Surviving Without A Domesticated Animal

Discussion in 'Animal Husbandry' started by poltiregist, Sep 1, 2019.

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  1. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    Likely sometime around the period that humans started domesticating animals , their population started to increase . This no doubt gave them a more dependable food source as well as providing clothing . Look around the planet at any isolated group that does not have domestic animals . They are likely running around nacked and getting up each day hoping to kill some wild animal . Any cl0thing they might have was probably given to them by some do-gooder . The point being a prepper planning to survive for a prolonged period will be SEVERLY handy capped without domestic livestock . Just makes sense for a prepper to have some type of domestic animal for food . Nobody is likely to trade away their livestock after S.H.T.F. . It would have to be obtained before S.H.T.F. A non-prepper with livestock would have a better chance of survival than a prepper with not any livestock . Do you have a livestock plan ?
     
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  2. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    Everyone's situation is different . My choice was a animal that would provide milk about nine months out of the year instead of just killing and eating a animal .
     
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  3. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    All well and good should the prepper have sufficient pasture land. Gotta have land and be able to defend that land. Goats can feed on scrubby, poorly vegetated land. There's free range chickens, i.e. scrawny chickens. Got bugs?

    One could make the point that taking a fraction of pasture land and putting it to the purpose of growing vegetables would be a better plan. If the land has been pasture land for a goodly time before gardening, it is then well fertilized. If the land is rocky, bring in topsoil/manure from other parts of the pasture and dump this where the crops will be raised, build your own soil. I've tilled red clay, busted limestone with a sledgehammer, and dumped a bunch of horse crap (child labor violations? No, not in the South).

    Any surplus of vegetables can be dried/preserved and they can also be used as barter.

    During the coming SHTF years, meat will become a bit of a luxury. Thus, the .22 subsonics and the air rifles.

    As to clothing, here in Western civilization there exist mountains of clothing barely used. If there is any shortage, it is of work shoes and boots. Men and women living in cities are for the most part without rugged footwear. During WWI, there existed a horrible shortage of military boots. The men had to wear chaps and leggings over the top of what shoes -- yes, just shoes -- or what sort of brogan / short boot they had. Thus, the pandemic of trench-foot.

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  4. Duncan

    Duncan Expert Member
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    I'd never kept livestock animals until last July, so when Dawn and I moved to Idaho, we started off with no experience whatsoever. However, we did think then (and still do) that our most effective approach would be animals which would provide us ongoing food (milk and eggs) as well as a one-time food (meat). We also thought that we'd be better off with animals which could get along without us buying any feedstock if necessary. That said, goats and chickens seemed the best bet.

    We bought 12 chickens (different kinds; mostly Buff Orpingtons, but also Auricanas and a few others) and four goats: a pair each of Nigerian Dwarfs and Miniature Silkies (fainting goats).

    We now have about eight eggs a day, and when the the does are a year older, we will have them covered by the appropriate bucks (the two males are wethers) and should have them in milk around a year from now. Between the two of them we might get a quart of milk a day.

    In retrospect, our idea was great, but our selection was wrong. We learned a lot -- and we'll learn a lot more when our two girls kid -- but our next generation will be different:

    Chickens: for eggs: 8-10 Buff Orpington pullets, one or two roosters; for meat: 3-4 Cornish Crosses, one rooster.
    Goats: for milk/cheese: 1-2 Nubian does; for meat: 2-3 Boer does, one Boer buck to service both breeds.

    That's about it for us. We are getting a hive of bees in the spring, and we have pasture room for a market steer, but that wouldn't be cost- or labor-effective; neither would rabbits.

    We should be rockin' and rollin' in about five years, but by then I'll be almost 80 and will have to sucker one of my kids to move out here and help us work it, and I can do something more serious and important: learning how to brew a good bock and dark ale.
     
  5. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    Duncan we may disagree on some things but we are definitely thinking on the same page when considering survival critters .
     
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  6. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    Food for thought -- My goat pen is about twenty five paces square , with a dividing fence within that enclosure so I can separate the goats for milking . This pen seems plenty big for one doe her kids and a buck . I just wanted to point out it doesn't take a lot of room to raise goats . One draw back a pen that size requires bringing them food from another source . I take the lazy way and simply go to the feed store and buy hay and bagged feed for them . In a S.H.T.F. situation I plan to either teeter them out at a feed source or manually cut and bring them leaves , weeds , grass and such . My only real purpose of having the goats is in case S.H.T.F. . That one Nubian doe goat at the highest period yields about three quarters a gallon of milk per day . This milk is very rich and if someone wanted to make it taste more like store bought two percent cow milk they would need to water it down by about half water and half goat milk which would mean one and a half gallons per day for drinking purposes .
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
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  7. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    As for raised critters, I vote for rabbits and guinea pigs. Feed provided by greenhouse and fertilizer provided by the critters. Hunting, trapping and fishing to provide additional food. It does not take much to raise small fast breeding critters. You just have to toughen your heart at butchering time. Even most urbanites can raise a few of these critters, without getting into zoning law issues.
     
