Our Chicken Adventure Part 2

Our Chicken Adventure Part 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last time we saw the chickens, they were on their way to the brooder in the garage. The chickens moved out to the garage to continue growing until they were ready for outside.

 

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We used a rabbit pen with cardboard underneath and pine shavings. It works and is mostly disposable, but it is also a huge mess to clean! I can’t wait to build a brooder box that will keep everything a little more contained 🙂 This phase lasted until they were about 6 weeks old. The main things we were looking for is for the chickens to be fully feathered and for the overnight temperatures to be above freezing. They couldn’t wait to get outside as they were ready for room to run!

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Here was their first evening in the coop. We kept them inside the coop for three days so they would know that this is their new home and to return here every night. It worked well as we haven’t had a problem tucking them in for the night yet.

 

 

 

 

This was their first morning on the range. They were very excited to be on this new surface called grass, but spent most of they day staying under and very close to the coop.

 

 

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The first time we introduced Molly, she did great! She sat right here and made sure all the chickens stayed by the coop. It is amazing to see her instinct in action. We had her on a leash to make sure she didn’t get the urge to chase and play with them. She only tried twice the first day and has been a great guardian ever since! Her electric fence ends about 10 feet behind the fence, so she guards the surrounding area and redirects any lost chickens.

 

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I took a couple pictures for size that week to see how much they had grown in the brooder. You can see all the pretty colors in the feathers.

 

 

 

 

This is one the grey chickens. They seem to be one of the bigger breeds so far and look giant by comparison.

 

 

 

 

The chickens are thoroughly enjoying themselves in the pasture. Thanks for following along!

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Golden Touch Kit I

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In my April Essential rewards order, I was excited to receive my Golden Touch I Kit! When I was listening to a podcast on first aid with essential oils, this kit was recommended and I didn’t know about it! When I looked it up, I knew it had to be in the next order. It had so many oils that I wanted to try and were all together. So what is in this kit?

Di-Gize: These oils are blended to assist in relieving digestive proDiGizeblems, such as upset stomach, belching, heartburn, cramps, colic and bloating. Contains: Tarragon, ginger, peppermint, juniper, fennel, lemongrass, anise, and patchouli. I have heard many testimonies about this oil and the stomach flu, morning sickness, candida, IBS as well as all the other problems listed above. I have used it several times already when we have overindulged in junk food and have just not felt quite right. This is definitely an oil that I will not want to be without!

 

endoflexEndoFlex: This blend may help overall vitality. It contains oils associated with hormonal balance, improving and balancing metabolism and weight control. Contains: A base of sesame seed oil, spearmint, sage, geranium, myrtle, nutmeg, and German chamomile. I have begun to use this to boost my thryoid to help with my Hashimoto’s. I feel like it gives me an extra boost of energy throughout the day. I apply it over my thyroid and really like the spearmint smell.

 

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JuvaFlex: These oils have been known to support the liver and lymphatic system. Anger and hate are stored in the liver, creating toxicity and leading to sickness and disease. JuvaFlex helps break addictions to substances such as coffee, alcohol, drugs, and tobacco. Contains: Sesame seed oil, fennel, geranium, rosemary, Roman chamomile, blue tansy, and helichrysum. I have not added this oil to my daily rotation yet. I look forward to using this as part of a cleanse to help detox the liver.

 

melroseMelrose: This blend has antiseptic-like properties when used topically for cleansing cuts, scrapes, burns, rashes, cold sores, and bruised tissue. It may also help prevent growth of bacteria, fungus, or infection. Contains: Melaleuca, naouli, rosemary, and clove. I have used this oil topically to help with the occasional acne and have made it part of my first aid kit to use on the bumps and scratches that are an ever present part of our life.

 

ravenRaven: This combination gives strength in fighting respiratory disease and infections; and may help alleviate symptoms of tuberculosis, asthma, and pneumonia. Contains: Ravensara, lemon, wintergreen, peppermint and Eucalyptus radiata. This is one of the oils in the Breathe Again Roll On, which made a giant difference in our life! I am excited I haven’t had to use it just yet as we have been fairly healthy, but when we get colds and respiratory issues we will diffuse this and apply to chest on feet.
rcRC:  This blend was formulated to help give relief from colds, bronchitis, sore throats, sinusitis, and respiratory congestion. RC has also been reported to help dissolve bone spurs when applied topically. Contains: 4 types of Eucalyptus, Myrtle, Pine, Spruce, Marjoram, Lavender, Tsuga, and Peppermint. This is the other main oil in the Breathe Again Roll On. When we encounter respiratory issues we will apply and diffuse this along side or alternating with RC. So excited to have these at home!

 

ThievesThieves: This blend of therapeutic-grade essential oils was tested at Weber State University for its potent antimicrobial properties and was found to have a 99.96% kill rate against airborne bacteria. The oils are highly antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti- infectious and help to protect the body against such illnesses as flu, colds, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throats, cuts etc. Thieves is truly a must not run out of oil! It has played a huge role in us having a good winter health wise! It deserves its own post, but it is used the most out of all the oils in this kit. We put a couple drops in my DIY cleaners, bottoms of feet at the first sign of a sniffle, and is Jeff’s favorite oil to diffuse.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about this great kit! If you have questions about these oils or any offered by Young Living, feel free to send me an email! If you are ready to get started with essential oils, click here!

 

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Our Chicken Adventure!

Our Chicken Adventure

 

Box full of cuteness

Box full of cuteness

It doesn’t get much more exciting on a homestead then driving to the post office and getting a box full of cuteness! Our chickens arrived on Monday, February 24th which just so happens to be my birthday! What a great present! We ordered 25 chicken of the Rainbow Layer assortment from McMurray Hatchery!

