Chicken Tractors

Building the Dream, Permaculture: Crazy or Genius?

This weekend has been beyond busy… Kem started building chicken tractors for the new additions.  The Blue Andalusian girls WP_20150402_18_31_54_Pro[1] will be in the Chicken Palace above and the meat birds will go into something like the one in the far background (I’ll get better pics later)….

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Eventually we will have a Chicken Palace #1, #2 and #3: one for the Blue Andalusians, one for the Welsummers that are coming (yep, I got my way 🙂 ), one for the Americanas/Auracanas/Easter-Eggers/Olive-Eggers. 🙂   The meat birds will be divided into 4 of the low tractors as they grow.

Next is the rabbit colony…. We have 8 babies and 3 pinkies…. add that to the 6 juniors, the buck and the 4 mamas….. we are having bunny explosions… because they are doing what bunnies do…….

We finally got the weeds cut – YAY! – between the push mower and the rider we cut probably 2/2.5 acres closest to the house… so about that… it kicked our butts!  But it is a happy sore, if you know what I mean.

Garden is now ready to be planted – we finally had a break in the rain that allowed us to pull weeds and work it to the point where we can actually plant.  We covered it in black plastic to discourage growth until we can plant this weekend.

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The ducks are adjusting well.  This pic is from the day they arrived.  They will be ready to go into a transition brooder next week – where they will be outside in the daytime and inside at night; then once they are feathered Kem is building them a habitat by the smaller pond.  It will border the dog area, so predators will be less of an issue.

Turkeys and Welsummers will be delivered in May, more turkeys in July and probably more meat birds in August – these birds will eventually go in tractors over the garden for the winter – tilling, weed control and fertilization in one compact package… work smarter, not harder is our motto.

So that is about it – a ton accomplished reduced to a few sentences! LOL

 

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The beginning

Animals: Gotta love 'em, Building the Dream

We are a couple that having been married ‘forever’ we have watched our children grow and leave home to live their own lives. As we aged we had ‘visions’ of us living on a piece of property that would allow us to live comfortably, if not opulently, from our stewardship.

After a lifetime of being nomads (we had moved across country 2 times already…) in 2005 we moved to a 2000+ square foot house in Powder Springs, GA with a hefty (for us) mortgage and a town that was not conducive to our goals… the town thought it was a home owners association for those of us fortunate enough to *not* actually be in one. But, it was ours (well, the banks… but you know what I mean) and we were doing the best we could. We had jobs that afforded us a lifestyle that was comfortable.

Fast forward to 2009: like so many others – life intervened. I lost my job as a corporate travel manager (people stopped traveling unless absolutely necessary, and the company I worked for was bought out by a European company) then shortly after this the company Kem worked for (they worked on small construction equipment – and we all know what happened in that industry) closed the doors. We survived (we always had), but it was far from easy.

Now, fast forward to fall of 2011: I was attending a convention for my newly established travel agency (why not – I know the industry and personal travel is rebounding) when I am run (r)over by a car. It was 100% accident, but to say it changed our lives is possibly the understatement of my lifetime! I was a full time student pursuing 2 degrees and had my travel agency in full swing. Kem had recently joined a company where he now had (fortunately) insurance and a steady income stream. This accident left me with a head injury, PTSD (and the anxiety and depression that comes with it), and multiple follow up surgeries and therapy. I, literally, fell apart.

School suffered because I was no longer able to keep up with the reading and life suffered in general for the severe depressive funk I was in. In early 2013 we made the conscious decision that we could no longer keep the house and moved into a 900 square foot rental house and our journey started anew.

After about a year we received the very small insurance settlement from the accident and began our quest of looking for property. Now, if you have done this – even casually – you know how frustrating and emotionally taxing this can be. We found a couple of places that were within our price range (we were determined to *not* go into debt again), but the market in the north Georgia area is such that investors buy property sight unseen, so they always went to highest and best, and we lost. Just as we were turning our search out of state, I happened upon a piece of land about an hour north of Atlanta – a little farther out than we were anticipating because Kem is continuing at his job, but it seemed to be perfect. Almost 9 acres, outbuildings in place and a habitable structure to live in. We drove up to see it and called our realtor and said put an offer in for asking price. Then the news came “it is going to highest and best” … ugh! I knew placing the offer at asking was at the limit I wanted to spend (especially knowing it needed WORK) so I said – fine, leave it as is and if it is meant to be it is meant to be. Apparently the universe heard me because less than 3 weeks later we were moving in!

I tell you the above, not for your pity; we neither want nor deserve that. It is simply for background to iterate that paths are never as straightforward as we would like.

Streetview on movein 5/2014

Streetview on movein 5/2014

Right side of property

Right side of property

Right Easement with the "unicorn" mailbox... more later on that

Right Easement with the “unicorn” mailbox… more later on that

more weeds toward the neighbors house

more weeds toward the neighbors house

Molly on the current front porch

Molly on the current front porch

The kitchen with the new propane range

The kitchen with the new propane range

Corner of the kitchen

Corner of the kitchen

How short is this front door?  6'8" Kem moving thorugh a 6'3" door....

How short is this front door? 6’8″ Kem moving thorugh a 6’3″ door….

Why?? entry from LR to Kitchen

Why?? entry from LR to Kitchen

entry part 2 - notice how thick the walls are - more later on that.

entry part 2 – notice how thick the walls are – more later on that.

Not an entry... wa "window" between the kitchen and LR - sigh.

Not an entry… wa “window” between the kitchen and LR – sigh.

OH boy, where to start on this one.  Notice the leaky ceiling?? and the stovepipe has been concreted in.

OH boy, where to start on this one. Notice the leaky ceiling?? and the stovepipe has been concreted in.

Closet or small room??? anyone's guess here!

Closet or small room??? anyone’s guess here!

ceiling of small room/closet.... with nonfunctioning light/ceiling fan.

ceiling of small room/closet…. with nonfunctioning light/ceiling fan.

This is a post all its own! Wait for it.

This is a post all its own! Wait for it.

Bedroom... at this juncture.

Bedroom… at this juncture.

part of that post of its own.... this is a closet floor, not a deck - really!

part of that post of its own…. this is a closet floor, not a deck – really!

same strange closet

same strange closet

tee hee, wait for it

tee hee, wait for it

more of the closet...

more of the closet…

Back porch/deck including the hand raised baby bunnies - I'll have to tell you why they are being hand raised.

Back porch/deck including the hand raised baby bunnies – I’ll have to tell you why they are being hand raised.

Utility room off back deck and kitchen hallway

Utility room off back deck and kitchen hallway

More back deck with overhanging giant oak tree

More back deck with overhanging giant oak tree

deck view of utility room

deck view of utility room

One of the outbuildings with weeds taller than the car...

One of the outbuildings with weeds taller than the car…

side of the barn/stable (will be a barn....)

side of the barn/stable (will be a barn….)

More barn

More barn

back of the carport you can see the leanto that will be a green house.

back of the carport you can see the leanto that will be a green house.

The ant/termite/wasp ridden well house

The ant/termite/wasp ridden well house

Mrrrrr????

Mrrrrr????

The back weed patch from the deck

The back weed patch from the deck

Back section of the barn from the deck.

Back section of the barn from the deck.

Front section of the barn from the deck

Front section of the barn from the deck

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