Monday, October 7, 2013

#31 Days - Farm Animals all Atwitter

 Secret Obsession  

Since we are not vegetarian, in order to produce at least half the food we consume, we will have to have some animals on the farm.

Probably the easiest first animal to get would be the chicken.  (OK, ok, with my family - including two teenage boys - we're talking at least 6-12 chickens.  There is already a building on the property that used to be a chicken coop, but it's been used mainly for storage for, oh, 4-5 decades.  It's about six of one, half dozen of another whether it would be better to renovate the one we have or just make an entirely new one.

And if you see the date, this picture of over 7 years old.  The yard suffered some neglect in the ensuing years and things look a little...wilder now.  And there is a little less paint on the coop.  There is also a smokehouse (no picture available)  and a sizeable tobacco barn.

Chickens may be the only animal we begin to raise next year.  Although my father-in-law has expressed interest in possibly running some cattle between his place and ours.  I'd love to add cows (for milk), and sheep (for wool) and then reassess how things are going, homestead-wise.

One of the things we got with the house is a chest-style deep freeze.  It stands on the floor and comes up to my waist, and the freezer is long enough most people could make a bed on top of it and not have their toes hang over the edge.  

We are extremely blessed that we were able to buy this property and have the kind of land needed for a (someday) full-fledged homestead.  After the October challenge is over, I will have a series on how families and people living in cities and 'burbs can use some of the techniques we will employ to raise some of their own food, if they so wish.


The October Daily challenge prompt for today, October 7th, 2013 is:

"Go without something (e.g. - phone, Twitter) for a day and tell us what it feels like."

That's a tough one for me.  I very seldom talk on the phone and really don't use Twitter all that much to begin with.  People who follow me on Twitter today, though, may disagree.  I was giving folks +K on Klout and had the option to post it to Twitter, which I did in each case.  That's 5 or so tweets today, which is what I've posted in some weeks before.

I can only say that going without something that is a usual practice would probably be like those first three days of quitting smoking cold turkey.  I'd be grouchy and my family would probably want to send me to a cave until I became human again.


Have you noticed the "NaNoFundMo" button I made in the right sidebar?  I am going to be participating in "NaNoWriMo" (National Novel Writing Month) in November.  The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel (the first draft) in November.  People from all over the world participate.  You can too!

Anyway, the same people run a writing program for schools so that children and young adults who have already been bitten by the writing bug can have an outlet for their creativity.  If you feel so inspired, and are able, I would be honored if you would consider contributing to the money I am trying to raise for this program.  If it's not a possibility at this time, I more than  understand.


  1. I admire your goals for a working homestead, LuAnn. Being self sufficient certainly has its perks! And all of you will gain much in the way of health benefits from it.

    Good luck on your novel writing next month! Do we get to read it as you go?

  2. Your property is so beautiful and there is so much potential there. I love the idea of a self-sustaining family farm. Hard work - but so much healthy food and great lessons for the kids in how dedication pays off in benefits that "city kids" will never realize!

  3. My thanks to both of you ladies for bringing a smile to my face this morning with your kind words.

    @Dianna - I think I could put 'teasers" out once a week or so. :O)

    @J - Funny you should say that, because I'm mulling over an ultra long-term goal of making the place into a destination/learning center for people interested in gardens, farming, homesteading and maybe for field trips for public schools, etc.

  4. Good morning, LuAnn! I think the old chicken coop would be lovely! Only if it can keep the chickens safe from predators, of course. Then it would probably be better to build a new one. My hubby and I have plans much like yours, and our first homestead animal will also be chickens! We will be getting some bee hives also and are mulling over the option of dairy goats. The only problem is that we don't want to get tied down too much because once hubby retires we want to do some travelling! Yellowstone is on my bucket list! Thanks for visiting me this morning - I will visit again soon!

  5. I applaud you in your efforts to raise half of your food. That's a good goal. The only thing I would struggle with is going from live bird/animal to in my fridge. Um...good luck with that. [wink]
    Seriously I could go without any of those things for a day. Really anything except water, electricity, or heat (air) wouldn't be a problem. But...those are pretty key to living. :)

  6. @Vickie - That's the direction my heart goes on the coop. I love preserving old buildings, furniture, etc. The bees are a great idea - pollination for your garden! Maybe we can trade homestead ideas! :O)

    @Diane - That's what our Amish friends (who are butchers) are for. I have about about Appalachian food traditions that goes into great detail about dressing all sorts of animals (and has pictures too). Those pages make me a little woozy! *lol*