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  8. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    Until I was about twenty years old I worked on our family farm where we grew or raised the vast majority of our food . Chickens , cattle an occasional hog and a lot of gardening with the aid of a horse and plow . It took a combination of it all to feed a family . Trying to feed a family without some type of domestic animals or fowl would not be impossible but would be very labor intensive and a hard scrabble life . Quite frankly I think most of todays people are either too old and out of shape to live a self sufficient lifestyle or they are of the young and lazy generation and would simply starve to death before they would work that hard . I have been eighty percent self sufficient over a good number of my younger years and know the importance of having some type of domestic critter to make life easier .
     
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  9. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    I believe you are right in that choice would be the best for many people
     
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  10. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Being an urbanite myself, it is really hard to convince the neighbors it is okay to keep a cow, pig or any sheep / goat. But the need for meat will not change once the SHTF. Answer is the small fast breeding critters--- rabbits AND guinea pigs. Folks will need the guinea pigs for their fat content. Small cage, and keep a mating pair or two and get rid of excess critters to keep the neighbors calm. That way you have your starter pairs and no need to make an emergency rush to a closed pet store. Small tunnel grow beds and the critter food is solved too. For you lucky rural folks, you can take this concept and expand it a bit. Just remember the KISS principal and if it need any fuel driven equipment to make it happen, you are making it too complex.
     
  11. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    I think from strictly a survival perspective I would go for potbelly pigs, guinea fowls, and goats. The small pigs can eat your scraps and leftovers and "recycle" them. They are small so you don't have to deal with large quantities of meat to have to cure and store. The guineas roost in trees and are not as likely to fall victims to foxes and such. they are also excellent security alarms. Nothing will be able to approach your place without you knowing it. They ARe incredibly noisy. I like cattle but the goats are smaller and don't require the large pastures that cattle do. Once again their size makes them meal-sized. Depending on the type they can provide milk, meat, and wool.

    All of that said though people didn't achieve a very high level of life without bigger animals to help them with the work of breaking and tilling the soil. This allowed one man with a draft animal to raise enough to feed a bunch of people. this freed them up for other pursuits and from that civilizations arose. In places that didn't develop these animals the level of their civilization suffered. If nearly all of your people have to work the fields to keep you fed they don't have as much time for big building projects. The South American civilizations seemed to be an exception but that is looking like a misconception. They had domestic animals...people. They may have worked them and killed them in mass...and used them as food.

    For a small farm designed to feed a family and have some leftover for trade, I think that I might go with some sort of Oxen. They are strong, will provide meat, milk and not be as attractive to thieves as horses. The American Milking Devon would be a good choice. they are s medium-sized animal bread to be both a draft and milk producer.

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  12. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    I would think that in a severe SHTF situation, domestic animals would be more of a liability than an asset. Especially considering that you need to protect them from hungry thieves/rustlers, obtain and store animal feed/water, medicate them when they are sick, shelter them, and so on.

    Life under austere conditions would be hard enough for the family unit/group to maintain security without the added responsibility of caring for livestock (even as small as chickens).

    Bird trapping figures heavily in my plans for obtaining protein during severe and widespread SHTF. Other small "game" is included as well.


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  13. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    Another aspect to keeping a survival animal or bird . It takes a serious and dedicated prepper to devote time on a daily bases to properly take care of their critter . If someone is not willing to give the care their chosen creature requires , it would probably be best to not obtain the critter to began with . That will diminish their chance at survival in a S.H.T.F. situation but would be better than keeping a creature improperly cared for .
     
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  14. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    What you have to understand about domestic animals is that the time spent caring for them won't be a loss. In a world where there is no frozen microwave dinners all of your meals are going to take a LOT more preparation and work than we are used to now. Even if you trap or shoot a bird to eat you will have to pluck it, clean it and cook it. When you take into account the effort of hunting and trapping the amount of effort it takes to care for your domestic animals dwindles in comparison AND you are guaranteed a meal. Hunting may not be successful every day. Without refrigeration birds killed will have a very short shelf life so you can't save them for long.

