship would be atmospheric capable so it would create the basis for a part of the colony hub? A large prefab building/power supply.

Author:  Iowanic [ Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

Wayne, my thought was to after passengers and cargo are unloaded, the big ship'll be taken apart; with said parts taking a key 'uses' for the colony.(Basically your idea) But it's dreadfully big for a surface landing!

Author:  Iowanic [ Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

mmp. I'm still having a hard time making up my mind concerning pigs.

I figure it's pigs vs ostriches.

Author:  RF [ Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

What's the length of this trip to another planet?

Author:  Iowanic [ Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

For the main colony ship, 11 weeks.

Author:  RF [ Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Over-herd

I dunno....I'm having a hard time picturing a civilization advanced enough to go to another planet in 11 weeks....but not having the capability to figure out another way to colonize this new world other than launching an interstellar ark filled with cows and goats and bales of hay....

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