Self-Reliance Strategies: Resources for Setting Up a Prepper’s Homestead Quickly and Inexpensively

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

This week, the self-reliance report is about the resources and strategies I’ve used for setting up a prepper’s homestead quickly and inexpensively. A lot of research went into swapping environments – I moved from a low country rather dry farm to a cabin in the mountains to set up a homestead in the forest. As always, I followed a thrifty budget to get things done.

The Self-Reliance Weekly Report is a collection of strategies, made up of the articles, books, DIYs, and products that I found useful on my own little prepper’s homestead.

Prepping

I recently spent a great deal of time searching for the perfect prepper’s retreat. This article discusses my search and offers some tips for finding your own perfect retreat. If your plan is to rely on your homesteading ability to survive when the S hits the Fan, it’s essential to get started now. There’s a steep learning curve and many will fail.

Following, find a collection of some of the most interesting prepper resources around right now.

Homesteading

When my focus was on getting my new homestead set up as quickly as possible, here are the resources that I found pertinent.

The first two projects were fencing for my dogs and shelter for my chickens. I was able to acquire a lot of the supplies for free just kicking around the shed of the place I rented (with the landlord’s permission, of course). I had to purchase a couple of gates for the fences and my handyman put together this super-cool swingset chicken coop from almost entirely found items. (I used some of the tips from this guide to make my coop predator-resistant.) Just for fun, here are some beautiful, inspiring coop designs.

In the midst of moving chaos, my baby chicks arrived. This time around I went with freedom ranger meat chickens. There are some differences when raising meat chicks vs. laying hens but between this article and this book, I was able to find the necessary information. My brooder did not arrive before the chicks, so they lived in my bathtub briefly. (Thankfully just for 2 days!) In a couple of weeks, I’m going to build them this little “playground” outside.

I’m considering trying my hand at straw bale gardening this year. This article has me almost convinced, so I ordered the most recent edition of a book by the man credited with creating the concept to learn more about it before I commit. I’m also planning to put up some of these bamboo and twine teepee trellises in my garden area. I have all of the supplies on hand. This weekend will be dedicated to starting my cool weather seeds in the kitchen.

Here are a few more great homesteading resources to check out:

DIY

Farm Blog

We survived the unthinkable. We went without internet or a phone connection for 8 days. *shudder* I really enjoy researching and blogging, so it was difficult to be so disconnected. However, it was probably good for the entire family. I got most of the house unpacked, we enjoyed some unplugged together time, and I did a lot of reading for sheer enjoyment.

Here are some photos from the new place. 🙂

This is our dog, Bella, checking out the creek in our backyard.

Bella and the creek

As I wrote above, the baby chicks arrived before my brooder, so I had to house them in my bathtub for a couple of days. They are Freedom Rangers, which are meat birds, so they grow quickly and eat an astonishing amount of food.

baby chicks in the tub OP

Once the brooder arrived, our dog creepily stared at them non-stop. I’d like to think she is guarding them, but the more likely reason is that she’s dreaming of chicken nuggets.

Bella and the chicken nuggets op

chickovision op

We got to see our Livestock Guardian Dog in action for the first time. I happened to be standing at the kitchen sink, cutting up veggies, when I heard a frantic squawk from one of my chickens. I looked out the window just in time to see 160 pounds of angry teeth and fur rush the fence. The silly chickens were outside the pasture (although still on my property) and the neighbor’s two pit bull dogs decided they would enjoy a nice chicken dinner. Thor had other plans, however. I was in awe at the fury he displayed, and apparently, so too were the roaming dogs. All 3 errant chickens escaped the jaws of death and the pitties turned tail and fled. Hopefully they learned a lesson and won’t be back.  I was so impressed with Thor! Of course, I’ve seen him bark protectively and display territorial behavior, but I’d never seen him in full guardian mode and it was a sight to behold. Here’s a photo of my gorgeous boy in his new backyard.

Thor in the backyard op

What’s going on at your farm or urban homestead right now? How’s the weather in your area? Please share your updates in the comments below!

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • Glad you are settled. We have our tomatoes, peppers, early herbs and very early cole crops started in the house. We seem to be having an extremely early breakup with a couple days in the fifties already. I’m working on the hoop houses to start early greens. The big worry is that all this early warm weather will be balanced by a May hard freeze and snowstorm.
    I agree entirely about the long learning curve for being able to survive on your homesteading skills. It is not just your skill set but also learning how to apply them to your spesific piece of land and the changing conditions that the weather may throw at you from year to year.

  • Many public libraries have seed lending libraries where patrons can get seeds for free, some of which are heirloom seeds. This is a great help to many people on a limited budget.

    The Monmouth, Oregon library has just such a seed library. They have applied for a grant from http://www.seedsofchangegrant.com and would appreciate all the votes that your readers can send their way. Just go to the website, hit vote & type in Monmouth. It will bring up the Monmouth library and you can vote once a day until April 18th. It would be appreciated if you could share this information with everyone who is willing to help out a small public library. Thank you.

