So far since we’ve been here we’ve had chickens galore, pigs, bunnies, a cow, cats, and goats.  We’d like to have more, but our resident coyotes seem determined to dig holes under my new, very expensive deer fence and Mr. Brown is completely oblivious to them.  So… looking for a llama or a mini-donkey.  Why is the answer to an animal problem always another animal?  I suppose that’s how God designed it – natural balance, food chain and all that right? 

Honestly we’ve been lucky, we’ve only lost one chicken and one goat to predators.  Many chickens and both pigs made it to the freezer and our chickens free range about 90% of the time. 

Just finished our annual batch of broilers.  I keep trying different breeds looking for something that free ranges well, but so far they all grow so much slower I’m probably going to go back to straight up Cornish rock to keep from eating pubescent roosters.   Or like today, I decided not to slaughter the rest of my new breed because at 4 months the first hen had almost full sized yolks inside.  Maybe the mix of those and the Maran will make decent fryers at 3-months?

In other news, we added two cute chicks (hopefully hens) to our flock.  Maven has been broody at least a year of the two we’ve had her I swear.  So I finally gave in and let her have two.  They hatched on 4th of July so maybe we’ll name them something to do with that.  I’d let more hatch but I don’t want another Roo.  Our first one (Ezekiel) was downright mean… Blue Lazarus who replaced him is a saint.  You can almost pick him up. 

We also rescued three cute little barn kitties; “Cornelius”, “Serious” and “Neville” (catching the theme yet?).  Shortly after, Serious became “Lucky”, and our totally awesome neighbors have adopted and turned him into just that. He will be a house cat now and their kids are amazing with him.  Ours won’t be let out until they’re full grown and neutered just in case the coyotes get greedy.  They are SOOO sweet.  I’ve never had nice cats, so it’s hard to not feel like I have Dr. Doolittle powers when these cuddle on me.  

One feather left…
Stars & Stripes? Hard to tell but they’re grey and tan… so I know now it must be my tan Auracana who lays blue eggs!
Neville & Serious

A new place, again; after countless moves and at least six homes (and gardens) fixed up and left or sold.  A military life has its quirks!   We took the leap on this one, though and are determined to make it the real farm (we did call the last place a farm, but with only laying chickens and one batch of broilers not sure if it really qualified…we did have a tractor – I think that might be what does it).  We lucked into this gorgeous property since the owner hadn’t even actually listed it yet.  As soon as he saw it Tractor Man (TM) had to have it.  I walked in a month later seeing it for the first time and I’m in love too. 

 

It has some amazing features since the builder was a contractor and had access to some unique materials.  My favorites so far are the custom barn doors and the wisteria covered  I-beams over the back patio.  He also supposedly rented the property for weddings and parties.  Ahh

 someday (I’m saying this in my dreamy voice as I have a 2-month old and 4-year old so this isn’t happening soon).  In the meantime, new kitchen applian

ces were the first upgrade and make one homesteading lifestyle change right off the bat – no microwave (the matching one was WAAAAY overpriced).  Apparently we need a washer/dryer too since our 2-year-old set doesn’t fit through the laundry room door!   Bye Bye appliances, hello Lowe’s.