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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic.

Prepping Tip for Newbees

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FluMom View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 15 2016 at 3:58pm
Just read on another forum a question about gas and diesel and how long they will stay good. Here is my suggestion from a person prepping all my life...over 60 years... do NOT plan on gas or diesel or even lamp oil. All of those things run out!

The only dependence I have is: First: water, Second: food, Third: Heat/cooking.

I have several ways to make potable water and containers to transport and make potable water in.

I have freeze dry food and dehydrated food to last until the seeds I plant and harvest is ready to make my own food. I have jars, caps and a pressure cooker to can that food so I have it for the winter. I can make a dehydrator out of wood and screen but until that time that is needed I have an electric one for food storage.


I have a wood stove insert for heat and cooking , a solar oven, a volcano stove for wood and propane(which will run out)and which I will use to pressure cook, and a Kelly Kettle for heating water with just sticks and grass.


I have a one/two man saw for felling trees and sawing into log lengths, wedges for felling trees, and several methods for splitting logs all not needing anything but you to do it.    

I have several carts to transport water, and all other needed items when there are no cars but, most importantly guns and ammo to defend what I have.

I am looking into my own chickens and bee hive but at this late age I need to make sure my college son would want to maintain that responsibility.

Good luck to all you new preppers!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2016 at 7:25pm
Good advice, FluMom. Even with Stabil added, gas starts going bad after about 12 months. Diesel does a little better if it's stored correctly, but still has a relatively short shelf life. My son gets a kick out of watching shows like "The Walking Dead" in which the characters are driving cars on gas that must be many years old without any apparent problems.
From what I've read, lamp oil lasts almost indefinitely if it's sealed properly and kept from extremes of temperature - freezing can apparently shorten it's shelf life, as well as evaporation.
But as FluMom pointed out, it might not be available when you most need it, so prep accordingly.


"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DeepThinker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2016 at 11:55pm
I think you are missing something here...   in general gasoline engines only run on one type of fuel that must be refined in huge refineries.

Diesel on the other hand is VERY easy to make.  Also diesel powered engines tend to be tolerant to a much larger variety of fuels.   Cooking oils and just about another type of oil can be used in a pinch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2016 at 8:29am
Very true, but it still goes back to FluMom's original point about availability and self sufficiency. Even alternatives to diesel have the potential to be in short supply in a widespread emergency.
"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2016 at 10:11pm
Jacksdad you are so correct. I do not want to be dependent on any fuel that will go away at some time. I am lucky and live around wood fuel so I plan all my heat, cooking and light on wood.   

I would have to start cutting and splitting ASAP if TSHTF because it takes 1.5 to 2 years to dry out. I try to keep at least 5 cords of wood at home in the fall. I use 2 cords of wood a year. But that is keeping my house at 55 degrees with gas forced air so I would use more if TSHTF.   I have been lax the past two years and have only 1.5 cords left this year. So this fall I will be getting 3 cords of pine and 1/4 cord of hickory (very expensive but burns hot and long}. Hickory is good for over night fire to stay warm and start up in the morning as soon as the sun is up.

We have no hickory in Colorado so that hickory would just be for comfort at first until all get use to a colder life.

I have a few candles for emergency needed light at night but life for me will go to bed at dark get up with the light.

I hope others will follow because if times get really bad people better not think fuel will be available. I admire people who have solar and/or wind because that will work but I don't have the ability or knowledge or space for solar.

Prep the best basic way you can it will make a difference in your life. I feel more secure and so does my son.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2016 at 11:14pm
Flu Mom.  I once saw a program about an old farmer in Sweden (mostly about his use of horses on his farm), but one comment stuck in my mind and it was that the older farmers would keep a three year supply of fire wood on hand.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2016 at 7:31am
FluMom- I don't know if You have County extensions in Colorado but many State Universities Have free Ag classes. My wife just took a class on bees and we're looking at hives and equipment. Bees really help a garden and honey is a great substitute for sugar. You can also make candles from the wax. It's really a win, win, win for any prepper unless of course you're allergic to bee stings!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2016 at 3:56pm
Hi arirish, I have considered Bees since we have such a shortage. I may look into it this summer since this will be the FIRST summer in 4 years when I am NOT under construction on my home!

