Friday, October 26, 2012

MIA

The last few days I have realized some things, like I spend entirely too much time on the internet. I have read some things this morning (not on blogger) that have put things into perspective for me. So I have renewed energy to get back to doing what I need to do so I will not be blogging for a little while! I will miss reading what you guys are up to, but I need to get busy around here. So take care my friends and I will be back in a few weeks ☺

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Welcome ☺

Mama Pea this pic is for you! I have my first ever pumpkins turning orange!!! Of course we are getting a frost Friday and Saturday morning :/ but after battling squash bugs and the heat wave I'm covering these babies up so hopefully they will survive until Thanksgiving!

Welcome to my newest followers
Mamma bear @ http://challengedsurvival.blogspot.com/
lisa.berry01 @ http://ewescrazysoisi.blogspot.com/
L Murano @ http://muranochickenfarm.blogspot.com/
Rocky Oak Homestead @  www.rockyoakhomestead.com
Mystic Mud @ http://mysticmud.blogspot.com/
Parsley @ http://seasonsofmymind.blogspot.com/
Kitty Moore @ http://kittymoore.blogspot.com/
fullfreezer @ http://fullfreezer.blogspot.com/
Thank you all for clicking that button and joining me and my family on our journey to self sufficiency!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hard Cider!

I mixed up some hard cider today and it smells yummylicious!!! Jenna at Cold Antler Farm, so graciously shared her recipe heres the link http://coldantlerfarm.blogspot.com/2012/10/make-small-batch-of-hard-cider.html#links  if you want to try it yourself, it's soo easy and I bet it's going to be good ☺

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thank God It's Monday!

We got alot done on the goat barn this weekend, but I am glad it's Monday and the kids are back in school, the husbands at work, and I can get to work on cleaning this house! I spent most of this weekend outside with my husband holding boards and whatnot! I would come in clear a space in the kitchen cook something and go back outside. Dishes aren't my favorite thing to do, so needless to say my kitchen looks like a bunch of lazy teens live here, oh wait they do LOL!!! Grandpa brought us a window yesterday so we added it to the barn, it's on the side that is mine and the goats will only be in there to be milked so I'm hoping it doesn't get busted out! We had to put a piece of metal over it because they already tested it out in the short time they were running wild while we redid their pen! I found two doors on Craigslist this weekend. One is a vintage door that had a glass window, we took the glass out so it will go inside the barn as the door to the milking area. The other is metal and is for the outside entrance for me to get in ☺ So far I think we are still under $300 for the build, we got the metal free from my dad, so all the cost has been lumber.

shabby chic don't ya think ♥


this is a picture of our back back yard the hubs builds targets when I don't have him slaving away as a farmhand ☺
a better view of the inside
I found this buried in the dirt in the yard. It made me think of my grandad ☺

Monday, October 15, 2012

Progress!

Poles are set for the goat barn!!! I didn't take any pictures because I was holding the beams but I will take some as we continue to work! The goaties were their usual overly helpful selfs giving us kisses as we dug holes :p The hubs has a job out of town for awhile so his days will be longer than normal. So I have decided to take on my first build! I am going to transform my daughters playhut she no longer uses into a chicken coop for my new babies. Our existing chicken coop will hold the first five we hatched plus the six big ones we already have comfortably but I need space for the 18 little ones! I'm no builder, so this may be the wonkiest coop yet LOL!!! The first five chicks I hatched are getting big, I have for sure 2 girls and for sure 2 roos 1 is iffy but I think it's a boy too :( The farm plan as of right now~~~ Build goat barn and chicken coop, get all the chickens settled in and in a routine. In the spring we're going to try our hand at pigs and hatch out more baby chicks to sell. Things are happening around here and I'm excited☺

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Agricultural Exemption Permit....

is what I got approved for!!!! Whoo Hoo!!! People had told us we couldn't get one because we only have 2 1/2 acres! This is an example of you don't know until you ask!!! What does this mean for me, well I need to start selling eggs, chickens, rabbits, or produce every now and again. The benefit is I pay NO sales tax on items needed for my farm! It's official I have a farm and now it's up to me to make it productive!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Hatching Chickens ~ Guest Post for UpCountry Living

