Monday, February 18, 2013

Meet Woody & Jesse!!

Yesterday morning while doing our rounds outside I noticed Mocha's milk was full!  Really full!  I have read this is a sign that birth is close.  She was laying down on and off all morning as well, which is unusual...they are always grazing.  Around 2pm Christian came running in, "Mom, Mom, she's having her baby!!" 
This was Mocha's first time giving birth so I was hesitant to let the kids watch...I didn't want to stress her out.  We kept our distance and stayed very quiet.  She did great!!  

This is baby's first breath!! 
First steps
Mocha was so sweet.  She let Ellie come right over to love on the newest kid.  
Meet Jesse!
Meet Woody!

Couldn't be more grateful for this experience as a family.  God is the Maker of all we see...even an animal giving birth!  He captured us in this moment...filled our hearts with wonder and joy!!


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Meet Jack & Jill...and our first snow experience in SC!!

WARNING: This post contains many pictures!!

Last night, Latte was letting us know she was close to giving birth...she was very noisy and displayed unusual behavior. This morning Nate came running, "Mom!  Mom!  There's a white baby goat!!"  He was quick enough to get out there and was able to see the second kid be born!!!  
This is moments later.  Birth is such a miracle.  And look at the baby's God-given instincts...he knows right where to go!
Mocha came over to greet her new brother and sister!
Little Jack!!
Little Jill!!
A few hours later it started to snow!  In less than 2 hours we got around 4 inches!  The biggest snow in this area in over 2 years!!
We had snowball fights...built snowmen...rolled in the snow...ate the snow...laughed hysterically together and just couldn't get enough of it!  What a blast!!

And the eventful day was topped off with a night out with my man...Valentine dinner with our care group from church!
Hope you all found something beautiful and fun in your day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Chicken Coop Cleaner

Last summer we had an issue with a few of our hens having mites or lice...I'm really not sure which is was.  All I know is, it grossed us out!!  We did lots of research on how to rid our feathered friends of such a nuisance.  A soapy bath and a vinegar dip was the simplest, most natural way to get rid of 'em.  So we did all of them.  We also cleaned everything out of their sleeping coop and started fresh.  We haven't any issues again, but we are in the cold months so critters are less of a problem.

 I started thinking, what if we helped prevent those nasty bugs from even wanting to be on our hens?  The one place where the hens always go to, every day and night is their's where they lay eggs and sleep.  SO...we have concocted a spray that we will use every morning on their laying boxes & roosting sticks when we go let them out for the day.  We could probably spray it on the hens as well every now and then!  
peels from 2 oranges
handful of cinnamon sticks
white vinegar

Citrus oil is a natural bug deterrent...think of citronella candles
Cinnamon oil repels flies and other interesting the things you learn when you read books on herbs!!
Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, has antibacterial properties, kills mold and is also a bug repellent.
**Be sure to use PLAIN vinegar, not apple cider...the fruit oils in the apple cider vinegar will attract bugs!!!**

Place your orange peels and cinnamon sicks in a quart size *glass* jar.  Pour vinegar to cover peels and sticks.  Cover loosely and let sit for a month or more.

And that's it!  It will sit in our kitchen with our other fermenting goods for a month before it's ready to use.
The happy recipient of 2 oranges for snack time ;)  Yes, I have big brothers if you can't already tell by my camoflauge!
P.S.  I decided to make one for our home as well.  We use vinegar to clean a lot but I never thought to infuse it with a scent.  

This post is linked to Frugal Days Sustainable Ways

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Keeping Busy Building

Ben and momma time = old chick brooder turned kitchen storage!!  I loved the rustic look of this old box.  When we purchased our first bunch of hens and supplies from a local farmer this was included.
We wanted give the shelving we added the same patina as the box.  So Ben painted a thin coat (of paint that was left in the barn from previous owner!), then we roughly sanded it.
Looking good so far!
And there you have it!!  It fit *perfectly* on a blank wall that is next to the sink.  Much needed storage made for next to nothing!!

Between our home and the barn was a privacy fence.  We tore it down because we wanted to enjoy the view of the barn, animals and woods.  But we needed to keep something up to separate all the animals from our "yard"...(We want at least a little space with no chicken droppings so the kids can run and play without worrying about stepping in something gross!)  Jason and the kids put up the wire fencing you see. Then he commissioned the boys and I to make it look good.  All the long boards you see piled in this picture were *free*.  The school where Jason teaches redid their football stadium, and Jason helped take down the existing deck so he got to take the wood!!
Praise God for a man who teaches his young sons to use power tools...these 2 boys did it all...cutting, drilling, screwing.  I just helped with the initial measurements to get all the boards even.
It makes me smile every time I look at it :)  All that is left is to chop the tops of the beams down a bit.
We decided to mimic the fence in the back upfront, just for aesthetics really.  We really like the look of a farm fence :)  Again, repurposing old beams here.  These were all left in the barn from the previous owner.  The boys measured equal distances from the driveway to the end of the property, cut the beams to size, and we all cemented them in.
The next morning after school books were put away, we finished it.  Again, the reclaimed wood from the old football deck that Jason tore out at work.  Currently, we are working on weeding out the other side of the driveway so we can continue the front fence over there...its very overgrown and will take some serious work.
We are very pleased with how the fence turned out!  Now, if we can just get the hens to stay behind the rear fence!!!  Barbwire maybe?!

This post is linked to   Frugally Sustainable