Most beekeepers purchase the comb for the bees because it takes them so long to produce the comb. If TSHTF I hope the bees could make the comb but many people have to replace their bees every year due to cold or this new virus or bacteria that kills them. So I have to really read up on bees!

Thanks for the suggestion!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2016 at 8:12pm
I keep bees and am a certified bee disease inspector, and the big worry with any disaster type scenario is the varroa mite. Everywhere in the world except Australia has varroa and hives need to be treated twice a year. You can get mite treatment with up to a 5 year use by date (and it really doesn't work after this time) but after that it's anyone's guess. If you are going to keep bees, get in a good supply of treatment.

Beekeepers generally use marked foundation wax. It doesn't take a healthy hive long to draw out a comb. Then you uncap it and spin out the honey. You can then reuse that drawn out comb for the next 2 years, but after that it's not a good idea. If you want a useable wax then you really need to let the bees draw out new comb each year and you then take the wax as well as the honey.
If it is to be, it is up to me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2016 at 8:14pm
Gas in gas cannisters (the type you hook up to your bbq) lasts forever in a sealed can. It would be a good idea to stock up on those for the short term.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2016 at 8:33pm
I've got a few of the larger propane tanks, and the adapter to refill the smaller ones Thumbs Up
"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2016 at 11:26am
Flumom, chickens are a great idea. They are very little work and, if you get the right type, will produce eggs every day. So long as you have a garden, then even if you run out of layers pellets, you can create the right sort of environment for your chickens to feed themselves. 5 chickens should provide 4 eggs a day. A good layer will produce 320 eggs a year. You don't need a rooster.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 18 2016 at 9:18pm
Hi KiwiMum, yep I would do chickens but I am not now willing to have that kind of commitment. I have a 93 yr old mother who is in great shape now but you know how that can go one day great and then not well. I don't even eat or use 1/2 dozen eggs in a month...lol.

I would do chickens as a hobby when I am no longer working and I would only do 2-3 chickens at the most.

LOL, now as a survivalist I would think a rooster would be necessary to keep producing more chicks.   But I would have to learn all that is needed and I will do that if I decide to have chickens.

Thanks for the encouragement!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2016 at 3:48am
Hens without a rooster will live several years.  You will need one eventually though.  6 birds (2 roosters: one as a spare and 4 hens if they run around loose, which is the best for feeding themselves) if you keep various breeds for genetic variety, will keep your colony alive forever.  Shut them in at night because of predators.  Keep the roosters apart from each other.

You can start with pullets or buy fertile eggs and an incubator.  Incubator eggs must be turned twice a day, automatic incubators do this for you.  Newborn incubator chicks require chick crumbs to eat.  Chicks raised by a hen do not as the hen will do everything for them, but do better with some crumb as well.  Incubator chicks can fail to raise their own chicks, older breeds do better.

Inocculation against salmonella and worming is recommended.  Salmonella will not kill your hens and will not hurt you if chicken products are cooked well enough, but is necessary to sell eggs.  Hens who have access to a dustbath with diatomaceous earth in it will delouse and deworm themselves.

Chickens eat anything, absolutely ANYTHING!  Too much onion/garlic is not good for them but they can handle some without any problem.  They like food to be crumbly and grain rich.  Layers pellets are designed to encourage laying and firm egg shells. You can buy them ready made.  To make your own layers mash requires ground grain, shell grit and a little faranaceous legume flour.  The simplest chicken supplies in TSHTF situations is small amounts of grain and a pile of cooked ground recycled egg shells (add some ground seashells too or fish meal made from ground up fish bones, heads and fins - you can do this in a mincer).  Put this somewhere the hens can get access to when they need, they will forage for the rest (grind them well if they recognise what they are they may become egg eaters). They will also eat your leftovers - a nickname for chickens is feather-pigs.  They are descended from velociraptors.  They will eat rodents, insects and other garden pests.  Roosters attack dogs, cats and even us.  If they are used to you they will not do so so treat them as pets.  Our carefully bread super-rooster Abraham (first of his line) loves cuddles and is nicknamed Abe-baby.

