Friday, June 16, 2017

Is Smell Free, Fly Free Pig Farming Possible?

I have to find out more!

I thought farms and flies/smell were synonymous, but Hawaii being the paradise it is, I heard it just might be possible. I needed to find out how we can do this. Fast.

Our farm, if we are 'allowed' to call it that, is a single acre in a semi-residential community of one acre lots that are zoned Ag. It's actually a 135' x 330' lot of wavy undulating lava rock with a smattering of cinder soil that can support some grass, a few trees and some local Hawaiian plants. Our current placement of the chickens is in the far right hand corner away from the main house (NE corner) and takes up 20' x 20'. We have 30 chickens, 15 full grown and 15 adolescents and 10 young growing turkeys. They have plenty of wing room right now, but we are getting ready to move the poultry by enlarging their pen to one that is 120' x 20'. We are planning to fence in the entire rear of the property and let them roam in a large pen with both goats and pigs. We want to get three female goats and three female pigs to start our heard of sustainable stock. 
Pigs and goats, but no flies? The decisions for the new animals are set, but now that there may be a way to do this without the usual farm pests and stink, the way we set up the new pen is not.

Looking on line for fly free farming, I ran across two dominating methods so far. KNF and The Salatin Method.

KNF stands for Korean Natural Farming* who's main focus is a select few solutions made up of various concentrations of  micro-organisms gathered from the farm site or nearby. Add this initial solution to other elements and organisms gathered and fermented according to a regimented set of protocols, applied to the pen site in stringent rates claim to build a bedding litter that is indeed fly and smell free. This method takes a high investment of initial time in making and understanding the hows and whys of the beneficial organisms and their use. Once started, this method is supposed to take only an occasional input of additional solutions to correct or adjust issues seen.

The Salatin Method is the one started by the family farm owned by Joel Salatin. His Polyface Farm** uses Animal rotation by way of  'Portable Pens' and electric fencing to utilize the best grazing, foraging and pasturing of all their animals to their fullest potential. Carbon footprint, Land use, Pasture reclamation, water management, local topography and indigenous flora, and marketability of their animals are taken into consideration. Though they have a 650 acre farm, they believe their ideas are scale-able for the small backyard farmers. Time investment for this method revolves around an intensive rotational management of the pens and animals in their farm. Fly and smell free claims are not a major part of their stated benefits. More a potential side effect [my assessment] through the frequent movement of manure sources before it gets to be a problem.

JoAnn and I are taking classes in KNF, theory and will be aiming for a certification in level 1 solutions in anticipation of the Level 2 and advanced level certification. We want to be able to understand these better. We will also be reading and viewing more videos put out by Joel to further understand his method better, but will be reserving our decisions for which method or combination to use.

Next Post: Can fly free really be true?


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