Hello Pack. This has probably been the busiest and most tiring week of prepping in months. Finally, and for real this time, all the hay on our survival homestead has been baled. We put up 225 bales of hay with the help of our tribe members.
My former Marine nephew, Conner, who insisted on carrying two 50-pound square bales at a time for a large portion of the day surely woke up regretting that bold move. Cruz, a teenage tribe member, worked to keep up with Conner and his two bales at a time habit. I am sure that he was thought 17 never felt so old come Monday morning also.
We still have to buy some hay though, unfortunately. The loss of two cuts earlier this year due to flooding ran us short of our goal. If the SHTF tomorrow, I do not think that we would make it through a rough winter without buying some round bales of hay to put back.
I rotate my herds every two weeks to make sure the large upper and middle pastures, and the smaller side pasture and home area never get played out.
This two week cycling also makes sure that any parasites or worms in the livestock droppings will have time to die out in between rotations.
The first two years on our survival homestead we could not rotate in this prime manner because the upper pasture and lower side pasture fence had not been fully repaired and gated. Now that it is, the herds can graze until the middle to end of December – a great cost savings on hay.
In other preps this week, I taught my daughter Brea how to sew – a great survival homesteading skill – especially if someone needs stitches.
She also invested in some quality meat rabbits. Since we have our own butcher shop, we can quickly and inexpensively put up meat that is hunted or raised on our prepper retreat.
The meat rabbits are also going to be a side breeding business for her – working from home and for yourself is the best way to work, in my opinion. I definitely consider working from home for myself part of our prepping plan.
After this weekend the upper pasture will be brush hogged, and hopefully we will have all of our wood put up for winter. It is in the 90s again in my area of Ohio, so burning logs in the wood stove seems a long way off, but it really is not.
We only have my nephew Conner’s help for about another week before he heads off to a NASCAR mechanic’s school in North Carolina – so I plan on working him like a borrowed mule until then to get some small projects finished up.
We are also in the middle of building more storage in our home again – I may have mentioned this before. I love having a smaller house to heat and keep up, but the lack of storage space is an ongoing issue. A highly skilled female tribe member is building the large pantries out of barn wood and old tin roofing panels – except for the frame.
I came up with a rather clever idea to keep mice out of the pantry, hardware cloth. This rabbit cage style wire is going to be stapled floor to ceiling on the inside of the pantry and a lip of it positioned across the door openings a few inches up. I don’t know if this will be foolproof, but it surely is going to be a huge help.
This Week’s Questions
- What livestock preps are on your agenda with the cold weather months getting closer?
- Do you think keeping meat rabbits is a good protein prep – why or why not?
- What traditional homesteading skills would you like to learn or teach your loved ones and why?
- What did you do to prep this week?