The commonest hen illness is being egg-bound.  The chicken sits hunched up and listless.  Dab some olive oil on the vent and cross your fingers.  This is painful for the chicken, so if things do not clear up within a couple of hours do the kind thing and its chicken for dinner today.  Fighting injuries are commonest in roosters, salt water and isolation work for that.

The best layers (light sussex and white leghorns) squirt eggs out like machinery.  Rhode island reds are superb all rounders.  Bantams are obsessive about sitting eggs and will sit those of other hens.  Black australorp are the next best thing to a turkey for food, lay enormous eggs and are cuddly - even the roosters.  Turkeys kept with chickens often fall ill from things chickens carry, but ducks do well with chickens and often lay when the chickens do not.

That is it in a nutshell (or eggshell).  Beware - they get under your skin.  Life without chickens would be a sad thing.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2016 at 1:47pm
I'd be very cautious of keeping two roosters unless you keep two groups of hens, each group with one rooster. You can keep a whole group of roosters together so long as there isn't a female amongst them, or they will fight non stop. If you keep one group of hens with one rooster, and then a second rooster separately, the one on his own will develop all sorts of problems, as they are designed to live in groups. Two roosters in with hens will result in one becoming dominant, and the other living on the periphery of the group.

We always used to keep two breeding groups of hens, each with their own roosters. Once any chicks that had hatched had started to show their sex, then the boys were put into another part of the orchard on as part of a big male group, to be eaten once mature. They lived peacefully like that. Girls were left with their mothers and then we'd cull some later in the year.

I once read that chickens respond best to being in a group of no more than 13 birds. It reduces their stress levels. 

I've had a huge cull of my birds this year and have put about 70 in the freezer, and am down to 9 layers and one huge (and I mean HUGE) plymouth barr rock rooster who's about 4 years old.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2016 at 8:12am
KiwiMum- Black Austalops are the dumbest chickens I've ever seen! Mine constantly get out of the yard and then run back and forth along the fence trying to get back in! I think the thing with roosters is the size of the yard! We keep thirty to forty hens and three roosters but our fenced chicken yard is about an 8th of an acre. There's always one that's "the cock of the walk" but the other two have enough room to avoid him. I really like Buff Orpingtons! They're big like the Australops, lay one large egg a day even when it's very hot or cold and only molt once a year. We eat a lot of eggs and sell the extras to Friends and a local restaurant and the Farmers CO-OP. Tell me about "inoculation against salmonella", we don't have to do that here! Is it a law in NZ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2016 at 2:22pm
No it's not law here, but the starter crumble that newly hatched chicks have contains things that protect a chicken from certain diseases. Here's a link:
http://www.nrm.co.nz/uploads/pdf/NRM_Chick_Starter.pdf
I have to say it's very expensive but worth it in my opinion.

I wonder if you split your flock into 3 smaller flocks if you would have more productive and happier chickens? The research I read talked about stress levels in chickens. They can only recognise 12 other birds (unlike sheep who can recognise 300 different sheep!!!!!!). The idea is that they become more relaxed because they recognise their flock mates, and a less stressed chicken is generally more productive and healthier. 

Our chickens are in huge grassy pens, as we've divided one of our orchards into 6 separate areas, each with a chicken house etc. 

My chickens are also really stupid. Maybe it's a chicken thing. They certainly aren't deep thinkers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2016 at 2:42pm
Spot on KiwiMum!  We once had a rooster who could count up to 3.  As this is a mathematical genius in chicken terms, he was called "Fibonacci".   "Birdbrain" barely cuts it.  There is not much in this world as dumb as a chicken.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2016 at 9:47pm
Not wild turkeys (they're very intelligent) but domestic turkeys are the dumbest animal no holds bar! They'll drown in a rain storm looking up! As far as separate flocks we have too many critters that love the taste of chicken here! We have coyotes, fox, raccoons, opossums, spotted skunks, stripped skunks, bobcats, cougars, ferrets, and 5 or 6 types of hawks that are all looking for a free dinner! There's no such thing as a free range chicken here! They're just free dinner!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 23 2016 at 6:09am
WillowbyBrat (who once had a pet raccoon) tells me this is slander, as raccoons can not do anything wrong.  He says they will rule the world one day.  I suspect he may be viewing the world through rose tinted glasses.
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