Old Mother Goose & Piggly wiggly

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by ljmorrison, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. ljmorrison

    ljmorrison Junior Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I am interested in keeping geese, and was wondering if and where they might fit into the permaculture picture? Do they eat slugs and bugs like ducks do? What are they like for meat? Will they come in for shelter at night like chooks? Is there anyone out there who has experience with geese who might like to pass on some valuable knowledge? Also what about keeping swans? Is there anyone on the list who keeps swans ~ for eggs, or just as pets/guard birds?
    My other question is regarding pigs ~ I've heard of them being used to dig up and prepare and fertilise the vege patches after harvest and before the next planting, but the only pigs I've seen on a farm were kept in enclosures (not very nice), and would run about like crazy things if they were fortunate enough to escape. I'm wondering if they are more docile when given a bit more freedom and pleasant living conditions? Or do you need to trap them in the area you want prepared?
    Thanks in advance for any much appreciated knowledge.
    Kindest Regards,
    Leanne
     
  2. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Geese are wonderful animals.

    Geese are wonderful animals.
    It is best to get them as young as possible and 'humanise" them.
    They are heard animals and really need a pond to play in.
    They are superb watch dogs but need protection from wild dogs and big foxes.
    There are a few different varieties.
    They eat only green things, so they are good to keep the grass down-
    although mine also adored Chillies.

    I will try to get the "goose lady" to tell you more.
     
  3. Soleil.Lunar

    Soleil.Lunar Junior Member

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    The Geese at our place

    We have 3 geese and I can't tell you what sex they are because I can't catch them to check.
    They have free range of 40 acres although I have never seen them go further than about 50m from the dam which they happily share with a family of ducks and tolerate the kangaroos coming into drink of an evening.
    Each morning they wait at the bedroom window for their handful of of seed. We got them as adults and do not encourage them to be pets or patted, the seed started as a way to encourage them to understand that they were welcome to live at our dam.
    They have the potential to be very sociable but you need to be careful if you start treating them as pets. One of our children was attacked by a goose as a toddler. The result of over friendly geese living in a popular picnic area and expecting to be fed by every person who visited.
    Our geese sleep in the open by the dam and eat the grass that grows around the outlet sprays of our bioseptic.
    I have seen dogs try and attack them once and was amazed how long the geese could stay underwater to avoid being caught, although I don't know whether any would have survived if we hadn't intervened.
    Highly recommended to have around if you have a dam.
    PS. They wake not long after the rooster to honk, so they are best for "morning people"
     
  4. hardworkinghippy

    hardworkinghippy Junior Member

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    Hi Leanne,

    We've got geese and as everyone's said they're great lawnmowers and very easy if they don't become over-friendly. They can be aggressive when the female is sitting on eggs though, so you may have to make a large temporary pen for them if you have kids and dogs around. :?

    Pigs are one of the easiest animals to keep and you can keep hams, sausages, bacon and dried meats all year round, but you need a bit of land that you can divide into several sections with electric fencing to let the land rest and regrow after the pigs have spent time on it to keep down their internal parasites. They need to be wormed about twice a year.

    There's fantastic for preparing ground for making a garden. These two youngsters dug up their first field (about half an acre) in two weeks.:shock:

    [​IMG]

    They bite a bit at first depending on how they've been reared, but you can train them easily and they soon learn to be docile and affectionate. (One of the really hard parts of keeping pigs is how nice they are :cry: ) This is Fabrice cleaning one of our pig's ears.

    [​IMG]

    They appreciate a nice shed with load of straw which they dig into a hole to make a comfy bed.

    [​IMG]

    They never soil the shed, but use a space well away from it for their toilet. They really appreciate a nice wallow too to help keep themselves clean and cool in summer.

    [​IMG]

    I was a bit wary at first about keeping pigs, but Fabrice's family have always kept them and he was more confident. I'm so glad I was persuaded, they are really worthwhile animals who contribute a lot to a permaculture way of life.

    Irene :)
     
  5. Permibeginner

    Permibeginner Junior Member

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    have to laugh at the comment they keep clean in a wallow. :lol:

    it sounds so funny next to the pic of muddy pigs :D

    I am assuming that the mud helps get rid of parasites and keeps the skin healthy.They look like intersting animals.

    I believe that keeping pigs and chickens together can sometimes cause people health problems as a microb can cycle through the chickens then the pigs then the humans and can kill once it has done the cycle. (some sort of encephalitis I think borne by mosquitos.)

    It is a long time ago that I heard it, in my vet nursing days so I am not 100% on the details.
     
