What I Did To Prep This Week: Mar 22nd – 28th 2020

Hello Pack, hope y’all have had a highly productive week of prepping. The warming weather has our flock of poultry birds back in nearly top egg production mode already. In a single day my duck hens laid a dozen eggs, and the sole Buckeye chicken breed hen chipped in with five nice quality medium brown eggs.

I got out my dehydrators, and dehydrated this bunch of eggs to increase our long term food storage supply. If I keep scoring good used ones at auctions and yard sales I am soon going to be out of room for my “collection”.

I powder the eggs after I dehydrate them to conserve space and to have containers of easy to measure ingredients for making scrambled eggs, cooking, and baking.

The dehydrated egg powder might not taste as delicious as farm fresh eggs, but I guarantee you they taste as good as the eggs from the grocery store even after sitting on the shelf for two years.

We had a few new additions on our survival homestead this week. Our daughter surprised me with four new ducklings… that my beloved did not think I needed. But really, can you ever have too many ducks?

She got me two Pekin ducklings – my personal favorite because they are so dang cute, and are excellent egg producers. Lousy sitters, but create delicious eggs and healthy ducklings consistently.

They are awfully young to determine sex yet, but from the current look of the way their tail feathers are angled and spread, I believe we have one of each. I currently have two drakes to nine hens, so I won’t have too high of a male ratio if I am correct.

Brea also got me two Khaki Campbells:

khaki campbell ducklings

I have never kept this type of duck before, but have written about them a lot in survival livestock and homesteading articles over the years.

Khaki Campbells are renowned for not only their egg production ratios but also for their sitting prowess. I think I have one of each sex with these ducklings as well – fingers crossed.

My Pekin ducks are superb layers, but the hens do not boast high maternal instincts. Every once in a while one of the duck hens will sit her eggs, but she soon gets bored and off she waddles to the pond and that’s the end of that.

In other preps this week we are still on fence mending and repairing to sure up the damage winter weather and deer have done to our fence. In the coming weeks I hope to add a new dairy calf and a couple of weaner hogs to our barnyard.

One local farmer has really good hogs already at butcher weight for $200 each. I think we are also going to get one of his hogs, butcher it, and pressure can the meat.

I am still toying with the idea of getting a heritage breed hog, I truly love to do my part to help keep the numbers of traditional pre-factory farm livestock growing. But, the lean meat such breeds produce doesn’t really make nice hams and bacon.

We are in the midst of tearing down a two story deer stand in the upper pasture that also was set to serve as an LP/OP – listening post observation post. Not really happy about the tear down.

The gas company screwed up and did not use common sense when surveying the area for the temporary access road they contracted with us for an upcoming pipeline expansion project.

The deer stand was not new, but in good shape and was nestled amid trees along the fence line.

Once the road through our woods opened into the upper field, they had ample room to move over the eight feet it sticks out, but the surveyors were not here when the agent that agreed with me this route was the best one to use for many reasons, was also on the property.

Since the government is involved with the project and already approved the route as mapped and the usage will start in only a few weeks, it cannot be changed now. Not even though they also contracted with us to use a small space for parking.

Logic would dictate, in my opinion, to position the parking area next to the deer stand area – which is at the end of the temporary access road and the pipeline, and just drive around it.

But, logic and government plans rarely ever intersect. So, now they are going to pay us to tear down and remove the tree stand and to have another one built.

Free to piggy back through the parking area and close to $3,500 to pay use for the tear down and build. Seemed like a simple choice to me and actually the company agent. But since the government is involved they will soon be writing us a nice check!

This Week’s Questions:

  1. Do you keep ducks as part of your survival livestock and why or why not?
  2. How are things given the current pandemic madness?
  3. Do you preserve eggs and other barnyard-produced or store-bought items by dehydrating and canning for your survival food stockpile? How, and why?
  4. What did you do to prep this week?

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