New Fence for the Back Yard

I have been wanting to let my chickens free range again for a while now but the goats would not leave the chicken feed alone, so we had to come up with something to keep them out. Aarron decided he would put a fence up between the goats and the chicken coop.

 

Aarron is wonderful at getting scrap from people around here that are getting rid of things. He got these panels and tubing from around the area and made them so that they would work to put a fence up in the back yard to keep the goats separate from the chickens but allowing the chickens to free range.

 

He had to repair the panels that he got from a neighbor but after putting in a bit of work on them, they are ready to move to the back to create the fence. He also made the gate from a pool fence gate and attached it to some poles to make the gate to get between the yards.

Aarron got the fence all put together last night and as you can see it still needs some work because the goats figured out very early that they can crawl under the fence. lol. So there will be a little more tweeking to make the fence work the way we want it to.

We need to add another pole to the bottom of the fence or add a smaller mesh of some kind to the bottom. Either way, it’s going to take another day or two to make sure the goats can’t get to the chicken feed. However, we are on the way.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

5 Things I’m Greatful For

Today’s post will be short and sweet because I’m still sick with COVID.

1. I’m thankful that this COVID is mild compared to the other variants because I don’t think I would have survived any of the others. This one has been bad, but could have been much worse.

2. I’m thankful for the home that my Dad made sure we had after his passing last year.

3. I’m thankful for this lifestyle that we have chosen to live because it helps us to be better people and to be able to help others sometimes.

4. I’m thankful for the opportunity to raise these animals and give them the best life possible.

5. I’m thankful for our neighbors that have helped us so much on this journey.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

What Do People Incorrectly Assume About You

People all over tend to assume things about others even if they don’t know them or their situation. We get this a lot here because we live in a small town. We tend to have a lot of stuff in our yard because Aarron builds everything we need. We don’t have the money to go and buy things all the time so when he gets things from different people it tends to sit in the yard until it’s needed.

As an example, he built the milk stand in the picture above from scrap wood that we had around the property. Nothing for this stand was purchased. The wood had been left over from other projects that Aarron had done on the farm here and he used the scraps to build the milk stand that I needed to be able to easily milk the goats. Granted it’s not as nice as some of the milk stands you can find on the market, but it works and it does exactly what I need it to do every day. Plus I have been using it for well over 2 years now and it’s still holding up strong.

Aarron has also built all the pens we have in the yard for the animals. He has done this out of different things we have gotten from other people in the area. When someone is throwing away items from their homes, Aarron picks the stuff up for free and uses it around the farm when we need something. He is also collecting parts for a solar system for the house.

So I know that some of our neighbors probably look at our yard and feel it’s just junk all over the place, but they have no idea what my husband can do with this stuff. I love that he can build just about anything from what we have here on the property.

Have a great day!

Renee

Trailer Repurpose

Aarron got a 5th wheel trailer frame from someone and has decided what he is going to do with it. He plans on making it a car trailer so that we can transport vehicles if needed or just about anything else we may need to haul somewhere.

The trailer itself is going to have a flat bed that can be used for hauling just about anything we need to haul. He is going to make removable sides for the trailer so that we can also use it to move the animals should we have to do that as well. He plans to make it as multi-purpose as possible so that it can be use for anything we may need to use it for.

When he got it, it was only a metal frame. He is putting down 2×4 on the floor and will be reinforcing it with something else I believe. He talks about what he is going to do with on  my Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNzG61Bzo2v-D7g3mSd2g0Q. It should be the most recent video on my list.

We haven’t had any way to transport animals at all so it will nice once this is done. I can’t wait to be able to use it. Right now the only trailer we have available is a small one, about 1/4 the size of what this will be. Have you ever done anything like this? I would love to see what you have done.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

Adversity

I know that we have all faced adversity at one time or another and we are no different. We have actually been having a very hard time of things of late since late last year. I think this has been the hardest thing for me to go though and I don’t feel as though I am doing a very good job with it as this began over a year ago now and I am still trying to deal with it the best I can.

