Tuesday Homestead Update

Hey everyone! We have officially put new eggs in the incubator. Hopefully since they will only be 3 weeks behind our first ones, we can just incorporate these chicks in with them when they hatch. We added mainly our blue eggs to it this round. Hopefully we can hatch out some pretty colors that also lay pretty eggs!

I’m loving having these chicks in the house. Well, so far. They are much cleaner than the meat chicks were when they were inside. The smell is WAY down! Thats a huge thing with me.

We completed our rabbit tractor and moved our first set of growouts to it. Only supplementing with feed will hopefully bring our feed costs down by a good bit. Here is what we made!

It is 4ft by 3ft and the only thing we had to buy to create it was the staples to secure the fencing to the wood. We reused old tin we had lying around for the roof, milled the lumber from a fallen tree, we had spare fencing from building rabbit cages already, and we used a magnet to hold the kick stand up when it’s not in use. We also made a feeder to use and carry so we wouldn’t have to cut into the fence. Mainly due to the fiasco of the escaped rabbits last week.

Our next doe kindled this week also! She had 8 kits, but the runt died. So she ended up with a total of 7. She has been an excellent mom so far. We had one incident where she peed on them, but I think something spooked her. So she was covering their scent. It hasn’t happened since that first time, and we cleaned them up and got a fresh nesting box for them. So it ended well!

Our only delimma on the farm is I haven’t been able to get any seeds in the dirt. It’s killing me. I’m so ready to garden! Have you been able to start your garden where you are?

God bless,

Grave Revival Homestead

Tuesday Homestead Update

Good morning yall!

We hatched chicks this week! We put 14 eggs in the incubator and 10 hatched. We are so excited. These tiny chicks will be used to replenish our laying hens. Prayerfully we get more hens than roos from this batch. I will definitely be incubating more soon to hopefully sell some to friends.

We have them set up in a simple brooder inside our house for now, since our brooder room is still incomplete. We have a small tractor ready for them to move into once they can go outside.

We also started building new cages and tractors for the rabbits. We are hoping to move our bucks to just one side of the rabbitry and move our grow-outs to rabbit tractors. That way we can feed more greens and just supplement with pellets. One of our goals is to have every animal in a movable enclosure. We can rotational graze them while also being able to take our fencing with us when God moves us to more land.

I spent a morning this week chasing baby rabbits. They managed to escape from their cage by pushing the feeder out. So off I go, in my pajamas and barefoot, sprinting after tiny puffs of white fur. The last one put up a fight, but I caught them all! I had to lure it out from under our feed room with pellets and then drop on top of her, wrap her in my shirt as she was screaming, and carry her back to her very upset momma.

The culprits after the chase.

With all of God’s Blessings,

Grace Revival Homestead

3 Ingredient Dishwasher Tabs

I found this recipe on Pinterest and I wanted to try it out before I shared it. Just to make sure it works well and really cleans my dishes. After 4 months, I can truly say these work and are way more cost effective than store bought. Plus you know exactly what is going in them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Citric Acid
  • 2 tablespoons Dish Soap

Mix the dry ingredients, then add the dish soap and squish it into the dry ingredients until you can form a ball with it and it stays together. I use my hands to mix so I can test out if it will hold its shape as I go, but you can use a spoon if you want. Then fill your mold with them and let them dry overnight. Pop them out and store them in a jar or whatever you have for storing! (Beware, if you have a cut on your finger, the Citric Acid will let you know. So wear gloves if you must)

I just throw one into the dishwasher before I start it. I do have hard water, so if I have vinegar on hand, I’ll put that in the rinse aid section of my machine to help, but it’s really not needed.

Tuesday Homestead Update

Hey everyone! Some crazy things happened this weekend, but we are all ok and back to stepping forward. We began construction on the new brooder room. All of the lumber is being milled on our sawmill from fallen trees in the area. Such a huge money saver, especially now with how high prices are. I’m sure we’ve already gotten our money back from the price of the sawmill just on lumber.

This spot use to be a horse stall. The roof is rotting and alot of the old boards. So we are building and tearing down as we go. The roof has to be replaced for sure! In the end, this is where our baby chicks will be housed until they can be moved to the coop outside. We will also be moving our animal feed into here until we can redo the feed room.

Do you see that grassy spot right past the room we are building? Our kids were clearing up that spot while Dj and I worked on the room. It was in that spot that my youngest son chopped the tip of his thumb almost all the way off and broke his pointer finger. Yep! That happened. He picked up the machete my teenager put down and just swung it. After a trip to the emergency room, and a hand surgeon, everything is alright. They sewed his thumb back together and glued his pointer finger closed. Thank you Jesus for your protection and grace!

