Bead Work


Porcupine Quills

Romula went out and collected some raw materials for doing traditional bead working. There were a lot but who’s counting? I’d thank her yet I would rather not.
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As I began the process of pulling them out she said, “Eyeee!” each time.

I paused and replied, “Yes, they hurt, quills out. Ouch!”

From then on she said, “Owww!” as I pulled each quill. She had learned a new word and that was a pretty good imitation of how I said it. She’s not normally all that verbal.

You would think that for such smart dogs they would know to leave porcupine’s alone. There must be something awfully attractive about those slow moving pincushions.

Again I suggested to her that next time she bring me and my opposable thumbs that can wield sharp pointy sticks. I’m not fond of porcupines, they damage both trees and dogs.

Outdoors: 70°F/43°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 63°F/59°F

Daily Spark: The rule of thumb is that to justify the cost of a boar it takes three sows if by land (pasture) and six if by seed (commercial grain fed).

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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4 Responses to Bead Work

  1. Bernie says:

    Hello Walter,

    I love your daily sparks. Today’s triggered a bit deeper consideration on my part of genetic diversity on small holdings, and what constitutes legitimate line breeding vs. inbreeding. In your experience, if you have 3 distinct maternal genetic lines, can you use one different paternal genetic specimen to produce 3 lines that you can then cycle through, thereby retaining the best for your own breeding stock, both male & female. The 2nd generation offspring would genetically be 1/2 the original male, with a 1/4 from 2 of the maternal lines. The 3rd generation would be 1/2 the original male, 1/4 of one of the maternal lines, and 1/8 of each of the other 2 maternal lines. This was the scheme that I was trying to develop in my sheep flock, until life got in the way. On one hand, I think it allows you to make more rapid genetic progress for developing a herd that is adapted to your environment and management practices. On the other hand, it may be a little close so that you concentrate undesirable traits. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    • The trick with doing linebreeding, as opposed to inbreeding, is to cull very, very hard. Genetic problems don’t appear magically out of nowhere. They must first be in the DNA. Close breeding won’t cause bad genes to come into your gene line, rather it makes it easy to detect if they are there. So cull them out if you find them. Breed the best of the best and eat the rest.

  2. Cary says:

    There’s a trick to pulling out Porcupine quills. A friend that worked a ranch where one dog found them practically everyday told me about it. Porcupine quills are hollow and the hooks that hold them in are extended by air pressure. If you cut the opposite end the air is released and the hooks retract. That way they pull out easier and do less damage and less chance of infection. Some dogs just can’t seem to leave Porcupines alone no matter how many times they get nailed.

    • I’ve tested that theory but didn’t find any difference. The thing that makes the biggest difference is if the dog will bring me the quills quickly. Fresh quills are easier to pull. The other thing that makes a big difference is when they cooperate. Kavi simply sits and lets me do it. Remus is a wuss and fights it. Romula cried but for the most part cooperated. She had them all over her face, down her right side and in her right hind leg. Looked like a bite and tail slap tangle. Fortunately there weren’t a lot inside her mouth.

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