Preparing Your Homestead for Survival: Don’t Overstock Your Homestead
Don’t leave anything dear to you
always a risk of things being stolen or lost from your homestead, so if it’s important to you, keep it at your regular home
Avoid stocking up too much food
(having food and water there is important if you have to be there in a pinch, but leaving too much food there may end up being a waste if it all goes bad)
Homestead pantry staples
Too many supplies can attract outsiders
(whether it be looters thieves, or even animals, lots of supplies and food in one location can attract a lot of unwanted attention while you’re away)
Many predators can be scared off (by making yourself look big and making noise, many predators will take you for something large and dangerous and not want to mess with you)
Know your local animals (if you have brown bears around and you try to use tactics that work with black bears, you’ll very possibly end up dead. Know the differences in your local predator populations)
Keeping Predators Away (things like fires will keep predators away from where you’re sleeping more often than not, as they’ve usually learned to fear fires)
When you’re in survival mode during an emergency, it’s hard to think about ways to keep the kids occupied and entertained, but it’s essential. You don’t want your children to feel any more stress than they already do because of everything going on around them.
It’s vital to try to make things feel as normal as possible when you don’t know what to expect or what can happen next. Check out these five ways to keep kids occupied and busy during any survival situation.
Five Ways to Keep Kids Occupied During Survival
Even if you’re limited to what you have available for your children to use, there are still several great ways to keep children of all ages occupied.
1. Give Them Something to Read
Provide each child with something to read. A good book that isn’t too long or too heavy can keep children entertained while broadening their minds and helping them improve their reading skills.
Choose the Right Books
The types of books you’ll select will depend on the ages of your children. If you have younger children who aren’t great at reading, you can always grab a kid-friendly magazine for them to look through. Kid-friendly magazines often have bright and colorful animations with large text and smaller words that are easier for little ones to recognize.
Reading is Relaxing
If your children are spending time reading books, it can take their minds off everything. It’s good to have something that can put them in a better mood and leave them feeling a bit happier instead of stressed and anxious over being in survival mode and dealing with life-threatening situations.
2. Give Your Kids Some Simple Tasks
Make your children feel like they’re more useful by providing them with a list of simple tasks to complete. These tasks allow the children to get involved in doing things that can help with survival and improve everyone’s chances of getting through a challenging time.
For example, you may want to send two of your children to gather a bit of firewood that you’ll use at the end of the night to start a campfire. Once you have the fire set, you’ll get to stay warm and prepare food over it.
Keep Kids Occupied During Survival: Small Tasks are Welcomed
Some of the other tasks that your children may have no problem completing would include gathering different types of food to bring back to you for inspection. You can look through the items they’ve brought back and make sure everything is safe to consume.
They can help with washing any of the food found with water if you have it available. These small tasks provide kids with something to do while making them feel good about being helpful.
3. Bring Along a Few Toys
While you don’t want to overpack because that can hold you back, you should bring along a few toys for the children to play with to stay busy. It brings a slight sense of normalcy to the situation.
Don’t bother bringing toys that operate with batteries because you don’t want to waste the batteries you’ve collected on the toys. You might end up needing those batteries for flashlights in the future.
Toys to Bring Along
Some of the best toys to bring include dolls, crayons with notepads, coloring books, puzzles, and board games. These are items that won’t require you to use batteries to keep your children occupied. They can use the toys to stay busy and play alone or with one another when there is time for them to do so. Let each child bring a toy or two of their choosing with them when you’re leaving home.
4. Play Some Basic Games With Them
Try to play some basic games with kids that can take their minds off of being in survival mode and leave them smiling and laughing. You can play I Spy and 20 Questions, to name a few of the games that are easy to play without any supplies. It’s a great way to bond with the children, forget about the things happening around you for a few minutes, and spend a few hours while together.
Play Games Together
Not only can you play these games with the children and make it a family ordeal, but you can also teach them how to play these games with one another. It can spark some creativity in their minds, encouraging them to come up with even more fun games to play together to get the time to pass a lot faster. Make a list of any games you can come up with together, and then try to play those games for at least two hours per day to kill some time and keep busy.
