Updated: Mar 31, 2020
I had every intention of releasing a blog last week titled "Number Seven: The Road to Regeneration", but was informed by someone (My Mother, cough cough) that people want to know more about what we are doing on the homestead and the progress we are making, versus blog posts that clearly state my opinions on science related topics and furthermore, diving into science-related things. So, here is the link for that blog post (it is also featured in the blog list, I just did not advertise it).
Spring is in full swing here on the Homestead. This week marks the third week that Austin and I have been in our new farm and A LOT has happened around here since we moved in...so let me share with you!
I wanted to first update on the custom bed frame and headboard that Austin designed and is custom building. This 'weekend' project has been expanded into its third week, as any big project goes, you usually underestimate the appropriate amount of time it will take. Just to recap, we purchased a California King mattress and decided to design and build a custom bed frame and headboard for it, instead of paying an arm and a leg, and this is a Homestead...so we build things ourselves, right?!?!
We started out with a cart full of wood, and the end-ish result is pretty darn good so far :) We brought the wood home, all pine, and decided to age and stain it for the rustic look that everyone is after these days. We found a few old hand saws, a garden weeder, and a barbed-wire star that were great for beating up the pine wood with. After the wood was distressed, we sanded the rough edges out and coated with stain.
Austin worked to cut the pieces and began assembling the structure for the bed frame. He added door panels on the bed frame so we can pull them off and store things under the bed too. I mainly followed him around to take pictures, and held boards in place when he needed an extra hand. I was not completely useless and I even finished my own little side project in the meantime (keep reading and you'll find out what I did!).
Also, Queen Talkeetna thinks we bought this mattress and built this all for her. At least she makes a cute model ;)
Next was the headboard construction, so this is where I helped out more to help hold boards and nail things into place. Austin added a shelf on each side, and he added some flare....he wired in a light on each side with a switch so we have our own reading lights, and he also added an outlet with 2 USB charging ports so we don't have to mess around with running cell phone chargers across the room over to the bed! He's so handy :)
And this, folks, is the end result so far!
Austin still plans to cover the junction boxes and the middle section to hide the wires and make it look cleaner. We also have a bit of staining left to do. So this will expand into the third weekend, but I am confident it will be complete this weekend! I will update with the final, FINAL result next week!
Now, I know you were super curious about what I was up to when I wasn't making Austin pose for the camera, hehe.
I ended up ordering 11 laying hen chicks, 4 meat chickens, and 4 ducks from a hatchery. Once I realized the shipments were all spaced out between now and the end of June, I started getting antsy and realized the hardware store in the next town over had chicks for sale, so I decided to go and pick up 3 Buff Orpington chicks (laying hens), and 2 Cornish Rock chicks (meat chickens).
This is our first go-around with raising chicks, so it has been quite the experience so far. When I got the chickens I currently have, they were pullets and just 2 weeks shy from laying, so I needed to branch out and take the next step in raising birds. Chicks need to be under constant heat, so a coop is not a good place for them to be. I found some $2.50 boards at Menards and decided it would make the perfect box material for the chicks' box.
You may notice the box only has a top on half of the box...this is for a reason. I built in a hanger for the heat lamp so the chicks can lay directly under it, and the top cover is meant to do 2 things.
1) Keep heat in so the box stays warmer
2) Provide an area that is out of direct lamp light, but still warm for the chicks so they do not get too hot
I also found a concrete block that was broken, but has flat surfaces so I could elevate the food and water containers. By leaving them on top of the bedding, you are forced to clean out massive amounts of bedding from the water and feed each day, but by elevating them, the chicks cannot kick bedding into the containers so everything stays clean and the feed and water lasts longer. Work smarter...not harder.
Also, never forgot to check their butts. Yes, you heard me right...check their butts. If fecal matter collects around their butt (aka, vent), it can prevent them from pooping. If their vent gets blocked and they cannot poop, it can actually be fatal for them.
These are the 5 chicks I purchased from the local hardware store 2 weekends ago, and they are about double the size now! I will update next week with how fast they have grown.
We have clearly been keeping busy around the Homestead, so we decided to take a break this past Saturday and go up to Austin's hunting land for some hiking and shed hunting. Austin rents land from a local landowner just shy of an hour north of our farm that he hunts deer and turkey on each year. Now is the time of year to find sheds since the snow is almost all gone.
The views were great! Unfortunately, we did not find any sheds, but we did find an entire buck that had died.
Oh, and THIS HAPPENED too!
Austin took me to his favorite overlook on his hunting land and proposed to me! I am beyond excited and beyond BLESSED that I get to spend my life with this man and join such a wonderful family as well as have him join my family!
This year is certainly off to a crazy exciting, busy, and great start! To imagine so much has already happened in 3 short weeks since we moved in, I only wonder what's in store for the next week, next month, next year, and years to come...stay tuned!