How to Make an Egg Gathering Apron from a Pillowcase

When we were living on the 40 acre homestead before we downsized, we had over 50 laying hens. There were lots of eggs to collect each day. The egg basket that I was using wouldn’t hold them all so I switched to a 5 gallon bucket. I quickly realized that a large bucket was a quick way to break eggs and carrying eggs in my T-shirt wasn’t cutting it either. I needed a solution to this problem without spending much money (“much” to this mama is about $10)…I finally decided that I would make an egg gathering apron out of an extra pillowcase and a little bit of ribbon. The apron was made in under 15 minutes and there has been no issue gathering eggs since!

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Keeping Chickens Alive During Cold Weather

Chickens are pretty easy creatures to raise. That is, until the cold season comes. Jordan Walker, the lead content curator of Coops and Cages, shares tips to improve the survivability of chickens during winter.

Chicken owners who live in mild climate regions are a bit luckier than most. Those who live in harsh weather conditions have to keep their chickens closely monitored especially during winter season. Find out how to prepare for such circumstance beforehand to avoid any untoward incidens when the time comes. Continue reading “Keeping Chickens Alive During Cold Weather”

8 Things to Know Before Owning a Buck Goat

If you want your does in milk, first they need to have baby goats. To have baby goats the does must be bred first. To breed a buck is needed. Sounds simple, right? The options to impregnate a doe are artificial insemination, rent or borrow a buck, or own a buck to use for breeding.

First, let’s clarify a buck is an intact male goat over one year old. You may have heard them referred to in laymen’s terms as a billy goat. A buckling is an intact young male goat less than a year old. And a wether is a castrated male goat.

Before buying a buck goat there are a few things you should know.

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Save Money Building a Chicken Coop

A well-built chicken coop can wreck your chicken budget (I know I’m not the only one with a monthly budget entry for chickens). You need your flock to be well protected. You want your chicken coop to be sturdy and not be an eyesore in the back yard. You also need to make sure your hens have enough space, and never forget to leave a little room for the chickens yet to come. You know you are going to get more. So, how can you accomplish all of this without spending a fortune on chicken coops? Well, it’s not easy, but I am going to cover a few ways I have found to save a little bit of money on my chicken coops.

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Mint to Repel Insects and Rodents Around the Chicken Coop

Mint is one of my favorite scents and plants. It has such a crisp, clean, fresh aroma. We have a nice mint patch growing at our old house. Mint self propagates rapidly. This is a blessing as it is so easy to grow. However, you do want to give considerable thought to where you plant mint as it will spread and could become a nuisance if planted in the wrong location. Two months ago I dug up several of our spearmint and orange mint plants at the old house and put them in temporary pots. Those mint plants set for two months before I finally got around to transplanting them at our new home.

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Nigerian Dwarf Goats Kidding Process

Although we have had 3 Nigerian Dwarf does for a couple of years now, this year was our first experience with kidding goats. In the early morning hours of February 22nd, we welcomed our first newborn doeling and buckling into our world.  We only “participated” shortly after Strawberry, the mama goat, had already delivered both. Exactly one week later on February 29th, we were blessed with our second and last batch of baby goats for this kidding season. This time two of our pregnant does began birthing within just a few minutes of each other while I was home by myself.  I had a brief “mini panic attack” because Jon was supposed to be here and I was NOT supposed to be here by myself!  I quickly called him to get home from work, gathered my wits, and proceeded.

Newborn Nigerian Dwarf Boy Goat
Mulberry (Buckling) Resting After All of the Excitement

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Newborn Doeling and Buckling

We would like to introduce the newest members of the family that were born this morning. Strawberry, the mama and both newborn kids are doing well. Mama was quite hungry and thirsty, quite strong. Both babies are walking (wobbly at first) and nursed. We have a doeling and a buckling. We will post more later. I just wanted to share our news!

Mama Goat and Newborn Kids
Mama Goat and Newborn Kids
Mama Goat and Newborn Kids
Mama Goat Eating and Newborn Kids Nuzzling

Bourbon Red Turkeys

Saturday, I was at a friends house for Bible study and as we were wrapping up, I saw these two lovely turkeys walking across their backyard. This was actually my first experience being near live turkeys.  Crazy, right?  I began asking her husband about their experience with raising turkeys and this particular breed. He said these two turkeys were Bourbon Reds.  They were named “Thanksgiving” and “Christmas” with the original intent of butchering them for the holidays. However, as they matured, they realized they probably had a tom and hen and thought it better to keep them to try and breed.

Bourbon Red Tom and Hen Turkeys
Bourbon Red Turkeys

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DIY: Building a Bigger Better Chicken Run

We are just weeks (maybe a month) away from our move to our “new to us” farmhouse. We have been quite busy and we have failed miserably at keeping the progress updates flowing. We took a week off from work after Christmas with plans to get a lot accomplished at the new house. Although, we did stay very busy, the excessive rain we received delayed much of our moving and work outside. Although it was still wet Friday, it had dried up enough that we Jon was finally able to make some progress on the outside tasks. A big part of our move is of course moving our chickens which requires constructing a new chicken run.

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Homestead Skills That Transfer Over To Survival Skills

If you are lucky enough to live on a homestead, there’s no doubt you’ve probably learned some very impressive skills. Homestead life can be tough, it can be challenging, but it can also be highly rewarding, especially when the skills that you’ve learned can be put to good use elsewhere.

It’s interesting to note that there are a lot of homestead skills that can be transferred over to survival skills. This means that if you fancy becoming a bit of a prepper, you should already have a lot of skills and knowledge that will help you to get through a survival situation.
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