Author Archives: Homesteader's Supply

[NeighborWoods] Black Capped Chickadee

Black Capped Chickadee

[NeighborWoods] Neighbors in or out of the woods but always outdoors.
Created by Robin’s Outdoors.
Please leave a comment and include the link to your [NeighborWoods] blog.

We are feeding the birds again now that winter is here. This is a black capped chickadee.

Black Capped Chickadee, [NeighborWoods], neighborwoods

Black Capped Chickadee

Homestead Planning – Poultry?

Poultry

Are you planning a new homestead? Or adding to what you already do on your homestead? We’ve been talking about planning.

Where do you want to live?

Cooking & Heat

Let’s talk about poultry. Will you want to raise birds? When I first got chicks nearly 20 years ago someone made a point I’ll never forget. He said, “Chickens are as simple or difficult as you want to make them.”

Buff orpington, layers, laying hen

Buff Orpington

He’s right. Chickens, ducks, turkeys, quail, pheasant, geese – whatever birds you want to raise, really don’t need a lot. Food, water, shelter and safety outdoors make up their short list of needs.

Food is simple. You can buy commercial food, usually in pellet form, by the bag. A 50 pound bag of layer pellets starts around $12 a bag. Exact prices varies from area to area and $12 is a starting point. A quick phone call the feed store will give you the current price in your area. There are foods available for all birds you might consider keeping. I keep the poultry feeder inside the coop so that weather and pests don’t ruin the food.

poultry feeder, chicken feeder

Poultry Feeder

If you have lawn or pasture you can let the birds out onto you’ll decrease your food costs. They’ll eat grass, weeds, seeds and other plant matter. Food scraps from your kitchen are like candy to poultry. With a few exceptions your birds can eat most unprocessed foods. Fruit peels, leftover vegetables, stale bread – all appreciated by the birds.

poultry water, heater base

Poultry water heater base

Water is essential, of course. It can be tricky to keep enough water thawed for the birds in winter. They need to stay well hydrated to be able to keep themselves warm. A heated base for the water makes it simpler. If you’re in the planning stages I suggest considering electricity to the coop. I wish I had it running to mine. Being able to plug in the heater base without running an extension cord would be a blessing.

In warmer areas and seasons I recommend poultry nipples. Birds adapt to this method of watering easily and it keeps the water clean. Even chickens and turkeys will walk in their water if you’re using a pan on the floor or ground.

Shelter will probably be your largest expense. It’s money well spent. You want your coop to allow good air circulation without creating too much wind. You’ll need to keep predators such as snakes, weasels and raccoons out so it needs to be sturdy. A full-size “people” door will let you in to gather eggs, tend to the birds’ food and water, and clean the coop. A poultry door is much smaller and usually opens into a pen. The birds walk up and down a ramp to go in and out. Your nest boxes will be inside or attached to the outside of the coop and accessible to the birds from inside. I prefer them to be attached to the outside because it makes collecting eggs and cleaning simpler. Waterfowl will want to nest on the ground.

Safety is vitally important. If you have room to let your poultry roam you’ll need to keep them safe. You have options. A livestock guardian dog is a wonderful addition to a homestead. Some breeds will herd as well as guard.

Electronet is portable electric fencing that allows you to move the birds to fresh ground as often as necessary without a lot of hassle. I like to fence my birds into an area around the coop. I break it up into thirds to give the grass and clover time to recover before the birds return. Electronet has a downfall – it doesn’t keep birds of prey out.

Permanent fencing is great, especially in winter if the grass is covered in snow. Once it’s built it’s low maintenance. Wear and tear on the pen’s ground is the biggest downfall of permanent fencing.

Occasionally a bird might get hurt or sick. There are dozens of online forums and thousands of websites full of information. And don’t forget your vet. Some of them treat poultry. Learn what you can and before long you’ll be taking care of poultry like a pro.

 

[NeighborWoods] Winter Seeds

NeighborWoods

[NeighborWoods] Neighbors in or out of the woods but always outdoors.
Created by Robin’s Outdoors.
Please leave a comment and include the link to your [NeighborWoods] blog.
Winter Seeds, beggar lice

Winter Seeds

Winter seeds. Juncos, goldfinches and other seed eaters will eat most of the weed seeds in the field over the winter. Leaving weeds contributes to habitat.

Holiday Specials! Check back often for more items!

Holiday Specials at Homesteader’s Supply!

holiday specials, cyber monday 2014, homestead supplies, cheese press,

Check back often to see updates on our holiday specials

Check back often for updates on our Holiday Specials. We’re starting off the holiday gift giving season with two sales.

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1)  Triple Wood Cutting Board and Rolling Pin –  on sale through end of the year AND we have a special offer. You’ll receive a $20 Gift Certificate to keep for yourself or give to someone else when you purchase this set.

2)  Ultimate Cheese Press in Hard Cherry wood … Limited Edition only 25 available, first come first serve. Now on sale until end of the year! There’s a recipe for Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese in the blog to help you get started.

Have you seen the video staring Wardee from GNOWFGLINS? Wardee shows us how to use the Ultimate Cheese Press. You’ll feel a lot more confident after watching the video. Making hard cheese is surprisingly simple.

Limited Edition Ultimate Cheese Press in Cherry Hardwood

Limited Edition Ultimate Cheese Press in Cherry Hardwood

Just in time for Cyber Monday sales! We’re blogging a little early this week to bring you our newest product. Yes! Another new product. It’s great to give as a gift or keep as a treat to yourself.

Jerri has commissioned a limited edition run of 25 Ultimate Cheese Presses made in cherry hardwood. They are beautiful! It’s first come, first served and a few have already sold. The sale price is in effect now and it continues through the end of December, 2014 or until all 25 presses are sold.

cheese press, hardwood, handmade cheese press, cherry hardwood

Ultimate Cheese Press made with cherry hardwood

Our cheese press is made for home cheese makers, designed and manufactured by Jerri Bedell, the owner of Homesteader’s Supply right here in the USA!  Made from a beautiful grained cherry hardwood with various shades of darker marbling. Each press is as unique as the wood its made from.  Cherry darkens as it ages and becomes even more beautiful. This wood is sturdy, solid and long lasting. It’s treated with organic coconut oil and is stamped with our logo.

Are you new to making cheese? We have a recipe for a very nice cheddar to help you get started. Farmhouse Cheddar. If you’d like to print the recipe you can find the pdf file there. Download it to your computer, send it to the printer, and pick it up on the way to the kitchen.

[NeighborWoods] Pond in the Woods

Join us! Won’t you please join us in the homesteaders [NeighborWoods]?

[NeighborWoods] Neighbors in or out of the woods but always outdoors. Created by Robin’s Outdoors. Please leave a comment and include the link to your [NeighborWoods] blog.

We found this pond in the woods while we were exploring back roads. It was cool and damp out but still a nice day for a drive.

Pond, woods, [NeighborWoods]