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Category: Homesteading

Farming Gardening and Homesteading

Three Broody Hens in The Chicken House

Broody hens

Three of my hens have gone broody and are sitting on eggs. One of them even hatched out a chick.

For those of you who do know, broody means a hen has gone into a mothering mode and is sitting on some eggs. The eggs are called a clutch. Some chicken breeds go broody more than others, and some breeds rarely if ever go broody.

What gets me:

Two of the hens are Barred Rocks, which rarely go broody.

One is an Australorp, which has a reputation of going broody.

My first set of chickens was back around 1987 or 1988. My wife and I butchered out that first set of Barred Rocks when they were around two years old, and I did not get any more until 2012.

So in the seven years I have kept chickens, only two barred rocks have gone broody. Continue Reading….

One of my Dogs Passed Away

Pet dog Buckshot

It is with deep regret that I have to make this post. The newest dog to the pack, a four month old puppy by the name of Buckshot, ran in front of a truck, was ran over and died on August 4th, 2017.

There is a private dirt road that goes through the farm that my cousins use to access their home. It was on that road, Buckshot ran in front of my cousins truck and was ran over. He did not suffer and passed away just a few seconds after the accident.

Several months ago one of my cousins brought Buckshot home for her mother, my aunt. My aunt, being an older lady may have had difficulties taking care of the puppy. It seemed like every day Buckshot was at my house to play with my dogs and look for food. I put a feed bowl on the front porch and would make sure the puppy had plenty of food. Continue Reading….

Losing Chickens To Predators

Over the past couple of weeks I have lost several chickens to predators. Several of them have gone missing, with just a few feathers in the chicken yard. From the trail of feathers, something drug the chicken from the chicken house.

It is not a chicken hawk, because there is no body. Chicken hawks do not eat the bones.

A trail camera in the chicken yard showed a couple of raccoons and an opossum.

Opossums will not drag a chicken off. It will eat the chicken in the chicken house. Continue Reading….

Fig Tree Organic Fertilizer Experiment

For some reason my fig trees are not growing like they should.  I do not want to put commercial fertilizer around them, so I mixed up some organic fertilizer: Cut the top off of a one gallon milk jug. Fill 3/4 with water. One handful aged chicken manure. One handful ash from my smoker. This is a mix of oak, pecan and wild cherry. Handful bone meal. Urine. Mix together with a stick. Pour around base of fig tree. Continue Reading….

Starting With Solar Power

I finally bought a solar panel. In all honesty, I do not know why I waited so long for. It is a Nekteck 20 watt solar panel and I see this as a starting point for bigger and better things. Before I bought the solar panel I asked myself, what purpose will the panel serve? I decided to go with a foldable solar panel with USB outlets for recharging flashlights, AA batteries and radios.  Something to keep flashlights, lanterns and radios charged in a power outage.  For right now, the focus is being able to have light and staying up to date on news when the power goes out. The plan is to have two foldable solar panels – one for charging USB battery packs, Continue Reading….

Farm Progress February 2017

Tractor moving debris

Time for an update from the farm.

I had some heavy equipment brought out to the farm to move brush, limbs and tree tops. Things are looking up and progress has been made. There is still so much work to do. Small trees need to be be cleared, split and stored, then old fence has to be pulled up.

Hopefully in March I can start setting the first corner post. Maybe sometime this summer start running the first strands of fence. Continue Reading….

Starting Spring 2017 Garden

The weather in early 2017 has been unseasonably warm, so I decided to go ahead and start the spring garden a few weeks early.  I usually do not plant until after the Ides of March.  With everything blooming out early and daytime highs hitting the low 80s, I decided to start planting in late February. This garden will be special, as it uses decade old seeds.  I posted a video on youtube about stockpiling seeds and then shared the video on survivalistboards, twitter and reddit.  A couple of guys on reddit said made statements that seeds can not be saved. One comment was, Continue Reading….

