Mount Sunapee Homestead

Gooble gooble – we’ll post all our turkey-related blogs here for your reading pleasure!

The Spring Homestead Checklist

Spring Homestead Checklist

The Spring Homestead Checklist Some folks may wonder exactly what we homesteaders are doing when the snow is still on the ground to the time the summer sun shines bright overhead.  Well, take a peak at our seasonal chores below.  Of course, fellow homesteaders may have more or less tasks depending on their holdings.   For those looking to start homesteading, check out the Homesteading 101 post for more chores by seasons! Livestock Order any piglets or poults from farmers or feed stores by late winter/early spring. Prepare brooders check heat lamps from last year review poult care check cage wires to keep mice out if brooder will be in garage or barn Pick up chicks/poults, lambs, piglets, etc Assist with livestock birthing (if not ordering) Check any pasture fences to prevent escapes Install electric fences and train livestock to fence Garden Ensure seeds are ordered by late winter/early spring Start seeds indoors according to packaging Purchase any started plants in late spring to transfer to garden Till the garden when ground thaws  Plant cold-loving varieties (e.g. spinach, chards) Begin to harden off seedlings Prune any fruit trees before budding occurs Bees Prepare hives to install any new bee colonies…
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Homesteading 101 – How to Start a Homestead

Homesteading 101

  Homesteading 101 – How to Start a Homestead So you want to start a homestead?  CONGRATULATIONS!  Homesteading can be a very rewarding lifestyle (or even hobby) for anyone looking to feel a little more independent.  Not sure if homesteading is for you?  Keep reading, because, my friends, homesteading can be so many things.  It’s all up to you to decide what your homestead will look like – that’s part of the fun! What is homesteading? Homesteading is a very broad term applied to anyone with a DIY, self-sustaining attitude.  Although homesteaders can range from full-scale self-subsistence live-off-the-land type farming all the way to people who want to make their own soap, most of us fall somewhere in between!  Homesteading can include any or all of the below activities (and many more that I’m forgetting): gardening canning the harvest soap making raising chickens for eggs raising livestock for meat beekeeping boiling sap for maple syrup home cooking with homemade ingredients (such as vanilla extract or yogurt) Simply put: homesteading is making as much as you can yourself with ingredients you source/make yourself. Why Homestead? Take a look on the internet and you’ll find hundreds of blogs related to homesteading (my…
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How to Keep Chickens in the Winter Without Electricity – The Insulated Waterer

How to Keep Chickens in the Winter Without Electricity – The Insulated Waterer

The Problem with Keeping Chickens in Winter Here at the Homestead, we are working to upgrade our circa 1800’s barn.  Although we will have electricity for this year (happy dance!), I thought it worth reposting how we kept our chickens in the winter and prevented it from freezing without electricity.  At the time, given our freezing and sub-zero winters here in New Hampshire, our only option would have been slogging (buckets in tow) up to The Barn twice daily to chip ice out and replenish (we work off-site during the week). Not fun. Luckily, necessity is the mother of invention. Building an insulated chicken waterer/drinker Building on the year before’s DIY insulated waterer model, which lasted through only the work day, we purchased a larger waterer (6+ gallons), insulated, insulated and insulated some more. We can happily say this sucker keeps water warm for over 24 hours in 0 degree weather! One less trip to the barn a day! So, how can you do it? It’ll take a couple hours and some supplies, but for those of us without electricity, liquid water in winter is nothing short of a miracle! Here’s what you’ll need: • Duct tape • 4’ x…
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September Livestock Update

Homestead Panorama

Welcome Fall (ok…almost)! As we approach autumn, I thought a quick livestock update from the Homestead was a bit past due!  So, here we go! Pigs Our happy porkers are enjoying some fresh pasture as they were just moved a couple days ago.  We’ve noticed a marked decrease in feed intake from our pigs when they’re enjoying a new spot.  They seem to prefer grass to Blue Seal!  Can’t say that we’re too upset about that – after all, pasture is the point! Turkeys Our turkeys are still enjoying the safety of their tractor home and enjoying the pasture grass!  They’re getting bigger each day and much more vocal.  They especially enjoy listening to their neighbor pigs getting fed as their feeding time is right behind! Chickens Our chickens have had a rough week!  After some not so pleasant experiences with our free range ladies becoming part of the local food chain, it’s reaffirmed that our flock simply isn’t safe free range.  Instead, we’ll continue to use pinless peepers (which you’ll hear more about later this week) to keep our ladies healthy and whole!  At least until we get an impenetrable run built! Bees Our little bees have certainly been busy…
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How to Care for Baby Turkeys (aka Poults)

Caring for Baby Turkeys

Caring for Baby Turkeys (they’re also called poults) If you’ve cared for baby chickens, you’re going to do just fine with baby turkeys.  If you haven’t cared for baby chickens, you’ll do just as well following some simple advice regarding care for baby turkeys! Basic Care: This is our second year with baby turkeys, although we’ve had chickens for nearly 7 years.  Turkeys are very similar to chickens.  Like chickens, baby turkeys require: Water Heat Food Shelter As with chickens, you can start your baby turkeys in a plain cardboard box.  They make a fine, easily cleaned up brooder.  A couple things worth noting: Turkeys are substantially better jumpers early on than are chickens, so plan on having a top.  We use hardware cloth.   Keep in mind that your turkeys start out bigger and get bigger much quicker than chickens.  Unless you have a monstrous box, they may need a new home in as few as 5 days! Turkeys also drink a lot more water than your standard egg laying poults.  Ours were just fine starting off a a gallon waterer.   And, they were just fine starting off with a gallon feeder.  Check with your local feed store…
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A Hearty Homestead Welcome!

Welcome to our Homesteading and Homeschooling adventures! A big Homestead Hello and welcome to our new virtual home! We’ve recently changed hosts to provide you with a cleaner, more efficient and down-right better website experience.  Not to mention, the blog has been modernized and auto-posts to some of our favorite social networks (hello Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!) Newest Ventures In addition to this shiny new website, we’re excited to announce our newest ventures: Homestead Homeschool – We’ll post our best activities, share from fellow homeschoolers and offer some great printables!  Can be great for working mommies who want a little educational downtime too! Homestead Writing Services – Need some help with your blog, newsletter or have a story in mind?  Shoot us an email (thequill@mountsunapehomestead.com)!  We can help! The Quill – Ok, not technically new.  Just a new name for our blog.  Check us out! Calling all turkey orders!  We have a few birds left for orders:  taking reservations for your Thanksgiving table! For some more updates on livestock additions, Homestead happenings and more, keep reading!   Livestock News! In other big Homestead news, we’ve added 12 turkeys, 6 laying hens and one very lucky Beta fish (name to be determined) to our…
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