5. Remember Some Riddles to Keep Them Thinking
Try to think about some of the riddles you were taught when you were a child and then teach those riddles to your children. When you were a child, your parents may have told you a few riddles to put your brain to the test and to see if you could come up with the correct answer.
It’s something you can pass down to your children, asking them some of the same funny and exciting riddles to see what they come up with right away and a few minutes or hours later. Some riddles are tricky enough to get children thinking for lengthy periods. If they’re worried about trying to solve a tricky riddle, it can take their minds off everything else.
Ways to Keep Kids Occupied During Survival
When you’re in survival mode, you’re going through a lot, but the children are experiencing it all with you. Making the experience as normal as you can for the kids is important. The best way to keep things normal is to develop different ways to keep your children occupied. You can get them to lend a helping hand with some survival tasks, such as collecting firewood and scavenging for food.
However, you can also give them time to read, play with toys, and even meditate. Get creative when dealing with any survival situation. You’ll get to temporarily take the trouble off your children’s minds and leave them feeling more optimistic about what can happen in the future.
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Several years ago, the bird flu spread quickly and infected birds all over the world. Every chicken keeper in the world was aware of the deadly effects of avian influenza.
The bird flu became the number one cause of death for chickens in Asia and around the world. The bird flu is thought to have originated in China. It killed millions of chickens and basically halted their chicken industry.
How to Prevent Bird Flu in Chickens
Although this is a strain of flu that spreads quickly among chickens, it can also infect humans. The virus can be passed from chicken to chicken, from chicken to human, from human to human, and from human to chicken. For this reason, health officials all over are taking this disease seriously to stop the spread.
Bird Flu in Chickens Symptoms
The bird flu in chickens is much more serious than a common cold. If just one bird gets infected, it can kill the entire flock within a week. If it is passed from a chicken to a human, that person can infect hundreds of people before they even realize that they are sick. Avian flu affects people of all ages, including children and the elderly.
If a human being gets infected, it can take about three to five days from the time of exposure to experience symptoms. The first symptoms or signs of bird flu in people are similar to the cold symptoms. The person may have a fever, sore throat, cough, or muscle aches. Some people will have conjunctivitis.
If the person doesn’t get treatment, the disease can quickly progress and get more severe. The bird flu can lead to viral pneumonia and even acute respiratory distress. These respiratory problems are the leading cause of death for people who get the bird flu.
How to Prevent Bird Flu
Raising chickens has several benefits, including fresh eggs and meat if you choose to use your birds for meat. However, raising a flock of backyard chickens also takes a lot of work. There are several problems that can arise, including avian flu.
One way chicken keepers can prevent the bird flu is by keeping the coop and their chicken area very clean. The World Health Organization (WHO) has studied diseases around the world, and they have guidelines for keeping you and your flock safe.
They are also in charge of tracking chickens and people who are afflicted with bird flu and studying how it travels. They keep records of confirmed cases and deaths from diseases. If there are a lot of cases in an area, WHO will put that area under quarantine.
When an area is in quarantine, people who are in that area will not be allowed to leave. Those outside of that area can not enter the area. It’s important for agencies, including WHO, to have accurate information otherwise more people and chickens will be affected, which can save lives.
Since avian flu can quickly spread around the world, governments also have strict rules if the virus enters their country. People in that area are asked to report signs or symptoms of this and other diseases and to be on the watch for potential bird flu cases. This helps protect both humans and chickens, and it can save many lives if those affected are quarantined quickly.
How Do Birds Get Bird Flu?
Avian Influenza can be caused by dirty conditions and exacerbated by cold weather. It’s important to determine what causes the bird flu so you can take prevention measures to stop the spread. As a chicken keeper, it’s less expensive to prevent bird flu than to treat it and to risk losing your flock or being infected yourself.
Although you can’t change the weather, it’s still important to recognize that cold weather can increase the risk of bird flu in your flock. Like human influenza, the bird flu is passed around quicker in cold weather. The birds tend to be closer together in their coop, and the virus quickly jumps from bird to bird.
