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Thread: You Going, You Staying?

  1. #1
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default You Going, You Staying?

    Was over in Bluefields jacking around, kinda planned to spend the night. We are having some odd weather at the moment so I knew things might get interesting.

    Walked by the wharf about 3, Pangero I know said "you going", I shrugged, he said this is last boat out, they shut it all down. Next wharf over they were loading, everyone in overdrive.

    Well shit, what to do, next week is supposed to be some kind of nasty.

    Jumped the Panga, bunch of Asians and a Politico or 2, and my Silly White Ass. Not a bad ride, all things considered. I was wearing a rain slicker underneath a black plastic tarp. Hardly pissed myself on the ride.

    Looks like the Coast is locked down.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Wake at 3, go back to sleep I tell myself. Could not convince myself, had to get up and see the weather and then check it on the internet.

    There has been a disturbance moving around the SW Caribbean for well over a week. I have watched it and it has meandered around, was on top of us for a bit, as of 1am report it is heading back where it started (off Columbia) and going to make another pass a little better organized this time. That is not the reason Boat Traffic has stopped.

    We have been expecting High winds for over a week and are supposed to see up to 30 knots today. Is breezy at 3am, but not 30 knots.

    Both of these forecast have been odd. I have watched NOAA forecasts for well over 20 yrs and this one has been clear as Mud, they did not even change it for a few days, except for the time of the report. I can't figure out if they don't know or just don't give a Shit. The Wind Forecast on Windfinder.com changes hourly and keeps pushing back the arrival date.

    Not much here to do except watch and wait but the anticipation is killing me, I want to see some weather, keep getting teased.

    November and December are our months for Hard Weather so no surprises.

    Had a German Tourist tell me last week that this is supposed to be the Dry Season here, I say how many day you been here, he say 5, I say how many day it rain, he say 5. I say who tell you this dry season here, he say right here in my Book, I say your Book is Damn Fool and you too for believing it (especially after being wet 5 days in a row). He tell me I know nothing about nothing, I say I know 1 thing, November ain't dry season, tell that to your Book. I have seen it rain 4 feet in November......
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    "...In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects..."

    I make it a point to avoid weather forecasts. It's always more serendipitous to let the weather surprise me than to be disappointed by some damn fool weatherman. At my age, I know our local weather.

  4. #4

    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    It supposedly rained the week we were in Copan but has been "dry" and cool since got back with blustery winds.
    The chickens were all huddled in a crack between the feed bin and the piedra canterra wall, all piled on top of one another when I got up this morning.

    It's not really that cold, but the wind has a chill to it.
    I was hoping the sun would come out, but there is a high overcast. and as Krisnia says, "Not Going To Happen!"



    These are "7 week chickens" so they are over a third of the way into their life.
    Supposedly at that point you've realized the maximum weight gain for the feed input.
    Beyond that point they are just costing you money.
    I'm trying to design a Chicken Slaughter Assembly Line like I see in the homesteading magazines
    I need one of these:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LAPwOSFJm4

    This is a build it yourself,, with the purchase of a few odds and ends from the vendor.

    There is a lot of small scale poultry processing equipment available, but the pricing vs the local labor doesn't work out.
    For example, I pay Belkis 100 cords plus a chicken for a day's help.

    These are broilers . . I'd like to get some layers too, just so we have a few fresh eggs.

    I've been experimenting with keeping a bright light on at night, at the feed station, similar to what they commercial producers do to encourage them to eat.
    They seem to be eating less with the cooler weather.

    I'm going to add new chicks incrementally, probably monthly.
    If I can come up with a uniform broiler, and freeze them,, I might be able to tap into the RostiPollo market in Condega.

    I'm paying 20 cords for the chicks. I have an incubator, but am unsure how to manage the genetics.

    PriceSmart sells their RostiPollo for C$124 and it's a good sized bird.
    A smaller bird in Condega, roasted and ready to eat, is $150
    There used to be two places in Condega selling RostiPollo,,, now there are a dozen.
    There is a significant amount, albeit limited, of disposable income because of the tobacco (puro) factories.

