Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Time for a little change here......

Have you ever lost someone close to you....unexpectedly? I have, just recently. A dear friend, a fellow rescue, passed away last week from a brain Aneurism. There were no warning signs...fine one day, gone the next. She was so young, 41 years young. When this happens, it tend to make us take a second look at our own lives. I know I have been thinking about it a lot. I am almost 51 years young....and I work as hard if not harder, than a LOT of people I know. I am up at 7 am, out the door by 8 am....only this late now because of the cooler weather and daylight. Once summer gets here I will be up at 5 and out by 6, to beat the heat. Most nights I do not get to bed until after midnight, and sometimes not until 2 am. I was thinking I need to change things up a bit...make it easier on myself yet still be productive enough to sustain ourselves. So here is the plan...... We have a large chicken coop... 12 x 32. It has 4 pens with outside runs. This is our current set up. Pen #1 10 mixed breed hens and 4 roosters. The change will be...re home 2 roosters. Pen #2 6 mixed pullets and 1 rooster. The change...find a home for the entire flock. and set my "project birds" up in there. Pen#3 8 white Japanese Bantams, 2 large fowl hens,( one is a special needs, she only has one eye) there is also a pair of Bantams in there, I would like to increase this breed, so I will have to set them up in a separate pen. I also have a rabbit pen set up in there. The change will be...Rabbits moved outside, eventually re-homed. White Japanese bantams, re-homed. The other 2 hens, moved into the first pen. Pen#4 6 Bantam Cochin. The change will be, they will be moved into pen #3. This will empty the 4th pen. I will then move the call ducks into this pen. Now, I also have a "duck hut" It is 10 x 14. There are 3 pens and 2 brooders in this duck hut. Pen #1 currently holds my call ducks. The ones I am moving to the big coop. Pen #2 has my 2 Silky hens and a rooster in there, with a nest. As soon as they hatch out, they will go back to the big coop, into pen #3. Pen #3 has 3 Indian runner ducks, a female Peking and a male white Goose. They will all be re-homed. This will completely empty out the Duck hut, except for the 2 brooders. I will move both raised brooders into pen #3. It is the largest pen being 8 x 8. I will then have 2 empty pens....perfect for my new adventure. Flemish Giant rabbits. :) The walkway area in this coop is about 6 x 14. I am planning to build a table the length of the coop, and about 2 to 3 feet deep, for a planting table..and I will use this area for a green house since the roof of this coop is white/clear..and lets in a lot of light. There are 3 windows along where the table will be, perfect for starting seeds. :) Another new adventure we are starting on..... New Guinea hogs. I am getting a breeding pair on Sunday...through a friend. She is buying them, the sow is bred. I will keep them here..and once she has the babies weaned, my friend will take the litter, and I get to keep the breeders. I have been researching this breed for a few years, and decided they are perfect for our little farm here. They are generally a smallish pig. Between 200 and 220 pounds.They are great foragers,an older breed of heritage hogs.... and on the endangered list. They usually have small litters, between 6 and 9 to a litter. They are docile and easy keepers. Just what I need! :) So, now we will have our chickens for meat and eggs....ducks for eggs, turkeys, sheep for wool, dairy goats for milk, and pigs for meat. We also have 2 little apple trees, should be getting apples in a few years, we have grapes, thorn less blackberries, Elderberries, strawberries, and the vegetable/herb garden. We have a small pond however it will need to be re-dug in order to sustain fish. Once that is done...we will be finished adding for a while....unless we happen to get a good deal on mini cattle! :) So.. a few changes are in the works here....trying to make life a little more simple...and more productive.

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