To protect your flock, you can keep them healthy by supporting their immune systems. Feed them healthy food so they get plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep their bodies healthy. You can also immunize your chickens to protect them from some diseases.
A dirty coop can also help avian flu spread. Your coop and the area in their pen and around it should be kept very clean. Whether you use wood shavings or straw, clean it regularly to prevent contamination from fecal matter.
When you clean the coop, protect yourself by wearing rubber boots, gloves, and a face mask with a respirator so you don’t breathe in the dust particles from the litter. By keeping your coop and the area around it clean, you can stop the virus from spreading as fast.
What To Do If Your Birds Have Bird Flu
If you suspect that your chickens have avian flu, the disease can spread through a coop quickly. You should take precautions immediately to stop the spread. Wash your hands with soap and water every time you are near your chickens or in the coop. Even if you don’t handle your chickens or touch anything in the coop, wash your hands when you are done.
In addition to keeping your chickens healthy, it’s important to keep yourself healthy. Get exercise and eat a healthy diet to support your immune system.
If you suspect that one of your chickens has avian flu, call your vet right away. Your chicken can be treated with an antiviral medication to reduce the symptoms and the severity of the disease. However, these medications can not always prevent death.
Practice good hygiene when handling raw chicken in the house. Disinfect cutting boards with chlorine bleach to kill germs. To effectively kill germs, dilute 4 to 6 teaspoons of bleach in a gallon of water.
The bird flu isn’t a common condition for chickens, but it can decimate an entire flock in a matter of days. It’s important to learn the signs and symptoms of the bird flu so that you can isolate sick chickens and take precautions to protect the rest of your birds and your family. Keep your coop clean and practice good hygiene when you are around your flock to prevent the spread of this disease.
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Give your chickens treats? Like people, chickens like treats. If you have a backyard flock of chickens, it’s fun to spoil your chickens and offer them treats.
While humans like chocolate, candy, and sweet things as treats, chicken treats are usually mealworms, vegetables, or fruits. In addition to being tasty, offering your chickens treats alleviates boredom. When chickens get bored, they can start pecking each other and some breeds can get aggressive.
Some chicken keepers even train their chickens to come when they hear the treats so they can quickly call in their birds if one wanders too far or there’s a predator or inclement weather.
There are special chicken treats and mealworms available in pet stores. These treats are great options for your birds, but they can get expensive. Most chicken keepers turn to kitchen scraps for treats. Your birds will love most kitchen scraps, and they can be a good supplement for their diet and help combat boredom.
However, it’s important to watch what you give your chickens for treats. Although they can have several different kinds of foods, there are some foods that they can not eat because they can be harmful.
Best Treats for Chickens
Even though chickens aren’t the most intelligent animals, they do have their own preferences for treats. You might notice that some of your flock won’t eat certain things. Like people, chickens have their own tastes and preferences.
Chickens like yogurt, and it’s good for their gut health. Yogurt also has calcium that the chickens use for eggshells. In the summer, spread yogurt on a pan and freeze it. Then offer your chickens yogurt bark for a cool treat.
Give your chickens treats: Apples
Most chickens will happily eat apples. They like both applesauce and raw apples. Apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide, so be sure to core the apples before serving to your chickens.
Chickens love bananas, but they won’t eat the peel. Bananas are a good source of potassium, so it’s good for their muscles.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Although your kids won’t think broccoli and cauliflower are treats, your chickens will. You can toss the whole head in the coop or hang it so they can peck at it. These are great boredom busters for winter.
Like heads of broccoli, heads of cabbage are great for hanging. The birds will peck at it and have fun chasing it as it moves around.
Give your chickens treats: Carrots
Chickens love carrots cooked or raw. They will even eat the leaves off of carrots if you grow them in your garden.
Chickens eat small bugs in the wild. If they get outside in the nice weather, they will often look for bugs in the soil. In the winter or if you just want to have fun watching them, get some crickets from the pet store and watch your chickens chase them.
If you give your chickens cucumbers, give them mature cucumbers because the seeds and flesh are softer.
