Tag Archives: Barn

Teaching Free-Range Chickens To Come HOME

by Tammy Taylor

Last year we tried our hand at raising chickens for the very first time.  We bought day-old chicks and raised all that fuzzy cuteness into adult chickens/roosters.  We ended up with four hens and two beautiful roosters but someone STOLE both of our roosters!  Can you even believe that??!

Aaaanyway not wanting to overwinter the hens due to predator issues we sold them last fall after I had preserved many of the excess eggs by freezing  them.  I used those frozen eggs all winter and about the time my freezer started running low on my supply we decided it was time to raise chickens again this year!

See how we get our new chickens to free range during the day yet come back to the coop each night to be locked securely from predators. #TexasHomesteader

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Once Again, We Have Chickens!

by Tammy Taylor

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Last year we dipped our toe into the raising-chickens waters.  We bought day-old chicks and raised them until fall when we sold them (we didn’t want to attempt to overwinter last year)  Oh how much fun they were to raise!  We free-ranged them and they made quite a dent in the grasshopper population and an incredible impact on the fly reduction on our cows in the barn pens.

Oh yeah, and they gave us FRESH EGGS!  We knew that as spring drew closer we’d consider again if we wanted to raise chickens.  The verdict is in: Um, YES PLEASE!

Our chicken breeder raises various breeds of chickens, so we bought laying hens. I loved raising chickens last year, here we go again! #TexasHomesteader

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Evidence Of (Another) Old Homestead

by Tammy Taylor

We purchased our piece ~TMR~ paradise back in 2000.  It was in pretty rough shape but I could see its potential and the property itself really spoke to my heart.  Once I learned that the crumbling 1880’s barn was part of this property the deal was all but sealed!  RancherMan & I had the barn’s exterior refurbished, leaving the interior intact.  We’ve had ponds, fences & cross fences built, revitalized pastures and spend numerous days clearing these dang Honey Locust trees (we call them Satan trees, I’m pretty sure that’s where they came from!)  It’s fun to envision the family that must have lived here, and several months ago I wrote about the Evidence Of A Past Homestead.

But in the fall of 2012 we purchased a remote pasture about 10 minutes away from our own homestead to hold our stocker cows.  Again, that property was in somewhat of a shambles. But again it held an 1880’s barn, albeit in dire need of repair.  RancherMan & I are determined to refurbish this old barn and property the same as we did with our first one. (I’m seeing a pattern here…)

Evidence of an old abandoned homestead. It has an 1880's barn, orchard of jujube trees & is in need of TLC! #TexasHomesteader

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The Story of Our Homestead

 

by Tammy Taylor

Everyone has a dream but we’re so blessed that our dream has finally come true.  We had the good life – we lived in Dallas and had a nice home, wonderful children, promising careers and all that qualifies for the good ‘ole American life in suburbia.  Our children excelled in school and had many friends.  We were in close proximity to entertainment and restaurants, museums and parks, movie theaters and concert halls.

As our children grew we found ourselves in a stagnant rushed daily pattern of get up / go to work / work all day / come home / try to live life.  It seemed we were stuck on a pattern of rush – shower – sleep – REPEAT!  It felt like we were doing the same thing every day and we no longer felt fulfilled.  When our children graduated high school and went off to begin their own lives, we really began to feel even more out of place.  We wanted something more.

Our Homestead - Building Our New Life: See how we got our start in this beautiful location in NE Texas to begin our dream #TexasHomesteader
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Hope For the Best, Prepare For The Worst

by Tammy Taylor

The weathermen predicted there would be a winter storm hit our part of Northeast Texas, and they even predicted it would include hazardous ice accumulations in our area.  But you know how weathermen are, they ALWAYS predict it’s going to be disastrous.  My motto is: hope for the best but prepare for the worst.  RancherMan & I spent the days preceding this winter storm making sure the animals were properly cared for.  We set out fresh rolls of hay in all of the paddocks, even the vacant ones in the event they would be needed.  We made sure the goats also had plenty of fresh hay & even packed soft hay into their shelter as well to give them a warm place to sleep.  We filled a secondary large feed bucket with fresh hay & stored it in the feed shed so we could easily top off the goats’ hay if the wintery weather lasted longer than expected.  RancherMan went to work making sure we had lots of seasoned firewood cut, split and stacked in the wood rack and I cleaned out the fireplace of any residual ashes and loaded fresh logs into it, as well as filling up the wood supply that stands at the ready right next to the stove. Then knowing we had done all we could do to prepare, we waited.

An Ice Storm caused damage that will have to be cleaned up for YEARS. But we're here & we're safe,warm, fed & sheltered from that wind, and we're TOGETHER. Yep, I'm blessed. #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Frugal Low-Waste Chicken Feeder

by Tammy Taylor

This is our first year to explore raising our own chickens.  They have been so much fun to raise so far, and they are doing an amazing job of severely reducing the massive load of grasshoppers in our barn pasture, as well as almost eliminating the fly load on our calves when they’re confined here near the barn.  Truly organic pest control – I can get used to this!

Using items picked up second hand we constructed a large chicken feeder that doesn't waste feed. See how! #TexasHomesteader

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Calf Care – Trouble In Paradise

by Tammy Taylor

When we’re weaning calves we like to fenceline them when at all possible.  This allows mama and baby to see each other and eases their anxiety during the weaning transition.  We typically bring the calves into the barn pen where we have pretty heavily-fortified fences to allow the mama and baby to see each other but the fences are strong enough to keep baby separated.

An after-hours late Sunday night vet call was made to save our registered Hereford calf. Read what he found! #TexasHomesteader

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