Egg-citing news!

I may make you wait for it- but I just can’t! I am like a little kid opening a gift- I have to tell you the egg-citing news! Our ducks and the younger set of hens are laying! I screamed with joy when I found out!

Saturday I checked the coop- which we really haven’t been able to do- since it has been so dark- and look at the glory I found! I did bust one egg- oops! But shortly after discovering the girls were laying- Sheldon discovered duck eggs!

Some nesting box love- Do you see the light green/light blue! That makes me so egg-cited! I am going to have to freshen up the nesting boxes a little more often in this coop. My Easter Eggers are laying and the Buff Orpingtons as well. I only have 5 Easter Eggers- and 2 Buff’s. That poor Buff pretty much lays anywhere in the coop. Poor gal- so I will be freshening the coop- and I may have to try the golf ball trick to see if I can make sure they lay in the boxes.

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The ducks did just lay anywhere- which is still a possibility. But I added some hay to their coop- and look- one made a nest- we are getting 1 egg a day. So I hope that means they will start laying more. I have 3 hens and 3 drakes. I am hoping one eventually will go broody and try to hatch out some babies! SSH- I actually think they heard me talking about if they didn’t start laying soon- they may go to freezer camp! But alas- no worries for now!

The plethora of eggs we have now. And I am loving the colors. We do mark the day on the egg with a pencil so that we can eat the oldest first. I love my egg basket that my momma bought me- it is now coming to great use!

I can’t wait to expand and get more chickens so we can have more different colored eggs!

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Preparing for Winter…

So we partially prepared the animals for winter. It is getting cold- and that means prepping for winter. It means scrubbing feeders and waterers and laying new hay down. It means cleaning out the pens and preparing for a deep litter system. It means the ducks got a bunch of hay to take up some mud! They hay bale that the pumpkins sat on- gets reused for on the ground- cause it really isn’t good for eating. The pumpkins got given to the animals as a wormer. Winter prep is still not done- but by the end of November will be completed!

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The Homestead Box Review

The hubby and I decided to try out The Homestead Box– click to check them out. We had watched a few reviews some YouTube homesteader channels we follow did. So what The Homestead Box is- it is a monthly box that includes items to hone in on your skills. Or introduce important homestead skills. There are 3 levels of boxes. We chose the pioneer box. It does cost $100 a month- but there is no obligation and you can cancel at any time. We made the decision because it appeared to be a great idea- and who can’t learn and do more? Who doesn’t love to get a package every month? I would rather spend money on that, then spend money on makeup or bath products. I’m not knocking it- this is just my thing!

So you have an intro box- this is the box you get when you join. Then the next month you get that month’s box. Each box has a brand spotlight- which is some of the featured products, and each box also has a project card- it tells you how to use the products that are included.

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This is the card that came in the box. No brand spotlight for the intro welcome box. But you can see all levels there. The first is in black- that is what you would get in the vintage box. The gray level is what you would get in the classic upgrade, and then the orange is what is in the pioneer box.

We are excited about the Opinel knife- that has had good reviews from everyone that has used it. It is mega sharp! They include seeds in every package from different companies. This time we got 4 packages of herb seeds. I am excited to plan the garden and use some of these products! Each box usually always includes a book as well. I have this book, so prepare for a review and giveaway soon! We joined in October so we did not get the October box, but I am thoroughly looking forward to November’s box. It is based out of Georgia so it get’s to us here in Alabama pretty quick.

They also offer 3 different gift packages as well. Previous months themes have included…

  1. Jan 17- Intro Box (Tool and etc Care)
  2. Feb 17- Seed Starting Box
  3. Mar 17- Fruitful Foraging
  4. Apr 17- The Kitchen Garden
  5. May 17- The Good, The Bad and the Buggy
  6. June 17- Ultimate Heart and Harvest
  7. July 17- Canning and Pickling
  8. Aug 17- Summer BBQ
  9. Sept 17- Emergency Preparedness

I so wish I would have know earlier- those boxes had some awesome items and some awesome themes! Things I certainly want to research and delve into. I am not sure what October’s theme is- they ship boxes on the 15th. So look for my monthly post on the reviews- and then look for posts as to how we used the items in the boxes!

Do you currently subscribe to this service? If not what do you think?

DIY- Duck Coop/Run

So we used all of the pallets we have! Hubby will have to bring more home now! All we have is scrap pallets!

Since we brought ducks home this past Sunday- they needed a pen/coop. So we planned and started building.

The process took almost all day- with little interruptions of course!

Here is part of the building process. And of course- I couldn’t be in the sun due to the antibiotics I was on- so I had to take it easy. I did get out there and help some BUT SSH! Don’t tell- I don’t listen very well!

Here is my faithful companion who sat by us all day watching.

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Look how pretty she lays! It kills me that she crosses her paws!

Here is the finished product! I will be getting a different feeder- and we will be building a different pond for them- but for now they are enjoying their new home!

The duck coop may need some more on the front where we can half house it- and that is why it has the top that comes up- so I can clean it out. Ducks are messy yall!

I will show more of the DIY Duck pond soon! But for now- pallets are our friend. the only thing we bought for this project is 2 hinge kits, one for the door and one for the lid of the coop- and some 2 x 4’s to build the coop. Everything else we had on hand! Although now my netting is out! I will need to buy some more! The plan is to eventually build a duck run- or possibly let them have supervised free range over the garden, as ducks shouldn’t destroy it like chickens will!

Ask questions if need be- we don’t mind answering. The pen is 3 pallets wide and 5 pallets long.

Weekend Update- July 9th

So we got a lot accomplished this weekend. I worked on Saturday, it was just half a day. When I came home, I checked on the garden and was able to pull some harvest out. This is not a complete picture but it is everything I have right now- we are working on eating and getting ready to can some.

