Novice Homesteaders

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Happy girls in their new home!

Ah last week was exciting here on our little farm! We purchased three goats, a momma and her two baby girls, way back in June.  They are awesome and have been living in half of our chicken run until we could get their permanent home finished. Soo after several revisions, due to a reckless child on a 4-wheeler and having to start completely over because of an escape artist momma, we FINALLY got them into their new home! And they absolutely love it! They have lots of grass, so much space, logs to jump and climb on and no pesky chickens cramping their style. It was a happy day for us and a mini achievement in the backyard farming thing.

I’m not really sure when we decided homesteading was something we wanted try.   My husband grew up a little more in the country than I did, but neither one of us grew up on a farm. But after living in San Antonio, we knew the city was not where we wanted to raise our family.  So when we came up with the must haves for our new home a little bit of space and some country views were on the top of our list. Our home now is a great starter homestead, but eventually we would love to move to something with a little more acreage.  We currently have about 5.5 acres, but we have some neighbors that are a little closer than we would like.  It’s always possible to upgrade but for right now we are doing all we can with what we have!

I think taking a good hard look at what we were eating and where our food was coming from sparked so many lifestyle changes for us. Wanting to raise our own food and provide for ourselves has become increasingly important.  We watched several documentaries and read lots of literature and determined we cannot truly know what is going into our food unless we raise it ourselves or source it from a local reliable source.

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First time in the coop

We started our homesteading adventure about a year and a half ago.  We purchased 12 baby hens from a farm not too far from our home. As well as two pekin ducks we couldn’t resist at Tractor Supply. I like to think of laying hens as the “gateway animal” to the novice farmer.  Once you tackle chickens you open the door to so many other opportunities!

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Finished chicken coop and run and two of our lazy pups!

Now we did all the research online, purchased all our feed and supplies, bought a coop and my handy husband built them an amazingly huge chicken run. We kept them in brooders in our upstairs living room, under heat lamps until them were big enough to go outside. Come to find out 2 of our hens were roosters in disguise, which opened a whole new adventure! Over the next few months we acquired 6 more chicks and flew by the seat of our pants in this backyard chicken thing!

Now we are getting over a dozen eggs a day from our amazing girls! And have even hatched out a bunch of our own chicks. It’s pretty amazing to know our eggs are coming from happy, healthy girls that have

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Grown up ducks and chickens!

the opportunity to have an awesome life. It has also been difficult as well in dealing with mean roosters, losing baby chicks, injured birds and so on.  But it’s a learning process and I think we are getting the hang of it! And this week we have also started another adventure on our little farm.  We received 16 Freedom Ranger meat chickens in the mail last week. Come December they will be grown and ready to butcher.

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Meat Chickens!

They are super cute right now, which makes me a little nervous that come December we won’t be able to get the job done.  But again we feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to raise our own food.  We know these animals will be well cared for, loved, and lead a happy life.  That makes things a little easier. Now we don’t have a ton of land or really any experience with this lifestyle, but we are learning as we go and utilizing all our space.

I am thankful to have a supportive husband that values same things I do.  I am also so freaking thankful he is handy! In our two years here I can’t tell you the number of things he has built, it’s amazing! So these next few months will be an adventure with these new chickies. Please stay tuned for updates! Also I look forward to heating any advice you experienced homesteaders have!! We have big plans for the next year and are thinking of expanding our homestead with some honeybees and maybe a pig! Stay tuned!

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