Monday, June 26, 2017

How To Leave The Homestead

I bet you're thinking WHAT? Leaving the homestead? Why? No, we are not actually leaving our attempt at homesteading, but everyone needs a vacation every now and then right?

Rosa (made by Lilly), hanging out with the Fieros at the car show in Carlisle, PA.

I'm talking about all of the work that goes into running a homestead. We just got back from spending the weekend in Pennsylvania for a car show. We left Friday afternoon, and returned Sunday afternoon. That means evening chores for Friday, morning and evening chores for Saturday, and morning chores for Sunday needed to be done by someone else. The lucky winner, my brother! My brother has no interest in homesteading, animal husbandry, gardening, or anything else related to that lifestyle really. That means we needed to prioritize and streamline the process as much as we could, as fast as we could.

--I ditched the garden. I barely pull weeds and water it, so there was no need for him to do it. It seems to have survived the neglect so far...

--All of my porch plants and indoor plants went to the front lawn. We had a lot of rain on Friday when we left, so having them someplace where nature can water them meant he didn't need to care for them.

--The turtles had an extra mound of food in their tank, and plenty of water. (They do well for a couple of days if need be anyway)

--We bought a 2.5 lb waterer and 10 lb feeder for Loki and Freya (indoor cats). With a freshly cleaned litterbox, they would have been able to survive more than likely 2 weeks without us before needing a refill.

--Our newest acquisition, the outdoor cat Sunny, was given a large mixing bowl of food and water on the front porch. She wasn't seen Friday or Saturday, but Sunday morning she popped in when he came over. I guess we have ourselves a permanent outdoor cat now!


--We installed a PVC waterer and feeder for the rabbits. The small garage protects the feeder from the rain, so the rabbits had no problems eating while we were gone.

--We made the same PVC waterer and feeder for the chickens. The heavy rain on Friday moistened some of the chicken feed in the pipe, so the chickens had some problems getting it out, but with 5 acres to forage, they didn't starve. My brother had to come up every morning and evening to open and close the coop door though.

The PVC feeder and waterer installed on the side of the chicken coop.

--The dog stayed at my parents. He did well, but he has a lot of anxiety, so he barely ate while we were gone.

--Last but not least are the ducks. Since the house and fence we have them in now are temporary, we had nothing set up for them. They completely relied on my brother to open and close the coop, and feed and water them each day.

The point of all of this, is that everyone survived! We had no problems besides the chicken feeder getting clogged, and once we make a small roof for it, that should keep the rain from getting into the pipe.

Next on our list besides a more permanent structure for the ducks are automated coop doors. That will reduce the need to have someone come over daily early and late. A midday visit to make sure everything looks ok will be all that is needed.

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