Our Journey to Starting a Homestead

Welcome to Miracle Farms Northern Homestead

It’s 9:08 pm and I am sitting at my desk thinking what am I going to tell all these people that could potentially read this! My name is Tim and my wife’s name is Amber and we currently have three children and they are all girls. I know, I know how does a man deal with that many women in his home. Well, I can tell you they’re all pretty great. We currently live in a mobile home on one acre of land, and I work a full-time job as a service adviser. I make pretty good money for the line of work I am in and I don’t have a lot of complaints there. I have been in the automotive industry for about 21 years. I started out as a tire technician and moved my way up through mechanic, parts manager and now service adviser. The only problem with this is that I get up and go to the same job day in and day out, and spend most of my day away from my family. So one day I was browsing YouTube and I came across Living off-grid with Doug and Stacy and they instantly became my favorite vloggers. Watching them made me realize I don’t have to live the life everyone thinks is normal and the urge to start Miracle Farms Northern Homestead hit me and it hasn’t left me since. Now we are purchasing forty acres and are starting our homestead journey.

Chickens on a homestead

So I thought first things first after watching a video where Doug explains not getting in over your head and to pick one thing to be the “master of one” I chose layer hens.— Off-Grid with Doug and Stacy

Choosing our First Farm Animals

I chose layer hens to start on my “master of one”. So I ran to Menard’s where by the way I buy all my building material, I love that store and so do my children. When they hear we are going to Menard’s they always start singing the “save big money at Menard’s” song. At Menard’s, I buy everything I think will be needed to build a hen house chicken wire, plywood, 2×4’s and metal roofing, etc. Then, the building began, and of course, we didn’t think to take pictures of the building process. One of those learn as you go things we mentioned.

chicken coop
Chickens in a chicken run

What Went Wrong

Like I said earlier homesteading is a learn as you go kinda thing. The first mistake I noticed after the build was it was only four-foot-tall meaning that everyone had to duck to go inside and there was only enough room to crouch and walk inside. You had to walk back to get out of the coop. Mental note to self make the coop taller. That’s mistake number one. Mistake number two was I only made the run 3 feet tall. Meaning exactly the same thing you had to get on your hands and knees to get inside. Which is terrible to get all the magical chicken poo out of the run. Mental note to self make the run taller so I can walk inside and clean it easier. Mistake number three was that I should have built it off the ground with a bottom and with treated wood so that later on down the road it won’t rot and I have to rebuild it because it is falling apart. Mental note to self-use treated wood and build off the ground. So those are the mistakes but don’t get me wrong the whole coop wasn’t terrible. I had a slide up and down door with a cable to let the chickens outside during the day. There was somewhere to hang the chicken heat lamp for those cold winter nights that we are so famous for here in Michigan, and the coop stayed relatively warm at night anyway. We have six golden comets which are great egg layers so we are getting about two dozen eggs a week on a slow week, and they don’t eat a lot. So all in all its not a bad setup. Will I make my next chicken coop better……absolutely. Will, it still have faults that I don’t like….. sure will, but people that’s how homesteading goes it’s a lot of trial by error. I’m in no way a certified carpenter nor will I ever be. Like I said in my first blog I’m a mechanic and I can fix almost any motor. Building is a whole new world to me, but as time goes by I will get better.

chicken coop
chicken coop and run

Duck Tractor Build and Why

I am building a duck tractor. A little back story is that our first batch of chickens we bought six golden comets, two bantams, and two ducks. Needless to say, one bantam and one duck died leaving us with six golden comets, one bantam, and one duck. They have all lived together perfectly fine until recently. When we first put them all together in there new coop the duck grew faster than the chickens and was kinda bossy and would bite the chickens on the neck and pull feathers. That seemed to stop after a while and everyone seemed to be getting along. Now the chickens are bigger and there are six of the golden comets and they seem to remember the way our duck treated them and they are exacting revenge on him pulling his feathers and beating him up. So we are forced no to build a duck tractor to keep him in for his safety and the safety of the chickens as well. Yes, we will get him a few more ducks to keep him company which is something we should have done in the first place and it probably wouldn’t have come to this.

wood for duck tractor build
duck tractor frame
duck tractor frame
duck tractor frame
duck tractor

After getting the chickens going we have as my second favorite vlogger Justin Rhodes has said we have “opted out” of buying eggs.— Justin Rhodes

Now we are Homesteading

We have got our chickens doing well and producing enough eggs that we can opt-out of buying them from the store. What we are doing next is getting ready to purchase 40 acres that have been in my wife’s family for a while. The process for this has already begun and yes, for now, we are doing a land contract on the property but it is definitely putting us in the right direction. Our ultimate goal is to make enough money online and on the homestead so I can stay home with my family and raise my kids the healthiest and happiest way I can. Hope to see ya’ll on the farm.

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