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Your Homestead Tell and show others with words and pictures how you built or are building your homestead and how you keep things going day-to-day. One thread per member, please.

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  #21  
Old 09-11-2011, 04:29 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Yesterday I completed a 8x16 chicken run with a top. It is tough enough to keep dogs out and has a top that can keep hawks out. I put it and my chicken house in a shady spot in the yard.
1. the chickens in their adult feathers. The 2nd runt has caught up with the others and grown in a nice pattern. It is black with copper bars on its wings and a copper spot on its back.
2. the chicken run. it is large enough for the chickens to flap and scratch and do chicken activities.
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File Type: jpg chickenrun.jpg (18.8 KB, 107 views)
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  #22  
Old 09-15-2011, 12:10 AM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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I got a chainsaw. Some nice patriots bought it for me. Sears does a program called heroes at home for military people. People donate money to it and sears gives gift certificates to soldiers who sign up for it. Its like a lottery, but with better odds and better prizes. Anyway, I got a craftsman chainsaw mostly free. It has sped up my brush clearing efforts. So far I have turned 3 scraggly trees into firewood.

Pecan and peach trees do very well here. I have begun initial planning to put in 6 pecan trees and up to 20 peach trees.
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  #23  
Old 09-16-2011, 11:15 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Though I am outside town limits, I am in a more densely populated area than a lot of you. There are entrances to subdivisions nearby. People in subdivisions are a sad lot. They work jobs they hate in order to afford boring mcmansions that they don't like, surrounded by tiny yards their kids don't play in and crystal pools they don't swim in. All this is surrounded by neighbors they barely know, or if they do know them, they don't like them. I am glad to no longer be in a subdivision. The road I live on goes through peach orchards and horse pastures, divided by bits of georgia jungle. The community I am in is mostly older people. They are mostly grandparents. Most have grown children and grandchildren nearby. The church near my house is small, but a big part of the community.

1. This chicken has an interesting pattern.
2. The cockerel that I will keep.
3. The brush has been cleared off the fence.
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File Type: jpg fence.jpg (7.1 KB, 105 views)

Last edited by macgeoghagen; 01-02-2012 at 06:03 PM.
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  #24  
Old 09-18-2011, 10:37 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Some people at church gave me a rooster and a hen. These are mixed breed chickens, half gamecock, half something else. The rooster is colored like a Rhode island red and the hen is a soft orange color. The rooster escaped and spent hours on the run all over mine and the neighbor's yards. Methinks a new sport might be developed in place of cock fighting in which a man and dog try to capture a gamecock alive and unharmed.
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  #25  
Old 09-22-2011, 10:15 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Wife wants goats. I have been looking up information on the various breeds. I like the pygmy goat best. The internets say that they produce more milk for their size than the larger goats. To me they look like they will need less fence and less goat shed, translating into a lower cost to keep them vs a larger goat breed. Feel free to give advice. I have never kept a goat before.
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  #26  
Old 09-23-2011, 02:18 AM
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BlueJae Female BlueJae is offline
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My experience with goats has never been as pleasant as I expected. Cute buggers they were but escapers too. One kid got out several times a day for a week before I found the hole in the fence.
I've never kept milk goats though.
I seem to do better with sheep than goats.
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  #27  
Old 09-26-2011, 11:38 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Default The way forward with chickens

I have a total of 9 chickens.
5 black copper marans pulllets
2 black copper marans cockerels. A dominant one(Mr. Handsome) and a non-dominant one(Lump). They get along well and are in the same enclosure.
1 gamecock mix. rooster. mature. (Mr. Gamecock).
1 gamehen mix.
I was thinking of what to do about their living arrangements. An option I have been toying with is putting all 6 hens together and making a sectioned rooster tractor. The hens would be in a 16x8 and the roosters each in a 40"x8'. This way I could control breeding by catching whichever hen I want to hatch eggs and put her in with whichever cock i want to sire them. The non-breeding hens could all be in together so I know which eggs to incubate and which to eat. I am not sure whether that method would go against ethical treatment of chickens. The hens may do better with one cock rather than moving around like a whore. This would require me to have 2 or 3 flocks, depending on whether Lump becomes soup.

Anyway, I pulled out the red gamehen mix, put her in a small cage, and placed that in the run with the black copper marans flock. They came over to meet her. They gathered around her cage and looked her over, clucking softly. Mr. Gamecock crowed for her to come back, and she called for him to come get her. After a few minutes, the black copper hens filtered away and resumed their normal chicken business. I took the gamehen back to the hutch where she lives with the gamecock and put her in. Mr. Handsome and Mr. gamecock crowed challenges at each other for an hour after that.
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  #28  
Old 09-26-2011, 11:42 PM
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Nice place! Loving the pics
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  #29  
Old 10-02-2011, 10:49 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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The property behind mine is a pine forest in transition to hardwood. The pines are dying and falling. Wild blueberry bushes grow in the places that get sun in the morning and afternoon, but shade during the hot part of the day. They like the acid soil. An oak tree some 12 years old had gained a foothold and is surrounded by young oaks about 2 feet tall. Yellowjackets patrol the leaf mold. One flew closer to me and higher than I allow. I struck it with the flat of my kopis and sent it away. Once I get the privet understory out of my pines I will transplant some wild blueberry onto my property. I was planning on cutting my pines down, but now that I see they have a purpose I will leave them. Perhaps the privet has some purpose that I am unaware of. Maybe it is fast-growing firewood.
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  #30  
Old 10-03-2011, 12:59 AM
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If I come back as a chicken in another life (God forbid ) I want You to take care of me
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  #31  
Old 10-06-2011, 09:44 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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HA!

