Posts Tagged ‘farm’

Egg Incubator

Posted: July 18, 2011 by emphelan in Around the Homestead
Tags: , ,

Egg incubators can be expensive. We made ours using the parts out of one of those cheap Styrofoam ones (that had been crush and a friend gave to us), reclaimed wood, and screws. We purchased the egg turner for around $30.





Be sure not to seal it until after you have gotten a temp reading. And remember that eggs need oxygen to hatch.


The box is one of our tools as well as a repurposed item. Surprisingly enough, it is a relatively inexpensive item to make. Here is the run down.

prepping the seedling box

You will need;
We have very little money into this box, most of the things acquired where given to us, or we had laying about.
3 1/2 sheets of plywood
We had 4 sheets of 3/8 plywood 6 feet tall given to us (one reason for the shape of the box) 1 for the front, 1 for the back and 1/2 for each side, and 1/2 for the top.

2x4s in the corners and across the top

You can use a variety of light sources or heat mats with low light water bed heater, just keep the air moving so you don’t turn your box into an oven. We run 400 watts in ours using a grow light

1x material

reclaimed door hinges, screwshinges

A reclaimed squirrel cage squirrel cageand dryer vent, and metal coffee can help vent out the heat so we don’t scorch our plants. A small fan that can be turned on to regulate any heating issues, and keeps the carbon dioxide levels up by exchange old air for new. The height helps with temp regulations as well.

Mylar or anything reflective is used on the walls and the doors (glossy white house paint works, and is the cheapest of all the materials that could be used unless you have stuff laying about that you could use). The reflective stuff is used for light refraction, keeps the light bouncing around the box, maximizing your lumins.

Drip trays are need for any condensation or over watering.

What to do:

Split one sheet of plywood in 1/2 for the doors. door the 1/2 sheet of plywood for the top. This gets you the basic box. In one side cut a hole that you metal coffee can can sit in. vent with coffee canMount the squirrel cage in the opposite corner, attaching the dryer vent to the cage and to the coffee can. Mount the fan on the same side but different corner of your coffee

Then use 1x material for the door seem over lap and the hinge mountings on the doors. Attach the doors. Use your reflective material either before you put it together (as in the paint) or after (as in the Mylar). Hang the lamp.

We also use two reclaimed floor vents that have been placed on the bottom sides (either side) to help with air circulation.

Dimensions of our box is 6 foot by 4 feet wide 34 inches deep. and hidden behind our bedroom door (so don’t give me that, I don’t have the room). Using the egg cartons we have 264 seedlings, if we used the seedling flats, we could have close to 500 seedlings in our available space (egg cartons were readily available at this time).

1st day seeds

You can scale the box way down, we just used what we had instead of chopping everything up. 4x2x4 can be accomplished with 2 sheets a plywood, doing seed flats. (they are about 1ft wide 2 ft long)

You can do this in the corner of your garage, just make sure the temperature is regulated, between 80-90 f

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With the creation of the Hay spike trailer, we discovered one small problem. What to do with the truck bed itself.

We brain stormed many many ideas, and the one we decided on was a chicken coop.

The truck bed is the base, set on bricks. We used reclaimed pallet boards to build the main body of the coop. The truck topper for the roof, and reclaimed windows and doors.

Total cost for construction? A bit of time.

We got the windows and doors from a friend that replaces them for a living. The pallet boards came from a manufacturing company that throws them away. The topper came from a neighbor that was going to junk it. And the black metal roosting area is part of a broken bunk bed.

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I know what you are going to say. . . white trash ingenuity at it’s finest!

The feeder was made with an above ground pool part!

The greatest thing about the new coop? If things ever got really bad, we could live in it.

An introduction to my “trashy” side!

Posted: March 29, 2011 by hopejoyandfaithfarm in An Introduction
Tags: , , , , , ,

Wow, I’m excited. Who knew my “trashy” habits could make it possible for me to share my slightly twisted views with other like-minded folks? As a matter of fact, I never knew there were other’s like me! I’m a happy girl!