To say this weekend was one for the books, is an understatement. Thank goodness God was there for comfort and peace and wisdom. You could definitely feel him and I know Mason did. He was such a brave little man. Never cried, except for right after he actually cut himself. He handled getting stitched way better than I would have. Literally never cried! And of course, the day he cut his fingers was the day we cleaned out the coop and under the rabbit cages. YUCK! So the doctors had to really scrub his poor hand.

So back to the farm work, we have lots of babies being born here! We have a total of 17 babies so far. With one more (possibly 2 more) does to go!

We were also given a few more rabbits from a man Dj works with. They are quiet smaller than ours, but hopefully we can see about breeding out bigger kits by mixing the small males with our larger females. I don’t know alot about genetics, but we shall see! I’m excited to see the colors we get in the future. Here is our two new males! We received a doe also and she was in a cage with a male for the ride here. So we are assuming she is pregnant for now.

That is all for today folks! We will see you back next week, hopefully with another batch of kits!

With all of God’s blessings,

Grace Revival Homestead

Tuesday Homestead Update

Good morning everyone! It’s almost spring time! One of my favorite/least favorite seasons. I love it because everything is new and shiny. We can get seeds in the ground, baby animals born, and the farm really starts churning. However, I have the absolute worst allergies. So if I miss even one day of Zyrtec D, that ruins me for over a week. It’s crazy!

So on to the good stuff, we have a new litter of baby rabbits! Plus two more pregnant does due this month and next. So many things to look forward too! Im hoping we just had our last cold front, and this litter survived the cold, so we are smooth sailing.

Our broiler chickens officially went to freezer camp this weekend. We had an average live weight of 8lbs and ended up with over 70lbs of meat after processing and sealing. I’m not going to lie, processing chickens is harder than processing rabbits. By the end of the day, my back was killing me and I was over it. We started at 3pm and finished everything around 9 that night. I’m sure it took us way longer since it was our first time. The next batch I want to cut that time down by alot!

We sealed 6 whole broilers and then cut the rest up for individual meals. We ended up with one bag of tenders, two bags of wings, seven bags of boneless skinless breasts, and four bags of leg quarters. All of those have enough meat to feed us for a night plus leftovers for Dwayne’s lunch the next day. Financially, if you look at the price of chicken right now, we came out on top over $200!

As for our review on the Cornish Cross broilers, we are more than satisfied with them. They were easy to raise, had a ton of meat on them, and the grass where the chicken tractor was has never looked better! We have an order of fifty coming in May. I’m not looking forward to that processing day!

I will see you all back next week with some cute baby bunny pictures! I didn’t want to uncover them with this cold front here.

God Bless,

Grace Revival Homestead

Tuesday Homestead Update

We have garden beds!! Im so excited! My husband was finally off work long enough to get those made for us. Completely cost free, thank you saw mill. I also went out and bought all the seeds we need for this planting season. All I need now is for my dirt to get delivered and we are up and growing.

We plan on layering tree limbs on bottom, mulch in the middle, and top soil on top. Then we will add the rabbit manure from out back to give it extra nutrients. We will use one whole bed for corn and green beans, since those are staples in the house. The other bed will be filled with other vegetables we eat regularly. We do have another tree waiting to be milled to make two more beds, but that is a toss up of when it can happen. So for now, we are only planting vegetables and herbs we use frequently.

You can see the white board we were using for measurements and drawings. This bed we kind of messed up the measurements on. So it has a bigger area than I originally wanted, however it will work great for a corn crop!

We also started to build a new chicken tractor for our broiler hens. It will give them some much needed space so I’m not having to move the tractor so often. We have it all put together, just need to get some tin for the roof. So fingers crossed, that will be complete sometime this week and we can move our broiler over. Then we just may order another shipment of them.

Burning the wood to keep it from rotting as fast. Since we milled this wood ourselves, it is not pressure treated. Hopefully this will help keep it up and running for a few seasons.

We had a very busy weekend of building and got so much accomplished. Praising God for the extra time we had to. It was amazing and the weather was awesome. Just an all around good weekend. By the way, say hello to my little friend!

Thats right! We have a new addition to the farm. She doesn’t have a name yet, but in time she will get one. Please offer some name suggestions! I personally like Daisy.

With all of God’s blessings

Grave Revival Homestead

Tuesday Homestead Update

Reader beware! Pictures of rabbit dispatch day ahead. If you don’t like to see dead and gutted animals, turn back now.

Well. I plan to always be real and upfront with this blog about homesteading and life in general. So there is sad news for this week’s post. We lost all 10 new kits to the cold one night and my favorite hen got out of the coop and a predator got her. It was a sad couple days. There is always that possibility when you take on the responsibility of animals.

However, on the good side of the homestead, we sold another rabbit. That covers the feed cost for two months. We are all about paying for the homestead by the homestead.

