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.

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Guess what we added to the homestead?

Hot Mess Homestead now owns ducks! That’s right we have gone Quakers!

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We have 6 Cayuga Ducks- 3 male and 3 female. Sheldon has named one of the females Priscilla- and a friend of mine has name one Donald- and then Sheldon said we needed a Daffy. So we do have names for 3 of them. They are so cute- and funny and exciting! They are laying- but not right now as they are going through the Summer molt. Stay tuned for a DIY duck pen post!

20170820_191345My camera did not take a good picture- but they sure are enjoying their new home! And it is fun to hear them quack. They are starting to learn that I bring the food and water and talk to me when I go out there. I am hoping they learn to trust me soon- they have only been here for 3 days though!

More Eggs Now? What?

So since I was sick last week, Sheldon has been helping big time with the feed duties. We discovered we had 2 eggs one day! What?

20170815_190455So that means that Spaz is still laying- which seems to be every other day- I think we are close to molting, there is a lot of feathers everywhere! And one of the other hens is laying now too. We are getting little eggs! So exciting!

So one day, it was just 2 tiny eggs, and then the next it was 3- one regular from Spaz, and then the 2 tiny. We are getting one dark brown and one lighter brown. I am assuming the darker is the Cherry Eggers- but they should be almost red- not just dark brown. So no more pictures- but for the past 3 times- it has been one big and 2 little when we have gotten eggs. They are laying almost every other day, if not every day!

I am so excited!

Now these girls- they are getting so big! And what I thought was Rhode Island Reds- are actually Cherry Eggers. The Jerseys are huge. I am either going to sell, raise and cull, or move some of the girls. They are so big, and not all of them fit into the coop to roost at night! So if any girls go or get moved- it’s the Cherry Eggers and the Jerseys. The Buffs I will keep since I picked those, and the Barred Rocks are Tooty’s. I wouldn’t get rid of my rare breed or my Easter Eggers, so those stay. And the Cochins are just funny- so I will probably keep them too. I am thinking I may make a sign for the coops that says- “Beware of the Raptors!” That is exactly what the Cochins remind me of!

On a side note- the goats are doing well, and Kevin may become a wether next week sometime!

How is everything in your neck of the woods?

2017 Goals- July Check-In

So on this post here, I listed my goals for 2017. We will probably be adding more as the year goes on- but here is July’s check-in, and I am a little late with it! Did you set goals? How are you doing? See the updates in red! Check out my progress- January Check-In February Check-In March Check-In April Check-In May Check-In June Check-In

  1. Personal- Quit Smoking. It will save money and my health. This year I am dead serious on quitting smoking. I am also trying to make the switch from caffeine or other drinks to strictly water. That is a slow progression as I tend to get migraines when I lose the caffeine. (Trying to get some progress here- stress hit- and I need to find something besides my coping mechanisms. I really am trying hard!)
  2. Quail-Finish the quail coop. We did get started with the coop- but it needs to be finished. We are also looking at buying some more babies. I would like to raise and sell eggs/babies.
  3. Chickens- Build a bigger chicken coop- and get some more chickens. I have 2 separate breeds, and have not decided whether I want roosters or not. (Complete- although expansions and some thought on this coming soon.)
  4. Gardening- Start an herb garden. Plant some fruit trees. Start some seeds and a small garden to manage so we can save more money. (The garden is failing a little- so much rain has ruined it some. No Fall Garden this year- I am going to work on Spring Garden plans- and starting some more herbs to bring indoors for the winter.)
  5. Small Home Organization and Projects- Organize the shed. Clean out the rest of our stuff from my in-laws. Declutter a lot of stuff. We have a few renovation projects to complete, which we already have the supplies for.
  6. Save More Money!
  7. Food Preservation- I got a gift card for Christmas- so I bought a dehydrator. We will start with that. I am also stocking up on canning supplies so I can start with some water bath canning. I have a flat top stove- so we have to look and see if our model will allow us to can, otherwise I will find something else to do.(I am looking at learning some more new recipes as I go.)
  8. Cook From Scratch- Right now I am working on getting rid of some premade things in the pantry, but we will start slow with that and making our own bread.
  9. Rain Barrel- Get the rain barrel set up. This does involve buying some gutter guards- but we have material to build a stand for it to sit on.

How are you doing on your goals?

