Official BYH Poll: What Are Your Plans for 2021?

What Are Your Plans for 2021?

  • Upgrade Backyard Herd's Housing

    Votes: 3 16.7%
  • Start a compost pile

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • Build New Housing For My Herd

    Votes: 5 27.8%
  • Buy New Housing For My Herd

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • Invest in New Technology

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • Reduce Feed Costs

    Votes: 5 27.8%
  • Add a New Breed/s To My Herd

    Votes: 9 50.0%
  • Reduce My Herd Number

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • Nothing, will keep things as is

    Votes: 1 5.6%
  • Other (elaborate in the comments section)

    Votes: 9 50.0%

  • Total voters
    18

Ridgetop

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Shopping for a Texas ranch - does that count?

Also adding some fencing for more pastures, and extra housing for the flock. I plan to order 5 small welded jug feeders to stop wasted hay in the jugs. If we find a place in Texas so we can start moving equipment to acreage with pasture, I will keep all the ewe lambs for breeding. I can cull them later. Otherwise I will be culling out some of the ewe lambs this year. They are nice but I only want to keep the best ones with the traits I am breeding for.

DH and DS1 are talking about building more wire bottomed wooden raised beds for the garden nw we have controlled the ground squirrels and rabbits. Using the old horse water troughs did not work out. I think the soil may have heated up too much in them. The wooden raised bed did much better growing the plants, except for the intense ground squirrel and rabbit predation which resulted in no produce for us. I will order several of the electrified garden nets - the holes should be small enough to deter the rodents. A small solar charger should be enough.

Sadly we may need to look into adding another LGD either this year or next, since darling Rika at almost 9 is starting to show her age. :( Bubba is almost 5. Angel was 2 in November. Got to look forward to getting a puppy in time for the older dogs to train her before Rika is too old and cranky. They grow faster than children!

Also turning out my cabinets, sorting and giving a lot of my stuff to my children, etc. in preparation for a move to the Texas ranch when we find one.
 

Kimi BK

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Happy New Year! Fun to read about everyone's plans.


We are still raw newbies. So we have LOTS to do in 2021.
We will be doing our first chicken harvest in a couple weeks :oops:. If they start bullying before then we will be moving the boys out of the coed coop & run, into a temporary hoop garden house, and harvest the birds before outdoor planting. We have a couple dog houses out there for temporary roosts, but still need to put in the roost bars.
We have a bolt gun (ballista) and killing cone on order, and have helped a neighbor with their harvesting to learn the ropes. I hope we are up for that. I know we are up for it, but I mean I hope we are OK enough with it that we are willing to continue with our plan of growing 100% of the chicken we eat. I'm neutral about whether we would ever want to sell chicken meat -- but leaning toward selling eggs only.

We have premier1 chicken netting and overhead bird netting on order, so will set up our outdoor pasture area.

We will be working hard on our current greenhouse and garden for our first full season (had a meager season last year after a late start building the greenhouse and starting the first garden plot). Hopefully that will result in more participation in our farmer's market (last year we just dipped a toe one day).

We will finish our house; at least to the point of getting an occupancy permit (is anyone's house ever REALLY "finished"??!) *Possbly* will get a greenhouse/sunroom added at the front of the passive solar house (otherwise will do in 2022).

Continue online/book/word-of-mouth/extension learning and planning! Then based on that, here are some "hopes" that will need more prior learning (and also tentative for 2021 depending on house overwhelmingness, since we are doing a fair amount of the bulding).

We might build more chicken housing -- a boy's coop, and maybe a breeding coop. Need to learn more about that. Thinking of, e.g., moving a rooster and target breeds of hens into the breeding coop, then putting rooster back with the boys after mating and leaving hens there until we've gathered eggs for incubating (unless we get a broody), then putting the (non-broody) girls back into the girls coop. Then we could do a different pairing of breeds when ready. That's just based on our imagination and guessing; I haven't found how folks usually handle the housing while breeding, if trying to select pairings, and keeping most eggs unfertilized. Maybe we only need temporary breeding housing -- hoop house or something. If overwhelmed with life we will wait with breeding until 2022. I guess our first step would be to figure out if we are even able to turn fertilized eggs into chicks, since we're at 7000' elevation.

We want to start raising rabbits for meat, fur, and fertilizer. Right now that's at the twinkle-in-homesteader's-eye stage. We've started the research, learning, and planning, but that's it.

We have ordered a satellite dish and hope to improve our internet enough to be more regular with our farmsteading blog, BrownKawa Farmstead. (Currently we are just using Verizon phone hotspots which is very slow, inconsistent, and frustrating.)
 

Hideaway Pines

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Shopping for a Texas ranch - does that count?

Also adding some fencing for more pastures, and extra housing for the flock. I plan to order 5 small welded jug feeders to stop wasted hay in the jugs. If we find a place in Texas so we can start moving equipment to acreage with pasture, I will keep all the ewe lambs for breeding. I can cull them later. Otherwise I will be culling out some of the ewe lambs this year. They are nice but I only want to keep the best ones with the traits I am breeding for.

DH and DS1 are talking about building more wire bottomed wooden raised beds for the garden nw we have controlled the ground squirrels and rabbits. Using the old horse water troughs did not work out. I think the soil may have heated up too much in them. The wooden raised bed did much better growing the plants, except for the intense ground squirrel and rabbit predation which resulted in no produce for us. I will order several of the electrified garden nets - the holes should be small enough to deter the rodents. A small solar charger should be enough.

