Category Archives: Life in Farming

Days 2 and 3 – Reestablishing Fodder

By day 3, you should have 2 trays with sprouting seeds and another soaking. Little roots are starting to sprout out of the seeds and a network of roots will begin to grow and intertwine together over the next few days. 

This morning we put out tray #3 with seeds. We are growing ours in our feed storage barn. I am not certain how well it will do as we used to have the shelf by our door in our kitchen. We just installed a new wood stove in the same area, so the fodder had to be moved. 

Here is a download of a presentation that I gave several years ago to the local Oathkeeper’s Preparedness group.  Fodder (3 downloads)

Revisiting – Raising your own meat, Oathkeepers

oathkeepers-homesteadmeat.pdf (10 downloads)
I love that my children can stand up in front of a group and share everything that has to with their homestead animals and the meat that comes along with it. Shelby and Elwyn had a GREAT presentation for the Oathkeepers.  (August 2017)
by Shelby Fullmer – August 12, 2017

Rabbits

Food – Alfalfa pellets, basic greens like kale, spinach, chard, leaf lettuce (NOT iceberg, cabbage or broccoli), alfalfa, timothy, and bermuda hays, carrots, even small quantities of raspberries, tomatoes and strawberries.  

Shelter – Rabbit hutches or colony living with buried wire with shade/cover to protect from weather.

 

Gestation period – 28 days – up to 14 babies

Male rabbits go sterile in severe heat and all rabbits need a cooling system in Arizona in the summer time. Frozen water bottles, fans, misting systems, in a cooler shelter, etc. are all good ways to keep your rabbits cool.

Uses of Rabbits – Meat, bones for broth, leather, fur, manure

A few of the meat breeds of rabbits for meat, Rex, New Zealand, Californians, American Chinchilla, Silver Foxes, Flemish Giants

Website with more information on breeds – http://theselfsufficientliving.com/best-meat-rabbit-breeds/

 

Chickens

Dual Purpose Chickens are the best egg laying hens combined with the best meat chickens. The truth of the matter is that there are plenty of chicken breeds that are good for both purposes.  Includes Rhone Island Reds, wynnedottes, barred rocks, orphingtons, Jersey Giants – all full sized chickens. For smaller meat and egg production Bantams or (mini chickens) lay smaller eggs and are about half the meat size of a regular chicken.  

Food – Layer, seed, oyster shells/ground egg shells for extra calcium, bugs, produce/greens, kitchen scraps (no meat)

Shelter – Coop to protect, layer boxes with hay, ground shavings/hay

Incubation times – Bantam 19-21 days, Full sized chickens – 20-22 days

Uses of chickens – Meat, bones for broth, feathers, fertilizer, insect control, garden prepping.

Website with more information on breedshttps://www.backyardchickencoops.com.au/dual-purpose-chicken-breeds

Waterfowl

Birds including ducks and geese

Heavy and medium weight ducks typically are raised for meat production. The main breeds are the Pekin and the Muscovy. Around 90 percent of the duck meat produced in the United States is from the Pekin. Commercial producers are able to obtain a duck weighing 7 to 8 pounds in seven weeks.

Food – Layer chow, oyster shells/ground egg shells for extra calcium, bugs, produce/greens.  

Shelter – Coop to protect, layer boxes with hay, ground shavings/hay, swimming pool/pond

Incubation times – 28 days

Uses of waterfowl – Meat, bones for broth/soup, feathers, fertilizer.

More information on raising waterfowl – http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/raising-ducks-geese/ducks-and-geese-zm0z14fmzchr

Quail

Fast growing animals for meat and eggs. In 8 weeks they are full grown and laying eggs between 8-10 weeks old.

Food – game bird chow, oyster shells/ground egg shells for extra calcium, bugs like mealworms, produce/greens, excess eggs – Quail need at least a 25% protein to lay.  

Shelter – Smaller rabbit hutches work great for quail.  Or larger enclosed coops

Incubation times – 16-17 days

Uses of quail – Meat (mainly breast meat), bones for broth/soup, feathers, fertilizer.

Information on Coturnix quail – https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/quail/

 

Game Birds – Chukars (Partridges) and Pheasants

Food – gamebird feed and cracked corn in the winter for all your birds. You can also give them treats like fruit, veggies, mealworms, peanuts, and wild bird seed.

Shelter – Large enclosed pens with coop.

Incubation times – Chukar – 23 days, ring necked pheasants – 24-25

Uses – Meat, bones for broth/soup, feathers, fertilizer.

