February 4, 2019
Tips for going on vacation if you own a homestead.
Hey Homesteading Friends!
My husband, Trevor and I travel in February every year. It is a yearly tradition for us before he gets busy crop dusting in the spring time. Although we love farm life sometimes you need to take a vacation to take a walk on the beach and to explore another country. It was 4 years ago we went to Mexico and I planned out first trip together, Then our next trip we came back engaged when we explored Costa Rica and then last year we got married in Mexico with all of our closest family and friends. This year we are heading to the Grand Cayman to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary! We are very excited and grateful to be able to travel while in the middle of our property development and our home build. We are traveling international for 11 days. That is an amazing amount of time to relax by the beach but also a huge amount of time for things to go wrong on the homestead. There is some preparation work involved the week before we leave and that is what I am going to share with you all.
KEEPING YOUR ANIMALS HAPPY WHILE ON VACATION:
One of the best tips is that try to not plan a vacation around big events on the farm. That includes planting a bunch of new plants with no set up irrigation, also when there are little chicks that need attention many times a day or the big one do not plan to leave when you are due for baby animals. This one we failed on this year. Our 3 pregnant Nigerian Dwarf goats are due in the beginning of February we are thinking. Goats have cycles every 21 days so they could be due anytime in February! I am hoping they come before we leave to meet the new kids! But as I am writing this blog post we leave tomorrow and the mamas were eating dinner this evening. I am now hoping they wait until we get back ! It is amazing our homestead will be in good hands while we are gone – I am very confident all of our animals will be happy. All the dogs, goats, sheep, chickens & turkeys :). Our pregnant sheep are due in early March. We will be here on the farm when they are due thankfully! Here are some tips for each animal.
We have 40 plus. That requires so much more food than I ever thought. We have a food trough that holds half a bag of 40 lb chicken feed I normally get. I have linked the item below for the feeder we use below. Chickens are really easy animals because you only need to make sure they have daily food & water. We fill large containers of extra food & water and more sure that who we have check on the animals knows to look every few days to refill the chicken feed & collect the piles of eggs. The best part of our coop is the automatic door. THIS IS A GAME CHANGER ON THE HOMESTEAD!
We have an automatic door that lets the chickens out at sunlight and it closes will sunset. I absolutely love our chicken door we splurged and spent a little bit more money to have the one that auto changes with sunlight hours. The chickens and turkeys always know when to get in the coop. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND AN AUTOMATIC DOOR FOR THE COOP. This has made me feel more at peace for evenings we are not home before dark or times when we are away I know my chickens and turkeys are very safe. There is a backup battery you can have in place in case the power cord becomes unplugged (it has happened before) it will work on back up power as well ! I have linked all of our coop supplies below for reference. I have some pictures here :
Food and water for goats is pretty standard, but we also make sure to let our farm helper know not to give extra treats or grain. Lots of people tend to overfeed or spoil goats, but as long as the person who is going to watch your farm knows an estimate what you feed in treats they will be ok. Since most of our goats are pregnant we have them eating hay, alfalfa and grain for treats. The mamas need more calories when they are close to giving birth and also when they are milking the babies.
Sheep are by far the easiest to leave, because sheep are grazers that need a large pasture & water to be happy. If it’s the winter, however, they’ll need to be fed daily with hay as a supplement while the pasture is growing.
We try to bring our dogs with us on vacation for the most part, but when we travel internationally we do not take them. Our two labs Bella, who is 8 and Piper who is 2, and our new third dog is Archer, who is our livestock dog. He is just about 9 months old and he is maturing to becoming a very important part of our homestead! There is plenty of dog food and treats for our homestead caretaker to feed all of our puppies while we are away!
We have an automatic timer on our garden and with our trip being in the middle of winter water is not an issue in the garden right now. If we’ve just planted seeds, we usually need to be more attentive to the watering, which is why we don’t usually plant seeds before a vacation.
All it takes is some planning to be able to leave the homestead with peace of mind. You may be a homebody like us, but every once in awhile when you want take a vacation, it’s nice to know things are taken care of back at the farm. We are very lucky that we purchased raw land next to Trevor’s parents. I know without a doubt all of our animals are safe and will be loved while we are gone! There is plenty of chicken feed, wood chips, hay, alfalfa, and dog food for all of our favorite animals!
These are products we use for animal hydration, feeding & protection of my livestock. I normally order most items off of Amazon unless is it a big gate or the item is too large. Here are some links some of you have requested for reference:
Here are some views from our homestead of all of our favorite farm friends! We are so fortunate to have created our dream homestead, if makes it that much sweeter & enjoyable to come home to! Thank you for following along on our journey and my new blogging adventure!
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