Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year's Homestead Update

What a crazy year it has been.

This weekend, I took inventory of where things are. First things first, a chicken update. We are now getting 8+ eggs a day consistently. I got 19 in just the last two days. Here was yesterday's next boxes:

Count'em - that there's 10 eggs!
Aside from the few random eggs on the coop floor, the girls have managed to lay in the boxes very consistently. It's SO nice to literally see our reliance on a factory-produced grocery store item disappear. At a current WINTER pace of 50 eggs a week for an 8-month-old flock, we're doing amazingly well.

The repaired coop is also holding up quite well.

"Blanche! Have you seen Ronna anywhere?"
I had made repairs on the coop in November, and they are holding up extremely well. The gate held fast through a tornado warning two weeks ago. I've moved them a few times, too, and the screws and new wood are quite string.

The sheep are powering through the winter hay. Here they are right after I filled up their hay feeder:

Nom nom nom.
 And, an aerial shot for perspective. Yes, Meatloaf's head is IN the hay feeder:

"Almost there...."
 I've also been keeping our chicken feed in the shed, but mice have managed to chew through the plastic tote I got from Target. I need to find a better solution to this quickly, and that solution is not to bring the the chicken feed back in the house.
I think I need a thicker box.

This one only had DE, so the mice gave up after breaking in and smelling, apparently.
 I also have Samson inside the electro-not, next to the chickens, and behind the sheep's dry lot. He gets a big handful of hay each day, tossed over in a pile.

"Guess I'll just eat my hay now, guys...."
I will DEFINITELY need to buy a roll of hay (or two) this January. This near-empty space is now completely gone. I used up the entire top rack, along with two additional cubes so far, from the hay stored in the pallet hay rack. It's been a month, and that was sheep-only while donkey was in the back 40 2.5.

It's going fast.....
I've also been working on the hugelkultur, slowly, and just been lollygagging along in completely drained from a crazy year winter hibernation mode. I'll be picking up progress on that front shortly.

I also need to clear out space in the shed for the chick-u-bator. We have 20-something more chickens coming in a few weeks, and I am way out of shed space. That'll have to be a project here soon.

On the interior of the house, we lost a secondary TV, the kitchen light fixture, and nearly the dishwasher in the span of a week. Super. So I get to play amateur electrician and install some new lighting. Super.

Paleo is going well. We (mostly I) took a few days off for Christmas, but we're back on the Grok train as of today. Everyone slept in today, so the feasting and merriment has us all a bit sluggish. Wife and I have both visibly slimmed down since October, so that's been a good thing to notice. We've also both finished our NFP certification training (yay!), so we'll be beginning teaching soon.

I'll be doing some prayer and reflection in the next several days. I have some high hopes for 2014, but nothing nearly as exhausting as what I put myself through this year. Stay tuned!

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