Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: prepsteading

December 2013 Farm Update And Projects

Farm equipment for SHTF

After looking through my youtube video I realized I have not uploaded a video in a couple of months. The last video I uploaded was on September 15, 2013, which makes 3 months. In all honesty I had not realized it had been so long.

So what has been going on?

Added some lean-tos on the shed to park the tiller and lawnmower under.

Got a deer feeder setup about 100 years behind the house.

Added some pvc pipe to the deer feeder legs to prevent coons from climbing the legs. Raccoons have been climbing the legs and turning the spinner, which dumps a lot of corn on the ground. the corn is not for coons, it is for deer and hogs.

Buying Land For a Bug Out Location

Bug out cabin

In the forum there is a thread about what makes a good bug out location.

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.

Location

Survival Gear Purchases September 2013

Stockpiling magazines

Every month I try to take a look at my preps, take inventory, look at the hot politics at the time, and then make a couple of purchases. Usually my purchases are #10 cans of freeze dried foods, maybe building a chicken house, building a chicken yard,,,, and so on.

Prepping should be a way of life. The only way to keep your preps current is to do an inventory, test your plans, then make changes to your plans based on the results of the test.

Wildlife Feeder

My wife wants a wildlife feeder setup in the back of the field to attract wildlife. While providing a relaxing scene of watching deer, hogs, squirrels and other wildlife, this also provides an excellent opportunity to harvest meat during a SHTF situation.

Rather than hunting after SHTF, why not have the wildlife coming into your back yard. Well, it’s not really my backyard, its more like the back of a field that is connected to my backyard.

To get the wildlife feeder going I ordered the motor housing with timer, and leg brackets that mount to the feeder.

Things Moving Along Nicely At The Farm

Septic system being put in

Things are moving along nicely as my wife and I settle into our new life in rural southeast Texas.

Power has been hooked up to the house.

Deck has been moved to the house. Now its just a matter of leveling the deck.

Air conditioner is supposed to be hooked up today (August 15, 2013).

Hopefully I will be able to buy a 1,000 gallon septic tank and 100 feet of field line in the next couple of days.

First Observations On Free Ranging Chickens

Free ranging Dominique chicken

Are you raising chickens as part of you long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival plan? If so, have you put much thought into how well your chickens are able to forage, and what type of land is available to the chickens?

During a collapse of society it will be critical for livestock to forage.

How do we know what chicken breeds are good at foraging and which ones should be avoided? I hope to do a series of articles on how well different chicken breeds cope with free ranging.

My wife and I recently moved to a rural area of southeast Texas. One of the first things we did after the move was let the chickens out to free range. The area directly behind the chicken yard is around 1 acre of cleared land, and then another 2 acres of timber.

When the 13 hens were being fed commercial laying pellets my wife and I were getting 8 – 12 eggs a day. Some of the hens are molting, so that may contribute to the fluctuation in laying patterns. We are also in the hottest part of the year with daytime temps reaching 100 degrees here in southeast Texas.

Moving The Chicken House To The Farm

Moving chicken house to the farm

What do you do when you have chickens and plan on bugging out? You build the chicken house where it will fit on a trailer, or in the bed of a truck.

When my wife and I built the chicken coop we knew that one day we would be moving. So the chicken coop was built so that it would fit on a dual axle trailer. The inside of the trailer measured 7 feet, so the coop was built 6 foot 3 inches wide.

Today (July 20, 2013) my plans were put to the test. Here is the story of moving the chicken house.

What a day. Started off with breakfast, pulled my boat to the camp, picked up my son, back home, then moved the chicken coop into position to be loaded on a trailer.

Loaded the chicken coop on a trailer, dad pulled the coop and trailer to the camp while I had the run on a trailer attached to my truck.

5 Essential SHTF TEOTWAWKI Survival Skills

Barred Rock Chicken

For the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event has happened. What essential survival skills may you and your family need to know in order to ensure their long term survival?

Survivalist should know the basics, such as beans, bullets, band-aids, shooting skills, water purification,,, etc. Lets think outside the box. During a long term complete collapse of society what skills will people need to know?

Lets assume that you and your family have a source of safe drinking water. This should be some kind of water well with a pitcher pump, or maybe a solar powered water well. For this article lets say that water is a given. Saying we need safe drinking water is like reminding people to breath, access to safe drinking water should be that important.

Now that water is out of the way lets move forward.

Clearing More Timber At The Farm

Before and after picture of the trees that were cut

Clearing timber sounds boring. Some of my readers may be wondering why I posting a video about this, much less an article. I went out and cut some trees, so what?

In the prepping / survivalist community there is this common misconception that if SHTF there is a farm in the family that has not been used in 40 (or more years) that the family is going to use as a bug out location. With a few days of hard work the farm can be up and running in a matter of days.

To bring this common survivalist plan to reality I am documenting what it takes to bring a farm that has not been used in 40 years up to speed.

If all you want to do is breakup the soil and plant some seeds, then yea, it may only take a few days. But if you want to rebuild the fences, have boards to build a chicken coop out of, have fence post, firewood,,, have a working farm with livestock, then you will need to cut timber.

Finishing The Rabbit Hutch

Complete rabbit hutch

My wife and I started the rabbit hutch last weekend. And as things happen in life we ran out of time and were unable to finish the hutch. This weekend we were going to be a little pressed for time, but I was hoping to get it finished. Besides the hutch my wife and I had a pageant for my daughter in Newton Texas on Saturday, then a birthday party for two of the grandkids on Sunday. Saturday was a no-go, so we only had Sunday to work on the hutch.

