Winter Morning Routine

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It’s another beautiful morning on our homestead. I woke up at 5:30 and made French Toast for breakfast. I packed lunches for my teenagers and my hubby. I started my coffee, then I headed outside to do my morning chores.

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I had to mail a Netflix disk. The 15 year olds finished MacGyver and started watching the A-Team series. They watch 1 episode every few days, so 1 disk lasts us awhile.

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The House Pond is starting to fill up. We have the rainwater catchment system currently set up to send all of the water it collects into this pond. It’s slowly making a difference. Our neighbors have told us that this is the first year they’ve seen this pond get low. (They have been here for 25 years.) I hope that means it will stay full from now on. I’d like to set up a little dock and stock this pond with catfish.

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My neglected lime tree has new growth on it. I’m going to plant it by the house so I can keep an eye on it in cold weather. I cannot wait to make some fresh lime-ade from our own limes. Yummy.

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The chickens are waiting for me to let them out. This coop has worked out really well for us. I’m happy with the design, but I’m anxious to see how well it works in the hot summer months.

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The chickens get to snack on the leftover French Toast from breakfast. Lucky girls. This picture was taken about .076 seconds after I opened the coop door.

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We had two Roosters, but we turned one of them into soup when he started to act aggressive. This one is a keeper though. His name is Henry. (Fun Fact – Our Rooster is named Henry and all of our Hens are currently named Henrietta. The only exception is the inquisitive little ring leader we affectionately call Dora (the Explorer).

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I have a trowel hanging inside the coop. I use it to scoop poo from the nesting boxes. I clean the boxes daily. Every week, I add extra wood shavings to the nesting boxes. I clean out the coop weekly. In the future, I might try the deep litter method of coop cleaning. But for now, this system seems to work well for us.

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The rabbits heard me coming. We have four rabbits at the moment. Pretty boy is our Buck. Polymorph (Polly) is our older doe. Out of their previous litters we kept two other does, Q and Quinn. The rabbits we keep get names that start with that litter’s letter. Sometimes I think I overcomplicate things… 😛

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After I make sure all of the animals are taken care of, I head back inside to warm my hands up with a big cup of coffee. Henry says, “Come back with treats.”

Winter Blahs.

There hasn’t been much to write about lately. It’s been a “Blah” type of month. The clouds are grey, the grass is brown, the trees are leaf-less. I’ve been catching up on some paperwork, drooling over seed websites, and sewing myself some new skirts.

We did eat one of our roosters. We started with 2, Henry and Red. Red was very submissive as long as Henry was around, but whenever Henry was out of his line of sight, Red turned into a mean little punk that kept trying to take a chunk out of my shin. He never did – but his temperament suggested that he would, and with a 4 year old running around, I am not taking the chance. I refuse to feel threatened by my livestock. So, Red went into the pot. I cooked him in the crockpot all night, then shred the meat, added it back to the stock and made a big pot of Rooster Soup. Delicious!

I finally have a pregnant rabbit again. We haven’t had a new litter in almost a year! It will be nice to have kits around. I’m not sure why our buck wasn’t feeling the itch. We kept putting girls in there with him and he would just snuggle with them and occasionally let them hump him. Odd rabbit. If everything goes as planned, we will have babies right before Valentine’s Day.

We’ve been getting a ton of eggs. We got the chickens on November 27th. We got our first egg on December 13th. We ended up with 65 eggs in December. It’s January 17th and we are already at 220 for January. We get an average of 14 a day. The most we’ve gotten is 18. I have a feeling that number will keep going up. I’ve got plans to let a few of the hens go broody and have them adopt some day old chicks in a few months. We’ll see how that works out….

We found a small company that we decided to use for our bee purchase this year. I think we will pick the hives up in mid-April. I’m looking forward to having our own personal pollinators around. I just have to decide what color we want the hives to be. (I’m leaning towards yellow.)

I know I should be grateful that it’s winter and that we have a little break from chores; but I’m ready for winter to be over. I don’t want to work on fixing fences and cleaning the house. I don’t want to do taxes and fill out our AG exemption forms. I want to cuddle with baby animals, play in the dirt, go fishing, and gorge on watermelon and tomatoes straight from the garden.