Jenna at http://upcountry-living.com/ has asked me to do a guest post on hatching chicken eggs. I am honored and thrilled that she has asked. Her blog is full of great ideas, information and beautiful pictures. So here it is, I hope she and everyone else likes it!
Let me start by saying that anyone that knows me or has read my blog knows how much I ♥  my chickens. So, in trying to make my homestead a little more profitable I wanted to start raising cochin chicks. They are my absolute favorite with their feathered feet and fluffy butts ☺ My birthday was approaching and my mom wanted to know what I wanted. I said an incubator, then I said no I will build it myself, then I changed my mind again (women do that sometimes). Well I had been collecting fertile eggs for over a week and luckily my mom wanted to have an early birthday lunch! So cash in hand I went to Atwoods and bought my incubator!!! I spent a little extra for the one with circulated air, now I know I didn't really need that one, it's for when you hatch them in a barn or somewhere without a constant ambient temp. but whatever this thing worked out perfect. I was really nervous through my first hatch. I checked the temp. and humidity constantly!!! The temperature needs to be 99.5 degrees F and the humidity needs to run about 55-60% the first 18 days. You also need to turn the eggs twice a day to make sure the embryo doesn't stick to the shell. I had alot of advise not to touch them too much but I didn't listen, I was in the closet candling them every three days. I started with 10 eggs, five were cochins and the other five barnyard mutts. The five cochin eggs were infertile here's the story on that  http://kellyshappyhollowfarm.blogspot.com/2012/08/couldnt-wait.html On day 18 of incubation you need to quit turning them and raise the humidity to about 80% and keep it there. The eggs need the moisture in the air to make them soft enough for the little ones to peck out! Now to the blessed day, it was like Christmas waking up to the sound of peeping from your living room! We rushed in to see there was a baby chick, I did it right I was so thrilled!!! I took my girls to school and by the time I got home there was another baby chick! While I was on the phone telling my husband that two had hatched I noticed another one rocking! I quickly got off the phone and video'd the third one. In less that ten minutes from the rocking it was out! It was the first chicken I had seen hatched out of an egg! Here's the video, ignore my voice please ☺
video   I have since hatched out 18 more chicks. In the three weeks from first hatch to the second we have had some unwanted visitors in our yard and I lost three of my hens. One being my precious Cochin Mrs. Squirty. Luckily I had collected ten of her (fertile this time) eggs and now I have ten cute little cochins chicks. The hens are on lockdown until the afternoon when I can stay outside with them. As for the profit of the homestead I will be keeping all hens from this hatch and hopefully selling the roos. I need to see what they look like when they grow up before I sell them anyways ☺The incubator is cleaned and put away until these babies have grown up and start laying then I will do it again! Having the incubator has been one of the coolest things ever! Not only do you get to watch an egg transform into life, but you can increase your flock to whatever number you want! Homegrown Babies are the best!
From the first hatch
these guys are over a month old now and going through their ugly phase LOL!
babies from the second hatch~five more came later one yellow one and four little cochins

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chicken Count 29!!!!

I just turned off the incubator this morning, the last four eggs have hatched! To my husbands horror all of the fertile eggs are now wee little chickies!!! All 23 of the babies have feathered feet! Ten of the babies are Mrs. Squirty's so they are purebred cochins☺ The other 13 are cute little mutts! I have tons of outside chores to do today, I think it's supposed to rain all weekend (hopefully) so have a great day, I've got some work to do!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Best Husband Ever!!!

