Playing Chicken

When we decided to get chickens I  (Mike) envisioned multiple posts chronicling in great detail the process of ordering the chickens, building their coop, picking them up, a Facebook profile for each chicken, maybe a live webcam in the coop.

Well in reality, I built the coop in the middle of winter over a few weeks, often in snowstorms, in the driveway, while packing to move! I moved the coop from our place in town to the homestead 3/4 finished and scrambled to finish it before the chickens arrived (10pm the night before ). And finally I had to work the day the chickens were to be picked up so Julie had to pick them up alone, with a 4 year old and didn’t have a chance to take pictures. So you get the story of chickens out of order. I’ll post about the building of the coop soon.

Since we have no experience with chickens we decided to order 6 ready to lay hens (teenage chickens that would be ready to start laying eggs once they were exposed to around 14 hours of day light). We ordered brown egg laying Red Sex Link from Frey’s Hatchery. This breed of chicken should give an egg a day 80% of the time.IMG_0310 2

For the coop, we knew that our barn wouldn’t be ready until well after we moved and we liked the idea of free-range chickens so we decided on a chicken tractor. A chicken tractor is basically a portable chicken coop that allows the chickens to free range but keeps them contained and safe from predators. Continue reading

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap – A Picture Tutorial

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Who doesn’t love to save money?  I know we do!

One of the easiest money saving DIYs we do in our household is to make our own laundry soap! We’ve been making our own laundry soap for almost 2 years and it’s very easy.  The best part – it ends up costing less than a penny per load and works better than store bought laundry soap!

Here’s what you need:

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  • 1 cup of Washing Soda

  • 1 cup Borax

  • 1 bar of laundry soap such as Fels-Naptha (other laundry/castile soap can be substituted such as Dr. Bronner’s, Linda’s, Sunlight, etc.)

  • A bucket (we use an old 4.54kg cat food pail).

We buy our Washing Soda and Borax at our local No Frills and we bulk purchase the Fels-Naptha when we go to the United States since we haven’t been able to find it in Canada and I love its smell and cleaning power so much!  Laundry soap bars can be purchased in the laundry isle of your grocery store.

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First things first, we grate the Fels Naptha bar.  Here, you can see that I started using our new to us food processor (thanks Pat & Justine) but the bar of soap was too hard and it started smoking a little or as Mike would say, I “let the smoke out”.  I continued grating the bar by hand.

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