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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 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!
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!