Sadly we may need to look into adding another LGD either this year or next, since darling Rika at almost 9 is starting to show her age. :( Bubba is almost 5. Angel was 2 in November. Got to look forward to getting a puppy in time for the older dogs to train her before Rika is too old and cranky. They grow faster than children!

Also turning out my cabinets, sorting and giving a lot of my stuff to my children, etc. in preparation for a move to the Texas ranch when we find one.
What part of Texas are you looking for a place? I have a dear friend whos neighbor just listed his place. Address is 2915 CR 115, Centerville Texas 75833 look into it. the house was built in 2017 and has a well and fenced pasture. would be a great place for someone looking to jump into country life here in Tx. Realtor.com has it listed.
 

Ridgetop

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It shows as sold at auction - 4 tracts of different sizes auctioned off. The 54 acre tract doesn't show a house. Too bad since it is pretty much the area we are looking in. We started in the Tyler area (north eat Texas) but have moved the search south around Houston, Cherokee, and Leon Counties (mid east Texas). We want to stay in the Piney Woods area and need lots of water since we are planning to move our Dorper sheep and expand. Property MUST have the AG exclusion on it. We are too old to wait 7 years to qualify! LOL
 

Hideaway Pines

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It shows as sold at auction - 4 tracts of different sizes auctioned off. The 54 acre tract doesn't show a house. Too bad since it is pretty much the area we are looking in. We started in the Tyler area (north eat Texas) but have moved the search south around Houston, Cherokee, and Leon Counties (mid east Texas). We want to stay in the Piney Woods area and need lots of water since we are planning to move our Dorper sheep and expand. Property MUST have the AG exclusion on it. We are too old to wait 7 years to qualify! LOL
no that is an old listing, they were sold and now this one section is being listed by itself.
https://www.realtor.com/realestatea...ty-Road-115_Centerville_TX_75833_M87668-86101
try this link
 

Hideaway Pines

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I see you are interested in having meat rabbits. I raise meat rabbits and have done so for 4+ years now. We love it. They are really easy to raise and to butcher. They are adorable and fun to have around. And because I am a Master Gardener too, all the bunny poo goes to good use in my gardens. If you end up out this direction you must connect with me before getting your rabbits going, I would love to help you. I have one doe ready to deliver in two+ days with my first kit of Tamuk rabbits. This is a breed that Texas A&M created from several different breeds, made for meat and the TX climate. We got our first buck, Maverick, a month ago so first litter of his will be here any day now.
 

Ridgetop

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Very nice place, but too expensive for us. We are looking to spend around $400,000. House can be older. The property is most important. We are looking for good hayfields/pasture, barns and cattle pens, well, good fencing (which we will raise to 6' on perimeter of sheep grazing for our LGDs). A spring or stream fed pond would be a plus. The house will be rented for 2 years while we put up the fencing we need and repair any outbuildings before moving our flock onto the property. Once we move there we will renovate the house if it needs it.

Thank you.
 

Hideaway Pines

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Very nice place, but too expensive for us. We are looking to spend around $400,000. House can be older. The property is most important. We are looking for good hayfields/pasture, barns and cattle pens, well, good fencing (which we will raise to 6' on perimeter of sheep grazing for our LGDs). A spring or stream fed pond would be a plus. The house will be rented for 2 years while we put up the fencing we need and repair any outbuildings before moving our flock onto the property. Once we move there we will renovate the house if it needs it.

Thank you.
Totally understand. Well good luck finding the right place for you and your critters to land. I know how hard it can be to find something, and even more so long distance. Things around us are not staying on the market long, everyone wants to get out of the city. :)
 

Ridgetop

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That is interesting about the A & M breeds being developed for Texas heat. We raised rabbits for about 20 years, DH showed as well a bring the 4-H rabbit leader. We started with NZWs, then switched to Cals for meat. We lied them better because although they were smaller theye bunnies made 4 lbs. at 8 weeks every time Sometimes the larger ZWs took 10 weeks. The main worry about raising rabbits in Texas is the heat. We would probably put their barn in the middle of the garden so we could use misters and fans in the summer. Winter cold isn't a problem. We used shop lights if we needed extra heat spotted on kits, and using lights in our barn we used to breed year round.

Would love to meet you and see your rabbits when we come back to Texas.
 

Hideaway Pines

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Sounds like you have some great experience. I have NZ and Cals now but with my new Tamuk buck, I will be adding in this breed too. We have a similar set up as you mentioned. We have our bunnies in a totally enclosed building, but one wall is open with hog panel and hardware cloth for good air flow. We have two fans set on temp gages that kick on at 80 and 85 to keep them cool. We live in the woods, so lots of shade around the coop/rabbit house keeps everyone cooler. I also put small slabs of granite in their cages if they need additional cooling. This gives them a cool place to lay. But we have not had any issues with heat so far. I do use the heat lamps with the babies in the winter until they get a good coat of fur on them. My coop-a-hut (as we call it) is next to my large garden so I can access the poop easily and they get goodies all year round too. They have been a lot of fun to raise. Not to mention the meat is wonderful. I have found that smoking them is the best. I place a chicken above them in the vertical smoker (helps them to not dry out) and check them often. But the meat is amazing. Then the bones I use for soup/broths and the added Smokey flavor is so great. Here is a few pics of my set up. I would love to meet you when you get here!
20201229_113233.jpg
20201229_113223.jpg
 
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