On October 29th of 2020 my Dad passed away in our home. This was exactly what he wanted. We have been here with my Dad for the last 7 years because my brothers and sisters didn’t want him to live alone any longer. My husband and I were able to move out here with him and for that I am so very thankful. I got to spend the last 7 years here with my Dad where he wanted to be. I love that I was able to do this for him. I would not trade anything that happened during those 7 years for anything. I was able to spend a lot of quality time with my Dad.

On the night that he passed, I was the one who found him. To say this was traumatic would be putting it lightly. My Dad was the backbone of our place here and I miss him every day. It seems like things have been so much harder now that he is gone. I keep going because I know that he wouldn’t want me to quit, but I tell you it would be so easy at this point.

I keep going because I know that is what he would have wanted. I just wish that things would get easier because it has been so hard this year.

 

What Do I Do?

So today we are supposed to tell you what we do. Well, I run our homestead and sell different products that we make here. Mostly we sell the animals to others who are wanting to either raise or show the animals in like 4-H or FFA. I like to know that my animals are going to a place where they will be cherished and even spoiled (even if they will become meat in the freezer at a later date). I want to know that these animals will be cared for in the manner they become accustomed to here.

This is simply because I believe that animals should be well cared for no matter what their purpose is. I know that I can’t always protect these animals once they leave but I do try to make sure they have a good life for the time they are alive because they deserve it.

We also sell different products that we produce here such as milk, cheeses and vegetables out of our garden. If we have anything left that we can’t or don’t sell, we usually will either can them for later use or send them to the food bank so that people who need them have the opportunity to get fresh good food as well. We always try to grow a little to send to the food bank because we feel that we should.

I love our life here on the farm/homestead and wouldn’t trade it for the world. We work to try be as self-sufficient as possible as well as being able to help those around us.

Have a great day!

Renee

Why Do I Do What I Do

Several years ago, I was like most people. I went to the store for my food every week. I was oblivious to how we actually got our food to the store. When I moved out to a rural area, I went to Tractor Supply just to see what they carried. I had never been into the store in my life, it was relatively new to our area. I was curious to know what they sold. So me and my daughter went down one day to see what they had.

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We decided we needed a new toy for the 2 dogs that we had at the time, but when we went inside, they had baby chickens! I decided on the spot that we needed to get some. So we bought 8 chickens. Kira saw they had ducks also and we were told that you could not buy just one so we went home with 8 chickens and 2 ducks. That is where our journey started.

I didn’t know anything about how to care for chickens so we started looking online for information. We found they had to be kept warm until they got their feathers. So we had 8 chickens and 2 ducks in a cage meant for guinea pigs with a heater blowing on them to keep them warm. It’s really a wonder that they all survived.

Aarron made a cage for them to go outside once they had their feathers and that’s where it all started. We now have about 20 chickens, 2 pigs, 10 goats, 2 cows, dogs, and cats. I have learned so much over the years and continue to learn more every day. I love this lifestyle and wouldn’t change anything for the world now.

Have a great day!

Renee

UBC Day 1

The Ultimate Blog Challenge is starting again for the month of November. I have wanted to be more active on my blog so I am hoping this will help me to do that. The challenge is to write a blog post every day for the month of November.

My reason for doing this challenge is simple, I want to be more active on my blog. I want to help people who are looking to start raising animals or gardening or just to be more self-sufficient. I want to provide information for those who may be looking for it. We are raising goats, cows, pigs, and chickens right now and I try to do this in the most humane way possible so that I know where my food comes from.

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This site may not be for everyone because occasionally I will talk about the butchering of animals or different tools (such as firearms) that are used on a farm/homestead. I know this can be a hard thing for some people to see and hear, but it is part of our daily life. I love to know that my animals have had the best life possible before they head to the freezer.

I will tell you that I love my animals and I have a hard time with this part of things as well, but I know that I care for them the very best that I can before their time comes. I hope that you will continue with me on this journey, but if it’s not your cup of tea I get that too.

Have a great day!

