Homestead Update: Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated. Sorry about that. I kept hoping for the “big reveal” on our house, but, well, things keep happening to keep it from being done. And by done I mean dried in (meaning the siding and roof is on.)

So I guess for now, here’s our “big reveal”. We have the frame of a house!

We hired a contractor to put the structure up for us. He started the week after Thanksgiving and did pretty well getting to this point. But then his wife had a stroke, he had some equipment trouble, we’ve had some weather related delays, and the holidays rolled around, so there the frame sits.

One of those weather delays was a bad windstorm. It blew about 30 of our siding panels and some of our rolls of insulation off the house pad into the ravine. And then it promptly snowed. We were able to get them all stacked together with rocks on them so they don’t blow any more, but they are still down there. Hubs and I have been sick with bronchitis since before Christmas and haven’t been able to do much.

Lately though, I’ve been feeling a bit better and have been able to do a bit of work around the place. I cleaned out the chickens nest boxes and today I’m hoping to get our flocks rearranged. We have two roosters (technically I think they are both still cockerels) in one small flock and I want to get then separated before the younger, bigger one starts challenging the older, smaller one.

Besides, I want all the hens to be in with the correct rooster for when we start our breeding program. Nigel (pictured below with “Lizzie” two months ago) is our man man. He will be our breeding rooster, but right now, he’s the non dominant male in a flock of 12.

I am planning on moving Fritz (our frizzle Cochin bantam rooster) and a couple of his girls up to the upper coop and bringing a few of those girls down for Nigel. And I want to do that now while their egg laying is already disrupted by the winter.

Although, they have started picking up a bit!

We were only getting 4-6 eggs a day out of 30 hens for about 2 months. Our older flock went through their first molt and thus stopped laying. And the younger flock just hit maturity when the light faded for the winter (hens need approximately 14 or more hours of daylight to lay optimally.)

But we are past the solstice so the days are only getting longer now, the older flock is past their molt, and the younger flock is moving into their prime laying time (they lay the most eggs their first year of laying.) So now we are getting roughly 10 eggs a day. And it’s only gonna get better from here.

Lately we have been having some beautiful weather. While the rest of the country freezes, we’ve been wearing t-shirts and having picnics.

And doing crafts outdoors.

And going for walks in the hills above our house.

The weather is supposed to turn chilly and rainy, possibly with snow, this weekend.

And I heard from our contractor again today, and there’s been more unavoidable delays. So sometime in the future, hopefully sooner rather than later, we will have a roof and sides put on our house. But for now, it’s still pretty cool to walk out our trailer door and see that frame rising toward the sky.

And once it is “dried in”, we get to go to town finishing off the interior. That’s going to be a blast! And honestly that’s really the only thing on our resolution list for this year. Get. The. House. Finished!

For now, I’ll leave you with one more picture of our frame until we have more to report.

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This entry was posted in Building a Home, Chickens, Chickens and tagged , , , , , , , , , , on by .

About Maridy

Hi, I'm Maridy. I have many interests in life. Right now, my husband and I and our two girls (ages 12 and 5), along with a couple of dogs currently live in a 33ft trailer while we build our house on our homestead property in Northern Nevada (Castle Rock Homestead). Follow us on that journey to building our high desert homestead from the ground up! I also have a passion for hiking and have a blog for that, too. (Journey in the Wilderness) Join me there as I explore the beautiful outdoor landscapes of Northwestern Nevada and Eastern California. And finally, I love historical costuming. Though I haven't been able to do much of that in recent years, I'm hoping that "once the house is built" I'll be able to get back into it more. See what all we've done with that on my Yesteryear Productions blog.

7 thoughts on “Homestead Update: Happy New Year

    1. Maridy Post author

      Our Speckled Sussexes (Nigel and Lizzie and one other hen) are our first attempt at breeding. All our other chickens are a very mixed flock. Though most are pure breeds (got a few “Easter eggers” in the mix), there aren’t any more than three of any one kind of breed in the whole lot! Mostly I don’t care what the breed is as long as she lays lots of eggs. But we do want to try our hand at selling chicks. We chose the Speckled Sussex for that. We can also get Black Sexlinks if we breed Nigel to our Barred Rock hens.

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  1. Vickie

    Wow! Your house is going to be pretty big! I know I’ve said that before, but holy moly it’s going to be gorgeous. Speaking of gorgeous…that basket of eggs! Who needs Easter Egg dye when you have chickens that lay colors like that! We have had balmy weather the past few weeks also, but the skies have darkened this afternoon and we are expecting rain at any time now. We echo your motto about getting the house done. Please, This. Year.
    I wish you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Hugs

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    1. Maridy Post author

      Thanks Vickie! If you’re getting rain today, it will probably make it’s way over the hills to us in the next day or so. Our house is going to be 1500sqft with a tall vaulted ceiling and a loft that will add about 700sqft (so 2200sqft total). So yes, pretty large, but with the number of people of people living there, I think it will be just right. And after living in a total of about 600sqft (our trailer and Pajii’s together), it’s going to feel ginormous! I look forward to seeing more updates on your house. I don’t think I commented on your last post, but the progress is looking great! Will the winter weather affect the blocks at all? Do you need to protect them? And aren’t those eggs great? I purposely chose some breeds for the color of eggs they lay. I actually had to adjust the color saturation on the picture it get the picture to match up to real life! It adds so much fun to collecting the eggs when they are so many colors!

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  2. Pingback: Homestead Update: still waiting, but being productive | Castle Rock Homestead

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