Give your chickens treats: Eggs
I know, this just seems all kinds of wrong. You can also feed your chickens their own eggs. Avoid feeding them raw eggs because it could encourage them to eat their own eggs after they lay them. Instead, scramble them and offer them scrambled eggs.
Fish or Seafood
Give chickens fish or seafood sparingly because it can alter the taste of their eggs.
Chickens like marigolds, pansies, and nasturtiums. Make sure the flowers haven’t been treated with pesticides.
Chickens like most fruits like cherries, pears, and peaches. They also like grapes, but cut them into pieces because they can get stuck in their throat.
Give your chickens treats: Herbs
Chickens like fresh herbs. They will eat lavender, cilantro, mint, basil, parsley, and oregano.
Chickens love corn on the cob. You can simply put the cobs in the coop for them to peck at or hang them. They will get every bit of corn off the cob and leave a clean cob for you to clean up.
Chickens love watermelon. Buy it when it’s cheap in the summer and freeze it. Then give your chickens frozen watermelon to help them cool off. They also love fresh watermelon, but they won’t eat the rind.
Give your chickens treats: Oatmeal
Chickens really like cooked oatmeal. Simply prepare it with water or milk and serve warm to your chickens on cold days. You should feed them steel cut or old fashioned oats because they are less processed. You can also add fruits for more flavor and nutrition.
Chickens love pumpkins. Cut one in half and let them peck at it. They will eat the stringy part, the seeds, and the flesh. They will leave just the shell for you to pick up later.
If your girls are laying eggs, you can offer them more calcium by giving them cottage cheese. They will eat it plain, or you can add vegetables or fruit.
Eggshells are high in calcium, and chickens need to replenish their calcium to make more eggs. When you use eggs, let the eggshells dry. Then crush them by hand into about ¼ inch pieces. Then sprinkle in the run or offer with their food. Only give your chickens their own eggshells because other eggs can have bacteria that can harm your flock.
You can compost your leftover food through your chickens. Be careful giving chickens people food though. Don’t give them food that’s high in salt, sugar. or fat. Also, do not give them anything that is spoiled or moldy.
–>Chicken Treats to Avoid
There are some treats that you should not give your chickens. Some of these can change the taste of their eggs, and other foods can be harmful for your chickens.
Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions can change the taste of your eggs, so avoid giving them to your chickens.
Avocado pits and skins contain persin, which is toxic to chickens. The flesh of the avocado is fine, however.
Avoid giving your chickens dried beans or undercooked beans. They have hemagglutinin, which can affect the bird’s digestion and cause it to get sick.
Rhubarb can act like a laxative. Rhubarb that has been damaged by cold temperatures can be high in oxalic acid, which can kill a chicken.
Offering your chickens treats is a great way to dispose of food scraps, and your chickens will enjoy a special treat. Chickens will quickly learn to come running when they see the scrap bucket heading towards the coop. With this guide, you’ll be able to offer your chickens safe treats to keep them healthy and happy.
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If you’re not sure whether you should raise chickens on your land or not, these are some of the reasons to give it a try. These birds have a lot more to offer than most people realize before bringing them on their land.
It’s not as challenging or complicated as some people make it seem. Raising chickens is fun, enjoyable, and rewarding in many ways. Check out these top 5 reasons to choose the right chickens, bring them on your property, and raise them on the land with the rest of your family.
Top 5 Reasons Raise Chickens 2021
There are tons of reasons why raising chickens can be a great idea – but we have narrowed it down to our top 5 for you.
Reason #1 – Chickens Love Leftovers
Chickens can eat! Sure, you can give them food explicitly made for chickens, but you can also expect them to enjoy leftovers that would’ve otherwise been thrown out. These birds can eat just about anything, including cooked chicken scraps, believe it or not.
How many times a week do you end up with rotten leftovers that nobody finished? If it happens more often than you’d like to admit, now you don’t have to feel bad. Instead of leaving that food in the fridge to get old, you can serve it to your chickens to leave their bellies full.
