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!
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!
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!
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.
Hey everyone! Starting today, I am going to be starting a series on praying for your families! I’ll be posting one prayer a week that covers anything from marriage to your children’s future spouses to praying over your house. Prayer is such a vital part of your relationship with God. Without prayer we are just studying scripture and gaining knowledge, whereas prayer invites us into the Throne Room to speak face to face with Adonai. Without this intimacy, there is no relationship. It would be like being married, but never actually speaking with your spouse. Just learning about them from relatives or friends while living inside the home with a stranger.
So without further ado, lets kick off this series with a prayer to cover our family!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the family you have blessed us with. Thank you for being a constant source of peace and identity in our homes. I pray that you would give my family a heart that constantly clings to you. I ask that you teach us how to train up our children in the way they should go, so when they are older, they will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6) Produce within us an attitude of integrity and a heart that seeks to give glory to only you. Protect each family member as they go about their busy schedules today. Bless them in everything they do. Clothes us in your love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. (Colossians 3:14) Help us to walk in grace, mercy, and Your Will all the days of our lives.
Bring unity into our households and restore any broken relationships inside these four walls. I pray that your hand of grace would never leave us and that you would strengthen us to stand strong against the worldly influences that surround us. Restore the hearts of parents to the children and the hearts of children to the parents. If there is any contention between them, I pray that your healing oil would be poured out over them. Make our homes a refuge of peace with the presence of your spirit always around. Thank you for being faithful to answer our prayers.
Hey everyone! We have new and exciting news for this update. We have 16 new meat chicks! These came as a complete surprise to me. I did plan on purchasing some this year, just not for another few months. Luckily, I already have a baby chick set-up at my house. So all I had to do was dust everything off, purchase a new heat bulb, wash the feeder and waterer, and let them go.
I’m so excited about them. They are a quick source of meat to stock our freezer with. Much less time than the rabbits, but alot dirtier too. Thats the only downside. Meat chickens are NOT cute. I mean, they start out cute. But they grow up to look ugly. Poor guys.
In other news, we have bred both of our female rabbits, so by the end of January we will be welcoming more kits. That’s always an exciting time. Hopefully we don’t have a major cold front move in. In Louisiana it could be anywhere between 20° and 90° at any given time. Heck, it could be 20° in the morning and then 90° by lunch. Louisiana weather is stupid.
We also have a new saw mill! It was my husband’s Christmas present. So this week has been spent putting it together finally. I’m officially over trying to level it. I’m just saying. There are only so many ways to get something level before you just call it a day. Am I right? I’m a finished product kind of girl. My husband is a detail oriented person. He keeps refocusing me on the small important steps that matter as I try to rush him to the end! It’s pretty comical to watch.
Thats all for today! We will see you next Tuesday!
“Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord”
Blessed – made holy, consecrated, those who live with God.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked.”
Wicked – evil or morally wrong.
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither-whatever they do prospers.”
Are you in a difficult season? Or are you in a season of blessing? No matter what season you are in, this says that whatever you do (that the Lord has called you to do), you’ll prosper at it! No matter what kind of season you are in, God promises to work it out for your good. Take heart, God is working everything out to the good of His children. Grow deep in His word so you can stand firm in whatever season you are in.
Can I get personal with you? Like, really vulnerable?….My marriage almost ended a couple years ago. It was so close to ending, I’m sure satan was dancing with glee at the thought of his plan working.
Between life, sin, infertility, child loss, T1D, and a little bit of faith there was a family barely holding on. A threshold for sin to saturate. A wife letting her emotions rule her household. Children stuck in a game of war that they never asked to be in. And God, trying to help us see Him.
Life began to spiral out of control a few years ago, but I held on to my vision of being OK for as long as I could. But then the bubble burst, and I was left sitting there in a pile of clothes and sheetrock, crying out for help from a God I didn’t think knew I existed.
With my heart in pieces and my marriage in shambles, I laid on my bed empty searching my Bible for anything to make me feel whole again. And there it was, in the book of Hosea. I had never felt so connected to a book of the Bible before. He understood my pain. He had stood in the ruins of a marriage too. And God had responded to Hosea just as He had responded to me. “Go, show love to your wife again,….Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods…” Hosea 3:1
It was in this book that God put my heart back together and taught me the truth of marriage. Hosea 2:16 was the key verse that taught me.
This verse gave me so much hope! I learned how to accept the love of God in the place of the love of a husband. I allowed God to work on me and re-define marriage for me using His definition, instead of the world’s. He completely flipped my views upside down! I learned that my husband isn’t supposed to fulfill me or complete me. God is!
Thats why so many marriages fail! We go into marriage placing our spouse on the pedestal that God is supposed to be on. No wonder there is strife and bitterness! Only God can fill the emptiness in our heart. No other human alive can carry that weight for to long.
