June 22, 2017

Setting Hens and Baby Chicks

We've got both! Although I have to say that the setting hen business has gotten a little out of hand.


Chickens seem to be bad about wanting to lay their eggs in a setting hens nest, so that I can't keep track of which have been there for awhile and which are freshly laid. Then the other day our first chick hatched.


And then another so that this mama hen has two.


Yesterday I found a second 'Lorp mama with two more chicks. That still left three hens on the nests! I've not been allowed to get close enough to take many pictures, but hopefully the setting and hatching business will be done soon so I can get a chick count.

June 19, 2017

Dan's Workshop: Carport

It's been awhile since I gave you an update on Dan's workshop. In the last one, I showed you how Dan added the girders to the main structure.

So here's the workshop with our home-milled lumber
in front of that, and the carport slab under the lumber.

His next step was to frame out the attached carport.

For the piers, Dan used pre-fabbed ones leftover
from another project, rather than making his own.

Three posts and a beam were needed to support the roof. The beam was 17.5 feet, about the length of the carport. Even though the timbers had been curing for about a year, it was still very heavy. Here's how he moved it one-man fashion.

Using a strap and two short logs. You can see two
of the carport posts on the ground at the right.

Close-up. As the beam is moved the logs must be repositioned.

He attached the posts to the beam on the ground.





But the kneebraces pushed the posts farther apart than the piers were set. So Dan used the ratchet and strap pull them together and added some weight in hopes of correcting that problem.


The following weekend we were ready to raise the bent. First a final inspection.


He used the tractor the same way he raised the other bents.


To make sure it didn't move around too much on us when we got it on the piers, he first paced a slice of a 4x4 in the center of each of the piers.


In the center of those blocks he sank a piece of rebar (missed photos for that one), and then measured and drilled a hole in the bottom of each of the posts. Happily the posts slipped easily into place.

With flashing, because the posts are untreated

And here it is.


The last step was to remove the straps and brace the bent. Roof is next!

Dan's Workshop: Carport © June 2017 by

June 16, 2017

Here's One for Your Bug-Out Bag: Prepper's Survival Navigation

I've reviewed quite a few prepper books lately, but I've got one more that I seriously have to share with you - Prepper's Survival Navigation: Find Your Way with Map and Compass as Well as Stars, Mountains, Rivers and Other Wilderness Signs by Walter Glen Martin.

Dan grabbed this book as soon as I got it, so I've had to wait my turn to read it. When Dan was in the Air Force his map and compass training was something he really enjoyed, so he was very interested in this book. Comparing it to his military training, he pronounced it excellent!

The author starts by discussing the need to be prepared and why land navigation is an important survival skill. Most of us are so used to Google Maps and GPS that if we had no electronic devices to tell us how to get someplace, we would be lost indeed. But what if you have to take off cross country, with no roads or other drivers' landmarks to guide you? Or if you got lost on a backpacking or camping trip - would you know what to do?

For the completely unprepared, chapter one will teach you how to find north without a compass. For those who want to be a little more prepared, chapters two and three discuss the topographical map and the compass and how to use them. You'll learn how to calculate the measurement of a curved path, adjust for declination, and orient a map. Dead reckoning is calculating your current position by using a previously determining location and using time and speed. You'll learn that too. Also how to use the terrain to find your place on the map.

The remaining chapters deal with getting lost, finding shelter, how to prevent and treat exposure, obtaining water, fire craft, and survival medicine. In the epilogue you are challenged to practice the skills taught in this book by starting your own adventure!

Prepper's Survival Navigation is part of the Ulysses Press prepper series. It's very reasonably priced and available in both paperback (recommended!) and Kindle editions. You can read more about it at Ulysses Press, or buy it now on Amazon.

© June 2017 by Leigh at http://www.5acresandadream.com/

June 13, 2017

Goat News!

Twins for Anna!


They were born last Tuesday around 10:30 that night.

Firstborn - a buckling

She wasn't due until Saturday, but Tuesday morning I noticed her standing in the stall, shifting her weight back and forth, not paying attention to anything going on around her.


There was no discharge (a very tell-tale sign), but I've seen this behavior in does before, usually half-a-day or so before they start pushing.

Second-born - a doeling.

I checked on her frequently but there was still nothing happening at dusk so I put her in the kidding stall for the night.


Right before I went to bed I made another check. The two babies had already arrived!


The little buckling was already on his feet and Anna was giving him a good cleaning. The little doeling must have just arrived because she was very wet and covered in the birth membranes.


So I had gotten there just in time to get her cleaned up and put her next to her brother so Anna could give her a good licking too. I think that's an important part of the bonding process and imprints each kid's smell on their mother.


Anna is a first time mom so she wasn't too sure about them at first. It took a little encouragement for her to realize that nursing them wasn't a bad experience after all.


Later the next day I let her out because she was hollering for the other goats. She ran off after them, and then remembered that her babies were still in the barn. Back she ran.


That first day out my two February born doelings (Ellie and Sky) took to butting the little ones so that I had to put them back up. Anna just looked confused.


The following day when I let them out, the first thing Anna did was flatten Ellie and Sky! Everybody keeps a respectful distance from her babies now.


So kidding is officially over for 2017. Five doelings and four bucklings made for a good year.

Goat News! © June 2017 by Leigh 

June 12, 2017

A Few Good Reads I Just Have to Mention On the PrepperBundle's Last Day


PrepperBundle availability ends tonight at midnight Central Daylight Time, so I'm almost out of time for book reviews. There are just a few more I want to mention because they are really interesting reads.

I'll start with this one, A Prepper's Anthology of the Collapse of Venezuela, a case study by Daisy Luther. You may recall that I've reviewed Daisy's work before, see "The Prepper's Canning Guide." This book is not your typical prepper material, but it is an extremely interesting read.

This economic and political disaster did not happen overnight but over years. Daisy has been observing the events surrounding and leading up to it for the past four years. What makes this book so eye-opening is that she has been able to sift through these events, compare them to similar problems in other countries, and formulate patterns. If you follow American news and politics, much of it will sound uncomfortably familiar.

Daisy is a long-time advocate of preparedness, and so has lots of good ideas addressing these real life events. A must-read, especially for those who think it couldn't happen to us.

Your Family Matters by Todd Sepulveda is a collection of essays based on his observations of real-life situations he and his family have experienced. It is extremely well written and interesting, because the essays are based on situations that are typical to all of us. The astute will pick up on the clues, but we also get a better glimpse into why people don't prep and why they don't think it's necessary. Lots of practical advice and ideas here to prepare you and your family for problems ranging from common to uncommon.

Aftermath: A Story of Survival by L. M. Edmundson might seem an unusual addition to the PrepperBundle, because it's a work of fiction. Some may scoff at that, but I have to tell you that I have long believed fiction to be a fantastic teaching and learning tool. At 282 pages Aftermath a full-blown work and although I haven't finished it yet, it hooked me from page one.

The PrepperBundle will be available midnight tonight (Central time). You can choose online access to download the bundle for $29.97, the flash (thumb aka USB) drive option for $54.97, or both for $59.97 (one for you and the other as a gift).

BONUS: If you buy the bundle through my blog, I'll gift you with your choice of one eVolume from my The Little Series of Homestead How-Tos. After you place your order simply email me at 5acresandadream @ mail. com, and let me know which one you'd like. I'll send you a link to download a free copy.

Tomorrow ➡ goat news!

© June 2017 by Leigh at http://www.5acresandadream.com/