Nose? Meet Grindstone…

asahyryv

The week in review!

First off, I went back and read some of our previous posts and lately it sounds like everything is going smoothly. In reality there are always setbacks, but I prefer to focus on the positive. I intended to post a tutorial the other day on making some awesome chicken waterers that actually keep the water clean, and everything went great until the very end. The valves I purchased won’t stay closed without a certain amount of water pressure, so now I need to order different valves. Also I came home today to find a large excavator parked in the front yard (it seems people see that area as a good place to park or turn around), next time I’m going to just open the door and lock Big Mike inside the cab.

Weekly successes include: moving the rest of our belongings from the house in town we sold, started working with the bank to purchase some neighboring property, got the frost-free yard hydrant installed so watering will be MUCH easier this year, and buying an egg incubator.

Next week will begin our first round of incubating our fertilized chicken eggs! We are waiting to do a run of twenty, and I have 16 saved, so after tomorrow we should be ready. All of our hens produce very unique eggs, so it’s easy to tell who they came from, and we have a good mix from all the ladies. This first round will bring us very close to our goal of hatching twenty more chicks this year to increase our production. Since we don’t expect all the eggs to hatch, it may take two runs to hit our goal, but it’s early in the year so we’re not concerned, we’ll get there!

The baby rabbits are growing so fast! They are already venturing from their nest to find their mother and feed! We learned a bit about rabbits recently, most importantly that you need to protect your bucks from the does when they are getting ready to give birth, our lop pulled a ton of his fur off to build her nest. We separated everyone, and I built another rabbit cage so they could cool off and he can heal. This year we hope to build two buildings on the property, one a much larger chicken coop, and one a building to house our growing rabbit operation. At the rate they multiply, we’re going to have our hands full!

As our homestead grows we’re going to need more and more feed for all these animals, so I’m trying to come up with some creative ideas to save money and use waste. I intend to approach some local restaurants and bakeries and propose trading fresh eggs for waste, or just taking it off their hands instead of letting it go to the landfill. I’ll also continue saving all our food scraps for the animals, some days all they eat is the cuttings and peelings from meals we prepare. If anyone else has any good ideas on this front please post a comment!

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