Thursday, December 31, 2020

Green house Progress

 This has been an odd year. We usually have about a week to get the glass put up on the greenhouse so that we can continue to grow during the winter months. This year we had one day. So, of course it didn't get done because it takes us at least 3 days to get them all up.


So needless to say, we lost everything in the greenhouse this year. This is a first for us. However, neither of us watch the news so we had no idea that a freeze was coming. We were enjoying 80 degree days. Then on Friday we only got up to 65 and it froze that night. 



We can usually tell when the first freeze is coming because we will have a few days in the 70's first then it will drop to the 60's then it will freeze. We got no warning this year. So, if the weather is going to be weird, I guess one of us will have to start watching the news so we are aware of changes before they get here.


The only things that are still growing are the parsley and my brussels sprout plant. We lost everything else. So, I am going to wait until March to start over again.

Have a great day!

Renee


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Monday, December 28, 2020

Garden Progress

 I know when you see the pictures it really doesn't look like progress, but we are making progress toward next year's garden now. 


So while everything has died (we got a quick freeze and didn't have time to prepare for it), we are working on making sure the soil will be ready for the garden next year. We will likely begin planting in March or so hopefully. However, this has been a strange year all the way around and we were not really able to get ready for the freeze that hit a couple weeks ago.




So, even though the tomato plants themselves have died, we've still had a few that ripened this week. We have since shifted the focus to soil for the rest of the winter. Aarron has been spreading the compost over the garden and in March, just before we plant, he will till everything under and we will start again.


We are working to become certified organic so we have to show what has been put on the land for the last 3 years. There can be no prohibited chemicals for 3 years before you can get the certification. Thankfully we have been here that long so hopefully it won't be too hard to do. We shall see.


That is what is happening with the garden for the time being.

Have a great day!

Renee

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Thursday, December 24, 2020

Getting Ready for Kidding on the Homestead

 We're coming into the most exciting time of year here on the homestead. The kids are going to start hitting the ground over the next 2 months. I look forward to this time every year because the babies are just so stinking cute. I mean who doesn't love goat kids?


The two above are last years kids. That is butterscotch and Lilly, who are both almost full grown now. They have moved on to their forever homes but I still get pictures of them every so often and they are looking great! 



This is the time when we get ready for the next kids to hit the ground. We are going through our supplies to make sure we have everything we are going to need. We have to make sure that we have Iodine and molasses just to name a few items.


This is also the time that we make sure momma is in good shape too. We give their tetanus booster to make sure the kids have a little immunity from the beginning since they don't get their first shot until they are 6-8 weeks of age. We also make sure that her diet is good so that her milk production will begin when it should and that the babies are healthy when they are born. 

So while there is a lot to do this time of year, it is probably the most rewarding time of year.

Have a great day!

Renee 

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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Leather Journal

 I received this Leather Journal for free or at a discount for my honest review. This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. To see my full disclosure, click here.

I absolutely love leather journals. This is especially nice because it is divided into 3 sections. I have never seen one like this before.




I think the only thing that would make this better is if they were to include a pen with it, however, I always have pens laying around so putting one with it is not an issue. I have gotten some that come with a pen though so that would have been nice, but it is not included with this particular journal.


The pages in this journal are unlined. So, this can be used in so many different ways. A bullet journal would a perfect use for this type of paper. Also this could be used for sketching as well. I have a hard time using unlined paper but I figure it will still work out fine because this will be used for both writing and drawing so I think the lines would get in the way.



I would recommend this journal because it is well constructed and beautiful. You can get yours on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01C6MRKLG

Have a great day!

Renee

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Thursday, December 17, 2020

Incubating Eggs

 This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. To see my full disclosure, click here.

So now that you have your incubator, what's next? You put your eggs in it! I know it's not just that easy but basically it is. You will want to run it first to get it up to temperature. I always turn mine on for about 20 minutes before placing the eggs. This is the incubator that I have. 


Once I have the incubator up to temperature, then I add the water to the bottom to start getting the humidity where it needs to be. The beginning humidity is lower than when they are getting ready to hatch. I believe the humidity at first should be around 50%. When the chicks are within 3 days of hatching, what is called the lockdown period, the humidity needs to be closer to 90%.


You can see the waterline in the above picture. You don't need much to get the humidity right. I check the water level every couple days during the 21 day incubation to make sure that there is at least this much water in it to keep the humidity where it needs to be.


Then you place your eggs inside the auto turner. You can see the rod in the picture above and this goes into the slot of the auto turner when you put the lid on. This will ensure they are turned every day. I could have put 4 more eggs in there, but I didn't have them.

At day 19 you will remove the auto turner and the plate the eggs are sitting on. There is another plate under this one that you will place the eggs onto for the hatching phase. This is where you will also add more water to bring the humidity up higher. Then place the lid back on and don't open it until all eggs have hatched.

Have a great day!

Renee

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Monday, December 14, 2020

Choosing the Best Incubator For You

 This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you. To see my full disclosure, click here.

If you have chickens, eventually you will probably want to hatch your own chickens. Many times the hens will do this for you. However, if you get hens like I did at first, they did not go broody for about 3 years so I had to get an incubator. Which one do you get though? That is a great question. The answer is a bit difficult to give though because it will depend on what you want to do. Are you going to incubate just for yourself? Are you going to incubate for others? Are you going to try to sell the chicks? Each answer will help you determine what incubator you need.

The incubator I chose to use is the one pictured below. I got it off Ebay, but you can find incubators at most any feed store and of course online. The one is got is pretty small because my thought at the time I got it was that I would only be incubating for myself. However, I have had others ask me to incubate for them as well. This one will hold 3 to 9 eggs in the auto turner. If you don't use the auto turner you can fit up to 15ish chicken eggs. You can find this one here.


There are so many different incubators to choose from. This can be a good thing though. There are small ones such as this one



And large ones such as this one. 


I prefer the auto turner because I tend to forget to turn them so that is a must for me, but if you can remember to turn them then it may not be for you. I absolutely love the incubator that I have because it holds the temperature well and the humidity is easy to see. For me this works perfect. I tried to use a bigger one and I could not get the humidity right now matter what I did.

I would recommend starting with a smaller incubator and moving up to a larger one if you need to. But for me I will stay with the one I have because I get about 98% hatch rate from it.

Have a great day!

Renee