Monthly Archives: October 2014

How to Catch a Chicken

Catching chickens can be pretty tricky. They’re quick, and once they get the sense you’re after them, they make sure to keep their distance and run even quicker. But, with a special tool and some quickness they can be caught. Miley thought it would be a good topic to post about, so she volunteered to demonstrate the best technique on how to catch one.
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Easy Way to Freeze Apple Pie Filling


Pies…oh how I love to eat them, but when it comes to making them, you can count me out. I’m just not a good pie maker at all; my pies usually don’t turn out very pretty. Plus, pie making is just way too time consuming. By the time I peel and chop up the fruit, mix up the dough, roll it out, try to lift it up to put it in the pan, rip it, roll it out again, rip it again, piece it together in the bottom of the pan, roll out the next half, rip it, roll it out, rip it, and finally piece that one together, I’m just so over the pie that I don’t even want to eat it.

So… when I asked my family what they most wanted made from the apples and they all unanimously yelled “PIE!!!”… I was thinking, “wonderful, just wonderful.”
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Apple Picking Time

Last weekend we planned on getting some chickens and the turkeys processed. After running to town to get ice and a couple of big tubs to put them in, we determined it was too hot and windy to process them, so that will be next weekend’s big project.  Hopefully the weather will be cooler then.

Since our apple tree was loaded…

those tubs were filled with apples instead.
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Musical Coops

It’s getting to be that time of the year when we start moving chickens to the barn for the winter. Chickens are such creatures of habit, so it’s always a little difficult getting them trained to go to the barn at night. We usually start out by confining the ones we move to a room for a few weeks until they get used to the idea that it’s their new home. Once the few weeks are up, we turn them loose to free range. If they go back to the barn at night, they are considered successfully trained. If they go back to their old coop, it means we have to chase them around in the dark with flashlights and carry them back to the barn. We lock them up for a few more days and try it all again until they learn to go to the barn.
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Downsizing for Winter

As we head into winter, we decided it was a good time to sit down, think about and reevaluate the last year. While we feel the year went pretty well, there are a few things we’d like to do differently. One of the biggest changes we’ve decided to make is decreasing the number of animals we keep through the winter. In the fall of last year we had the opportunity to get a really good deal on a couple of feeder pigs, so we got them. In addition to that, we increased our goat herd because we needed a buck for breeding and we added a few boer goats for 4H projects. All was fine until winter hit. It was a tough winter…. long periods of freezing temperatures with several big snowfalls made it difficult to care for them all. While we planned for our feed costs to be higher since the animals have to eat more to stay warm, it ended up being a lot higher than we expected it to be. So let’s just say… we’ve been eating some pretty expensive pork.

Not wanting to make those mistakes again, one of the first things we did was buy a feeder pig in the spring. That way, there’d be plenty of grass to graze and extra produce from the garden to give, in addition to the regular feed. We noticed a huge difference in feed costs between last winter and this summer. Piglet is all grown up now and will be headed to the butcher at the end of the week…
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Raw Milk Update; It Did This Tomato Vine Good

Remember my post I wrote about spraying raw milk on the garden to fertilize, plus control disease and insects? Well, I just thought I’d share an update on that. I quit spraying my garden about a month ago, but the effects it’s had have lasted…
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Harsh Winter? What’s Woolly Bear Say?

A while back, we had a big invasion of caterpillars; covering bushes, weaving through the grass, tumbling across the road in the wind, they were everywhere. As I walked through the yard trying not to step on any, I happened to look down. There, among the tan colored waves of fuzz was a woolly bear caterpillar. A different color and larger than the others, it was black with a reddish brown band in the center. Being something different and out of the ordinary around here, and knowing the kids hadn’t seen one before, I got them to come take a look. Brooke collects and pins insects and Miley loves butterflies so they always like finding new insects/caterpillars and researching them. They picked it up, headed in and the research began…
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