Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Mini-Barn for My Mini-Farm for my Mini-Family....wait, that's not right....

I have 25 chickens, 7 ducks, and 7 guineas coming. I already have 6 meat rabbits. I need to start building the mini-barn.

Prep work always takes so much more time than I expect it will. Part of the problem is me; I enjoy the doing but not the "getting ready to do." So I wait till there is some time pressure and let adrenaline and stress carry me through, usually in the nick of time. It is not a good habit to have.

However, I do believe our space of land is ready. I have a building plan. I have a supplies list, complete with price comparisons and coupons. I believe I should be able to build a 10x20 barn frame with a metal roof and put a large fenced run around it for less than $650, leaving the rest of the money ($400) for animals and upgrades and miscellany. I say "leaving" $400, but some of that has been spent on the rabbits and ordered chickens already.

Meet the Meat! (actually no, these are the breeders, so just the meat makers)

 This is Misty, a 12 week old Silver Fox doe.

 Smokey, 18 week Champagne d'Argent doe

Stormy, 12 week Champagne d'Argent doe

 Snowy, 10 month old New Zealand doe (hopefully pregnant!)

 Cloud, 9 month old New Zealand/California buck
 Asher, 10 week old Champagne d'argent buck

Here's where the barn will be built.

Here is the barn plan, drawn up by my very talented friend Megan.

(Well, here is where it will be as soon as I figure out why my computer stopped recognizing my scanner.)

I have big plans for my animals and this new barn, plans that stress my husband out and excite my children, but I will endeavor to do this smart and right and slow. I'm just so excited I still have this opportunity. Thank y'all.

(By December of 2015, I see me having laying chickens, meat chickens, geese, ducks, quail, tilapia or catfish in tanks as part of an aquaponics system that grows salad greens and fodder for the poultry and rabbits, a worm farm under the rabbits in their poo which will feed the fish, a livestock guardian dog, and maybe even two dairy goats. And a garden about twice the size of this years. That might be a bit ambitious, but I dream big and plan small, so we'll see what happens.)

In other news, my husband is now working 1st shift (YAY!!!!) and is in school for the next two years. This will make everything in our lives better except our bank account, so we are busy shaving off what little excess we have, down to the wire. Right now the biggest concerns are our one single vehicle and our well. The station wagon is fine except for a short in the dashboard lights, but it has over 325,000 miles on it and if it breaks down, we're pretty much screwed. The well only wants to deliver water 65% of the time we ask for it. We aren't sure why but it will be looked at today, and hopefully fixed. We are praying that it isn't the pump or not enough water in the well. Update: well is fixed; cost us $30. Yay!

Homeschooling is going well. I love Teaching Textbooks for math, and everything else is plugging along quite nicely. We do school every day except Sunday, and we aren't on a schedule as far as what times per day we do what, but it is getting done mostly well with a minimum of bad attitude, so I count that as a success. It will be a little more regular once the weather is less pleasant to play outside in.

I'm approximately 17 weeks pregnant and packing on the weight at a terrific rate. :p
Everything seems to be going okay. I have a midwife appointment on the 19th so we'll see if I can hear the heartbeat then. I'm going to go make an ultrasound appointment right now.

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