 

 

 

Brand new brooder pic

Brand new brooder pic

 

 

We set to work getting their brooder set up and making sure they ate and drank soon. When they hatch, they have enough food in their system for 3 days, which is how they survive shipping. We use a water with electrolytes for the first few days to give them an extra nutritional boost.

 

Organic Feed

 

We were able to buy organic feed from our local feed and seed. It has great quality ingredients without medication or byproducts. Only the best for our chicks!

 

 

 

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Brand new chicks in their brooder pen

 

 

Just another picture of this baby chick cuteness! They don’t stay this fluffy and tiny for very long. We definitely enjoyed it while it lasted!

 

 

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2 day old chick

 

 

 

 

This is one of the breeds we called chipmunk for awhile. They were brown with a black stripe down the middle. Reese is holding this two day old chick.

 

 

 

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1 week old brooder picture

 

 

One week old and they already look so big!!! You may recognize that they are in a rubbermaid tote. We used paper towel over the pine shavings for the first few days until their legs became steady. If young chicks slip, they can develop spraddle leg. It also made cleaning their brooder pen very easy!!

 

 

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Day 8 grey chick

 

 

Here is one of our one week old grey chickens. They are my favorite color! I can’t wait to see what breed they are!

 

 

 

 

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Day 8 yellow and grey chicks

 

Here is a grey chick and a yellow chick. The rainbow Layer assortment promises 5 different breeds. The colors we noticed were grey, yellow, black, brown, and another variation of grey.

 

 

 

 

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Reese with black chick day 9

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Overhead view at day 12

 

 

 

Reese was the chicken whisperer from the moment they came home! Here she is holding one of the black chicks at 9 days old.

 

 

 

 

Here is a view of how much space the chicks were taking up already! They were ready to move to phase 2 the garage brooder!

 

 

 

 

Here is a look at the brown “chipmunk” chick at day 12. Her feathers were already coming in with more defined color. Stay tuned for phase 2 the garage brooder!

Day 12 brown chick

Day 12 brown chick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Planning your garden Part 2

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So after you have done the dreaming, now is where the hard work starts to come in. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Thats right, we get to draw everything on paper (or digitally) and see where everything will go.

I use the square foot gardening method and have found it very productive. I will be using this method again here and making raised beds on the side of my house. To figure out what goes where, I am using a gardening program. It is Plan Your Garden With Plangarden

After measuring my area I was able to choose the right garden size to get started with. I knew that I wanted beds 4′ x 8′ can fit 8 beds while allowing room for my ginko tree.

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From here, now its just a matter of selecting the different vegetable we want to plant and assigning them to a spot.

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Now we have most of the plan! I am going to keep some areas free for extra plants to make sure that we have enough to harvest and can.

The next part in the series will show you how I start my plants indoors. How are your garden plans coming along?

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Planning your Garden: The Dreaming Phase (part 1)

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When it is so cold and snowy in January, you begin to feel like the spring will never come. After the umpeenth snowstorm, it seems like it has always been like this and stretches into forever. Thankfully, you can find reprieve from the dreariness outside, by snuggling up in a warm blanket and dreaming. This dreaming of course is about your spring garden! There are few things sweeter than imagining a new strawberry variety or trying your hand at sweet potatoes this year.

The seed catalogs begin rolling in late December and I stick them in the end table drawer in my living room and wait until they have all come in. Then you can gather them together and start taking notes on the plant variety, and what magazine they are featured. A few of my favorite companies include

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Some of my favorite varietes so far have been

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Cosmic Purple

This one is causing excitement at farmers’ markets. Carrots have bright purple skin and flesh that comes in shades of yellow and orange. Spicy and sweet-tasting roots are great for marketing.

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Pink Banana

(Musa velutina) Lovely, small banana plants produce the most stunning, glowing, brilliant pink banana you will ever see. They are edible, but very seedy. Plants have large leaves that grow up to 24″ long and add a wonderful tropical effect to your yard or patio. This species is relatively hardy, taking a few degrees of frost fairly well. Ripe fruit will start to split open when ready to eat. Showy and fun to grow! Can be hard to germinate, but is then easy to grow.

0877-squash-queensland-blueSquash, Queenland Blue

(Cucurbita maxima) An “Australian Blue” squash directly imported into the United States in 1932 from Arthur Yates and Company of Sydney. Dark blue-green ribbed rind with flesh that is meaty, sugary, brilliant orange, and abundant. Striking gray foliage. Late to mature, long shelf life. 110-120 days.

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Tomato, Crnkovic Yugoslavian

(Solanum lycopersicum) Brought into the U.S. by Yasha Crnkovic, a colleague of SSE member Carolyn Male. Heavy yields of pink beefsteak fruits which weigh up to a pound each. Fruits have near perfect shoulders that almost never crack. Delicious full tomato flavor. Indeterminate, 70-90 days from transplant.

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Strawberry Watermelon

85 days. Flesh is a gorgeous strawberry pink, ripening to within a half-inch of the rind, and usually has very few seeds. Fine grained, distinctively flavored and super sweet, it is classed among the best-tasting by those who have tried it. The oblong, striped fruits reach 15-25 pounds. With moderate disease resistance, this variety deserves to be the star of your summer garden. Originally selected from a Florida heirloom by Walt Childs and introduced in 1989 by our good friends at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Outstanding!

It’s important to keep track of all the varities you like, so here is a link to a printable from Frugal Living that will help track your garden related expenses.

So there is the first step…. dreaming

Stay tuned for the next part in my plan your garden series!

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Reese say hi!

While I was making my intro video, Reese just couldn’t resist the camera. Here is Reese’s intro 🙂

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Hi, my name is Nicole and I’m a homesteader

I wanted to say hello to you guys and answer a couple question. Enjoy!

 

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