Photo: Look at my babies :)
These are the babies from last weeks hatch. See the little black headed bird peeking over the back of the brown one. That is a Squirty baby, so is the little fluffy butt in the front. The yellow baby with black speckles on it's head is one of the cutest things you've ever seen and it really stands out amongst the sea of black and brown. The bigger brown ones in this picture have what looks like chubby cheeks that squishs their eyes a little. Just darling if you ask me.
Photo: I have the best husband! He built me the biggest chicken brooder! There is 14 baby chicks in there! This thing is huge! Love him!
This is why I love my husband! Look at the size of this thing! He built this for me over the last two days. See all the baby chicks in the one corner, theres FOURTEEN of them! Crazy how big this brooder is they are going to love it!!!! The hubs got all the material for free from the job site he is working on. See there is perks to being  a blue collar worker ;) I did have to buy some hardware cloth and some sand. Let's talk about SAND!!! I absolutely love it in my chicken coops. When I first got chickens I put pine shavings in the brooders and coop! I loathe that stuff. Imagine me with a spoon trying to get every little chicken turd out of it :p And when you put it in the compost bin it takes forever to break down. So back to sand... did I mention I love it? Heres why 1* with a litter box scooper the lightly sanded chicken turds are easily on their way to the compost bin ♥ 2* no need to buy grit for chickens the sand is their grit ♥ 3* dust bath, sure heres you sand ♥ 4* when you change out the sand it can go into the garden or compost no problem ♥ 4* Twenty one feather footed chickens have clean feet ♥ We put the babies in last night and one of Squirty's little ones took a dust bath, it was the cutest thing I have ever seen. Did I mention that I have two of these brood boxes? The other one we have had but we modified it to make it bigger and hold the wonderful thing called SAND! It isn't as big as the new one but thats where the five, one month old chickens stay and they love it!!!! If you don't use sand in your chicken house you should try it! It keeps the birds wonderfully clean and makes fast work of chicken poop removal ☺

*UPDATE* I do not recommend using sand in the brooder. It was too dusty and at times I worried about the health of my babies. They were all fine but my husbands shop had dust in it for months which tells me those little chicks inhaled quite a bit. I do recommend sand in the run or in the bottom of a coop where the chickens roost at night. It's great there ☺

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Welcome


I just wanted to welcome my newest followers! So welcome Jenn, Beth @ http://bmariede.blogspot.com/ and Jacked Up Glock Mom @ http://talesfromtheclothesline.blogspot.com/  I appreciate you all for joining me on my homesteading journey and I hope you all have a wonderful day ☺

This is too funny!!!!

And the Winner is....



The 2012 Annual Blogger Cook Off Award goes to all participants because it was a four way tie. Congratulations, and I look forward to seeing the pictures from the recipes.





Copy and proudly post on your blog!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Who's a winner?

Me! Well actually the hubs he gets the shirt!!! Modern Day Redneck  http://moderndayredneck.blogspot.com/2012/10/zombi-t-shirt-winner.html?showComment=1349105684225#c2161568900703231916 had a t-shirt giveaway and I won!!! It's been a rough couple of weeks with the loss of my hens and the new arrangements around here so this was a great start to hopefully a great week ☺

Heres what....

has been going on at the homestead. My hens are locked up for most of the day which has made them less than happy. The boys have been put back in the man cave (chicken tractor) at night so I can let them out in the mornings. They would drive the girls nuts if they were all cooped up together. My five babies that I hatched out three weeks ago are getting so big, I am starting to stress over the accomodations for all these little ones :/ All fourteen of my eggs in the incubator hatched the last one was yellow with yellow feathered feet, soo cute, it really stands out against the others. I managed not to cry for the hatching of Squirty's babies they don't look like her at all so that helped! The little yellow one tugged at my heart the most because both my yellow birds were gone in a weeks time and one we witnessed :(  The hubs spent a week trying to catch a coyote. He saw a fox but wasn't able to kill it. I was a little unimpressed by his hunting and trapping skills so Friday evening after a couple cans of liquid courage I hopped in the woods and set my coyote trap. No luck with that so far. We talked with the neighbors who had lost chickens a few years back to a bobcat! The hubs friend who walked the woods with him the other night said there could be ANYTHING living in those woods. This worries me alot! Our new plan is to fence the front yard, build a good size chicken house out front, and put a bunch of hiding areas to protect the hens from hawks. This will take awhile but I really like the idea of my chickens having soo much space without the fear of the wild dogs and animals from the woods. Scorpions have been coming into my house again, I don't know if it's this time of year or what but they give me the heebie geebies!! My garden is doing great with this cooler weather and rain. I have some good size pumpkins on the vine and everyone comments on how pretty the pumpkin patch is. It's only two plants but it is huge!!!  I think that's it, I have to clean my house this week it's completely trashed since I spend all my time outside protecting chickens! CHICKEN COUNT 25!!!!