Renee

New Fencing for the Goats

It’s finally getting cooler here in Southern Arizona so there is a lot going on outside now. Most of our garden has been harvested. The colder crops are planted and we finally got to upgrade the fencing in the back yard for the goats.

A few months ago, a neighbor posted on Facebook about a pen in their yard that needed to go away. They said they would give it away if the person came to take it down and tow it away. So Aarron did. We had no clue what we were getting at the time, but holy cow! What a find! It was 4 ft rebar fencing! The luck on this was up there. So Aarron pulled the pen down and brought it home. There was also a shelter in the pen that he brought home too. We really scored on this find.

For the last several years, the fencing for the back yard was made of pallets. It held amazing for the 2 or 3 years that it was there with very little fixing on that part of the fence. I really didn’t think that pallets would work very well as a fence for goats so I was pleasantly surprised on that one.

We got enough fencing to replace the pallets that had been part of the goats pens and to replace the chain link that is the rest of the buck pen. I can’t wait to get it completed. I can see the goats from my front porch now too which is really nice. I can also the pigs that are further back in the yard which is something I have never been able to do since we got the animals. I am so happy with the way this fence is turning out.

Have a great day!

Renee

Kids on the Farm

Oh my gosh, the kids are growing so fast. It’s hard to believe they are almost 2 months old now. It seems to me that they are growing faster than our last girls though. These two are getting pretty big pretty quick which has really surprised me.

I absolutely adore these two. They are up for sale, but if they don’t sell soon I may change my mind on this. They are so adorable and I’m sure they are driving their mommy nuts at this point. She can’t go anywhere without them or they start to scream when she isn’t right next to them. The family dynamic is fun to watch though.

One of the girls is all white (Snowball) and the other has two cream spots on her head and one on her chest (Buttercup). I thought I was going to lose them both when they were first born because it was so hot. I found one (Snowball) laying on her side barely breathing. Buttercup was up and alert but struggling to breath a little, I believe from the heat. It was 109 on the day they were born.

I brought them in the house to cool them down. I finally got some colostrum into them about an hour later. Buttercup did not want a bottle. She wanted mamma from the beginning. I was hoping that Mamma would take them back when it cooled down at the end of the day. I am so thankful that she did. However, these two are a little skittish around people because they have been dam raised from the beginning.

They are getting better around people but it is slow going. They love to play and jump which is so adorable to watch. We have a couple tables in their yard that they like to play “kind of hill” on. The energy these two have is amazing.

Have a great day!

Renee

Garden Progress

The garden this year has been a bust. It has been so hot and we are under such severe drought conditions that the water needed couldn’t be justified so we had to let it go. We have had a few successes though. But they have been minimal. I think the only part of self-sufficient that we have going right now is the animals.

Yup, that is the garden. The big, green, supple garden we had last year is all brown now.

Although the rain we have had recently has put a little green back in there, but I still don’t think it will be enough to do any good as far as the drought is concerned. Even though this has been the wettest July on record for the past 70ish years ( I think that is the number), it still won’t be enough to get us out of these drought conditions.

The back area behind the house is looking good though. We have tobacco, tomatoes, sunflowers, and a pumpkin back there. I think there are even a couple bean plants. This area is growing great and doesn’t take much water because the sun isn’t on most of the day so the ground stays a little wetter than other areas in the yard.

We also have one watermelon and a squash plant that are doing amazing. This was surprising because they are in full sun all day long. So the fact that they are still growing amazes me every day. Talk about fighters! They are not giving up.

 

 

What’s Going On Right Now

These last few months have been pretty rough and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. Our dryer quit so I am back to drying outside, which I don’t mind, but everyone else in the house does. They want the dryer so my first paycheck may be getting a new dryer. Personally I think this is a waste of money, except for right now. We are in our monsoon season and we are actually getting one this year. The yard is a mess and flooding all over the place. I feel so bad for the animals because they are all covered with mud right now.

Aarron is working on trying to divert the water to other areas that are unused and put in a catchment system so that we can use the water in the garden. We are not sure how well this will work, but he is going to try anyway.