More information on Game Birds – https://wgfd.wyo.gov/WGFD/media/content/PDF/Habitat/Extension%20Bulletins/B33-Raising-Pheasants-or-Other-Game-Birds.pdf

Revisit – Oathkeepers – How to use medicinal herbs

Oathkeepers - Medicinal Herbs (27 downloads)

http://www.yourbodycanheal.com/medicinal-herbs.html

How to Use Medicinal Herbs

So you’ve decided you want to incorporate herbal remedies into your health regimen. Congratulations! You’re embarking on a journey that will help your body heal itself from the inside out in a way that is much more natural, safe and gentle than conventional medicine.

It’s also a journey that can be a little confusing. There are many different types of herbal remedies out there. Sometimes you will find the same herb sold in many different preparations. What do all those different terms mean? Here’s a rundown of some of the most common ways medicinal herbs are sold and used.

Tablets and Capsules: Like conventional drugs, herbs are often packaged and sold in tablet and capsule form. Tablets involve compressing an herb into a round or cylindrical shape, usually with some sort of binder, colorant, flavorings and coating that prevents them from breaking down in the body too quickly. Capsules are usually made of gelatin and the herb is placed inside the shell. Other ingredients can also be mixed in to make the herb taste better or to prevent it from being digested too quickly. Vegetarians can find capsules made of vegetable cellulose, but check the label to make sure you know you’re not getting any animal products.

Extracts: Herbal extracts may be sold as tablets, capsules orliquid herbal extracts; the herbs contained in an extract are far more concentrated than those in a standard pill. Extracts are made by soaking the herbs in alcohol or water (or a combination) and filtering and drying the herb at low heat. Much like culinary herbs become stronger when dried, herbal extracts are highly concentrated remedies, allowing you to take many fewer pills to get a large dose. Continue reading Revisit – Oathkeepers – How to use medicinal herbs

Preparedness class at Oathkeepers

I was honored to be able to talk at the Chino Valley Oathkeeper’s Preparedness class this weekend! THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME!!! Click the button below to download the PDF of the handout of the class.

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We talked about getting your garden up and going. Yep, this can be essential to getting ready for any disaster or need.

krisandlarry.com - Being PreparedStart simple…. Lettuce, tomatoes, squash… and all of these can be planted on your back porch in pots and will provide fresh veggies for your family. – What you don’t eat, can or dehydrate.

Next, get a chicken or 2 for each member of your family.  (Or instead, 4 quail per person in your family will provide enough eggs for your family and can live in much smaller spaces. 

If you are able, you can add sheep or goats to the swing of things in order to get milk for dairy products and I was able to show what a cheese press looks like. Yep, It was a good day!

I was able to share 2 important handouts:

  1. My list of go to websites for many different homesteading products. THIS IS NOT COMPLETE and is a full working list. Here it is to share with you!
  2. My local planting guide from Yavapai Extension Office. Here is a link for their PDF: http://ag.arizona.edu/yavapai/publications/yavcobulletins/Yavapai%20County%20Vegetable%20Planting%20Dates.pdf

Here is my list for you: 

Planting Seeds

Cheese Making Supplies

Local Delivery for Grains Meat and Other Bulk Items

Homesteading

Food Dehydrators

Goat & Animal Supplies

Soap Making Supplies

Dried Herbs and Teas

Vitamins and Supplements

Survival Products

Blog and websites from general information:

Welcome to 2016!

IMG_20160105_103640Welcome to 2016! And Happy 12th day of Christmas!! 

This year on our homestead, we are working really hard to get self sustaining and be able to offer more animals, produce and eggs to our friends.  It has been a great year! We have pressed the “easy” button and made life simpler which is this busy mama’s long term hope for the family. (And by simpler, I do not mean easier, but rather slowing down the CRAZY and drinking iced tea on my porch, watching chickens peck the ground and kids playing outside.)

What are our goals for our homestead this year? We know that most of these won’t happen this year… but we are all hopeful.  

  • add tilapia to our aquaponics system (right now, we have just goldfish in there.)
  • add an additional aquaponics system
  • Add a solar system to the aquaponics system(s)
  • build another greenhouse
  • build a smoke house
  • add 5 more raised garden beds to our garden
  • build additional quail house to house at least 150 more quail
  • purchase a second cabinet incubator for all of the eggs that we have been hatching
  • publish 2 more books
  • plant and tend our garden 
  • not go to the grocery store from May until October (and we are well on out way! I just got a call that our 1/2 steer will be ready to pick up in mid February from the butcher. Our pigs will be going to butcher in March too. My freezers will be FULL!)
  • learn to make sour cream and purchase a cheese press to make cheddar
  • raise turkeys to sell (we have 80 eggs in the incubator right now.)
  • raise coturnix quail to eat weekly for our family
  • Continue to homeschool our amazing kids (minus Shelby who is in college and is being joined by Larry in college this spring to get an additional degree)
  • continue to offer our home as a foster family for kids who need us
  • BE A FAMILY! BE TOGETHER! SHARE OUR LOVE!

