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Thread: Chickens and all things fowl

  1. #1
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    Chickens and all things fowl

    Hi, some of you know me already but to those who don't my husband and I have recently moved permanently to the mountains of western North Carolina. We've been coming here for quite a few years (25+) and have been semi-permanent residents for half that time. Now we are here totally - lock, stock and chickens. My girls are mostly Rhode Island Reds with the recent addition of some Austrolorp chicks this spring. I'm looking forward to they adding a nice element to the flock. A little background on me - I've had chickens in my life since I was about 8 or 9 years old. My Grandma had them and that's where I got my early start learning about the little fuzzbots. I was a Nurse for almost 40 years with most of my work in Coronary Care. I have always been a "back to earth" kind of gal. My hub refers to me as his Earth Mother. I enjoy any and all crafts and skills many of which I have taught myself or learned from some wonderful mentors over the years. A few areas of my interest include: canning and other ways of putting food by, soapmaking and skin care products, herbal medicine, spinning and weaving, sewing, quilting and other needle skills. I have always loved gardening and utilize both my veggies and herbs in both food and healing ways. You might call me (and hub) a prepper but actually having been raised by people who went through the Great Depression it has always been something my family did. Be prepared for the unexpected. We've just kicked it up a notch or two. I don't claim any highly specialized knowledge in any field (except nursing) but I do have a wealth of information, tips and ideas garnered over a lifetime which I am happy to share with anyone. So come on in, set down, maybe get a cuppa tea a few cookies and let's chat. Joyce

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  3. #2
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    I don't meet too many other spinners. And currently have no place to build a loom. Do you go through a lot of wool, or do you like to get flax, silk (I don't like spending that much!) or other stuff?
    Last edited by W.Lynn; 05-12-2017 at 10:59 AM. Reason: I should try spinning hemp or bamboo fiber but not sure where to get any, so green! So sustainable! So hippie!

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    Joyce, I've added to my flock this year also. I have Silver winged Wyandotts, New Hampshire Red, & Brown Leghorns. All of the other birds are doing well and my guineas are stupid. Roosters will be going into the freezer next month if they don't kill each other before then. I'm glad you were finally able to make your move. I am getting into spinning and maybe weaving also. I have joined a group called Fiber Arts Network and it is mostly spinners and weavers, but they do other things that are related to fiber of some sort. They are a fun group. Gald to see you are back.

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    Making felt is fun. I did felting with some girl scouts a long time ago (west Texas summers, anything that soaks kids is good.) I had them each make a ball, if you work it enough, it will bounce. I also showed them my pincushion, with a felt core that I made. They liked the drop-spindles because we talked about Sleeping Beauty & spindles, but more of them managed to make yarn on the wheel.

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    Well, right now I don't have enough space for the loom either. I'm hoping that will change as we get more settled in. When we were still in NJ every September I would go to the Fiber Festival they held in Flemington and get whole fleeces. Mostly Alpaca, but some sheep as well. It's alot more work having to wash, card and spin but you can control the quality of your fiber much better that way. I still have 4 adult and 2 baby Alpaca fleeces that I haven't worked with yet so I have plenty to do in the future. I've never worked with silk but would love to. However, as you say, that's a bit to pricey for me right now! I, too, would love to work with either hemp or bamboo but right don't have access to any sources. Do you? I know I can Google it but I'd rather trust the recommendation of other crafters. By the way (and this has nothing to do with this conversation), but I AM an old Hippie! I even went to Woodstock. Oh wow, am I dating myself. Yup, genuine oldster and proud of it.

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    I can remember that year, so you know I wasn't old enough to be doing anything interesting! My older cousins were hippies, they used to babysit us sometimes, I can still sing a lot of the songs. Now I've given my age away too.

    I think for hemp fiber, I just need to find someone who is legal to growit , then set lengths of stems into long troughs of mildly caustic substances (dishwasher detergent maybe, or other readily available, or DIY substances, maybe a diluted lye bath,) to help soften and separate the fibers, might need some pounding between a good hardwood maul & the top of a stump or something somewhere along the way. If I had a place to do that, I could probably sell a lot of hemp fiber to other spinners. I'm just guessing, based on what I read about reducing bamboo to fiber.

    I did buy a little ball of bright red bamboo yarn to fiddle with once. It has a cotton feel to it, but the yarn is very strong. With the length of the fibers, I would bet you could make very fine thread from it.

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    Fiber sources. They can't give away Llama or alpaca fleeces locally. If you will take them raw, I know people who have sheds of them. A few are felting the raw fleece to use as mulch/weed barrier cover in their gardens they are so worthless.

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    I need chickens. Don't have any right now. But I'm about to build a new coop. I'll probably order some birds soon to get it going. But then, there is a little something that may put all this off so I'll have to wait and see. I love having birds around. Of course I'll have to train the dogs not to kill them, but that's fun it's own right.
    I'm drunk tonith.

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  13. #9
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    redman, I would expect llama fleece to be kind of dirty, I've seen the ones that live around here. How dirty are the alpaca?

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    About the same. It can be sent off to be cleaned for a modest fee as I understand. Locals won't take them unless cleaned, so the farmer has to pay to have it cleaned to give it away

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