Tag Archives: Barn

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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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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Old Homestead Tree And Fruit – Mystery Solved

by Texas Homesteader

When we obtained our remote-pasture property last year I knew there was once an old homestead on the property years ago – the house long gone now.  I love that this property also has an old 1880’s barn. That’s my favorite barn era and I’m so blessed to have two of these beautiful old barns now!  I’m ready to roll up my sleeves & restore this beautiful structure to its previous glory much like we did years ago with the 1880’s barn here on our ranch.

In searching for the identity of fruit trees at an old homestead we consulted the extension agent. The answer was received! #TexasHomesteader
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Chicken Update – 3 months

by Tammy Taylor

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Back in April we bought baby chicks – three Hybrid Ideal 236 chicks for their larger egg-laying capabilities and three Black Minorca chicks, a larger dual-purpose breed.  They were cute fuzzy things and so much fun to watch.  As they grew we moved them to an enclosed *portable coop in the garage. Then we moved the coop out to the yard as it warmed up and they grew their feathers.

We used that coop as a mobile chicken tractor moving them to a different area each day for fresh grass.  When they got a little older we moved them to the coop of our 1880’s barn and locked them in for a couple of weeks to help them realize this was their new home.  Since then we’ve let them out to free range every morning and we lock them securely back in the coop each night when they go in to roost.

We are raising Black Minorca and Hybrid Ideal 236 chickens and it has been so much fun. Read about our experience with them. #TexasHomesteader

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