HAPPY 2016!! 

Chicks for sale (plus waiting list for other animals)

We are hatching little chicks left and right today! I love that sound our of my incubator!!! PEEP!! PEEP!!PEEEEPPP!

We have chicks and quail hatching year round on our homestead.

Ameraucanas and Ameraucana mixes hatching this week. Quail are due this weekend. We have ducks and geese due at the end of November. 

IMG_20151104_111437453We have over 300 eggs in our incubator at any given time and will add more as needed.

Chicks(chicken and quail) are $3 each or 10 or more are $2.50 each.

Ducks are $6 each

Geese and Turkeys are $12 each. 

GREAT for eggs or meat!!

We also have a waiting list for spring chickens, ducks, geese, quail, turkeys, Yorkshire pigs, KuneKune pigs, Rabbits, and Nubian (both registered and unregistered) Goats.

Message us to get on our notification list when babies are born.

Visit our family homestead online at www.krisandlarry.com or on facebook at

Progress on our homestead, February 2015

KrisandLarry.comWe have been blessed with beautiful weather this February. It is not always the case and the rest of the country seems to be hit HARD with cold weather and snow. We are taking full advantage of this warmer weather.  We have been working on a “plethora” of projects as supplies arrive.

#1 Goat Playground – The initial tires have gone in, but we have more to go. Elwyn has also built one platform for the goats to climb on. We have the base and a few extra tires stacked on top to make a pyramid.

#2 Our Goat Pallet Barn – We picked up some pallets off of Craigslist for REALLY CHEAP! And are off to the hardware store later to get corrugated steel for the roof. We screwed in all of the base pallets for the frame. – One side for the female goats and one for the males. Once we pick up the roofing, we will make a peak in the center and then add that roofing on. Then, we will be adding plyboard on the inside and a hinged door. We have cattle panels to make a separate pen for the our billy so that he won’t be with the girls.

#3 Aquaponics Greenhouse and System – Aquaponics is growing fish and veggies in a single unit. The fish eat and poo in the water. That water is pumped into grow beds that is providing lettuce and other plants. Those plants filter the water clean, using the poo as fertilizer. The water then goes back into the fist tank, clean for the fish. Griffen dug out the 16×8 ft location to make it even (on a slight slope) KrisandLarry.comadded 6 railroad ties, 4 cattle panels forming a bow and zip tied them together. Later we are drilling in 2x4s over the base of the cattle panels into the railroad ties to make the base stable. We have ordered the plastic cover. Next, we get to work on the system itself. (He has already picked up an IBC tank and 2 blue barrels. He also has some of the PVC pipes that he will need along with his pump.  Watch for a future video for Griffen’s aquaponics system. (We will post is here and on our facebook page as well. – www.fb.com/krisandlarry

KrisandLarry.com#4 Newest Baby Goat. – Mor Dubh is 2-1/2 weeks old and is LOVING the kids, especially the ones who bring his bottle to him. He is going to be our herd sire for the future and is ADORABLE. We bought him from www.westcreekfarmstead.com.

#5 Additional Garden Beds – 2 pallets of block later, we are almost done with getting those new beds in. 3 done so far… one more to go. We have lined these with chicken wireKrisandLarry.com

#6 Hatching more chicks and baby quail. – We have our own eggs from chicks… and have quail eggs arriving later today to put in our incubator… We are hoping to get this going too.

#7 Our new bunnies – We picked up 3 new bunnies last week also from West Creek Farmstead – Here is their Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/WestCreekFarmstead The kids named them Angus, Elinor and Merida. We are hoping to get an additional female as well. They will be ready to breed in about 6 weeks or so. These 3 are our pets… but their babies will be “food”. 

 

We still need to get building a larger chicken coop. We have moved 5 hens and a roo over to the goat yard, but have about 30 more to get moved still… We need a bigger coop for them over here (rather than on the other side of my parents’ barn in that coop.

 

Our goal is to be self-sufficient from May – September this year… I do NOT want to go to the store at all.