Prep Suggestions Needed : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

OK, this is a simple question but I'd like some advice. BTW, been gone for a week with no computer and I really felt withdrawal - glad to be back.

Recently came into about $2000 extra through the kindness of loved ones. I've been preparing for about 8 months, mostly the small stuff (food, batteries, lanterns, sleeping bags, etc). Plan to use this $ for (1) Big Berkey water purifier $260; (2) 2 55-gallon drums $44; (3) shotgun $200; (4) ammo $??; (5) 6 months' dog and cat food $300-400; (6) firewood $200; (7) vegetable seeds from PleasnatHillGrain $50.

Any comments, suggestions, other ideas? Thanks in advance.

Also, I know this has been discussed before but...although I'm a vet tech with lots of dog and cat experience, I've never owned livestock. Have 7 acres and thinking about getting milk goats. Is it worth it? (I would not kill them to eat.) Somehow I think it would just be added responsibility. Thanks again.

-- dakota (, July 27, 1999


Love Goats, had them for years. But in view of Y2K, I think its just another mouth to feed and a responsibilty that you do not need. You will never be able to feed and properly care for goats as cheaply as you can store up on powdered milk. If you were a farmer and knew about livestock and had the sheds, fencing, hay, grain, etc., it would be different. My advice is don't do it.


-- Taz (, July 27, 1999.

dairy goats are great- have several. But- are a big responsibility- milking 2X day, etc- only do this if you want 365 day/year committment. Otherwise- stock up on canned/powdered milk, or find a neighbor to provide you with milk.

-- farmer (, July 27, 1999.


I'm glad you asked the question about goats - I was just reading up on them tonight wondering if it would be a good investment at this time. I liked Taz's point about it being way more expensive than dried milk, and if you're like me you'd have to put in a fence and some shelter as well. Looks like you have about $750 left after what you've listed (and it seems like you've covered the basics)- don't forget medicine, soap, more food and maybe saving some cash...?

-- Jill (, July 28, 1999.

You might also want to get a .22 (the popular Ruger 10/22 is not the cheapest but it has a very good reputation) for small game and pest control. The ammo is much, much cheaper than shotgun shells.

$ 22 is a good price for drums but have you tried getting used ones from a bottling plant ? Some folks have managed to get them for $5 !

-- biker (, July 28, 1999.

I agree completely with Taz! The kids are just the cutest thing and their great to have but not in a y2k situation. The 2 advantages are if you have a lot of kids(the human kind)and need lots of milk or if you have a baby who can only tolerate goats milk. The disadvantages are:if you are in a cold climate they will need housing and winter food,no fence can hold them and they need to be held-ropes won't do it and they will devise a way to pull a chain loose ,move it with them or get caught in it. Without being held in they will eat your trees, bark, garden, and anything else you don't want them to. Also they have to be bred every so often and you don't want a billy! Someone may shoot them for food and they make you less mobile.

So without experience or a really big acreage= Put your money in extra ammo and powdered milk.

-- sue (, July 28, 1999.

For the shotgun ammo., I would suggest J&G Sales. They are on the web but don't have their address handy. They have Sellier and Bellot (brand name) 12 gauge 00 buck ay $55 for 200 rounds. That's as good a deal as I have seen. J&G Sales has been around a long time and are reputable to deal with. Also get a case (10 boxes of 25 rd count) of cheap trap loads. Wal mart is great for that. That ammo should be less than $5 per box.

The .22 Ruger is also a great suggestion. Buy at least one case of .22 hollow points.

-- Shadow (, July 28, 1999.


Save money on the Berkey and just buy the Doulton "candles" or filter cartridges. You can get them from Gene Franks at Pure Water Products (, set up to use as siphon filters, for about $45 each. I've done business with him and recommend his products.

Don't know what else you have or don't have, so it's hard to make suggestions without a full "inventory." If you're going to get seeds, how are you fixed for hand tools to garden with, and necessaries like diatomaceous earth for insecticide and crop preservation when you harvest what can be stored dry? How about an axe/crosscut saw for firewood later? Or extra K1 kerosene or lamp oil for the lanterns? Etc., etc. Think through what you'll be doing on a daily basis and be sure you have what you'll need to get it done.

If you buy new and get a pump action, you'll probably spend a bit more than $200 on a shotgun. Some good used shotguns are available near your budgeted price, with some luck. I suggest you get a Remington 870 as a first choice, with a Winchester 1200 or 1300 as a close second. A Mossberg 590 is as good as either of the above, but the Mossberg 500 is a tertiary selection (due to a higher level of parts breakage and an inaccessible magazine). The Mossberg 500 or its Maverick counterpart is apt to be the cheapest of the list- don't go for price alone here unless you're going to be very kind to the gun. Try to find a gun with a "riot" or "slug" barrel- shorter barrels are handier in tight spaces, and it is poor economy to count on a shotgun for much small game hunting or pest elimination (cheaper to get a good .177 air rifle or a .22). I figure a case (200 rounds) of buckshot will do for training and leave you 100 rounds or more left for 'later' (you can use less expensive field loads for most of your training). A case of buckshot will cost from about $80 (for imported S&B 12 ga. 00) to about $120 (for US-made Federal Tactical). If you buy at Wal-Mart you'll pay about $3.15 for a 5-round box of buck- that might work for you if you find what your gun likes there. Try several varieties in your gun and see what it patterns best with. Availability for shotgun ammo seems to be no problem right now, but that may change.

As to the goats- they're probably apt to be more trouble than they're worth, especially if you'll be just getting started with them and don't have any prior experience, goat-resistant fencing etc.

Good luck,

-- Lee (, July 28, 1999.

While reading the above post, I thought why have milk producing animals on the list? Why not just skip milk? There are plenty of other food choices for the nutrients milk provides. In addition, milk, especially "straight from the animal source" is an invitation to getting sick -- or at least increases the risk. Why risk getting sick because the container, your hands, or something else wasn't sterile? Keep in mind contamination is also a risk. How about viral, bacterial or other pathogens passing from animal to human?

I don't have anything against milk. My great grandfather ran a dairy farm. I remember my grand father telling me about all the maggots swarming on top of the milk in the milk cans people took to market. Makes me prefer pasterized, processed milk -- unavailable if TSHTF.

As to "strong bones", I don't drink milk. Prefer plain water to any beverage. I have been in lots of accidents a lot of people would have broken a bone in -- with my not breaking any bones, thank God. Have NO cavities. Dentist said I've got 1 in 1000 thick enamal. Maybe it's just genetics. Lots of people in other countries don't drink milk much after weaning -- without their bones getting brittle in old age. Certian African tribes come to mind from my reading.

As to calcium source, how about plain Rollaids? Cheap, lots of nutritional bang for the size and weight. Bio-availability varies with the chemical form of Calcium. Calcium Carbonate is THE best chemical form for human bio-availability. Keep in mind that with a 1000 mg suppliment of the BEST chemical form of Calcium (i.e. Calcium Carbonate), Your body is only going to be able to absorb about 157 mg of biologically usefull Calcium. Also, taking magnesium with your Calcium greatly helps your body absorb the Calcium. You can get by with SIGNIFICANTLY less calcium via supplements than you would otherwise have to ingest without the magnesium. Keep in mind that too much calcium -- or any other nutrient -- CAN cause SEVERE problems.

One last point -- consider the "source" of Calcium -- if the Calcium comes from animal bones (usually beef) it may be contaminated with lots of lead -- VERY toxic!! I would also pass on the oyster shell stuff -- too much risk of heavy metal contamination for my taste.

Best wishes,

-- Louis (, July 28, 1999.

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