  • Good to hear you are getting settled in. I am amazed that the chicks didn’t get harmed. Good job Thor! I have lost some chickens to dogs and it’s awful! On our little homestead we have our seedlings started, and the gardens turned over and prepped for seeds when the time comes. I’ve freshened the soil in the planters and spruced up the herb garden. So glad that all of my herbs made it through the winter. Had a couple chickens with wet butt so I started them on ACV and yogurt and they are doing better and loving the warmer weather. Getting ready to uncover the pool and get it up and running soon. Good luck in your new digs. Take care, Lori

  • Glad to hear the move went okay!

    My sister came to visit from the Coast, so I’ve been having a good time teaching her how to can things like jam and ketchup. We’re just doing small practice batches, since it is nowhere near growing season yet. I’m just thrilled she’s willing to learn it now.

    Otherwise, today was grape pruning day. We’re still about a month out from serious spring (I think) so that is right on target. Mom and I sat down to map out the last details of the compost area, which I am incredibly excited about. One side is planned for three wire bins for composting dog poop for use in restoring some of the land, while the other side is three bins for composting soil for use in the raised beds. There will be an alley between the two wide enough for a wheelbarrow. The whole thing will be roofed with tin, sloped to a gutter that will lead to a series of rain barrels. The outer walls will be willow sticks, which means I can hopefully grow grapes or artic kiwis up it. Food, water, and dirt all in one! I am absurdly excited to build this baby.

    • That compost area sounds positively amazing! I wish there was a way to load photos in the comments because I would love to see it when it’s done. Also, congrats getting your sister on board with canning! 🙂

  • I’m looking for a protective dog,would you mind telling me what breed or mix Thor is?
    Everything looks great and so happy it’s all coming together for your family!
    Thank goodness for Thor and your chicks.

    • Thor is a Great Pyrenees/Anatolian mix and was raised (before we got him) as a livestock guardian dog. Both of those breeds are instinctively protective, but many dogs are this way. If you live in a city or have close neighbors, a GP may not be the right breed for you, as they do bark quite a bit. As well, if obedience is super important, you should know that these dogs have minds of their own. Thor won’t come when called off leash. The breed is independent-natured which is why they’re so good at being plopped outside with a bunch of animals and working on their own. 🙂

      I’m not trying to discourage you because I love my dog to pieces but I want you to know what you’d be getting into. Many of these wonderful dogs end up being surrendered because the owners saw a huge fluffball puppy and took it home to a place that wasn’t suitable. However if you have lots of room, a job for him to do, and the ability to accept their personality quirks, these are the best dogs on earth. He is one of the most amazing dogs I’ve ever owned.

  • Rather than use those heat lamps, I use reptile heat rocks.
    Does not mess with their diurnal cycle.
    The chicks seem to be less nervous.
    To keep clean, cover with layers of newspaper, and swap out when you change their litter.

    • There are chicken heater pads on stilts that are low wattage, wrap in plastic wrap as chicks will jump on top and poop. Premier makes a good one don’t go cheap on amazon those don’t work well and I have had one “melt”. This is very important If you are off grid and every watt counts.

      If you run it colder ie more chicks less heater by 10 percent you will get pasty butt, bit ready for outside in 3 weeks so long as more than 20 and it’s not sub zero temp.

      As for incubator… I have a brinsea 56 I put out about 400 chickens a year with it. From April start. Tried cheaper ones and they don’t hatch as well plus this one is a no touch even the humidity draws from water outside the incubator. It’s more for a hobby farm but works good for us and gives fresh chicken almost all year.

      Takes 100 days from hatch to plate using non pellet non gmo or anti biotic fèed in chicken tractors for barred rocks. The dorkings take 2 years to reach full size but you get a tasty 15 lb rooster.

      If doing more than 25 chickens, build a dyi chicken plucker, it’s a ton of work to do 50 in one day with plucker and 3 people we can do that by noon.

  • Everything depends on where you live. I already have four new baby turkeys, several baby ducks with more coming and two new chicks. My baby dairy goats are weaned and ready for a new home. My garlic and onions are getting close to being harvested. I planted the garlic in late October and the onions in December. I will start picking some of my squashes in a day or two. Fighting bugs still. My plan is to harvest some of my grape leaves and pickle them. May is the best time to pick the leaves. The later in the season then the tougher the leaves. Planning to redo our greenhouse this summer to make it larger.

  • This is from my own personal experience. Please be warned. Those dogs will be back!!! They will not quit until they have killed every single chicken, and maybe your cat’s as well. I have known dogs like that to attack cattle. If they can not actually attack, they will run the cattle to death. Doesn’t have to be any particular type of dog. Just one’s that are aggressive.

    If you want to keep your animal’s safe, put in a fence that will keep those very determined dog’s out.

  • I just found your site & love it! We live on a small, 5 acre farm in Alaska. I raise 3 types of ducks (Muscovy, Welsh Harlequin, & Golden Cascades) and 2 type of geese (Pilgrim & Toulouse) & have an LGD as well. (Loki is half Great Pyrenees & half Anatolian. What breed is your boy? He looked Great Pyrenees to me. Or Mareamma?)

    I saw another dog that looked like a rough coated Anatolian. That’s who l thought you were talking about in your article.

    I look forward to reading more about your homesteadint adventures.

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