When I moved to the farm almost 3 years ago I thought this was going to be easy. Build a nice chicken yard, build a chicken house, plant some fruit trees, and things will be off and running. Then I can work on the pole barn, barn, and fence in a few acres for goats and cattle. Lets just say things have not been going as planned. Fruit trees have been a failure Either from disease, drought, drowned from too much rain,,,, whatever the reason, my fruit tree project has not gone anywhere near as expected. A plum tree my kids and I planted several years ago died. A second plum tree is not doing anything. It is not even hardly growing. Peach trees are Continue Reading….
Tag: homesteading for shtf
A few days ago I was walking along the creek that is the property line between my land and the timber company land. Not only does the timber company grow timber on their land, they also lease the land out to hunters. It is not unusual to see an influx of urban dwellers into rural areas starting a couple of months before hunting season. Most of the people who lease property in rural areas are good people. They just want to get out of the city, do some hunting, get a deer or hog and pass the tradition of hunting to the next generation. With hunters there is an unspoken code of respect. You do not touch my trail cameras, stands and feeders and I Continue Reading….
Chickens would be great farm animals for SHTF if they were not so stupid. The honest truth is they will find a way to get themselves killed. Build them a nice cage and they will find a way to get out. They will wander away from the flock and get killed. They will stay out to dusk, right when coyotes start looking for an easy meal. They will spill their water. They will crap in their food and water. They will crap in laying boxes. They will roost in high places so if they fall at night they will be hurt. They will eat stuff that makes them sick – free ranging eating weeds, rocks, pieces of glass, etc. They will free range out in Continue Reading….
Here are mine.
Install solar panels on the chicken house.
Wire chicken house for 12 volt lights.
Plant some more apple trees.
Plant some more blueberry bushes. Some of the blueberry bushes will be in the chicken yard.
Plant a pear tree in the chicken yard. This will be for chicken feed and for my family to eat. Continue Reading….
While working on the new chicken yard I figured I would go the glorious route and do as much as possible by hand.
In our age of machinery we lose appreciation for hard work. I wanted to be able to say yes, I have set fence post by hand. This included everything from digging the corner post hole with diggers, to notching out the H-brace by hand with hammer and chisel.
After setting 5 post I said “screw this, it is taking too long”, and called my uncle who has a tractor auger. I still have around 15 corner post to set. Doing everything by hand is taking too long and I have a lot to do before winter sets in.
Since I am using telephone poles for corner post, a regular 6 inch auger was going to be too small. It just so happened my uncle as a 12 inch auger bit.
For the sake of discussion let’s say you want to buy a piece of land for a small farm that could double as a bug out location.
This would be a weekend getaway for you and your family. A place off the beaten path where you and your family can go to relax. And also a place where you and your family can stockpile survival gear for a long term SHTF situation.
If you were going to buy such a place what qualities would you look for? In this article I hope to talk about some of the stuff someone interested in buying a bug out location may look for. Keep in mind these are suggestions and food for thought, and not necessarily requirements.
After my wife and I get moved to the homestead, we are looking at increasing our chicken flock from 13 hens, to somewhere around 25 hens, and then 30 hens the following year.
One of the issues I will need to deal with is how to make sure all of the chickens have access to fresh water in these Texas summers. During July and August daytime temps can reach the upper 90s and low 100s, with night lows staying above 90 degrees.
This video shows how to make a chicken waterer out of a 5 gallon bucket, and some nipples.
My wife and I made a trip to the homestead this morning (December 15, 2012) to look at the land after some of the timber has been cut. Now that some of the brush, pine trees and sweet gums have been cleared out, we can get a better idea of how everything is going to work out.
If you have not read the first part of this homesteading series, please take the time to do so.
The first design of the garden and chicken yard called for the chicken yard to be divided in half, and placed directly behind the house. The chickens would be switched between the two yards, with one year in each section. While the chickens were using one area, I would be using the other as a garden.
After thinking about the water requirements of the garden and the chickens, wind direction, and the amount of time and effort to build the fence,,, I decided to scrap the plan and start over.
The back of the house faces north. This means during the winter time the smell of the chicken yard will be blowing towards the covered deck. The smell of chicken crap while my wife and I are trying to throw a party does not sound appealing.
What is your long term plan for fresh meat after SHTF? Do you plan on hunting, trapping or raising your own? What about a combination of all three?
This article is going to focus on 4 sources of fresh meat – chickens, pigs, goats and rabbits.
In a previous article we discussed how many chickens would you need for SHTF. If you have not read that article, please do so. Here is a recap of the important information.