    Something else people don't realize is that IME is something that you will have a lot of. No TV, no radio, no computer, no job to go to, no shopping to do. You will have plenty of time and the 30 minutes to an hour a day that you might spend milking, feeding and caring for them will be nothing. As far as protecting them, you will have to protect whatever you have for a while and a lot of livestock are also good watch critters. I think that this is mostly a misconception that urban people have. When everyone has chickens and everyone shoots chicken thieves on sight the problem is short-lived.

    Most people won't know what to do with a chicken if they got one. Most people don't even know how to cut up a chicken. I do a 10 piece cut. Most stores these days don't sell many whole chickens and never put them on sale.
     
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  15. Meerkat

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    Maybe chickens ,quite ones.:D Barred Rocks?

    It will take more feed than livestock is worth ,imo. Livestock eats continuously. Maybe hunt local small game,don't know.:confused:
     
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  16. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    I based my earlier post on many historical accounts of hard times around the world since the beginning of civilization, which underscores the simple fact that those who openly "have something" are prime targets for the "have nots."

    Kinda hard to hide livestock such as chickens, pigs, goats, and cows from desperate people. As for guarding them, almost anyone can be eventually outgunned and outnumbered by larger and better-equipped groups who want what they have.

    Nope, not worth it when there are better alternatives...IF I am flexible enough to forego my current luxury of juicy steaks, chicken and dumplings for things that won't cost me bullets or even my life to defend.

    Historically speaking, I also realize that it will be problematic to plant, grow, and harvest gardens and fields of grain during and after SHTF events.

    My plan is to avoid all of those problems from the start, "grey man" style.

    For years, I have been honing my skills to transition to a more practical SHTF diet. I am further along than I was ten, twenty years ago, but I am still a bit slow with breasting out birds for the stewpot. I'm currently working on a variety of new-to-me bird traps/baits. I am deadly accurate with a slingshot, but the rubber parts are not sustainable, but I am pretty good with the Cherokee blowgun but need more practice to reliably hit birds.

    There are other sources of protein out there (Old Geezer mentioned some) that do not require me to risk my life defending...and they are worth considering.

    Even my gardens will be done covertly. Over the years, I have planted and enjoyed eating perennial patches of nutrient-dense food that are not recognizable by others as being edible but are prized by other people around the world as choice foods. I also have deliberately planted patches of plants that are invasive weeds to others but are highly nutritious (and delicious!) food for me: lambs quarters, dandelions, purslane, stinging nettle, burdock, etc. Because they require almost no care, no tilling, weeding, etc. I won't become a target for my foodstuff.

    Makes sense to me.


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  17. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    GA, that is an excellent plan for folk living in the wilderness. For rural, it might work but with so many people around to notice your activities --- gathering ---- on just about a daily basis, it could be a risky venture. In a suburban or urban environment, these invasive weeds would draw a HOA fines and get uprooted. My point is that each prepper must take into account their environment and plan according. I do agree that having livestock running around is going to draw unwanted attention. Big critters (cows & steers) will require large amounts of feed, and that means large open pastures. Medium sized critters (goats, sheep) will also require open pastures to roam and they are even easier to carry off. The small critters (birds, rabbits, very small pigs) can be kept close to home and be feed from garden and scraps. They will all pose some type of risk factor.
     
  18. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    The plan is beneficial for those in urban environments as well. Birds can be discreetly trapped in cities as well as rural locations. Almost all of the plants that I mentioned are already growing in most cities. Some plants, such as purslane, amaranth, and many other "wild" edibles are also sold as ornamentals and will pass HOA guidelines. After SHTF, all of the plants I mentioned plus dozens of others can be easily planted from seed without obvious cultivation and thrive with no care. Others are commonly seen growing in cracks in sidewalks, and in vacant lots which underscores how easy they are to grow without human intervention. Harvesting can be done discreetly, as I have done on many occasions when I lived in New Orleans.

    You mentioned that "small critters (birds, rabbits, very small pigs) can be kept close to home and be fed from garden and scraps."

    Feeding ourselves and domestic animals with scraps and produce from the garden works great at the present time, and I have done it for more years than I can count. But consider that during and after severe hard times, how most people would not be able to cultivate tender veggies for themselves and food for animals without intensive cultivation, an unlimited supply of water, perfect weather, and with no bugs. And considering the fact that many others will want your tomatoes and cucumbers, are conventional gardens really worth defending with a limited supply of ammo?

    I encourage everyone to consider what they will do when the pantry is finally depleted, and others are more desperate than you. Certainly, you don't plan to shoot everyone until you run out of ammo?

