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Raising Chicks On The Homestead | Springtime Farming

There are a number of reasons why raising chicks can be a highly rewarding experience. Whether you’re drawn to their bright, quirky personalities that make them ideal for a pet, or if you’re more interested in creating a sustainable source of nutrition for yourself, raising chicks is a simple and easy process that can fit into any type of lifestyle.

Raising Chicks On The Homestead

Baby chicks can be purchased and raised from any stage of development. There are three main options in this sense:

1. The first is to buy the chicks at one day old from a hatchery.

Most farm suppliers will sell baby chicks along with regular animal feed, and they are typically cheaply priced – most farmers will charge between $3-5 per chick. Keep in mind that most farms will do orders for chicks at a maximum of two times per year, so the period of waiting time is something to consider if you are wanting to go this route to acquire your chicks.

2. Another option is to purchase some ready-to-lay pullets at 20 weeks old, just when they are about to start the laying process.

This option is, of course, more expensive than buying the day-old chicks, but it is a much more pragmatic choice if you are needing your eggs quite quickly. Like the day-old chicks, the ready-to-lays can be purchased from a farm supplier at a hatchery.

3. The final option, while sometimes hard to come by, is to purchase a mature laying hen.

This might require that you know someone with a flock who is trying to sell older hens; otherwise, the first two options might be a more sensible choice to begin the process of raising your chicks.

Raising Chicks On The Homestead | Springtime Farming

Benefits:

One of the many positive benefits of raising chicks is that they do not require much maintenance, constant monitoring or intense care. Buy the basics for your chicks first, which include chick starter, clean water, and a draft-free brooder pen complete with a brooder lamp that will monitor the interior temperature of your chicks’ home.

The temperature of the brooder will need to start off at 90-95 degrees for the first week of the chicks’ life. A thermometer is helpful to monitor the correct temperature, but you might also observe the chicks’ behavior to ensure that the interior is of the correct warmth. Chicks in a too-hot environment will pant or huddle in corners of the brooder that are farthest away from the light; chicks that are too cold will be clustered underneath the brooder lamp in an attempt to gain some warmth.

The size of the brooder that you select will depend on the number of chicks you are planning to purchase and raise. A general rule of thumb is to allow 2.5 square feet per chick, but the more room possible, the better. The brooder should also start off to be raised 2 inches off of the ground. Once the chicks reach approximately one month, the brooder needs to raised to 4 inches in order to encourage the chicks to start their own roosting process.

It is necessary to keep an eye on how the chicks feather out; once they begin and fully feather, you should reduce the interior temperature by 5 degrees per week until they reach 6 weeks old. At this time, chick feed will also need to be swapped for grower mash. Always make sure that the chicks have plenty of fresh water at all times.

Raising Chicks On The Homestead | Springtime Farming

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Growth:

You will be amazed at how quickly your chicks feather out and grow! In just a week, you will notice a stunning transformation where small babies comprised mostly of chick fuzz will grow almost full wings with the beginnings of crests and tail feathers.

It is important that the chicks have a comfortable environment while they are being raised. To do this, spread pine shavings across the floor of their pen along with layers of newspaper to create a cushion for the chicks. Sprinkle plenty of chick feed on the ground for them to eat at their leisure. Make sure to change out the newspaper at least once a day, otherwise the chicks will be walking on an unclean floor.

Cleanliness:

Cleanliness is of high importance when raising your chicks. The babies are prone to contracting an illness called coccidiosis that arises from walking through and tracking their own excrement in a particularly damp environment. One other important requirement to note is that the brooder lamp should contain a red light bulb as opposed to a white. Using red light will ensure that the chicks do not peck at each other, as it conceals any potential injuries that the chicks might have. If the other chicks see an injured peer, they will have no problem pecking and potentially causing further harm, or even potential death, to the wounded.

Raising Chicks On The Homestead | Springtime Farming

Raising Chicks On The Homestead | Springtime Farming

In Conclusion:

Raising baby chicks will increase your healthy lifestyle in a number of ways that you might not have even considered. You will have direct control over what type of product you are consuming, whether you are just enjoying the fresh eggs that your chicks will one day provide, or if you are planning to use their meat once they are raised in full. Baby chicks will also eat your table scraps and convert them into organic fertilizer that will ensure your plants will thrive and grow.

Additionally, you will be surprised at the cutback of insects you find in your yard – the chicks will eat those pesky pests which will allow you to enjoy more days outside to spend time with your chicks. They are cheaply bought, easy to raise, and do not require an extreme amount of attention, making baby chicks an ideal option for either a family pet or an addition to a sustainable way of living. Happy raising!

What did you think of our post on raising chicks? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?

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Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients



Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips



Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt



Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage



Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar



Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar



You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band



Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

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Self Sufficiency

9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN

Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!

Tomato

Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.

Eggplant

Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.

Beets

Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.

Spinach

Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.

Pea

Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.

Carrot

There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.

Radish

A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.

Asparagus

Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!

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