Lets start with 10 people in our group, now lets estimate that those 10 people will be eating 2 eggs a day, which equals at least 20 eggs a day.
During the winter time egg laying can drop after a cold front passes through, or while the hen is molting.
For the sake of discussion, lets use my lowest egg count of 3 eggs from 13 hens. The 3 eggs were laid after a cold front passed through, and the hens were around 9 – 10 months old. Continue Reading….
This is part 2 of a moving to the Homestead series. See this link for part 1.
Where do you want to be in 10 years, how about 20 years? That question is not about financial stability, or your career, where do you want to be physically in 10 years, what do you want your life to be like?
I want peace and quiet in my life. I want a back porch where I can grill some steaks, listen to the wind blowing through the trees, hear the chickens,,, and that is all I want to hear, except maybe some music.
I want a small garden that my wife and I can get fresh food from.
I want my chickens to be able to free range as much as they want, because happy chickens lay plenty of eggs.
Where do I want to be next year (2013)? I want to be living in peace and quiet. But first, my wife and I have to get there.
One of the things that has to be taken care of before we are able to put a house on the land, is some of the timber has to be cleared. As much as I despise cutting trees, we have to make room for a home. Not only room for a home, but the fence rows need to be cut.
A couple of weeks ago I posted an article – Long Term Survival Project for 2013. I that article we talked about some of my previous projects, and that I was thinking about rabbits as my 2013 project.
After putting a lot of thought in rabbits, I think building some bee hives would be a better idea.
Why would honey bees be a better project then rabbits? Both have their good and bad qualities, so lets talk about them.
Rabbits produce manure that can be used as fertilizer. But on the flip side, you have to feed rabbits.
Bees produce honey. You do not have to feed bees. You have to supply the colony with sugar water until the hive gets established. Once the hive is established, it is self-supportive.
Honey can be stored forever.
You have to have a cage for rabbits.
You have to have a bee hive for honey bees.
Rabbit makes a better meal then honey.
Honey can be used as an antibiotic.
Honey is an excellent barter item.
Rabbits are a good barter item.
Honey and rabbits are both universally recognized as food.
The bee hive can be raided by predators.
The rabbit coop can be raided by predators.
Rabbits are substitutable to mosquito-borne infections. Continue Reading….
What chicken breeds are best for a long term SHTF survival situation? Most breeds are good foragers, but we want something that would make a good meat chicken, good layer, good breeder, is friendly with other chickens and deals with confinement well.
Chickens are an excellent livestock choice for SHTF / TEOTWAWKI. Eggs are a good source of protein, fats and essential amino acids. Chicken meat is a good source of protein. Chickens can be let out out of the chicken coop during the day, and they will return to the coop at night. Which is unlike other livestock that will wonder off if let out of their pen.
My suggestions are the Barred Rock (which is part of the Plymouth Rock family), Rhode Island Red and the Australorp.
The Plymouth Rock is a dual-purpose (for meat and egg production), cold-hardy chicken that makes a well-rounded choice for the homestead or backyard flock owner. The Plymouth Rock is the family that the Barred Rock belongs to.
Barred Rock are usually friendly, easy to tame, hens are not usually aggressive.
The Barred Rock lays a large light to medium brown egg. On average, a healthy hen will lay 3 – 4 eggs a week, which equals to 156 – 208 eggs a year.
The Barred Rock is a cold hardy chicken. During the winter some chickens stop laying. The Barred Rock lays eggs through the winter, but in a decreased capacity.
Hen weight – 6 – 7.5 pounds
Rooster weight – 7.5-9.5 pounds Continue Reading….
The time has come to move to a rural area, get the farm setup with a garden and livestock. My wife I currently live about 4 miles outside Jasper Texas. Its time to move ever further away from town.
With the way this nation is heading, families need to be looking at how they are going to afford to buy food and provide basic essentials for their families. One example, my wife and I buy canned refried beans to make homemade burritos with. In the past 2 years the price of the canned beans has gone up almost 20%. I bet your wages have not gone up 20% in that same amount of time. The price of ground meat has gotten terrible. Pork chops used to be cheap, and now they cost a pretty penny.
At 44 years old I am getting too old to go back to school to retrain for a new career. Instead of waiting until the last minute to make my retirement plans, I want to start 20 – 25 years ahead of time.
This morning my wife and I made a trip to the farm, took some measurements and talked about what we wanted to do. The main things we wanted to focus on were shelter, food, water and sewage. These are the basic essentials that anyone would need during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation.
On the left side of the property is a wilderness area owned by a local timber company. Due to the way the terrain is laid out, nobody will ever be able to build there.