Moving To The Homestead Part 4

Now that the loggers are finished, we can get a survey of how things look. So today my wife and I made a trip to the homestead. Man oh man, what a mess. Its not that the loggers left a mess, its the tree limbs that have to be removed before the logs can be hauled.

There are tree tops that had to be cut off before the trunks can be hauled.

Cutting tree limbs at the Homestead

A couple of the pine trees were forked at the top, so the fork had to be removed.

The top of a sweet gum tree is laying in a field, it needs to be cut up and burned.

Chicken Yard

Now that some of the trees and brush have been cleared out, I can get a good idea of how large the chicken yard can be. Why should I pay so much attention to stuff like the chicken yard? Because chickens and other small livestock are part of my long term SHTF survival plans.

Using a 25 foot tape measure, my wife and I were able to estimate the chicken yard to be 25 feet wide and 50 feet long. Which equals 1,250 square feet.

After my wife and I get moved, we want to increase our flock size to around 24 hens and a rooster. Lets go ahead and say 25 chickens.

In anther article we talked about how many chickens would be needed for a long term SHTF event.  In that article we gave a summer time low of around 30 laying hens, and a wintertime high of around 70 – 80 chickens.

If we reached an average of 70 chickens by early December, we can butcher a chicken every 3 days. 90 days divided by 30 chickens = 3. My estimates are based on butchering a chicken every 3 days from December 1 – February 28.

If we could reach 80 – 90 chickens, we can butcher a chicken every 1 – 2 days between December 1 – February 28.

Lets say we reach a chicken flock size of 70 before December 1, with a chicken yard of 1,250 square feet, that gives each chicken 17.85 square feet.

In the chicken yard, chickens need at the “very” least 10 square feet. At 10 square feet per chicken, that is rather cramped. The more room you can give your chickens, the better.

Keep in mind we are talking about the fenced in chicken yard, and not the 10 acres around the yard.

There is enough room that if I need to increase the chicken yard to 30 feet wide by 50 feet long, there would not be an issue.  If we increased the yard size to 30 X 50, that gives us 1,500 square feet to play with.

Pigs or Goats

Directly across from where the house is going there is a 2 acre field that can be put to good use.  The debate I am having is whether to raise pigs or goats, or maybe both?

Goats – milk, cheese, butter, fertilizer, cleaner then a pig, good foragers, friendly, good for clearing brush,,,.

Pigs – pork chops, bacon, ribs, lazy, smelly,,,.

I am leaning towards goats, but my wife does not want goats.  I like the idea of being able to make my own cheese and butter.

The answer to the goat or pig question will be addressed after my wife and I get moved.

If you wish to add something about the pigs or goats debate, share your thoughts in the comment section of this article.

Landscape Sculpting

One of the issues I am going to be facing in the next few months is landscape sculpting. Next to the chicken yard are a couple of young oak trees. Some of the oak trees are just a few feet from each other. To prevent crowding, some of the young oak and pine trees will need to be cut.

when you are looking at a clump of young trees, how do you decide which ones to cut, and which ones to leave?

There are some pine trees that need to be cut so the garden can get more sun light. These trees are too small for the loggers to deal with, but in the next few years the pine trees will grow and block out sunlight.

At the back of the 10 acres I want to do landscape sculpting that promotes squirrels, deer and hogs.  I might setup a wildlife feeder to help attract deer and hogs.

Whats Next

Cleaning the limbs up and burning them.

Hopefully there will be a rather large ash pile which can be spread across the field.

We have some rather large tree stumps in a field.  Instead of hiring someone to grind the stumps, the plans are to pile limbs and other debris on the stumps and burn them down.