This week we also taught the kids how to dispatch, skin, and gut rabbits. It was a great anatomy and life skills lesson. Plus the rabbits this go around weighed two pounds more than our last batch. The selective breeding we implemented is beginning to pay off.

We have meat in our freezer and a new doe added to our breeding program. All is well again in the rabbitry. Our meat chickens are coming along nicely. We’ve had to move them from inside, to a chicken tractor outside, to the porch in a dog crate (thanks random rapid flooding) and back into the chicken tractor. And we are only half way through their life cycle! I will definitely wait until the spring to get another order of them. No more winter chicks, unless we have an indoor brooder setup.

That is all for now, that I can remember at least! I’ll be back next week!

With all of God’s blessings

Grace Revival Homestead

Tuesday Homestead Update

Hey! So sorry I missed last week’s update. I was down from a surgery. So to catch you up, we have officially milled our first pine tree! All of the material cut from that tree will be used for the raised beds for the garden this year! I am super excited to get them put together and filled. I realized a few days ago that I need to go ahead and get my potatoes planted asap. January flew by somehow. I already feel like I’m running slightly behind on my garden plans. Seems like that is the theme of this homestead!

More exciting news! My husband’s birthday just passed, and for that we bought a beautiful new welding machine. It will definitely be a huge help out here. He has all the ideas! He already began creating me a specific design to be used on dispatch day for the rabbits. Nothing says true love like making things easier and more efficient on dispatch day.

Speaking of dispatch day, our rabbits have gotten so big! We are technically behind on that as well, they will be 13 weeks before we send them to freezer camp. But its ok, all apart of the process. We also have 10 new additions to the rabbitry. Our Fawn Momma delivered! She is such a good mother and her litters are always fast growers.

I love when we have a fresh litter of babies. It brings a certain joy and contentment to the homestead. Plus spring is coming and with the spring comes baby chicks! Nothing says farm life quiet like seeing a hen walking around with her chicks scratching the grass for bugs. It’s just an awe inspiring sight! One of my favorite sights for sure! Here is some throw back pictures to inspire your own awe of spring!

Well thats all for today. I have alot of catching up to do now that I’ve healed from surgery. So until next Tuesday, God bless and Have a great day!

With All Of Gpd’s Blessings,

Grave Revival Homestead

Tuesday Homestead Update

We are officially using the sawmill! It’s an amazing part of our homestead and will definitely help us to progress forward from here. We are using the first few trees to create wood for planter boxes. That way if it’s not perfect, it’s ok! I cannot wait for us to actually build the boxes and start growing! Come on spring!

Our meat chicks are now 2.5 weeks old. So they will go outside starting next week! Super nervous about that, but really happy to get them out of the house. They sure do make alot of noise for such tiny birds. They have grown a ton since day one. I’m proud to say we haven’t lost any so far. Praying that we keep that record going once they are outside.

My sons and I began constructing the chicken tractor that we will move them too. It’s small and we will need to make a bigger one when they begin to grow, but this one will work well until the wood is cut. Plus itll work very well for our chicks in the spring. Ill begin incubating them here soon. Luckily, we have plenty of scrap tin and chicken wire laying around. So we can just throw tractors together pretty quickly.

Some new exciting news is our kids are about to begin raising their own animals. Summer and Wyatt have both chose an animal to raise and create an income from. This will be a major part of homeschool this year. It will be their responsibility to feed, water, purchase feed, clean the pens, figure out income possibities, usw that income to purchase things needed for the animals, the whole nine yards. They are so excited for this new business adventure.

Our rabbits are almost ready for processing! The date is set for Feb 4! We have sold most from this batch, so we will only be culling three. So itll be a super short day. We also have two litters of kits due anyday now. The nesting boxes are in the cages, full of bedding, just waiting on the right time. I love having new litters of rabbits around. They are so fun to watch and play with!

Thats it for today’s update! I cannot wait to show you all of the exciting things we have coming!

God bless,

Grace Revival Homestead

Tuesday Homestead Update

Hey everyone! Not much to update this week, other than I’m ready for these baby chicks to be out of my house! Haha, no seriously. We change bedding and everything twice, sometimes three times a day. I need to get another tote to separate them because they are growing at a rapid rate and there isn’t much space in their original tote now.

Pretty crowded in there. Hopefully this weekend I can get them moved to the shed, if I can construct a safe durable place for them. Of course our winter finally arrived. For about two weeks at least. Well, except for tomorrow, itll be back to spring tomorrow. So I’m taking advantage of that and cleaning all the animal areas. Our chicken coop needs to be raked out and new bedding put in. I try to do this weekly.

The sawmill is officially up. Not running yet, but it is up! I’ll keep you updated on it when we begin to truly use it.

With all of God’s blessings,

Grace Revival Homestead