Sunday morning my wife and I moved the rabbit hutch from in front of the wood shed to under a large oak tree in the back yard. When my wife asked why we were moving the hutch to work on it, I asked her if she wanted to work in the sun.

The drops from the legs are long enough to make cross members for the floor. When the floor was being built a cross member was placed every 2 feet. This left a space of 2×3 feet that was not supported. As a result there was a lot of slack in the floor. After the extra cross members were installed the floor was reenforced and the extra slack was removed.

Rabbit Hutch Doors

Building A Rabbit Hutch

Rabbit missing her box

A couple of weeks ago my wife and daughter got a two Californian white rabbits. The rabbits can not stay in their cage in the kitchen forever; the time has come to build a hutch and move them outside.

Instead of building or buying some simple wire cages, my wife and I decided to build a solid rabbit hutch. This is something that will fit into my chicken coop plans with no change of design or other major alteration. The rabbit hutch my wife and I built this weekend is a total of 8 feet long, divided in half gives each rabbit a space of 3 feet by 4 feet, for a total of 12 square feet.

If I am going to keep rabbits and chickens, I want to make sure they are treated humanly, protected from the elements, and have plenty of room.

Rabbit Hutch Bill of Material

Starting The Rabbit Project

California white rabbit

For the sake of discussion let’s say that some kind of SHTF situation occurred. Whether it is widespread civil unrest, nuclear war, financial collapse,,, something has happened to disrupt food shipments as well as infrastructure.

How do you plan on providing fresh vegetables, fruit and meat for your family? In other articles we have discussed gardening, beans, squash, potatoes and chickens (only to mention a few topics we have discussed). So lets talk about rabbits for a little bit.

California white rabbit

Why Rabbits

  • Easy to raise
  • Eat a variety of grass
  • Reproduce like crazy,,, well, they reproduce like rabbits
  • Easy to butcher
  • Easy to cook
  • Do not require a lot of space
  • Do not make a lot of noise
  • Large enough to feed a small family
  • Manure makes excellent fertilizer

Uncle Sam Wanted You to Raise Chickens

Barred Rock Chicken

There was once a time when Uncle Sam (the U.S. Government) wanted people to raise chickens. This was especially true in times of war when our troops needed food.

Unfortunately those days are far behind us. If a city dweller tried to raise chickens today, they would probably be sued by the city and forced to get rid of the flock.

What does that say about us as a nation when we turn away from time honored traditions of raising our food, only to become dependent on a grocery store?

I often wonder how the typical city dweller would act if the grocery store shelves were empty? How would society react if the government started rationing food like what happened in World War II?

Around 2002, 2003 I was working in Kingwood Texas. There was a drought going on and the city issued an order for people not to water their grass or wash their cars. One day I arrived at a customers house while he was watering his lawn. I asked him if he knew about the water restrictions. the customer said yes. He went on to tell me that he did not care about the restrictions or the fines, he was going to water his grass.

Chicken Project One Year Update

Raising chickens for a long term survival situation

Can yall believe it’s been a whole year since the chicken project was started and I got the first chicks? For the first few months I posted several videos about building the coop and how the chicks were doing. After the chickens start laying, there is not that much to post about. They are chickens, they do their thing, they lay eggs and that is about it.

Free range shickens foraging

Now that the hens are a full year old I thought it would be good to post some kind of up date to let people know how things are going.

Between the last weekend of February and the second week of March 2012 my wife and I bought 15 chicks. Two of the chicks died a few days after we got them. After those first two died, we have not lost another chicken.

As some of yall may know chickens are part of my long term SHTF survival plans. In the next few months my wife and I are looking at moving to the homestead. After we get moved we are going to build a 30 foot X 75 foot chicken yard, along with a 20 X 16 chicken coop, then expand the flock to around 50 hens and maybe 5 roosters.

My experiences from the past year will help me build the next chicken coop and chicken yard.

Chicken Project Observations

Hauling Scrap Iron And Cutting Trees

Pulling trees with a Toyota T-100

Another weekend of cleaning up the homestead has come and gone. This weekend I focused on hauling scrap iron to the local recycler, picking up trash and cutting down some trees to make room for a pole barn.

For those of you following this blog, yall know some of my family members, and their friends, used a piece of the homestead as a landfill. They did not have permission to dump trash in a washed out area, they just did it. Most of the stuff is glass, metal and plastic.

My brother has a tractor with a grapple on the front it, which is what we used to pull a lot of trash out of the hole. Now that the trash is in a pile on flat ground, it’s time to sort through it and dispose of the trash properly.

When we first started cleaning out the hole we started loading various pieces of scrap on the trailer. This weekend right off the bat the first load was ready to go. The scrap metal on the trailer was a mixture of wire, box fan, washing machine,,, and a few other things.

Grinding Stumps At the Farm

Tractor mounted stump grinder

Now that the trees have been cut and some of the small timber has been thinned, its time to call a stump grinder out to the farm. A stump grinder is machine with carbide bits which cut the stump down to below ground level. No digging around the stump, no burning the stump, no pulling on the stump with a truck,,, nothing but a machine that turns a tree stump into chips.

Instead of buying a stump grinding machine that would rarely be used, I called a contractor that works by the hour. In 3 hours the contractor had ground 109 stumps.

There are a number of stump grinder designs on the market, some of them look like large tillers. The one the contractor used attached to the back of a tractor and was operated by the power take off (PTO).

Why are we having stumps ground? The stumps are in the way of driveway, chicken yard fence, chicken coop and where the shed is going. Instead of having to drive around the stumps, and waiting for them to rot, now the stumps are ground 6 – 8 inches below ground level.

Grinding Stumps At The Farm

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