Feeding your chickens your leftovers helps you save money on chicken feed because you’re going to keep them full with some of the meats and veggies that you usually prepare at home. Make sure anything that you’re planning to give your chickens is good for them. Try not to overdo it with garlic or onions, both of which can cause irritation. You want to keep them happy and fed, not uncomfortable.
Top 5 Reasons Raise Chickens 2021: #2- Eggs
Why wouldn’t you want to have chickens living on your property when you know they can produce eggs? Most chickens will produce at least a minimum of 100 eggs per year, so you can imagine how many you’ll end up with if you have multiple chickens living on your land.
In addition, you can do so much with the fresh eggs that come from chickens. For example, you might want to fry them, scramble them, boil them, and even use them in different recipes when preparing baked goods, such as cupcakes, pies, and sweet bread.
The animals living inside the home, such as your cats and dogs, are adorable. However, one thing they can’t do is provide you with food to eat! Chickens are superior because they lay eggs that you can put to good use. Even if you end up with more eggs than you need, you can sell them or give them to your loved ones.
Nothing tastes quite as good as fresh eggs compared to those found in grocery stores. The ones sold at stores aren’t nearly as fresh! With fresh eggs always available, you won’t run out of things to make. You’ll have an essential ingredient at home with you all the time.
Reason #3- Source of Natural Fertilizers
Did you know that chickens can potentially improve the way that your lawn looks? It’s common for chickens to roam around on the land where they live. They enjoy roaming, so you’ll see them walking, standing, and even running around with one another. One thing you’ll notice your chickens doing is pecking at the ground. It’s what they love to do. If they think it’s edible, they’ll nibble at it.
What that means is that you can end up with chickens on pest control duty. They’ll pick at and eat insects, beetles, and other things they can find on the lawn. Once they’ve consumed it and digested it, they’ll poop it out into the grass. It turns into the perfect fertilizer for your garden. It might sound strange, but it’s true.
Reason #4- Low Maintenance Pets
Some pets require a lot of maintenance. For example, if you have a dog with long hair, you know how much time and effort it takes to deal with all the upkeep. However, chickens are the opposite.
They’re low-maintenance pets that are easy to handle, especially if you choose the right breed. If you select chickens known for being gentle and docile birds, you won’t have a problem. The only thing you need to do is provide your chickens with food, water, and enough space to roam around freely.
If you provide the right environment and what they need to survive, you can expect happy chickens that will thrive on your land.
Reason #5- Grass and Weed Clippers
Save time and still get your lawn to look its best when you have chickens. These birds nibble at the grass and weeds that grow on the land. They love eating these things because it tastes like treats to them, so you won’t have to worry about your grass overgrowing or to deal with tons of annoying weeds that take away from the overall appearance of your land.
Chickens can dig through a lot of things to get to the weeds, too, making them remarkable creatures that are worth having on your land. If you’re tired of doing the mowing and clipping of the grass all the time, imagine what it would be like to have chickens roaming around. You wouldn’t have to do half of the work you’re currently doing!
Top 5 reasons raise chickens 2021 – raising chickens
Raising chickens is a rewarding experience. If you’ve never had these animals on your land before, you might not know what to expect. However, you can expect to have a lot of fun with chickens living on your property, especially when selecting a friendly breed. These birds can lay dozens of eggs each month, providing you and your family with plenty of eggs to eat throughout the year.
Besides laying eggs, chickens are low-maintenance pets that can help you keep the grass looking its best, provide you with natural fertilizer for your garden, and eat leftover scraps that you have so that they won’t have to go to waste. What other animals do you know that can do all these wonderful things without requiring so much maintenance? None! So, what are you waiting for?
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Top Mistakes New Homesteaders Make? Homesteading is a wonderful idea for many reasons. It allows you to learn how to live a self-sufficient lifestyle while saving money and becoming crafty. You’ll get better at doing things you once didn’t know how to do.
While it has its benefits, there are some homesteading mistakes that people make throughout the journey. If you’d like to avoid these mistakes and have the most success possible with homesteading, check out this list of the top five homestead mistakes and what you can do to prevent them.