Weekend fun.. or shall I say craziness…

This past weekend was a time of craziness- uhm fun- uhm it was quite a busy weekend. We didn’t really have plans since the girls just started back to school, and I have been sick. Saturday I decided we were going to go to a local farm a little while away and pick some peaches, apples, and figs. I love going to pick anything and was thinking about what I would do/can with all the fruit. Well- when we got there- because we have had sooo much rain lately- there weren’t any apples or peaches ready. But they had figs- so I decided we would pick some. We had to watch because the bees and yellow jackets and all kinds of stinging/flying insects love these bushes. I was a little worried- if I get stung I blow up y’all. I didn’t get many pictures- but Sheldon, hubby and I almost filled a bucket. We bought some more local honey and hubby wanted to try some new jams. I got a watermelon- so the chickens definitely enjoyed some of that as well- because why not share? I will be making some watermelon and fig jam this weekend I hope!

I took a nap- and then send hubby for some Chinese food for supper. Nothing delivers where we live- despite the fact we are about 15 mins from town, either way. Our little town used to be a bustling town and it’s history is quite interesting. We have a little general store- not much in it- but it has been here forever. We used to have a post office- but they closed it down a few years back. So all we have is the little store and a volunteer fire department. I digress- I went outside to smoke after dinner- and my poor puppy doo’s whole face was swollen- as in you almost couldn’t see her eyes. I freaked y’all! The after hours on the vet was closed- it was after 7 pm- so I had to call the Emergency Vet Clinic a few towns over.

20170812_210414My poor Dixie’s face- and this is after some Benedryl to stop the swelling. As I was talking to the Tech- we gave her some Benedryl and was getting ready to load her up. I couldn’t see any marks- so that means it wasn’t a snake or spider, that we could tell. I was so worried about getting there- I fell in the yard, dusted off. She is fine now- she got a steroid shot- and by the time we were home- the swelling was almost all gone. I was happy she didn’t look like a manatee any more. 2 more days of Benedryl though- she is good now- but oh how I was worried. This is my almost 12 year old baby! We have had her forever and she guards the chickens and goats like a champ.

Fast forward to Sunday, where I didn’t get up until almost noon! I was so mad! Half the day was gone! Got laundry started and we went ahead to Tractor Supply to get feed for the animals. I buy all my feed there. I finally decided to go to the doctor since I laid down for a minute and couldn’t stop coughing. Bronchitis- 2 shots- a breathing treatment- and some heavy antibiotics and I am just now starting to feel better. I procrastinate bad yall! And yes, I rushed my pet before I went myself- that is just who I am. We did go to Walmart after since I had to pick up a few things- and we don’t really have a reasonable grocery store here.

Needless to say, we had a very hectic weekend, didn’t get much work done- and I am still ready for rest. But back to normal- school is in session and we are finally starting a routine back!

Where have you been?

I have been dealing with being sick still- this is going on 2 weeks, I may need to go to the doctor. School has started, I have a first grader and a sixth grader. So far we are 3 days in and they are enjoying it. We have had rain pretty much forecasted every day so needless to say the yard is straight up mush!

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The chickens have been growing, and the goat pens need some work. My rare breed is so ugly it’s cute! They got to enjoy some tomatoes from the garden since I let them sit a little too long without using them!

 

Here’s to hoping it doesn’t rain all weekend so I can get some work done!

 

Hope all is well with you, and I will definitely have some posts up this weekend!

Update

We have been so busy, school is about to start and the homestead always has some projects! 

I finished off the cucumbers before they went bad, and made 8 more jars of bread and butter pickles. Im excited about my blue jar!

By the way pickling is fun, but the smell of vinegar is quite strong! I swear it burned my nose.

We had a baby shower for a co worker who is a friend of mine, so in half an hour on the night before, i threw a diaper cake together. Not my best work, but she loved it. 

And i have caught my summer cold, the season is changing so my allergies have gotten the best of me. Im trying to hang in there, and beat the sinus infection.

Garden update – July 29th

The garden is still growing. I need to be a little more diligent in weeding. We’ve been getting a slow harvest this week. Its also located in a spot that retains water, so we are looking at making some improvements next season.

The tomatoes are coming in slow.

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I think my cucumber plants are done.

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The squash is slowly starting to come back again, i do have some babies on there.

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The peppers are slow.

Okra is coming in but slow.

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Look at that watermelon plant! I might need to get them off the ground, they look to be rotting.

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I am not sure if we will get any pumpkins off the volunteer plant or not.

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I am not sure if we will get cantaloupe or not- it is blooming with flowers- but I don’t see any little melons!

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The second potato bag is growing, i am going to wait a little longer and add soil so more plants have time to grow.

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