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Currently Browsing: Homesteading

Because it’s important to us

We are buying a whole grass feed Black Angus steer (he’ll look more like steak and such when we pick him up) and a 350lb organic pig… who will also not look like a pig when we pick her up. When Stu and I started listening to an audio book called “Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us” Strange that a book like that would be the catalyst that would propel us into a whole different mindset about food. We’d wake up after listening to parts of the book and wonder what in the WORLD we were going to eat. Small changes started happening fast! Thankfully we were already on the path to less processed foods, but we had a few holdouts still. After listening to this book the cheezits and ritz went out the window too! 😉 That started us on the path of more ‘real’ food. Which led to more information about GMO’s pesticide usage and other not so healthy practices used by “big” food corp. Hence the greenhouse was born… and our twins too so we didn’t get much of a harvest. 😉 Then I started reading about raw milk, and researching goats… and you know where that led us. Ha! LRB was built and 2 little milk makers added to our “farm.” Still waiting on those babies though. Then we read/watched stuff about big meat manufacturers and the cruelty that is so often prevalent in those places, and how the animals never see light of day or even live in a space big enough to turn around, and how they are fed really REALLY nasty stuff! And that lead to more articles about how dairy cows are treated, and how “sick” animals are prodded and propped up so that they aren’t considered a “down” animal that can’t be used. And when it finally is too sick to stand on it’s own (or just before) they will sell it at a discounted rate to be used in lunches for children in the “free school lunch” programs. Disgusting!! Through this process at various times I would be completely confused about what to eat? I spent more than one day prowling the aisles at the grocery stores picking up products, reading ingredient lists, putting them back on the shelves, and leaving completely discouraged about what to eat and what to feed my family! That’s not a fun place to live, but it is just a phase.... read more

A view from the farm

My gift to me from our trip to CAL Feed! Fun fun store!! I could get lost in it for awhile! Mean time now my sensitive fingers will have some good ol leather protection while I work with our animals!... read more

The Rest of the Story

My final trip down to the chicken coop on the day when I destroyed the girls favorite place to deposit eggs in secret, I found this! A beautiful sight! Little Red finally gave up the fight and “settled” for the old fashioned good ol’ nesting box! Yay! Tomorrow (although this will be yesterday by the time you read it) I’m going to keep them all in the coop till afternoon, so that they haven’t much choice where to leave their eggs. After that, I believe, they’ll be back on track. And from now on when the goats are on the prowl, I’m just going to move the chicken feed out of their reach. 🙂 Lesson... read more

She’s nothing if not tenacious

This chicky that I have named “Little Red” is desperate for a place to lay her egg. I’m not sure how long chickens can actually “hold it” but apparently they can for awhile. 😉 Poor little thing. She was trying to get busy on that coal-bucket nest when I discovered it. Apparently once they get that “gotta lay and egg” thought in their little birdy brains it is the ONLY thing they can think of. I tried to distract her by taking down some special treats to the coop area, and it kinda worked. She ate a few pecks of oatmeal and then hopped into the coop. I was optimistic that she’d discover the nests in there are just as good. And just in case she simply HAD to have the bucket, I took it to the coop too. Alas, no. She explored the coop, found it wanting and took off like a shot back toward the yard. I’d closed the gates though, so I thought ya know, maybe the effort will convince her to find an easier (coop) place to lay those eggs (coop) like the well fluffed nests of the chicken coop!!! Or bucket even if you must! But a few minutes later I looked out the window and the crazy hen was running back and forth outside the fence trying various spots to stick her head through, and finding that her body wouldn’t fit. Eventually she gave up on that and flew to the top of the fence and over. Yep, sheeeeees baaaaaaack! She has a good sense of geography though cause she keeps coming back to the exact same spot, but she’s so confused that the “perfect nest” was gone. She even attempted to go under the folding chair to see if that would do. 😉 I don’t think it did. Poor Lil Red! Hope she figures it out soon so she can get some relief, and we can get some breakfast! The saga continues… can’t wait to find out what becomes of that... read more

Brilliant Deduction!

Yesterday I collected a measly 3 eggs from our nesting boxes. I had this nagging thought in my mind that maybe the makeshift nest that the girls were driven to use the other day had become the preferred nest. Oh dear. 🙁 So I tidied up their coop to make it as inviting as possible. Spread a fresh layer of pine chips and fluffed up and filled the nesting boxes too, and added some yummy chicken scratch as well. (not to the nest but the coop floor) I had high hopes that it would work but alas today when I went down to the coop I found only 2 eggs. Granted some of our girls are late afternoon layers, but still… So I walked around, followed by a parade of chickens because they assumed I was going to give them some treats, looking under and around the low growing Junipers that I sometimes see them scratching around. I was thinking all the time, “How in the world am I going to find some random chicken nest in all this space?!” Then I suddenly remembered that I’d been hearing some rather loud ‘bocking’ as Myles puts it, right in our very backyard. Hmmmm…. usually that kind of vocalizing is reserved for egg laying and for informing someone who is taking up the nest for too long that they had better hurry up and move. 🙂 So I started looking in all the places that I’d consider good for eggs in our yard. Under the woodpiles, nope. Behind the trashcans, nope. I considered the kids play set, but never actually got around to checking it out because as I went down the sidewalk I noticed this… What is it, you may rightfully wonder? It’s actually the plastic tray (and a divider) that goes with the crate we got to haul the goats from Phoenix. Yeah, it was plenty gross by the time we got home with them, and then it was frozen and then… well, lets just say it’s on my list of thing to clean and put away, but the hose isn’t out anymore, ya know? Well, it’s been leaning up against the house now for awhile, and I suddenly though, “That’s a kinda cave like sheltered place.” Which must have been exactly what the chicks were thinking because behind the plastic was… Yep, that’s what I found. This is a coal bucket that I’d used as a planter this... read more

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