After having record rains for the month of July, we decided to find high ground for the animals. We thought after the first flood that hit in early July that we were ready for almost anything.
Well we weren't, and the Hurricane that hit the Gulf proved this to us. So we quickly built new pens on the highest part of the property. It just so happens that this was the traffic circle that the previous owner put in. It had ornamental cactus, and desert plants...sigh, we have those all over*! So we fenced this off and moved the 2 flocks of birds.
Instead of the neat chicken coops we had(which we couldn't move) we came up with handy dandy quick coops. True to our quest to use salvage materials for our humble farm, we created these coops.
The boys took 3 pallets(we pick up from businesses around town~ as they toss them) and 2 sheets of plywood that Bill's friend in construction gave us(leftover from construction job). They took the judges campaign signs for the ends.
The main perch is a piece of 3/4 inch conduit that we actually found on the property. I made the ladder perches from limbs and branches here and there(I copied the southwestern idea:-)
The nests are 2/3 of strawberry buckets that we get from the local custard shop. The boys cut the bottom third off-to be used for feed trays, and this is the top third. It allows me to scrub the nests and keep them cleaner than the wood nests, as I can use a bleach solution to wipe them out.(we made 3 like this)
Here is the new goat pen(and soon similar one for the sheep). Notice it is the same concept as the chicken coops. I do have more barn red paint and will paint the pens, in the next few weeks.
Here are Daisy, Maisy and want a be goat, Pepsi. We gave the goats this award platform that we had made for the homeschool field day from a few years ago. The goats love this!!(the white sign in the back is a campaign sign from the judge, and it is to patch a small area in the fence.)
Colonel Sanders...Third is taking him to the fair in August
3 from the mixed flock...
one of the Turkens
2 of the Dominiques...Fourth is going to take a Dominique, and an Ameraucana...Miss Scarlet to the fair.
this is McBobber an Ameraucana...Second is going to take her to the Fair in August.
Egg production this month has been slow. I know that the weather has had a huge impact. We still are doing well, and the Dominiques are due to start laying this month. We also have 10 that will begin laying in September and then ten additional ones in October.
Sheep arrive this weekend. 2 Rams, and three ewes(one adult 2 lambs) We have 2 pens set up, and the sheep we worked in trade for are Navajo sheep, and are desert dwellers. They will do quite well here. I have been researching wool and there is a fairly big market for it, although we are getting the sheep for a variety of reasons. 1) walking food 2) flock that can continue to grow(and sell for meat...$9.00 per pound) 3) wool to sell or card and spin into yarn bundles...
I really seek out multi purpose items and the sheep definitely fit. I cannot believe how easy this transition to simplicity has been. No, I better correct myself. This path that we are on has been arduous, starting from Bills life altering accident to his recovery, to the move from Nevada to New Mexico, to buying a run down beat up place that we saw as a farm in progress. It has been 3.5 years since the accident...the hardest part about all of this is the tremendous difference in salary that Bill made in Law Enforcement to what he makes while going to school.
I will be honest, I became comfortable in my spending. Now we ration and even spend change. But all of these things that happened to us have been an amazing witness to God and His mercy, and how we can do all things through Him.
The learning that we have done in these months has been incredible. I mean, chicks in the bathroom...under the heat lamp! Goats?! We will have milk and I am studying how to make cheeses and plan on making goat milk soap. Sheep?! Again who would have thought that we would be raising sheep? Ducks! Boy are they messy indoors...we had them inside when it was cold. Now that they are outside we do enjoy them, and plan on next year eating duck. These 4 will be used for breeding. Oh and the goose!? The turkey!? You better believe that one can provide for their own. It is a good work, like in Genesis and the sweat of ones brow.
So we chalk up this month as a learning curve and know that other things will hit, but we can and will continue on, simple, forward, and focusing on Him.