The cucumbers- the banana peppers (squash is from a co-worker, mine is not ready yet)- and pickling cucumbers.

We got the whole burn pile gone- and also trimmed the tree near the garden some so that it gets some more sun. That brush got burned as well. So no more huge pile in my yard- yay!

We did 2 other small projects- those are posts on their own.

We also got the building cleaned out and reorganized. YAY! It still needs a little work- but at least we can walk in there- and we can find what we need. No before and after- sorry!

The babies- well they are not so much babies anymore- so next week we are expanding.

Life is never dull on the homestead! More projects for next weekend!

Staycations are fun…

I know we had a vacation just a little while ago- but that was out vacation for the whole year. I only get so much time off of work, and the hubby and I planned for us to have a staycation week this past week on the 4th. I worked Monday and I will work on Saturday, but it has been nice to catch up on some things on the homestead. We didn’t get to do anything “fun” so to say- but it was nice for the kids to just be home and for us to just spend time together- even it some of it was working.

July 4th we had an amazing day, had a bunch of awesome friends over for fireworks, and dinner. I spent all day cooking and cleaning up to have an awesome afternoon. The show was amazing- we did more than last year- and will have to plan some more for next year. All of the kids have fun- and I enjoyed having people over.

As out staycation ends- it does make me wish that I could just leave the 9 to 5 and stay home to take care of the homestead more and add some more things quicker. I am staying at my rat race job until our car is paid off. It just made me realize how grateful I am to have the time I did this week, and how grateful to have what property I do have to be able to have a mini homestead. So much so that I re-evaluated the goals we have for this year. But that is what goals are for to re-evaluate. It is very hard to work in the rat race and homestead- but we are doing it. That is another post for another day.

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July- and celebrated our independence. I am grateful to live in a country that I can homestead- and have the freedom to pretty much do anything.

Part of this week has been burning down the burn pile of limbs we have trimmed, and the parts of the tree that fell down. We had to use the barrel as the pile has been so wet from where it continues to rain (the garden is grateful!).

It is pretty much down to nothing, and we are planning on finishing some tree trimming by the garden and finishing the pile out this weekend.

By the way, I just learned this weekend, it is illegal to burn cardboard. We were just burning brush- but that is nice to know. By the way- both my husband and I volunteer for the local fire department. We are just volunteers- we aren’t big enough to have a paid department. I haven’t been able to run calls much as to I have the kids- and I have been working. Hubby runs when he can but works the Talladega races every year, twice a year, to earn the department money.

We also got a shed to put all the gardening stuff and feed in. It finally got put together this week. It took us awhile in between the rain. But now the carport and the back porch are all decluttered some, and all of the animal stuff and garden stuff are in the same space!

By the way- yes that is 4 sheets of plywood on top of my car. It is definitely nice to have the floor in there though. The building kit came with a flooring kit so the plywood should not rot as fast. There is still a plan to get the loft kit to get the hay off the floor- and to get some shelves in there so we can have more room for tools, and other stuff. We still have to rig the light as well, right now we just have a little light by the door that I can click on to see if it is night time.

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We also got to fashion the other hose by the goat pen. The original hose was too long, so we cut it, and hubby used the rest of it to make an additional hose so we can water chickens, or use it for washing things out. It is nice to have.

Just some of the projects that got done on our staycation!

Garden update- June 7

Working hard in the garden these days..

The potatoes are doing great, although the storm knocked one or two of the plants over. I hope we get a good harvest.

I finally got my blueberry bush, raspberry bush, and my kiwi plant in buckets for now. A little late, but at least not wasted. I am hoping all the rain doesn’t ruin them.

The volunteer pumpkin plant is huge!

What is this? It was a volunteer plant.

Trellising is hard yall! Took me all day to get all this done. So worth it though, i will definitely plan better next year!

I believe this lil buddy is cilantro!

Can’t tell what that lil buddy is yet!

Got my first pepper yall! So exciting!

I hope hubby has been harvesting while i am gone. We’ve had cherry tomatoes so far, and now a pepper!

How is your garden growing?

What kind of chicken is that?

So we took all 20 babies out of the coop- and I took a picture of each one- you will only get to see a few- but I was interested to see what I ended up with since I have sold, added, and couldn’t tell the day old babies apart!

wp-1496094126712.jpgThis is a White Jersey Giant baby- I have 3 of these.

wp-1496094115846.jpgThis is I believe a Rhode Island Red- I have 2 of these gals!

wp-1496094108530.jpgThis is my Buff Orpington- I have 2 of these gals!

wp-1496094099250.jpgThis is my rare breed- it has 5 toes- and a little bit of feathers on it’s legs- I am not too sure which one this is!

wp-1496094092103.jpgThis is a Barred Rock- Tooty wanted it- we have 2 of these gals!

wp-1496094069888.jpgThis is my Aracauna/Americauna- I have 5 of these- and this is the one I definitely want more of! I love having colored eggs!

wp-1496094061209.jpgThis is a White Cochin- I have 5 of these feather friends!

 

Enjoy! How are your chicks?

Garden Update- May 30

This is usually a picture heavy post. This weekend I got the front bed weeded and got the pots moved. In the process I found that squash bugs decimated one of my squash plants. I am sad- but I got rid of the plant and check the others- so far so good. Although they are a little flooded from all this rain! We also added a sprinkler system so its easier to water, and I got the others in the ground! Enjoy!

This is the volunteer pumpkin plant- and apparently I have some volunteer tomato plants too!

wp-1496093958268.jpg Look at that cherry tomato harvest! This is the one plant that is doing well! I will have to plant some more next year! We only have the one!

Part One update

It is definitely growing and making me happy! I have some work to do this weekend though before I leave on vacation!