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RV Living After Homesteading?

I have always loved minimalism and the process of getting things sold and given away has freed up so much space! We are finding messes we didn't know existed under the girls bed and keep having to apologize to potential renters as they tour the house but wow does it feel good! The one crying point was selling all the rabbits, ducks and geese. That was rough. The girls and I did a lot of cuddling and talking after they were all gone.
At this point we are hoping that the renters want to keep the water and food storage so that we don't have to move it all. [I wrote this just before we left home]

Three months later...

Here we are on the road since August, currently in Oklahoma. I remember the feelings I had when I was writing that first paragraph. Our house was too big but I really didn't want to leave my animals and greenhouse. We packed and unpacked the RV three times but it wasn't until the last week that belongings were whittled down enough that the counters started to be visible all the time. I am so glad we came, it was a good decision. At the same time I really want to feel the dirt between my toes again, does that make sense?

Sourdough Bread for Celiac and Gluten Intolerant Diets

Going from a normal human diet to one that does not involve wheat can be difficult. When we discovered that the girls can't eat wheat either this was my attempt to help them feel like their bellies were full and satisfied. Our favorite way to eat the sourdough has been to keep a jar of the start in the fridge and pour it out for 'fry bread' when they want to butter and jam something up. Hope you enjoy the video!

How Much Land Do You Need to Homestead?

We had so much fun in our tiny homestead. For those who have been reading and watching us for a while here is your chance to see where we started!

June Farming is a Rush!

Wow! The kitchen is overflowing with the abundance of early summer...and we are running to get it all used before the next overflowing basket/bucket come in!

Goats: One gallon per milking means I make cheese every two days plus all the milk we and the baby goats can drink! My favorite is to put a square of 85% dark chocolate in a coffee cup of milk, heat, and then drizzle raw honey over it. It is very energizing and filling.

Quail: Enough eggs that I have to steam and pickle a new quart jar every week. Also, no bugs in the greenhouse!

Ducks: So many eggs that we can't keep up. Four laying ducks are giving us about three eggs a day and even though we eat a lot of eggs these are so filling that four is more than enough. We also have our muscovy with a proud flock of seven new babies!

Chickens: I don't even know how many eggs they are giving us. We are so hooked on the duck eggs that we sort through all the eggs to find them and turn our noses up at the chicken eggs. These get used with the quail eggs for pickling. We are down to four hens and one rooster with six little pullets free ranging in the back yard rather than with the adult flock.

Sheep: Moonlight is giving us nothing but a headache calling her goat mama who decided it was time to wean when she nipped and cut a teat.

Bunnies: We are eating rabbit from a friend and watching the bunnies grow with dreams of compost rather than meat in our heads. The bunny manure is so special to me that I don't like to butcher any rabbits during the growing season. That is some pretty amazing poop!

The greenhouse, swale and garden as growing quickly but no real harvestable meals yet. I am so focused on finishing KickStarter projects that I didn't get everything planted at the right time for early eating. However, everything is heavy with tiny fruit and veggies so it will come...we just need to be patient and keep on watering!

Quail In the Kitchen

Photo: bloggingquail.blogspot.com
So far I love having the quail in the house, the only glitch so far has been trying to keep food and water in their containers rather than on the floor. For some reason when quail eat and drink they will shake their heads once it is in their mouths. This makes me wonder if they are really meant to only eat bugs. Shaking is what my chickens do if they have a fighting insect...so are the quail trying to do the same with their grain? The mess part is addressed with boxes filled with a few scoops of kitty litter under the cage, so that isn't a problem. In the beginning it was a BIG problem. The house started to get humid and stinky from all of the water being thrown around and the newspaper under the cage was soggy within a few hours after changing them.

The bird nipples I have seen sound like a good solution to the water wasting. The chicken ones attach to a five-gallon bucket, but since I have tiny quail in a rabbit hutch that won't work. This spring I might change over to the bucket for the chickens since I think it also might help keep ducklings alive (no bucket of water to climb into and then drown). The nipples themselves can be purchased separately but I can't figure out how to make them available to the birds inside the cages so we will have to wait on that.

On YouTube I have seen people raise meal worms for their poultry and I wonder if that wouldn't be a great thing to
do for juvenile quail before they are old enough and hardy enough to be outdoors. It seems very straighforward but because I have so much wool in my house for spinning I wonder if I would be starting a self-destructive project. You know how you always find mealy worms in old clothes? I don't wanna find my new, perfect wool with bugs in it just when I have a project due. But maybe when I have the KickStarter incentives finished I could mess around with that.

My favorite cage setup is this rabbit hutch. When I first bought it the purpose was meat rabbits but it is too small for our rabbits and I don't like the exposed wood that can harbor bacteria for kindling moms. They always want to poop where they shouldn't! Poop built up in the sheltered area and I switched to all-wire cages for the bunnies. But for broody hens or to quarantine? Perfect.
I use it for everything because it is so light, small, and has lasted for almost 7 years now. I set my broody hens in it to keep chicks safe from cats when they first hatch out and when it warms up enough I will put my quail in it so that they have somewhere to go when it is windy and cold. I LOVE THIS HUTCH! The bigger hutches require my husband to be here to help me move them or are so big that a small bird may get lost. I paid $175 for mine at PetSmart but on Amazon they are a lot cheaper and have free shipping, so I linked the picture if you want to check it out.

The near-goal is to put the quail in the greenhouse where it will be warmer and they can peck for bugs. They scratch like chickens but seem to be floor-dwellers rather than flyers so if I do my raised beds I don't think they will get into the new plants (by raised I mean my hotbed, which is about 3.5 feet tall).  I have seen some amazing aviaries for wild birds that fit well into a backyard garden but I have doubts about my ability to really keep the cats out and be able to find the quail eggs in a wild environment. Guess it should give me some fun brainstorming in the future!