    Cutting coffee has fired up, and that is thought to be good money. You are paid by the "lata", and I have yet to figure out just what a good worker gets.
    If the producer doesn't provide food, the worker gets another 30 cords daily.

    The road pavement has put a lot of money into local pockets as well, but it's winding down. Laying those pavers is really labor intensive.
    They are still doing concrete drainage ditches, and there is one last big bridge they have been working, casting concrete beams right at the bridge site.

    The economics are interesting: The puro factories pay between 150 and 200 cords daily. The road was paying 200 cords for the bulk of their labor.
    That's a lot of money if a couple is working and abuela is taking care of the kids, and everyone is still living under the same roof and cooking communally.
    Campo pay varies from 100 to 150, depending on how far back into the boonies you are. The problem with campo money is,, except for me,, everyone pays just when they need the labor.
    There is a bus down at 6:30AM, and the last one back leaves Condega at 4:30PM They are full every day, so someone is working in Condega.
    For the women, that is probably the only work available. There is nothing for them, cash-wise, in the campo.
    But, bus fare down and back is 50 cords, 60 from San Geronimo, and it's a long day. It's only 25 klicks, but over an hour each way.


    I keep two guys busy, one 4 days @ 200, and the other 5 days @150. You really need two guys for many of the projects. If I need more help,, there is an abundance of casual labor available.
    The fifth day of every week, Javier walks and re-walks the fence line,, and the "roads", cutting down new growth and checking the fences.
    Dimas really likes the four day week,, it gives him time to work his own cultivos, watch the kids on Saturday while his 15 YO wife finishes her high school (she was 13 when she got pregnant), and still have one day off.

    Krisnia will do anything that needs to be done as well,, I give her a $100 bill on the 25th, and I think that she has every one I've every paid her.
    She's competent: When Muñeca's foreleg got infected from a bot, she called the ag store we use in Condega, and Oscar sent up an antibiotic and anti-inflamatory on the bus.

    She puts up with my teasing that would be considered sexual harassment in the US: "Show that guy your boobs, and maybe he'll give us a discount" as we're buying a sack of oranges,,
    or when I bought the 55 gal drum of molasses,, "If I rub this melaza on your breasts every day, they will get bigger . .. . "

    This is met with one of the English phrases she has learned: "Baloney!", or "Forget it!", or "Not going to happen!", or just a pained look, and "Johhnnnnn!"
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    Last edited by KeyWestPirate; 11-20-2016 at 11:14 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    "...In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects..."

    I make it a point to avoid weather forecasts. It's always more serendipitous to let the weather surprise me than to be disappointed by some damn fool weatherman. At my age, I know our local weather.
    Weathermen are 1 thing NOAA is another. I have an aversion to being underwater for long periods of time without a tank or snorkel, think they call it drowning. When a boat flips on you it gets serious quick, if you are conscious.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  6. #6

    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Kevin:

    Could you do a RostiPollo business over there?
    Would there be enough consistent demand and disposable income to support it?


    I can't imagine that the roaster is expensive, at least the ones I've seen.

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    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Yes, No, Maybe... I have actually given it a lot of thought.

    Hold on to your Hats. 1 Supermarket over here does them, 240c each. MGA for 160c you get a Chicken and a 3 liter bottle of Soda.

    The Roasters are easily fabricated in MGA but through one of those odd coincidences I call life I know where 1 is I could probably borrow to test the market.

    My concern. emulation, not rocket science, roast chicken.. You may have seen this up your way, few years ago someone(?) came through and sold places a franchise(?) sort of thing for Fried Chicken. They had like 6 within a 4-5 block area of Bluefields, this is on top of all the places already selling Fried Chicken (everywhere), not a single 1 of the places is in business now. Same thing in Rama, they had a mess of them too, when through there a few months back only 1 remained.