Through that season of sacrifice and pruning, God restored my marriage and I learned what true love really is. This eventually led to my husband accepting the free gift of salvation! It was a wonderful ending to a very stormy season.
If you are in a stormy season in your marriage, let my testimony give you a hope for the future! God is the restorer of marriages. He heals the broken hearted. He is the miracle worker. He can and will restore what the locusts has eaten, if you are willing to let Him.
Please reach out for prayer or encouragement if you are struggling now. I’d love to pray for you!
Hey yall! It’s been a hot minute since I posted one of these, so I decided to just jump right into it!
Since our last update, we have expanded to include meat rabbits! So far this adventure has been incredibly rewarding. We have an amazing meat source that we can monitor exactly what goes into it. It’s healthy, low fat, and can be used in the place of chicken in most recipes.
As of right now, I have 2 does, and 2 bucks in rotation. I plan on keeping a doe from this litter to add on as well. That should cover us for a while on meat!
We also just put up a new chicken coop and run. Hurricane Ida completely destroyed our last one, so we picked up old fence pieces from other areas and built this beauty at almost no cost! It houses our wonderful layers. We have 14 hens and 3 roosters. However, one of our roosters is about to go to his new home very soon.
We are still building and repairing things the hurricane took out. The rabbit grow out cage needs a roof, our chicken run needs hardware cloth over it to keep hawks out, and the horse’s fence needs restrung. But every day we get one step closer to being done. Then we can move on to our next animal adventure!
I sat down last month and wrote out our homesteading goals for the next few years. I have such big dreams, my husband just laughs at me. I’ll just give you a hink; oink oink and buzz buzz are coming within the next two years. Well, God willing and the creek don’t rise. Seriously though, we flood way to much, I need the water to stay down so we can achieve these goals.
Well until next time!
Thanks for coming on this adventure with me! God Bless!
Most people in my area know who I am. But for those of you not from around here, my name is Stephanie Smith. I started this blog about 3 years ago and was beginning to get pretty consistent with my posting, until that fateful day. I’ll explain that a little further down, but I’ve been off of here for over a year now. God spoke into my heart to begin writing again just recently. I love to write! Writing comes easier to me than even speaking. So, here is the story of the most terrible week of my life, to catch you up to speed.
My brother was a state trooper who died from injuries sustained while on duty, and its been a heavy heart ache since then…
George was a stubborn, goal oriented man. Every goal he set, he conquered. He planned out his path and then worked with everything in him to achieve it. From joining the Marines at the age of eightteen, to becoming a cop in a small town, all the way to becoming a state trooper! He was my hero.
From the moment we heard of George’s accident, we prayed hard for a miraculous healing. I gathered my trusted prayer warriors and we stormed the gates of Heaven all day, every day. I laid hands and prayed over him, I laid hands on his wife and prayed strength and comfort over her, then I would go to my spiritual leaders and let them lay hands on me. There was such a huge move of God during that time!
I had such a huge hope and expectation that George would get out of that bed, that I would almost laugh at the doctors telling us that there was no hope. I was so expectant, that I sat by his bedside an entire day, waiting for him to wake up and look at me. I knew he would not only wake up, he would walk out of the hospital, broken bones restored! It was deeply embedded in me. My faith soared!
Everyday, the news grew worse and worse. From there is no hope, to second and third doctors telling us the same thing. Before my brother had even passed, I got on social media to be bombarded with ‘RIP” posts made about him. This is how dire the situation had become. But God is always up to something good. Even when our circumstances are bad.
You see, my brothers injuries were only in his brain, brain stem and ankle. He had led an outstanding life and remained healthy. He was a prime organ donor. Even able to donate two perfect lungs! (which doesn’t happen often) so we made the hard decision to set him up for organ donation. He had donated his life already to keeping people safe, might as well keep that going even in death.
My brother’s story doesn’t end in death though, it ends in life. He was able to directly save lives! On the day of our deep mourning and grief, others were celebrating answered prayers. We may have not received our miracle, but God revealed to me that many others had. And if this sacrifice brings even one life to Christ, it is all worth it.
We praised God for those saved lives at George’s funeral. We prayed, praised, and gave God all the glory. We cried, laughed, and buried a piece of each of us that day. George left behind a wife, a daughter, a mother, a father, two sisters, and many friends and family. The community drew closer together as they lined the streets for the funeral procession. Waving flags and signs with his name and call number on it. His military family drove from all over the country to pay their respects as well. It was such a beautiful and humbling experience.
I was ok for a while after the accident. It wasn’t until everything calmed down that I began to feel the intense hurt. Then I shut it down with anything I could. Distractions and busyness. Until God called me to attention. I spent an entire year working on my relationship with Him. And now He has encouraged me to begin writing again. I’m so excited to see where He leads me!