Anyway, Ms. Gamecock laid her first egg today. After weeks of me coming home from work and asking "wheres my egg?" she finally laid one.
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  #32  
Old 10-15-2011, 11:44 AM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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I don't like trash piles. They are a waste of space. I don't like individual bits of trash either, but the piles are worse. I found 2 of these on my property over the course of my brush clearing efforts. They lie covertly under the mass of vines and privet until I come upon them and blunt my kopis on an old metal bucket or a moss covered brick. That complicates the process. I don't want to reach in with my hand and find broken glass or rats, so I have to go back to the house and equip for trash detail. The lack of thought process that goes into making a trash pile in the woods disappoints me. It is unintentional ecological bullying. An in-duh-vidual keeps inflicting harm upon the landscape long after he has gone back inside to gawk at the idiot box. Why? dunno. He doesn't know he is doing this, nor does he care. Also, When I am king I will ban filtered cigarettes. They build up in the intersections around here. When I say build up I mean an inch thick by the traffic island at the left turn lane.
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  #33  
Old 10-15-2011, 03:07 PM
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About your chickens. Most of the time the hens do much better when there are 6-12 of them to share the attention of the rooster. And even with separate chicken tractors for the roosters they would need considerable space between them, enough that they cannot see one another as a minimum, or the roosters are going to be looking for a fight with one another and failing that with you.
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  #34  
Old 10-19-2011, 11:03 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Over the past week two chickens that I thought were pullets are starting to look more like cockerels. at closer examination I found nubs of spurs. They are both going to be soup. I'm going to need to get more pullets. Mr. Handsome will be kept as primary and Lump will be a backup. Mr. handsome developed the fastest and has the best crow, but lump is bigger and stronger. Maybe Lump can be husband to offspring produced by Mr. handsome and the black copper marans harem. I would like to have chickens that develop in a timely manner and are fairly strong. On the female side I'll probably select for regularity of egg production, shape, and color.

I have been bitten a few times by chickens, both male and female. Its when I have food and I don't pour it out fast enough. I'm trying to get them used to human contact. When I feed them I scatter their food close to the gate of the chicken run so I can reach in and pet them. That way they won't put up too big a fuss if i pick one up for inspection. I have not been attacked with claws or spurs yet.

Last edited by macgeoghagen; 10-19-2011 at 11:20 PM.
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  #35  
Old 10-20-2011, 10:54 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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I like to patrol my land every evening around sunset. Its like putting my property to bed. I check on how the seasons are progressing. Last week was mostly the lazy late summer/early fall, when everything is taking a week off to relax after the summers growth and before the trees put their reserves into ripening their nuts and the critters rush around eating and burying pecans. This week fall began for real. The shade trees are starting to change their leaves and getting ready to sleep. The bugs have found hiding places. The squirrels have a sense of urgency that they didn't have last week. The deer are on the move to safer forage ahead of the hunting season. I saw three today. A large doe and two adolescent deer. None are the regular doe who browses in the back field when nobody is looking. They weren't using the regular deer trail that provides good cover, but were allowing themselves to be silhouetted against cleared areas. Obviously strangers.
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  #36  
Old 10-20-2011, 11:18 PM
Old Rusty Male Old Rusty is offline
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A good read. Thank you.
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  #37  
Old 10-23-2011, 07:41 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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I uploaded some pictures to an album.
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  #38  
Old 10-23-2011, 11:05 PM
Old Rusty Male Old Rusty is offline
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Enjoyed the album pics.
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  #39  
Old 10-25-2011, 09:34 PM
macgeoghagen macgeoghagen is offline
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Today I went out for pest control duty. There are too many squirrels; wasteful fuzzy tailed tree rats. They pick the pecans while they are still green in their husks, then finding them unripe, drop them. They need to be taught otherwise. The 410 shotgun is an educational tool exceeding the encyclopedia brittanica in every way that matters. So a-teaching I went. Soon the squirrels were fleeing my educational talents like urban youth flee the human school system. The feds should give me a teaching certificate. I still had not fired a shot. My teaching career was cut short by the discovery of a trio of deer. My back field is screened from the road and from the house by deathtrap 1, a wooden shed that aspires to be a pile of rotten wood atop some unfortunate person. I aspire to not be that person. Deathtrap 1 screened some deer this evening. I stood out in the yard squinting into the pecan trees in search of pupils, while not 50 yards distant the deer lounged in my unmown field. I came upon them unexpectedly. A fat 2 point buck went one way, a doe and juvenile another. I gawked at them, forgetting that I had a slug in the shell holder. When they disappeared, I removed the no. 8 shot and loaded the slug. I followed them into the property behind mine, my objective shifting from meat acquisition to intelligence. I wanted to see the route they took. The trio regrouped in a pine stand. The pines grew spaced far apart, 6 inches in diameter but very tall. The effect was like a sort of cathedral, with thin columns and fallen trunks as pews. Wild blueberry, ferns, and young thorn plants battled over space in the mixed pinestraw and leaf mold. The deer stood still, looking back at me. I was at the edge of my property, where the various species of thorny vines compete over everything they can wrap their suckers around. We looked at each other for several minutes. I tried to get closer, but was clumsy getting through the mess of vines. The deer ran down into a valley out of view.
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  #40  
Old 10-25-2011, 10:30 PM
Old Rusty Male Old Rusty is offline
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You have a knack for writing and story telling. Thank you.
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