The 5 Top Mistakes New Homesteaders Make
Let us just dig into the list –
1. Trying to Make It Too Homey
Some people try to make things too homey. It’s all about making it feel like home. Instead, it’s about having a shelter and safe haven to go to in an emergency. You want to have all the right things on your land, including a comfortable and quiet place to sleep, good spots to hide if it comes down to that, and plenty of storage space.
The goal is to have enough room for everything you’re planning on storing and saving for emergencies, such as foods that you’ve canned and other items you’re stocking up on, including bottles of water, batteries, flashlights, candles, and other essentials. If your space doesn’t feel too homey, don’t stress it because it’s not that big of a deal.
2. Poor Maintenance
Unfortunately, not everyone keeps up with the maintenance involved in running a homestead. If you’re not putting effort into its upkeep, it can get broken and overgrown, leaving you without a safe and resourceful place to stay when you need it the most. Put effort into keeping your homestead in excellent condition.
If you notice something wearing down or getting dingy, put work into fixing it until it’s back in excellent condition. Keep an eye out for pests and anything else that could potentially cause damage to your homestead. You don’t want to allow anyone or anything to damage the homestead you’re working hard to build.
Some people make the mistake of over-planning or under planning. So, how does that happen? Some people get so into it homesteading that they start creating this elaborate shelter with extra things they don’t need. While it might make the place look nice, it might not provide the comfort you’ll need if an emergency occurs.
It might not be practical for you to stay there for lengthy periods, which has the potential to cause problems for you if you need to stay there for an extended period.
Don’t Over Plan or Under Plan
While over-planning is a problem, so is under planning. Some people fail to prepare for what could potentially happen, which puts them at risk. For example, if you’re not putting effort into building your homestead, it might not be safe enough for you to stay in for a while due to a lack of protection against possible intruders.
All you need to do is the right amount of planning. Please keep it simple, but put effort into making sure you’re creating a safe and sound homestead for your family. It would be best if you had this to turn into your safe haven in times of need.
4. Top Mistakes New Homesteaders Make: Lack of Familiarity
A lack of familiarity is a top homestead mistake often made by beginners. The last thing you’d want to do is get lost on your land. Not only is it embarrassing, but it’s also got the potential to get you into some serious trouble. Instead, take the time out to explore the land that you’re using for homesteading.
Don’t Forget the Map
Use a map to get around, in the beginning, to become more familiar with the land and how far it is from any other properties in the area. Use different things to help you remember where you’re at, such as trees with a unique appearance or specific plants that only grow in certain spots. As you explore your land regularly, you’ll become more familiar with it, and you won’t have to worry so much about a lack of familiarity causing you to get lost.
Get Familiar with the Land
If you’re lost and end up on someone else’s land, they might think that you’re an intruder. If that’s the case, things might not end up well. Avoid that problem altogether by getting used to your land as much as you can. Don’t forget to make sure your loved ones become more familiar with the land, too.
5. Poor Location Choice
When you have serious homesteading goals, you need to choose the ideal location to run it. You don’t want to select a spot known for its bad weather. The poor weather conditions could make it difficult for you to keep your homestead thriving.
Besides the bad weather, you don’t want to choose a spot that’s too far from home or too close to the city where you’ll have limited resources available to you in an emergency.
Careful Where You Choose to Live
It’s also not in your best interest to choose an area with too much wildlife. While you want to have access to some nature, especially if you end up having to hunt for animals for meat, you don’t want to have too much wildlife roaming around to the point that it becomes dangerous for you.
While you’re the predator for most animals, you can become the prey to other animals, such as bears and wolves that roam around. When you want to take homesteading seriously, research the areas that are best for homesteading. Choose land in one of those areas that can meet your needs more than others.
Homestead Mistakes to Avoid
Homesteading is a fantastic idea because it helps you prepare for emergencies. It’s the best way to make sure you’re fighting for survival in challenging and dire situations. However, there are some mistakes that people tend to make, and now that you know about them, take steps to avoid them!
Get familiar with your land, don’t worry about making it too homey, and choose the right location for homesteading. Don’t forget to plan accordingly and take measures to keep up with the maintenance involved in running a homestead. Then, you can do it the right way and have a safe haven for your family.
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