Almost Time To Plant Potatoes

Around February 14th is usually when potatoes are planted, at least here in the south.  I missed the 14th but will be planting the week of February 20 – 24th. On February 18, 2017 my finance and I went to Circle Three Feed in Jasper Texas.  I bought some chicken feed, bean seed, seed potatoes and some  mineral blocks to put around the deer feeders. On Monday a front pushed through bringing a lot of rain to southeast Texas.  I also cut the potatoes on that day.  In the next few days I will be working up a spot to plant this years garden.

Wildlife Habitat At Bug Out Location

A few weeks ago I walked around the property looking for squirrels.  There were a couple of locations that had perfect squirrel habitat, but there were no signs of squirrels being in the area.  There were no pine cones that had been tore apart, no half eaten acorns nor did I see any squirrels. As I followed a creek that runs along the back of the property, the timber transitioned from pine and oak to mostly oak and iron wood.  Iron wood is a tree that grows in the shade of larger trees.  It does not produce any kind of nut for squirrels or deer.  It is mostly used for its hard wood to make walking sticks and bows. Several years ago a lot of Continue Reading….

Starting Livestock Fence Project

2017 is the year I fence in several acres for livestock.  I have been talking about this for several years, and this year is when I take action to put the project into motion.

One of my favorite books about medieval life, which is Life in a Medieval Village by Frances and Joseph Gies, talks about how people valued small livestock.  Cattle were mainly for milk production, which was used to make cheese and butter.

In medieval times there was no way to preserve meat for long periods.  If a 500 pound cow was butchered, a large amount of meat would rot and go to waste.  Based on that, I am going to focus on small livestock and just a couple of cattle.


Continue Reading….

Log Splitter For The Farm

Landed a tractor powered log splitter for the farm. This is something I have wanted and needed for a very long time. An older gentleman had a log slitter he was no longer using. It had been left uncovered for so long the hoses and seal on the ram had dry rotted.

The splitter works with a pump that slips over the spline of the tractor PTO. The hoses going to and from the pump were dry rotted through and were leaking.

Continue Reading….

Spent day cleaning out chicken house

My chicken house is a mess.  About a year and a half ago I set up a water barrel system inside the chicken house.  It is a 35 gallon drum going to a stainless steel pan with a float.  The chickens have been getting on the drum and pooping all over the top of it.  When I fill the drum up chicken poop is all over the place. Then there is the metal trash can I store feed in.  It is next to the water barrel and close to a corner of the chicken house.  The chickens get into the corner and lay eggs, right where chickens get on the feed barrel and poop. There is barely any room between the feed can and the Continue Reading….

Building a railroad track anvil

Rather than buying an anvil, I decided to build one out of a piece of track and tie plate I found in my grandfathers old barn. The barn is maybe 75 – 100 years old and has various pieces of farm equipment in and around it. There are various examples on youtube of railroad track anvils. A lot of them involve drilling or cutting holes in the base of the track and then securing it to a stand. Why not weld the track to a tie plate, and then bolt them to a stand? Seems to me having a wider base of the tie plate would distribute pressure while beating on the track. I wanted something besides your typical piece of railroad track welded, chained, Continue Reading….

Mama guinea with her keets

Guineafowl are loud, not as friendly as chickens, not very smart, but for some reason they are fun to have around the farm. In late summer of 2015 I got a dozen guineas along with some chicks. Over the course of the next few months 4 of the guineas went missing or died. I found one guinea chick dead from what I suspect was heat stroke. Guineas are not supposed to be good parents, and that may be true. What I am seeing with my guineas, the chicks have to keep up with the flock, kinda like sink or swim. While at the same time the flock protects the chicks. The guinea flock will run off any chicken that dares get close to the keets. Continue Reading….

Blacksmith Essentials

A buddy of mine has been talking about getting into blacksmithing. This got me to thinking, why not get into it myself? I have a poor mans anvil that has been laying around the farm. Awhile back a large hickory tree and large pin oak fell on the back of the property. I have the anvil and I have something solid to build the anvil stand out of, sections of a tree trunk. All I need to do now is put everything together and pick a few odds and ends. While looking through youtube I came across this video that discusses in great detail what is needed to get into blacksmithing. I like that the person making the video is not recommending top of the Continue Reading….

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