    I have been considering (and putting into active practice) easier alternatives that would also work in almost any climate or terrain.


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  19. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    Grizz I have adopted part of your strategy in that I also have wild edible plants that I have on standby for the apocalypse . I don't have a clue to its name but know it tastes good , insect resistant , needs zero care and I have a lot of it . However milk for our clan , especially for the younger ones is a resource I would be willing to fight and perhaps kill to protect . My situation is different than some as I have several men in our group that were raised in a rural environment and toted and hunted with guns ever since they were old enough to hold a gun steady on their shoulder . In other words it wouldn't be just me guarding our goats or any other resource . Missing their target wouldn't be likely as one of the pass times around here is shooting skeet getting thrown out of one of those thrower gadgets .
     
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  20. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    its a calorie count...you will need roughly 730,000 calories for a year at 2000 calories a day....i myself shoot for 1 million per year some experts that set up retreats for high end clients now are going for 1.3million per year. they done some serious number crunching and done calorie use for daily chores.

    i.e. cutting firewood by handsaw burns 430 calories per hour.

    you can look on the net for a calorie burned chart doing various activity...look up walking vs. walking up hill. think about walking a mile 'down' to the river and going back 'up' carrying the water weight on your shoulders.

    for me and mine...we will be keeping any livestock we need...starting with chickens. i also will take advantage of other wild offers in fall and early winter to get one resource thats need in counting calories...fat to render.

    chickens,milk goat and sheep.
     
  21. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Urban areas, the limited wildlife will disappear in a big hurry. Sling shots, BB guns, pellet guns, rocks and even a few firearms will wipe out the all the critters, ground or air born. What is not killed, crippled, will be chased off, to safer locations. As noted in many past posts and history (city sieges) all the local critters, rats included get wiped out pretty darn fast.

    In regards to holding off the hoards, leave a few bodies out front and the rest will find safer targets. As for limited ammo, I have a lot more rounds than neighbors. I like the concept of harvesting wild plants. But if everybody is starving around you, then anything you pick will become a new test bed for your neighbors. Starving people will very quickly notice any plants in the neighborhood being picked / harvested. Traveling out to harvest will in it self be a very dangerous process. Staying in your own place, will be less hazardous, in my opinion. The amount of needed calories, will only increase with more activities. Staying close and harvesting your own produce and critters, will require a lot less exposure, than searching the neighborhood for the secreted wild plants. Small critters can be moved into the garage and then only the produce will require adventuring outdoors. Preppers should already have more food / supplies than their neighbors, so the less you are seen, the better. Grow rabbit type food in your garden and it most likely won't be raided, more than once. The back yard garden may get raided but you should have enough critter and people food to outlast your neighbors. You don't have to outlast the world, just all those around you.
     
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  22. elkhound

    elkhound Expert Member
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    one thing to is to look at seasonal calories....acorns and other nuts...wildlife migrations....leaving a bit of corn in your field draws in birds to your pond even more.

    also i am dealing more and more as a forest owner with tree deaths...i have a mature forest mostly but over several decades now my forest is changing and i am now facing facts about certain tree species that are going to leave my woods..theres many places across u.s. dealing with it also. i have been and am planting various type chestnut trees. looking out past my life to the ones that get this property it wouldnt take much to render it a 'dead forest' not producing anything.this year alone i have lost a huge portion of ash trees. i have both chinese chestnut and dunstan chestnut.i have had american chestnut trees get as large as 20ft only to get the canker and die. i am going to look at the pinion pine to see if it can live and any risk bring into my forest if any.

    @TMT Tactical 90 to 180 days just might cull alot out of the big picture.
     
  23. Sourdough

    Sourdough "ALASKAN"
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    I think raising German Shepard's for food would be fun. Less likely people would steal them then goats or rabbits.
     
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  24. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    Only problem raising German Shepard's is they eat the same thing I like and they may think they are raising me for food.
     
  25. GrizzlyetteAdams

    GrizzlyetteAdams Crap Creek Survivor
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    My situation is similar to yours as well: we are a very rural-fied bunch of people who know our way around all sorts of situations, including SHTF. No problem there!

    The scenario that I have been describing is what I would call PLAN F-Fubar, for when things are completely Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition, lol. As in a severe SHTF such as pandemics, that in spite of best care practices, can easily kick down half or most of a group. Or any number of other things that can easily produce worse-case-scenarios.

    As you can imagine, prolonged SHTF events can deplete personal food pantries; overharvesting can reduce wild game and disease can strike domestic animal herds, the list goes on... After a time, even common preps such as garden seeds and salt for preserving meats and vegetables can become scarce.