Yes, that is my back yard where all the animals are at. It is a muddy mess and has quite a bit of standing water right now. We still have another month for our monsoon season and if it continues like this we won’t be able to even get out of here. We normally have four different ways out and right now we only have one. If that road floods we won’t be able to get out at all.

Kira is finally getting her car fixed. She is excited about this because she is starting work soon too. Next week to be exact. So for her to have her car going would be a blessing.

I hope things are going well for all of you and hopefully they will get better here soon too.

Have a great day!

Renee

New Work Space

I’m really excited about my new space! I started working this week and I will be working from home. However, I needed somewhere to do the farm paperwork as well. The desk in the main house was ok, but everyone else we always putting everything there because it is a flat surface. I needed somewhere quite for working from home with no distractions, and let me tell you, the main house is nothing but distractions. So we moved me into our little house with a nice desk and chair to have my own little work haven.

 

I went to pick up my computer for work last week and over the weekend, hubby got everything set up for me and ready to go.

I really like this desk because it’s pretty basic. A couple spots for my folders. I place for my laptop and the work computer. So, it’s all set up now and I have started work this week. I am so looking forward to having a little extra money coming in now that I’m working again. This will also allow hubby, Aarron to focus on the house and yard as well and not have to worry about taking side jobs that take him away from the property.

I still have to bring out my folders for my animal and farm paperwork, but this is basically what it looks like now with the addition of my laptop in the blank space there. I have to say that it is really nice to have somewhere to go when I need to work that is quite and clean. I don’t have move all kinds of stuff out of the way to be able to get to what I need.

Have a great day!

Renee

Aarron is Making a Fan

So, neither of us have been working for a while now and the fan motor on the AC went out. This is the worst possible time for this to happen as we are in the middle of summer and hitting 100 or more most days. So, Aarron went into creative mode. First he took the swamp cooler off the barn and put that on top of the AC to keep the air moving well and cooling the house. Then he started building.

He put this fan together in a few days. The hardest part was finding a cooler motor that would work to spin the fan. He used parts and metal that we have had here on the farm for a while so this cost us nothing to build. He did all from stuff we had around the house and in the yard. My barn will get it’s cooler back!

Once he got it on the AC though, it only worked for about 5 minutes. It does not like to be facing down. So while the idea was great and it does work, it just doesn’t work for what he made it for. He ended up using the ventilation fan that was on the barn and it works perfectly for now until we can get the motor here and get it on the AC.

So while this doesn’t work for what he originally wanted it to, it does work great as a fan. You just plug it in where ever you happen to need it at and it works great. I love how this man can just make things out of what we have here already. You have no idea how much money he has saved us in being able to do this.

Have a great day!

Renee

 

New Kids on the Homestead

The kids have finally come! Desi was actually due on June 27th by my calculations, but true to doe form, she held them hostage for another 2 weeks. They were actually born on July 13th. Desi gave no clue to us that she would be kidding soon.

Of course she always seems to do things different from what is normal of does. She has no tells that she is in heat. She loves the milk stand, and she is a wonderful momma. The kids were born in the early afternoon and it was about 110 degrees outside. When I heard them, they were both in distress because of the heat.

I thought for sure we were going to lose snow ball (the all white one). She was not good. Just laying on the ground breathing hard. The other was breathing hard but was at least standing near momma. I did not think Snow Ball was going to make it. We took them in the  house to cool them off and try to get some colostrum into them. Desi was outside screaming like we were killing her. I’ve not had a doe be so dramatic about taking her kids away.

After it cooled down, we took them back to her. I thought sure she would do like my other and not take them back, but she took them without a thought. She immediately starting licking them and tending to them. I am so thankful that she took them back. Now they are doing amazing but she can’t feed them completely as one side of her udder has a double teat and the kids can’t get it into their mouths. So I think I will have to supplement with a couple bottles a day but so far they are doing amazing. I can’t wait to watch them grow.

Have a great day!

Renee