Drstratton - My Backyard Journey Journal

drstratton

Loving the herd life
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Good morning! My name's Rene' - my husband Dale and I have been married for 35 years, we have 3 adult children! Our family consists of our oldest son, our daughter & her husband, our youngest son, his wife and their brand new baby boy, our first grandchild, born on 3.26.2020!

I'm here to learn and share as I begin a new backyard animal journey! My husband is going to be retiring in 2-3 months, dependent upon when the current job he's doing finishes! We thought it would be June 1st, but then Coronavirus. Covid has changed the direction we thought we were heading and we have made the decision that we need to become more self sustaining for ourselves, our children & their families!

We have 5 acres in WA State and have always grown a large garden. We've had dogs, cats, Banty chickens, pet rabbits and 2 of our children raised pigs for 4H! Currently we have 16 chicks in the brooder. These are not Banty's, hopefully they will all be good egg layers! We have been working on upgrading the chicken coop and expanding the pen. We want our chickens to free range, but they need to be protected, as there are dogs in our neighborhood that love to come in and slaughter chickens! We also have coyotes! The rabbit hutches will be in the chicken pen. We are using the old hutch that we built for our children's pets and are in the process of constructing a new one! The pig pen is in another area of our property! The pig area includes the original pen and it is tied to our old chicken pen, we have decided to expand it to give the pigs more you, so they will have access to the old chicken area. Doing this not only gives more room, but provides shade & shelter for them throughout the day, they should be able to get out of the sun and any nasty weather that might bother them.

Pig Pen!
Pig Pen.jpg

Pig Pen 2.jpg


Chicken Coop & Pen Area
Chicken Coop.jpg


Chicks!
Day 7 3.24.2020.jpg


Full view of garden, chicken and rabbit section!
Chicken pen Expansion Area 2.jpg


Starting modifications to coop! We removed the nesting boxes from inside to give more room for our larger chickens. My husband is adding new nesting boxes to the outside!
Cutting the opening for the new Nest Box.jpg


View of Chicken coop & soon to be new pen area, rabbit hutch before moving into pen. The new pen will extend to the existing fence straight ahead and to the right! It's quite messy right now, but that will be cleaned up soon!
Chicken pen Expansion Area 4.jpg

Chicken pen Expansion Area 3.jpg


Rabbit hutch moved into place! My husband raised the hutch up so that we would not have to stoop down to handle the rabbits, this hutch was built for our children when they were little's!💞
We need to finish adding the support for the lift, our battery died on the cordless drill, but we were okay with that as it had been a very long day to get to this point! When finished with the modifications, I will give it a fresh coat of paint to match the new hutch we are in the process of building! The new hutch will be to the right! We will be adding an auto watering system for the rabbits and the chickens!
Rabbit Hutch Attached 2.jpg
Rabbit Hutch Attached.jpg


That's all for the moment. I will share the build of the new hutch along with the plans and materials list that my husband drew up! I hope to get the rabbits, by the weekend, we'll see how it goes!

~ Thank you for stopping by!~
 
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drstratton

Loving the herd life
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Welcome, can't wait to hear more of your journey as it unfolds!
Thank you!
This has been a bit of a hard change for us, we were ready to relax and enjoy retirement, but we have the capability to do this and need to be prepared for whatever the future brings! Now that I've set my mind in this direction, the journey will be fun!
 

drstratton

Loving the herd life
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Sounds like me.. I retired in January this year and am working harder than ever at home. But I love it and I suspect you will too.
We were thinking about downsizing...so much for that idea...lol! I do love the idea of being more self sufficient! I don't know exactly what the near future has in store for us and it might be brighter sooner than we think, but it would be derelict to not be prepared for the need to ride it out until it improves! :)

Edit to add: Congratulations on your retirement and thank you for the encouragement, I am having one of those days and it helps to remember that I am not alone! 💞
 
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drstratton

Loving the herd life
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Location
Eastern WA - USA
Country life! My husband just repaired a drain valve for the drip line that we have for the tree's along our driveway. He asked me to go out and turn it on along with the tree line water next to our Chicken & Rabbit area! So, I did as he asked and as I'm turning on the drip, I get a loud pop, a geyser and boom I am soaking wet....😂:lol:😂 Something else to repair and oddly enough, this has brightened my mood...go figure...lol!


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