Hello, Pack. I did not get much active prepping done this week. Two of our grandchildren have birthdays in the same week, so celebrating and finishing up homemade gifts took up a lot of my time.
I spent a lot of time at the barn on kidding watch, but Pearl still has not given birth yet. I swear, these kids are either going to be born already weaned and ready to breed or I am way off on her gestation count this time.
We did, however, get the final pantry built and are making doors for it today. For the project we used store-bought lumber for the framing and shelving, but harvested barnwood and tin from the old hog pen and barn to make the doors.
It took us about two hours to remove the tin panels and wood we needed, but was well worth it. Not only did “going shopping” on our survival homestead save us money, we were able to repurpose materials from an 1800s era beauty that was no longer stable and the created a beautiful rustic look for the pantry in the process.
Our new meat rabbits are growing well. The Californians appear really healthy and are quite easy to handle. The grandkids are getting attached to them, which is fine for the breeders, but won’t work so well once they start producing kits.
We rehabbed the old chicken coop and run for their home. The meat rabbit part of our survival plan is under Brea’s control and supervision. I was thrilled that she did not want to keep the rabbits in tiny pens where their feet never touched the ground and the taste of grass did not ever cross their lips.
I believe in raising animals as naturally as possible. This is not only the most humane way to treat our meat, egg, working, or leisure livestock, but also cut down on disease development and spreading and feed costs.
Dolly is our other new barn addition. She is a black Pygmy doe. So far, Not Negan is not at all interested in her. He is quite amorous 24/7, so that is a little surprising. He is so infatuated with Bess, our 20-year-old mini donkey, that attempting to mount her is taking up all of his time.
You see, dear fellow preppers, Not Negan fancies himself part of the equine herd. Except when he is romancing Pearl, he spends all of his time with the big herd.
The only bad part of this situation is the habit of grazing and not browsing that he developed. I did not need another mouth eating off of our pasture. The goats are supposed to browse and keep the woods cut back and eat all of the things that the horses prefer not to – or cannot eat.
Not Negan is as voracious of an eater as he is a lover. So, he still browses, but prefers to just stand under my Ruby (the beauty shown in the feature photo) and graze.
My Ru gets a bad rap as a mean girl – as most mare’s are, especially lead mares, but she can down right affectionate and sweet when she wants to – as her gently giving a “head hug” in the photo shows. She is instinctively gentle with children.
Ruby does not like men, only one is able to ride her, and she gives him one heck of a ride. She does well with my Bobby from a care perspective, he has absolutely no desire to saddle her up, which is probably a good thing.
Other preps this week include making and canning some bean soup, harvesting more tomatoes and peppers from our fall garden, and adding more firewood to our stockpile.
There is a lot of deer hunting going on at our survival homestead right now, I am hoping our butcher shop gets put to great use this weekend – I am eager to try out a new deer jerky recipe in my dehydrator.
This Week’s Questions
- If you keep livestock of any size, how are you prepping to keep them fed during a long-term disaster?
- What livestock do you think will make the best barter during and after a SHTF event?
- Do you know how to process meat that you are raising or plan to hunt – or is that a skill you want to learn?
- What did you do to prep this week?