  6. ljmorrison

    ljmorrison Junior Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experiences, people :)
    Irene, your pigs look gargantuan! Or is Fabrice very small? :lol: Do you have any recipes for the old Italian Salamis, like Catchiatori? (not sure of spelling) Do you smoke your pork? Your pigs look very healthy and happy :) .
    Is there a season for geese to sit on eggs? A nearby park with geese has a sign that warns about aggressive geese in mating season, but fails to mention when this might occur. Do you eat the goose eggs? Do you eat the geese? I have two small children and a dog, so thanks for the hint about the temporary pen!
    Thanks again for everyone's help :) , and keep it comin'!
    Kindest Regards,
    Leanne
     
  7. hardworkinghippy

    hardworkinghippy Junior Member

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    Permibeginner,

    Yep, that's right. :) They cover themselves in mud then rub the mud off onto the bushes and trees, they also just enjoy being in the mud really - especially when it's hot !

    Leanne,

    These two are about 160 kilos in the photo. That's normal for outdoor pigs, who live a lot longer than commercial pigs.

    I don't know what Catchiatori is so I googled and it suggested Cacciatore but all the recipe's start with "take the Cacciatore..." after three pages I gave up. :lol:

    We make all sorts of thing - and we're open to trying out new (proved!) recipes of course ! We haven't smoked anything yet, but we'll have some bacon to do soon and I'll take photos and add the details to my blog.

    These are some of our air dried copa (prosciutto), saussisons and Jambon:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Prosciutto is so easy to make and really delicious. There's a recipe in my blog :

    https://lafermedesourrou.blogspot.com/20 ... -copa.html

    Here are some photographs of what we did with the meat from our last pig.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/hardworkin ... 16/detail/

    Geese lay and sit in late winter/early spring, but one of our girls has just decided to lay 7 eggs two weeks after winter solstice !

    We don't eat the goose eggs, we've loads of chicken eggs which we prefer although the goose aggs are supposed to be really good for making cakes. We either let the goose sit and hatch the eggs or give them to the dogs or pig. :)
     
  8. ljmorrison

    ljmorrison Junior Member

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    Hi Irene,
    Thanks for trying to find catchatori (or cacciatore) recipes! Actually the sausages you have in the photo of hams etc that you posted look suspiciously like the sausages for which I am chasing the recipe! Basically sausages (salami) made from chunky bits of pork and pork fat, with varying amounts of peppers, and salt, and according to some sources, red wine also. Does this sound like the sausage suspects caught on your camera? :lol: Aha! Would you care to accompany me to the station and file a recipe report?
    By the way, I checked out your blog, and was nearly brought to tears! La Ferme de Sourrou is so beautiful! I am keeping an image of it in my mind to aspire to! :D
    Thanks again for your responses, and if you see that illusive recipe lurking around your kitchen again, just let me know.
    Kind Regards,
    Leanne
     
  9. Soleil.Lunar

    Soleil.Lunar Junior Member

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    Feeding pigs

    Hardworking hippy, what do you feed your pigs?
    I notice in our latest rural lands protection board (RLPB) newsletter that it is illegal (I assume in NSW) to feed pigs any household waste and table scraps that have come into contact with meat. Fruit and vege waste seems ok. Do you feed any dry meal (meat based) products?
     
  10. hardworkinghippy

    hardworkinghippy Junior Member

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    Leanne,

    Making sausages, salamis and hams etc. is a question of personal taste and I change the recipes depending on what I've tasted from other people and anything new that want to try.

    The saussison in the photo were made from quite fatty pork and wild boar meat ground in a machine with the nozzle with the biggest holes. You can cut up the meat by hand to get really chunky pieces. To the minced meat mix, add fine salt, ground/fine pepper and herbs and spices according to your taste. (Bay leaves, thyme, Juniper berries, Chillis, loads of garlic....) some brown sugar. Some people add saltpetre to help the curing, but we don't use it and keep a close eye on the sausages to make sure they don't spoil.

    After you've filled the sausages, you leave them to air dry in a cool place where the air isn't still, but the humidity is low. Check them regularly and move them if necessary to ensure they don't dry out too fast, but they don't get mouldy either. You can dust them with pepper if they show the least sign of humidity. They last for a very long time, we still have some from last year which are edible but the birds have taken a liking to them, so we decided to let them have them.

    We'll be doing another pig in the next couple of weeks, so I'll take more photos and write down our recipes and post them to my blog.

    Soleil.Lunar,

    It's illegal to feed scraps to pigs (or chickens!) here too. That law is to help prevent the spread of Foot & Mouth and other diseases. We've got 4 dogs, and table scraps never make it out of our kitchen door ! :D

    Our pigs are outside and we change their park regularly, so they get a chance to feed themselves on leaves, roots, chestnuts, acorns, apples, earthworms, voles and mice etc.

    They get a lot of greens, squash, courgettes etc. from the garden in the summer and we grow corn, potatoes, Jerusalem Artichokes, beetroot and pumpkins for storing in the winter for them (and us!).

    [​IMG]

    They also get a very small amount of meat, the innards from our chickens prepared for the table, sometimes a chick we've had to kill or small mammals Fabrice has trapped. They get old bread, and neighbours often pop in with sacks of anything they have which they can't use.

    I know we're very lucky we don't have buy in food, but it's amazing where food comes from when people know you have a pig. 8)
     

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