    The place selling them for 240c does a fair business best I can tell but 240 is tough for me to stomach. I would buy a half now and then but they won't halve them anymore.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Chicken prices have come down some, they were going crazy for a while. Whole Chickens are around 32c#,I saw a place yesterday with them on sale for 28c# but they were the BIG ones 7+# each. I think Chicken in the bags (either leg quarters or breast with wing) is around 42c#. There is a new distributor in Bluefields and they have better selection, I buy thighs to grill, think they are 34c#.

    Kinda scary how this stuff is handled on this side and not for the weak stomached.

    The place doing the Rosti Pollos is using a Tip Top marinated Chicken. I have seen them unbagging them but never seen them for sale over here.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    I'm trying to design a Chicken Slaughter Assembly Line like I see in the homesteading magazines
    I need one of these:
    "
    Once you get it down you can move through them quick. Everything I read says water temp is the key so I focused on that. Hire a few kids to help with the hard to pick feathers. We would do it with 2 adults and 2 kids and it was more trouble to set up and break down than the butchering.

    I don't eat many eggs but the egg chickens are really cool, lay 1 a day, if you keep a light on them at night you can get more. The eggs are amazing. Eggs are always easy to sell, mostly I fed them to the neighbor kids as most are raised on sugar and such. The Yolks are beautiful, make an amazing Fried Egg Sandwich...
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

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    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Looks like it is ON. Next update will likely show a storm named Otto.
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    Last edited by cookshow; 11-20-2016 at 05:50 PM.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  11. #11

    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Wow. 240.
    That's the nut + and an extra 100 Cord profit.

    La Colonia does the 160 including the Pepsi too.

    I think the key for me is having my own corn. I have my own machines to pull the kernels off the ear, and also the machine to crack/grind the corn.
    That, plus the ability to freeze them is key. If I had to feed them concentrado I don't think that I could compete.

    I imagine the Tip Top truck is making the rounds in Condega too.
    Like the milk, the consumers probably just buy what they need for a day or two, or the weekend.

    I'm going to re-double my effort to get a Mz in summer corn. I kind of had it on the back burner
    I have my lake to irrigate it, and with the summer sun it should go faster.

    My idea is to send Krisnia down on Friday morning to pick up the weekend trade,, with a big cooler of frozen chickens.
    Maybe 50.



    I didn't think about the marinade,, that's a good point, and would add to the life somewhat.
    The bagging: The guy in the video uses heat shrink bags.
    There are three videos,, interesting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnUdMLSz95o

    I have the plans for that chicken plucker,, they encourage you to buy the plans, the base plate and plastic fingers from them,, and fabricate the rest.

    I've bought chickens here (campo) from time to time,, but they want C$150, unrealistic, and I still have to butcher it.
    And, it's a tough bird. Chewey. Not that flavorful. Small breast.
    Campo chicken doesn't go quickly to weight on corn or concentrado,, rather ranges for every bug or scrap it gets.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Might check your customers, most here do not want frozen meat,until the last few years it was rare for anyone to even sell it, people are slowly converting.

    Once you get a customer you will have them hooked, the quality is unlike anything they will have ever had.

    Melissa had a Duck Plucker, might ask her about it, I am not sure you really need it. These Meat Breed Chickens are really easy to pluck and the machine may bruise them up.

    Would not worry about packaging, no one here really cares about that, throw it in a plastic sack after the sale. I would package the 1# portions but other than that I did not worry about it.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  13. #13

    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    If we could get the $6 /lb for the chicken that this guy claims he gets,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNl3tdI1wdg

    we would all be rich. He has an 8 part series, which is interesting to watch, but his market simply doesn't exist here, and is probably limited in the US.

    I don't see how he uses those chicken tractors in the winter. Chickens are hardy but they would have to consume extra food to maintain body temperature
    He sends his birds out for processing, and this alone costs almost what one could get here per bird.

    La Colonia has Tip Top skinless boneless breasts consistently for 67 cords ($2.31) /pound, and sometimes with 10 percent off.

    In the US we would buy Foster Farms boneless skinless breasts on sale for 99 cents a pound.
    I was never able to understand how they did that . . .but then,, we routinely bought milk in the US for $1.99 /gal.
    Here I pay $1.66 gal, but I pick it up in my own container as it comes out of the cow.

