Settling In to the Homestead

Mignon and Chris are settling in quite nicely

Settling In

It’s Flea, here, the beginning homesteader. Just checking in with some photos to let y’all know that we’re settling in to the homestead quite nicely, now that the arctic blast has passed. I don’t recommend moving in December or January. Especially if you’re moving animals. But the critters are pretty well settled in, too. Take a look.

Settling in to the homestead - Pudge and Mignon are feeding
Pudge and Mignon are settling in together nicely. Pudge stands in the feed bowl every time I bring out the pellets. The two sleep in the deep pile of straw we spread over the stable floor for them.

A goat and a steer aren’t much in the way of livestock, or for keeping each other company. We know that. So we got them a companion. His name is Snow.

Snow, our LGD, watches his goat and cow
Snow is 3/4 Anatolian, 1/4 Great Pyrenees. He’s spent most of his life with goats and baby goats. He’s slowly bonding with Pudge and Mingnon.

Snow is 20 months old, very playful, and he takes his job seriously. We love him to death. Fortunately for both us and Snow, there are livestock guardian dogs up and down the road we live on. People understand their habits. And Snow goes on walk abouts to visit neighbor dogs and livestock. I usually find him in the driveway, next to the livestock pen, when I go out. He’s such a good dog. He’s grown to be best buds, too, with Belle and Shipley, our puppies (I wrote about the puppies here, and why they’re not currently outdoor guardian dogs).

Shipley and Snow - training a livestock guardian dog
Snow is training Shipley and Belle to be livestock guardian dogs. He’s doing a great job, but they’re only five months old and have a long way to go.

We Welcome Company

I like being a little more settled before having company over, but some people can visit no matter the state of your home, right? My good friends Liz and Matt are some of those people. They popped in last weekend, bringing their kids and Arthur, a miniature Australian Shepherd puppy. A good time was had by all, and Matt helped Chris get our Yerf running again.

Dairy steer and Australian Shepherd puppy stare down
Mignon checks Arthur out. Arthur wants to be a farm dog some day, so he came here to practice staring down a cow. Good boy!

Okay, I’m not gonna lie – I welcome company because I now live in the middle of nowhere. I’m a thousand miles from nowhere, and there’s no place I’d rather be. But I miss people. So if you’re in northeastern Oklahoma and bored, drop me a line. We’ll feed the geese together and play with dogs.

Speaking of Geese …

Y’all, I think my favorite thing about moving is that I’m with my birds again. Jimmy, Morticia and Gomez are settling in like the rest of us are. Except I think that Morticia and Gomez are both ganders. Friendly ganders.

African Brown Geese in a northeastern Oklahoma yard in January
Morticia and Gomez are, I think, African Brown geese. We got them at Atwods, a regional feed store, last August, as wee goslings.

I’ve had birds since I was a little girl, and most of my adult life. Transitioning to outdoor birds was perfect for me, since I’m a lousy housekeeper, and birds are filthy creatures, requiring a lot of clean up inside. Outdoor birds are a dream come true. Does that mean that all of our outdoor birds are pets? Well, right now they are. Jimmy the Duck is six years old and, hopefully, will die of old age someday. But this spring I plan on getting ducklings, goslings and chicks. All will eventually be egg and meat producers. So long as I have my pets, I can do that.

The trick, I’m told, is to get one breed of each bird. They all look alike. None have names. They’re regularly producing more which look more like themselves. I won’t get attached. Meanwhile, I have Jimmy, the two first geese, and I’ll have a separate area with bantam birds in a variety of breeds, as pets. See? It’ll work. In theory.

Are You Following Us?

So here’s where I ask the million dollar question – are you following us? I don’t mean as stalkers. That’s just rude. As the social media homesteader, I get the fun job of making Facebook Live videos, tweeting and Instagramming. And I like to follow people, but I also want people to follow me! Yeah, I just like being the center of attention. So follow HomesteadingEdu on Instagram, Twitter (@HomesteadingEdu for both), as well as on Facebook. It’ll be fun. And I’m always asking advice, since I’m so new to this.

Like last week, when I asked how to build a fire in the wood stove. I honestly didn’t think this would be so hard to do! So many people gave me great advice. I FINALLY got a fire started and kept it going. It took hours. What I realized in this process (and a huge THANK YOU to the friends who gave such great advice!), is that if we didn’t have an alternate source of heat, I’d die. Seriously.

So keep coming back! This journey to homesteading and health and happiness is meant to be walked with like minded people. Never alone.

Homestead in health, my friends!

Flea

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