Homesteaders

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by MountainMamaHST, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. trsturself

    trsturself Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,702
    226
    163
    Mar 24, 2013
    Elizabeth, CO

    That's interesting about the cows. We are thinking about getting a cow next year but figured we'd start with a goat to see if we can handle the milking chores. Luckily our summers don't get too bad here in zone 5b. We'll get a few days that get up to the 90's but mostly it hovers in the high 80's. And we live in a desert climate, so no humidity. It makes a world of difference. We don't even have A/C in our current house. The upstairs gets a little too warm, but turn the fans on, and it's not too bad.

    We thought about doing those plastic door guards for our loafing shed for the horses to help keep the heat in in the winter. Were your cows scared of it at first? I'm worried they wouldn't go in there at all with those up.

    I love end of season sales. We got our 6 fruit trees buy 2 get 1 free. They were 5 gallon pots and we got all 6 for less about $100! They have all survived so far too.

    Wish I could help you with the Kiwi but there's no way we could grow those up here without a green house. We have red ants here but haven't seen them by the fruit trees yet. Hopefully they stay away. I used to run a vending machine business (the 25cent candy ones) and we painted this sticky stuff around the bottom of the pole to keep the ants from crawling up it. Wonder if that would work on trees, and how often you'd have to reapply from rain washing it off.
     
  2. boxofpens

    boxofpens Chillin' With My Peeps

    411
    35
    102
    Mar 9, 2013
    Texas

    It sounds like you're in a good zone for a cow. In Texas you don't find many dairy cows. Mostly beef cows. If you do find dairy's, they're mostly in the northwest where it's dry (very low humidity). We thought about starting with goats 1st, but I don't like goat milk, and I've had goats (aka escape artists) before, and I really didn't want to deal with that, so we went with cows 1st. We LOVE our cows. My husband went out a few hours ago to close their "door", and when he came back in he said "I really love having cows". LOL! They're his girls. :lol:

    I was also afraid the curtain would scare them, but they had zero issues with it. Just walked right through it. It's in the 30's & 40's this week (at night), and it really helps to keep the warmth in.

    The fire ants on the kiwi were actually around the roots. I really didn't think they would do any damage to it. I thought they might even help aerate the soil and patrol for bugs. But I guess they either ate the roots, or their tunnels dried them out :idunno.
     
  3. trsturself

    trsturself Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,702
    226
    163
    Mar 24, 2013
    Elizabeth, CO
    I didn't really want goats either (they are such a PIA - they are lucky they are cute!) but I got them mostly to take care of the weeds in the area I have to walk through to get to the chicken coop that were 3ft tall and very prickly. They did a great job of that. Now that we have them we've decided to do milk. I've never had raw goats milk and have heard it's very similar, possibly a little creamier, than cow's milk. I've had pasturized goat milk and I didn't like it at all. I figure if we don't like the milk I'll just let her dry up and keep them as weed eaters. DD is going to show her for 4H also, so that's nice.

    Glad to hear the cows didn't have a problem with the plastic. I think I'll look into it more seriously for the horses and goats and try it.
     
  4. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    17,637
    783
    416
    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    That's a good deal. I can get them for about $20 each but they never have anything I want. I'm old and wish we'd lived here years ago. Taking life as it comes is not the way to live. Planning or having a plan is better.

    It is freezing here. Most of the chicken waterers are frozen solid. That means taking jugs of hot water out. At least we're warm.

    Anyone have winter things they do when it's too cold to work out doors? What about when it's too hot?

    I'll be making some jams and jellies. I pick and freeze berries to use later.

    FYI, you can freeze tomatoes with the skins on and when you thaw them the skins come right off. The same with peaches. You can also cook up frozen tomatoes and cook them up and can them. Point being if you don't have enough to can, freeze them up until you do.

    Have a Happy New Year.

    Love ya,

    Rancher
     
  5. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

    487
    27
    111
    Mar 27, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    Hey there:)

    We can grow certain kind of Kiwis in Quebec, so I think you could as well. Put lots of dead leaves on the plant before the winter colds and it should survive.
    The kind I have is Issai. It is hardiness zone 4. I think you are zone 5b so it would work :)

    The plant is pretty. Dark, shinny leaves. It climbs.
     
  6. trsturself

    trsturself Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,702
    226
    163
    Mar 24, 2013
    Elizabeth, CO
    Interesting! Thanks. I never would have given it a second thought. Teach me for assuming!

    My winter projects is planning for spring. We don't have any garden area setup in this new house so I have that to plan and planning the bees, a bat house, and an owl box. :)
     
  7. RichnSteph

    RichnSteph Chillin' With My Peeps

    882
    116
    148
    Mar 25, 2014
    Adkins Texas
    Our winter project is similar to your other than the bat house (had no idea that folks raised bats to be honest) or an owl box. Right now we're getting the garden area set up and planning out what trees (post oak) I need to remove so that we can plant fruit trees and create a sunny area for the grapevine we found on the place. The only thing more difficult than figuring out where you want everything is the waiting to get started.

    RichnSteph
     
  8. trsturself

    trsturself Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,702
    226
    163
    Mar 24, 2013
    Elizabeth, CO
    We won't raise the bats or owls, just encourage them to be on our property. Our neighbors have a large pond that forms anytime we get a decent amount of rain and this last summer we were swarmed with mosquitoes. A single bat can eat thousands of mosquitoes in a single night! And the owls will help keep the rodent population down. We have an owl that lives nearby, so we're hoping we can encourage it or another one to live on our property. DD is obsessed with owls too so she'll love it. We've even talked about putting a little spy cam type camera in there so we can watch them without disturbing them. :)

    I agree, planning is hard but waiting is harder! I need to get busy with my planning because I'll do seed starts indoors pretty soon!
     
  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    17,637
    783
    416
    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Keep in mind owls will take a chicken if the opportunity arises or will they?
     
  10. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    2,985
    481
    261
    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Great horned owls will without a doubt. Many other species of owl are a bit too small to take a full grown bird, but chicks would be fair game.....[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by