    (Some of these things happened not that long ago, right here in America. Some of you read about it in my blog post, but for those who didn't and want to read about it: https://mysurvivalforum.com/blogs/h...g-many-popular-prepper-beliefs-and-myths.156/)

    My personal “Plan F- Fubar” (bird trapping, camouflage gardening with deliberately planted non-foodie looking plants, etc.) is for those extreme times. You could also call it “advanced prepping.”

    If I didn’t have to deal with so many problem bears and mountain lions in my area, I would definitely have livestock included in my Plan A, B, C, D, and E! I do miss my chickens and rabbits! Not the goats. Never again, damn them.




    LOL, I’m not too keen on the dead bodies idea, but your idea of raising rabbit food, etc. in the backyard would dovetail perfectly with the Fubar Plan F that I have been describing. Many of the plants I have mentioned can be food for both rabbits and humans.

    It’s those unfortunate people that are apartment dwellers, stuck in the city with their depleted pantries, who would need to forage the city discreetly. It would not be easy, but it can be done. Just like they did during sieges in Sarajevo and Leningrad, and just like Selco described the Bosnian siege he endured--and wrote about. But sadly, the contrast between those places and America is sharp. The average American does not know how to recognize or prepare wild edibles as people do in most other places around the world. Identifying some edibles has a huge learning curve, but that can be overcome if the right seeds are in your preps.

    This thread might help those who are not familiar with that process:
    https://mysurvivalforum.com/threads/fool-proof-wild-edible-medicinal-plant-id-method.6106/


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  26. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    Tell me if anybody else has this problem. If (a HUGE IF) I ever had livestock at home there is no doubt in my mind that within 30 minutes of their arrival they would all have names; they would all have their own feed bowls; they would all have beds; and they would probably all have their own recliner. They would all have a place at the dinner table, and that place would be in a chair, not on a plate. We would eat our young before we ate any of the animals. Anyone else have a spouse or significant other who is a consummate animal lover?

    On a more serious note how do you handle animal health without the assistance of a Vet? Medications? Shots? Odd ailments? Do you know enough about the animals to provide proper care to maintain them? What do you all do?
     
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  27. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    Down on the farm we called a vet only once and that was to perform an operation at night by a lantern light to cut out a still born calf , the mom lived . Unlike todays pet owners we simply depended on the hardness of the animal to survive . If they died that was just part of it and was an occasional expected outcome . I did take a needle and thread and sew up a dog one time that was about to bleed to death , it wasn't even my dog just some dog someone threw away , it also lived . Zero anesthetic in the cases of the cow or dog .
     
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  28. poltiregist

    poltiregist Master Survivalist
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    Doctoring on ourselves wasn't much of an upgrade than doctoring on animals . We kept a gallon jug of turpentine . For those that may not know turpentine is derived from the sap of a pine tree . Preferably from the long leaf pine species . The turpentine was poured into body hole punctures and cuts to stop infection . It would have to be really bad if someone went to a doctor .
     
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  29. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good afternoon Grizz,

    I like your "Plan F-Fubar" !

    Mine I labeled "DEFCON PLAN ALPHA". Party hard and relax because the mosquitoes won.
     
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  30. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Master Survivalist
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    Good afternoon Morgan,

    Yes, the same here but not called a "problem". I'm the product of Warner Bros. Productions and Walt Disney Studios.

    It's not that I assign human attributes to other species, it's just that I value the other species much more than some of the trash called "human".

    I even talk to my poisonous snakes; "Snake, get the hell away or I call Ricky Ticky Tavy and Moses.

    In winter, even feed the birds and squirrels.
     
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  31. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    Well I agree completely with that, and yes, we feed the squirrels and the birds year round. I don't talk to the snakes, but I do talk to the birds, frogs, and deer. The only time it becomes a "problem" nod nod wink wink, is when what was supposed to be dinner has now become a guest, and expects to be fed dinner. It has happened to me so many times I have lost count. How did I get myself into this?
     
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  32. TMT Tactical

    TMT Tactical The Great Lizard !
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    I do admit it will hunger times before I start butchering the rabbits or guinea pigs. Now that does not mean they will not get eaten, just I will not be doing the butchering. I will keep a breeding pair and when it comes time to limit the stock, then a one way trip will be scheduled for them. The idea is to maintain a small start up stock in case thing do go south. Until then, the local butcher will be doing the dirty deed. During a SHTF event, I will do the butchering. Hunger will toughen the heart. I don't keep pets for the very same reason as Morgan 101 has with new critters coming to visit, I don't need another mouth to feed.
     
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