    I haven't bought store milk in quite a while,, but I remember Eskimo costing 23 cords a liter, or $2.93 /gal, and you don't even get a bottle at that price.

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    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Skinless/Boneless Breast are 75c# here.

    I doubt you will be able to sell at any Premium, I always sold at whatever the local price for TipTop was.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  15. #15

    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Interesting thread. Storm and Chickens. Probably best to stay away from both. I can remember the stench when farmers would field spray with chicken manure, will make your eyes water. Do not think I could be a chicken farmer.

  16. #16
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Our suburban neighbors have chickens. When the wind blows our way, oh lordy.

  17. #17

    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    Our suburban neighbors have chickens. When the wind blows our way, oh lordy.


    The wood shavings have kept down the chicken odor -so far. And we only have 30 small birds at the moment,, not a lot of poop.
    We picked up another truck load of them yesterday.
    Shelley and Krisnia bagged them,, threw them in the truck.
    Not really happy campers, came back covered in wood shavings.

    Our chickens try very hard to access the green space adjacent to the fenced in yard. They were going right through the cyclone mesh.
    I put chicken wire along the perimeter fence to deep them out of the neighbor's finca, and will do some other simple fencing to encourage them to stay close.
    They DO come back at dark, to the light that I have on for them, and voraciously feed.
    I haven't lost any yet. We padlock the coop every night.
    This is more of a learning process than I anticipated; all I'm trying to do at the moment is just keep those stupid birds from getting the best of me.

    I sent CookShow a long PM after having Krisnia talk to the RostiPollo vendor we use in Condega.
    She buys birds on contract from TipTop and pays 25 cords a pound, delivered.
    She tries to buy a 2 pound bird (smallest) but can't always get that, and has to buy bigger.
    That nets her a 100 cord profit per bird sold which I think is huge.
    I can't compete with a 2 pound bird, but could with a four pound bird.

    So, I need a different market. Our corn fed chicken is very tasty. Where we are there is not enough disposable income to buy RostiPollo.
    And, there is always a neighbor's chicken to steal. Can't beat the economics of THAT business plan.

    The RostiPollo vendor claims that with gas for the roaster, rent, the marinade (she uses margarine), she's not doing all that well.
    Her problem is the number of birds sold. Where there were two RostiPollo vendors in Condega two year ago there are now twelve.

    I'm beginning to understand that this economic dysfunction may be what drives pricing in Nicaragua. We found hotels and restaurants in Honduras for much less than the equivalent in Nicaragua.
    Invariably, you have hot water for anything more than $25, and we had abundant hot water from the shower in our $10 room in Copan Ruinas:

    http://viavia.world/en/america/copan

    We stay at a hotel across from the central park in El Paraiso, admittedly very basic, but with hot water and garage parking, for $25.
    These are double prices.
    A single at the same hotel in a single bed is only $14.

    In Siguatepeque, which has gone upscale in the last couple of years, we paid for $32 for the hotel pictured. Again, hot water and fast WiFi.
    All the wifi was fast in Honduras.

    Now, part of this is comparing apples and oranges. The problem more in Nicaragua in the smaller towns, is finding decent accommodations.
    Hot water is a rarity. I don't know of any place that offers free WiFi outside of Estelí.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: You Going, You Staying?

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    So, I need a different market. Our corn fed chicken is very tasty. Where we are there is not enough disposable income to buy RostiPollo.
    And, there is always a neighbor's chicken to steal. Can't beat the economics of THAT business plan.
    Sounds like you would probably have to do it yourself to beat the prices. Offer something that isn't around. Make a trailer grill or a ground grill. Butcher the morning of or the night before and marinate them. Shouldn't be to hard to find some good recipes, probably some people around here that could help out. Use some good wood or gas, not the crap charcoal. Do it maybe twice a month and aim for the church crowd when they let out. You could also sell eggs, packaged raw chicken, and of course cold beer. Anything that you cooked that you didn't sell you could freeze and sell later or eat that week. Be a good way to meet everyone. Just thoughts.

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