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?
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!
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! 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!