7 posts categorized "Homesteading"

main coop~the pour

Well the main coop is starting to take shape.  The foundation for the floors and walls went together nicely.  The lumber we got from a neighbor who has a small sawmill.  Our neighbor came and helped with the pour, which was very nice of him to take time away from his own work on his farm.

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Main coop 9

Here we are doing the finishing work on the cement.  I've not done any cement finishing work ever so it was fun doing it.  It reminded me of icing a cake, that's the only way I can describe it.

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Main coop 7

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Main coop 5

After the forms had been stripped off and the cement was cured enough Jim got some dirt from our property to put inside the coop.  We are going with a deep litter method in the coop, so that explains why we didn't put cement throughout the chicken coop.  The cemented area is going to be where I will be keeping the feed and any supplies that I will be using for the chickens.

Main coop 4

It's been a lot of fun helping out with the construction of the coop.


i'm ready for warm weather

I can't wait to get these babies outside and in the ground, but it's way too early and our temps have just been so cold.  It's the middle of April and I'm still wearing my winter coat...UGH!  I am so ready for warmer weather.

Melons

Squashplant

Plantstand

I spied an owl hanging out in the back pines today.  At first I thought how neat, so I snapped a quick photo and I mean quick cause the photo came out a bit blurry.  But there was nothing neat about it, this owl was sitting there high up in the tree with it's eye on our hens and rooster who were in our yard free ranging for food.  I didn't figure it out until I spied the hens and rooster hiding under our lilac bush, so quickly we hurried outside to get them back into their run and coop area where they were safe.

Owl

The local nursery opened up for the season today and we headed over there before it got too crazy, we were the only ones in the nursery which was very nice.  We got exactly what we were wanting to get for our garden this year, more herbs, tomato and pepper plants.  We do grow a lot of our vegetables from seeds as well as the starter plants.

Nursery

I have a feeling that growing our own food and raising our own meat is going to be the norm for a lot of people.


the natural way

The chickens that we adopted didn't seem like they were in the best of shape when we got them.  I don't mean that they weren't taken care of, it's just that there were so many hens and roosters that I believe it was too much for them.  We have gathered almost everyday an egg or two, but the other day one of the hens Carmel, finally laid and egg.  Though it was pretty small compared to Vanilla Bean whose eggs are very large, I was so proud of her.  Carmel was in pretty bad shape as far as her feathers go, because this breed doesn't move very fast she was getting hit hard by the roosters.  But here on our farm she seems pretty relaxed and they all are settling in pretty good, even the rooster.  I have figured out how to deal with him and I think he's figured it out that I'm not another rooster and that I bring food to him.

Small-big

I have been reading Lisa Steele's blog Fresh Eggs Daily since getting these chickens and chicks and I love her approach on raising chickens.  Lisa ferments her feed that she gives her chickens, so I started some and yesterday I was able to give some to our chickens and they loved it.

Fermentedfeed

Eatingfeed

These chickens we got had mites so I have been working hard at getting rid of them and Fresh Eggs Daily had some really good tips and ideas on how to deal with them. 

Growing herbs around the chicken coop, run and even putting herbs in the nesting boxes is something I plan on doing and herbs are so good not only for the chickens but for my cooking as well.

Mint

I totally love the idea of raising our chickens and chicks in the more natural way.  I don't consider myself a natural freak so to speak, but I do like knowing where my food is coming from and what my food (meat) has been eating and eating eggs is no different. 


main coop

Looking out our front door it's so nice to see a pile of lumber waiting to get nailed into a chicken coop.  We are fortunate enough to have a neighbor who has a small sawmill.

Lumber

The foundation getting dug and the forms getting nailed together.

Himshoveling

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I've been doing my part and helping a bit.

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Mehammering

Himmeasuring (2)

It's raining today so there will be no working on the coop.


seedlings

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I started some seeds in the house, Minnesota midgets which is a type of melon that will grow in colder climates.  We have had good and bad luck with them, the bad luck was having a very wet late summer/early fall made for crop failure in our melons.  That year we actually had quite a few plants that started off really good, that is until the rains came and the garden just never dried out enough for them to ripen and all of them rotted on the vines.  I'm so hoping that this year will be different.  Let's hope!  I also planted some squash, Jim loves squash so I have almost a half a dozen seedlings popping out of the egg shells they are planted in, soon I will transplant them into bigger pots so they can keep on growing.

Coffee time-1

We have been lacking sunshine here in Southwest Wisconsin, so when the sun does shine both Jim and I have been heading outside as much as we can.  Coffee on our back deck is definitely a thing to do, our back deck gets very hot in the summer months so spending any time back there is not something we do often, so in the spring we take advantage of being able to go back there and enjoy a cup of coffee.

I hope all is well with you all and you're all staying safe and healthy.


chicks and chickens

Our chicks arrived and also 5 adult chickens we adopted from a neighbor who was getting rid of them, 4 hens and 1 rooster.  They are a Cochin breed and are not the greatest layers but we average 1-2 eggs a day, which is really nice to have at least that since the chicks won't be laying eggs for many months yet.

Eggs

Jim had to scramble to make a "temporary" chicken coop for them.  The farm where we got the chickens from had a lot of chickens and these girls were getting pretty hammered from the other roosters and they don't move that fast, so I made some shields for the girls backs where their feathers were gone.  When the girls start molting the feathers should grow back just fine and I will remove the shields from their backs. 

Chickens

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Here they are waiting to get back into the coop.  I had to go run and get something as I was cleaning the coop out and had to close the door because they kept wanting to go back in there.  They are really adjusting well considering all their friends are over on the next ridge. The rooster has been a great guy up until today when he started to show some dominance with us, flogging like he wanted to fight us.  We'll see if he keeps it up because we're not putting up with a flogging rooster.

Chickens and coop2

Our chick breeds are from left to right...Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red and Barred Rock, for a total of 18 chicks, 12 hens and 6 roosters.  Not sure what we'll do with all those roosters, we'll probably keep 1 out of the bunch, the others will be raised for meat.  We went from zero to 23 birds on our little farm here in less than a week...whew!

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Perching2

The main chicken coop Jim started today and that is exciting for us.  I am breathing a sigh of relief having chickens again on our farm, especially with the way things are at with everything that's been going on lately. 


nesting

Wowzer, it's been almost a month since I've posted last.  I totally didn't mean to do that.  Life here on our little homestead has been good.  We seem to be taking it to a new level, not anything crazy, just adding some animals again.  We haven't raised meat birds for a few years and I am almost totally out of chicken, so we will be getting meat birds and laying hens. It's been quite a few years for those as well. I am looking forward to definitely doing both, especially the layers, it will be wonderful to have our own eggs again. We've been getting our eggs from a neighbor, but he's been having health problems and doesn't have any hens at the moment. Then we found some local eggs at an Amish store but they are a bit away from us and have to make a special trip to get them, so it will be nice to have a few of our own hens.

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ACV
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ACV-12

I did get some pH strips to check the ACV pH level.  The blog that I got my recipe from suggested getting them and I am so glad I did.

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I have been making more homemade foods like the sourdough bread. I recently made homemade apple cider vinegar, and it tastes so good. My plan this year is to make catsup with the tomatoes we grow, which I've been wanting to do for a long time now, just never have done it.  I have a list of foods I want to make and possibly can this year. There is just so much we want to do around here. In the works is a greenhouse and hopefully a root cellar.

I've been so busy doing things around our home which feels like I'm nesting over here, that I haven't picked up the knitting needles for some time, though I have been doing some quilting, and I hope to show those here on the blog.