By: Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)
For over 5000 years people have been keeping domesticated chickens and there must be a good reason for that. I would say that the reasons are quite simple; the chicken provides food security along with food safety and quality, putting it at the top of any preppers list.
If you are planning to keep chickens to provide food for your family after an economic collapse then you have made a great choice. Chickens are small in size, have low maintenance and the ability to provide you with both eggs and meat. The average chicken will lay 260 eggs a year, so if you have a small flock of just four hens you should have over 1,000 eggs to feed your family. If you add a rooster to the mix and make sure you have a breed of chicken that is known for being broody, then you can leave some of those eggs in with the hens and your flock will continue to thrive. In addition to providing direct food for you and your family they also produce fertilizer and eat pest that could ruin your survival garden.
If you are not worried about an economic collapse or the end of the world there are other fine reasons why chickens are a bargain and a must have. One of the most economic and politically compelling reasons to raise chickens is to recycle food and yard waste, keeping it out of the land fill and becoming a valuable organic soil builder for your garden. Chickens provide natural insect control by eating protein packed insect, which will cut down on their feed bill. But, for me and my family, we are more concerned with food production.
If you have chickens, then you need to make sure you can provide for them while they continue to produce for you and your family. Like mentioned above chickens love to eat bugs and scratch at the ground to dig up other tiny morsels of food, helping to provide for themselves. But they can only do this if you allow them to free range. My current flock of eight hens and a rooster get about 60% of their food from grain and the other 40% from forging around the yard. They could get by on less gain but if you want them to produce more eggs for you I honestly believe the grain is an important part of there up keep. However, I know people that just let them forage for their food, giving them just enough grain to come back to the coop every night. After TSHTF and you run low on grain you can always feed them kitchen scraps and you should be fine. I included kitchen scraps in the above estimate of the grain I feed them.
One last note for the prepper with chickens in their survival plan like anything else there is a learning curve, so I encourage you to start your flock now. You will be glad you do not have to learn another skill when all hell breaks loose, in addition to trying to figure out where your starter flock is going to come from.
For more information on prepping please visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PalmettoPrepper .
By: Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)
Several years ago I was minding my own business watching TV and a crazy show called “Doomsday Preppers” came on the screen. I watch about a half an hour of those weird people before turning it off. But the concept of the show sparked an interest in the back of my mind and got me thinking about the safety of my own family. I really started wondering if they would be taken care of or if they would be safe if anything (SHTF) bad happened. I concluded that we were grossly unprepared and our family’s journey began.
I am a list maker so the first thing I did was make a list of what I needed for my family to have just two month’s worth of supplies (food, water, soap, toothpaste …). Once finished I looked at my list and then at my checkbook, I am a father of six with a stay at home wife, and I quickly got over whelmed and then I panicked. After a few days I got brave enough to broach the subject with my wife and we figured out where the disposable income needed would come from. Like most of you, the economy has not been good to me. I have not had a real raise in years and the price of everything keeps going up, even while the government is telling us there is no noticeable appreciation.
My wife came up with the idea of prepping in little bits and watching it all add up. We spent one evening going over our budget and found ways to save money. I cut out my bi-weekly trip to Starbucks, started taking lunch to work a few day a week. We even cut out some of our soda habit and we realized we could easily find $10 a week to put towards our preps, and that is what we did.
You will not believe what $10 can buy until you really start paying attention. Here are just a few things you can get from a discount store like Family Dollar or Dollar General:
Rice (3 lb. bag) $1.69 – you can store 5 bags for $8.45
Dried beans (1.5 lb. bag) $1.99 – 5 bags = $9.95
Sugar (4 lb. bag) $2.39 – 4 bags = $9.95
Toothpaste $1.79 a tube – 5 tubes = $8.95
Kraft Easy Mac (2.05 oz. container) $1.00 – 10 containers = $10
The list goes on and on. Again I can’t say it enough that you can quickly store lots of supplies for as little as $10 a week. When we found a big item we wanted we would just save our $10 weekly prepping money until we could afford to buy the item. I think the first big item we got was a propane burner. In just a few weeks we had the money needed.
The key is to be consistent and disciplined and make that $10 purchase every week. In just a few months into your prepping journey you will be amazed at what you’re accomplishing. Then at the end of the first year you will look into your prepper closet and feel a lot better about your preparedness.
Once you get the basics of prepping started, you will quickly start doing things like gardening, canning your own food, seed saving and other inexpensive prepping activities that will quickly increase your safety and preparedness.
For more information on prepping please visit my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PalmettoPrepper