Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Remodeling the Rabbit House

The Rabbit House has been a thorn in my eyeball since I first split the chicken coop in half and declared the right side to be the rabbit side. As with all projects around here, it has been nickle and dimed for the better part of three years and still is not completed. Had I been a wiser person I would have put the horse before the cart and held off getting back into rabbits until I could get the room finished, but that's just not how I roll. However the numerous workarounds and emergency alternatives were no longer working around and it was time to quit jerry rigging dog kennels and PVC rafters and cheap tarps and finally get the room set up.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pallet Projects: Hay Shed

The last thing I want to do in the dead of winter is make a feed store run. The trip itself isn't the issue, it's having to unload multiple bales and bags when there's snow on the uneven ground and ice beneath the snow that gives me issues. To avoid this annoyance, every fall I pick up enough hay, straw, shavings, etc, to get the rabbits and chickens through an entire year.  In the past I just set it on pallets and tarped it, but the tarps always tear and leak and the bottom bales always seem to be trashed. This year I decided to build a hay shed on top of our storm cellar, which puts it within 3 steps of the rabbit house door and right next to where the truck backs up.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

DIY Dog Food

One of our dogs is down to her last tooth and can no longer chew kibble so rather than pay $3 a can for the better quality canned dog food I decided to make it myself. Previously she was on Nutro lamb and rice. My original recipe used chicken and rice, but I decided to primalize her food as well as mine so I redid the mix. She's been eating it for a few months now and not only has her coat become like mink but her energy is way up and her chronic stomach issues (barfing, farting) are all but gone. 

The added bonus here is the cost. Half of this I grow in the garden (spinach/kale/pumpkins), plus I already have eggs on hand from our chickens. Chicken liver is almost always on almost-expired markdown at the store, and I can get a 10 pound bag of chicken thighs for $7, $5 if it's on sale. Use the skin, the fat, even the bone if you can grind it. Go fishing? Use the entire fish. Come next deer season I plan on scoring all the unwanted headless deer I can from our trophy hunting buddies and while my husband hates the taste of venison, I'm sure the dogs will give me two paws up.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Making some changes

Like a lot of preppers, I've been guilty of putting tons of time, effort, and money into object prepping and zero anything into personal prepping. For years I focused my attention on the fun stuff, like guns or small livestock or books. The hard stuff, the stuff that requires you to sweat, not exactly tops on my list.

That all changed March 7. I don't know why. It wasn't like I had some late blooming New Year's resolution I finally decided to honor. Something in my head just clicked, and unlike previous times when I half-assed decided to get in shape and lose weight, this time something was different. I can't put my finger on it, but the why-isn't-the-damn-scale-moving frustration that kicks in two weeks into any diet I've ever tried didn't kick in this time. I didn't throw in the towel after two or three weeks and go back to Netflix and popcorn. Nearly three months later, I'm still cool.

I'm also 29 pounds lighter.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Small towns are nations unto themselves

A lot of folks in the Prepper community fantasize about moving to small towns. They envision friendly neighbors waving and smiling, everyone knows everyone else, and it's one big happy family.

They have no clue.

Case in point. I get updates on Facebook from a page called Cop Block. Essentially it's about abusive cops and a legal system gone horribly wrong. Today one popped up regarding a small town not far from where I used to live. Thanks to video cams, more and more dirty or otherwise assholey cops are getting caught in the act, and in this particular video one gets caught searching a vehicle without asking, cause, or even letting the owner know he was doing it. Once caught, the cop naturally claimed he wasn't doing anything, but when you open a door and start poking around inside, it's a search no matter what you call it or how much you threaten to escalate.

The shenanigans continue later at the courthouse, when the DA and judge take an instant dislike to the victim (who is being a pain in the ass, though legally so). Audio recording overhears the Chief of Police telling them more than once he has no cause to arrest the guy for simply wanting to take his copy of the dash cam video home without letting the DA see it... the DA tried to claim he didn't want to ask for another copy.

In the end, the DA admits to the guy that small towns dance to their own war drums and what is law in big cities doesn't necessarily make the books in small towns. Cue gasps and shudders.