Tag Archives: Barn

Breaking The Moody Broody Hen

by Tammy Taylor

We raised chickens for the very first time last year and they were an absolute blast to raise.  But we sold them all in late fall.  I was afraid that free ranging hens in the winter months would just make them easy prey for predators since food gets more scarce in the wintertime. But the entire time we had them it was so much fun to watch their antics.  And of course we enjoyed those fresh free-range eggs.  There’s absolutely nothing like the taste of a free-range egg, you chicken raisers know what I mean! 

So we were pretty excited to raise chickens again this year.  We contacted a local breeder and purchased 4 hens from her and BOOM!  We were back in the chicken business.  But one of the hens quit laying eggs & became broody several weeks after we purchased her – we’d never dealt with broody hens before.  And with no rooster in our flock it wasn’t helping anyone, her or us.

A broody hen won't lay the eggs we count on - See what we did to successfully & quickly break the Moody Broody Hen! #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Weaning Day Done Properly

By Tammy Taylor

Aaahhhh spring!  The grass turns a beautiful lush green and the trees start leafing out.  And here on the ranch it also means weaning time for the fall-born calves. Weaning the calves from their mamas takes a huge nutritional drain off of the dams and allows them to regain their proper body condition in preparation for their next calf, an important health step for a vibrant and healthy herd.  We like our calves to stay with their dam until they are at least 7 months old, but we’ve weaned early when the conditions warranted such as during a drought.

There's More To Calf Weaning Than Just Separating Calf From Dam.  See How We Try To Smooth The Transition. #TaylorMadeRanch

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A Day At the Ranch

by Tammy Taylor

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I’m often asked what a typical day looks like when you’re both living and working on a ranch.  Well I can say in all honesty that it’s NEVER boring!  It’s funny how it’s near impossible to plan with certainty what a day in our lives will look like – there are so many variables like weather, cattle illness, fence issues, etc.  But c’mon and tag along today & I’ll show ya what a typical day looks like for us here in our Northeast Texas paradise.

Come Along With Me & See What A Day At The Ranch Looks LIke! #TaylorMadeRanch

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Teaching Free-Range Chickens To Come HOME

by Tammy Taylor

Last year we tried our hand at raising chickens for the very first time.  We bought day-old chicks and raised all that fuzzy cuteness into adult chickens/roosters.  We ended up with four hens and two beautiful roosters but someone STOLE both of our roosters!  Can you even believe that??!  Aaaanyway not wanting to overwinter the hens due to predator issues we sold them last fall after I had preserved many of the excess eggs by freezing  them.  I used those frozen eggs all winter and about the time my freezer started running low on my supply we decided it was time to raise chickens again this year!

How do you get your new chickens to free range during the day yet come back to the coop each night to be locked securely from predators? Read On! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Once Again, We Have Chickens!

by Tammy Taylor

*this post contains affiliate link

Last year we dipped our toe into the raising-chickens waters.  We bought day-old chicks and raised them until fall when we sold them (we didn’t want to attempt to overwinter last year)  Oh how much fun they were to raise!  We free-ranged them and they made quite a dent in the grasshopper population and an incredible impact on the fly reduction on our cows in the barn pens.  Oh yeah, and they gave us FRESH EGGS!  We knew that as spring drew closer we’d consider again if we wanted to raise chickens.  The verdict is in: Um, YES PLEASE!

We Have Chickens! Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Delawares, and Bantams.  See How We Put Them To Work - They LOVE Their Job.  #TaylorMadeRanch

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Evidence Of (Another) Old Homestead

by Tammy Taylor

We purchased our piece ~TMR~ paradise back in 2000.  It was in pretty rough shape but I could see its potential and the property itself really spoke to my heart.  Once I learned that the crumbling 1880’s barn was part of this property the deal was all but sealed!  RancherMan & I had the barn’s exterior refurbished, leaving the interior intact.  We’ve had ponds, fences & cross fences built, revitalized pastures and spend numerous days clearing these dang Honey Locust trees (we call them Satan trees, I’m pretty sure that’s where they came from!)  It’s fun to envision the family that must have lived here, and several months ago I wrote about the Evidence Of A Past Homestead.  But in the fall of 2012 we purchased a remote pasture about 10 minutes away from our ~TMR~ homestead to hold our stocker cows.  Again, that property was in somewhat of a shambles but again it held an 1880’s barn, albeit in dire need of repair.  RancherMan & I are determined to refurbish this old barn and property the same as we did with our first one. (I’m seeing a pattern here…)

1880 Barn Evidence Of (Another) Old Homestead - See What We Found On Property We Recently Purchased. #TaylorMadeRanch

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The Story of ~ Taylor-Made Homestead ~

 

by Tammy Taylor

Everyone has a dream but we’re so blessed that our dream has finally come true.  We had the good life – we lived in Dallas and had a nice home, wonderful children, promising careers and all that qualifies for the good ‘ole American life in suburbia.  Our children excelled in school and had many friends.  We were in close proximity to entertainment and restaurants, museums and parks, movie theaters and concert halls.

As our children grew we found ourselves in a stagnant rushed daily pattern of get up / go to work / work all day / come home / try to live life.  It seemed we were stuck on a pattern of shower – sleep – REPEAT!  It felt like we were doing the same thing every day and we no longer felt fulfilled.  When our children graduated high school and went off to begin their own lives, we really began to feel out of place.  We wanted something more.

Taylor-Made Homestead - Building Our New Life: See how we got our start in this beautiful location in NE Texas to begin our dream #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Hope For the Best, Prepare For The Worst

by Tammy Taylor

The weathermen predicted there would be a winter storm hit our part of Northeast Texas, and they even predicted it would include hazardous ice accumulations in our area.  But you know how weathermen are, they ALWAYS predict it’s going to be disastrous.  My motto is: hope for the best but prepare for the worst.  RancherMan & I spent the days preceding this winter storm making sure the animals were properly cared for.  We set out fresh rolls of hay in all of the paddocks, even the vacant ones in the event they would be needed.  We made sure the goats also had plenty of fresh hay & even packed soft hay into their shelter as well to give them a warm place to sleep.  We filled a secondary large feed bucket with fresh hay & stored it in the feed shed so we could easily top off the goats’ hay if the wintery weather lasted longer than expected.  RancherMan went to work making sure we had lots of seasoned firewood cut, split and stacked in the wood rack and I cleaned out the fireplace of any residual ashes and loaded fresh logs into it, as well as filling up the wood supply that stands at the ready right next to the stove. Then knowing we had done all we could do to prepare, we waited.

Sleet #TaylorMadeRanch
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