So, a brief introduction. I’m technically middle-age, have 6 kids, if you count the steps, ex-steps and my 3 dear daughters. I am currently unemployed (not counting the temp jobs and transcription I do for the city). I grew up with a single mom who was great with her finances. I don’t think she’s ever been late with a payment. However, all I ever heard growing up was “we can’t afford that” with no further explanation. As a result, I’ve always had a hard time managing my finances. I am finally getting better at it, after 12 plus years of sobriety (a whole ‘nother story). We have a small farm where we raise market lambs for 4-H, pigs for our daughter’s 4-H project and our freezer, eggs, mini-rex rabbits and garden/orchard produce. I’m so proud of our new trashy greenhouse, built with mainly “scavaged” windows and framing (tho we did buy cedar fencing for the siding.

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I have always looked at things with a “hmmm…what could I do with it?” sort of attitude. That old plastic milk crate… could it be a nest box for my hens? The plastic “boxes” that the old lettuce that I was given for our pigs…could that be a mini-greenhouse? The thin cement slabs that were used as part of a dock…bet those would be great as the floor for the chain-link dog kennel.

I am a scavenger… my favorite hat ever was found in a ditch (with water in it) alongside the road I walked every couple days for exercise.  I spotted a slightly different shade of green than the old moss growing in the water, straddled the ditch and bravely reached in.  I took my treasure home and washed it.  It was the perfect hat-the brim was rolled just right, the color was a wonderful sage green and the leather at the back cradled my ponytail perfectly.  When my mom asked me where I got the hat, she almost choked when I told her. I almost cried when it fell apart a few years later.  I have so many bungee cords, plastic containers, etc that I  have scrounged from the side of the road.  My “tool” holder in the garden is a newspaper box that laid alongside the road for two weeks.  I figured after that much time, no one was gonna claim it.  This last winter, I was pretty peeved at my husband when he wouldn’t cross 4 lanes of traffic on an interstate to retrieve a gas can.  I mean, it was only rush hour in Portland, Oregon, it wasn’t like there was a lot of traffic!

I also reuse things, such as tinfoil from bread, plastic containers and plastic bags.  I have a habit of saving hay rope from my animals hay, feed bags from grain and juice jugs.  I don’t hoard them, and they don’t take up a huge space, but if I need a rope or a trash bag, I can grab one from the cupboard and use it.  I have helped clear out old houses in exchange for what I can “scavage”… Milk crates to store canning jars in, old step-stools, pet carriers, etc.  It’s kinda like the new stuff they call “picking”, except I don’t pay for it.

I also am somewhat trashy when it comes to animals, cages, etc.  If someone doesn’t want an animal and wants to give it away, I’ll take it and find it a good home.  Of course, if it comes with a cage, I’ll sell the cage and give the animal away with it.  The last rabbit I was given came with 2 full bags of feed and one partial bag, 2 water bottles and no cage. I kept the rabbit a week til I found a home for him.  I gave the rabbit away, selling the lady a cage I had been given 6 months ago for $10.  I gave her a water bottle and the partial bag of feed.  I kept the two other bags for my mini-rex rabbits, and the extra water bottle.  My husband said I’m like an old-fashioned horse trader… Maybe so, but it works out in the end, the animals find a good home and I don’t cheat anyone.

I love finding ways to save money and do it by re-using or recycling.  Keep’s my life interesting…More “trashy” stuff to follow!

This is the core of the project. It is not finished, but it is at it’s primitive yet functioning level. To get to this point you will need

a detached truck bed trailer
Hay spike
couple pieces of angle iron
Harley Davidson front axle 3/4 inch (any solid of that size will work)
piece of chain
3/8 inch bolts to hold chain together
BFH (Big Frickin’ Hammer)
Saws all

A torch if you got em’ other wise heat up the corners and whack it with the BFH

First remove the bed from the frame of the truck bed. Make sure that it is below freezing outside and it is only you and your wife. Yell at her when she complains that the bed just fell on her hand, tell her to suck it up and ask her if she’s a PIONEER WOMAN!?!

Place the hay spike on the frame, calculate the approximate center of your bales (5 foot bale, theoretically 2 1/2 feet from the ground) The lower it is the better leverage you could have. You might have to lower your rails on the frame. Our frame has zero suspension, all the springs have been removed, so it is sitting on it’s bump stops. Blink bars have been welded to the sides of the frame then down to the axle in a V shape to stabilize the axle to the frame, welded directly to the bump stops.

Take two 3 inches of 1 inch steel pipe, heavy gauge, we used the HD axle spacer, cut 4 pieces 2 1/2 inches long out of 3 inch angle iron. Weld the pipe using two pieces of angle iron, opposing in an S or lightening shape, welding it square and flush to one end of the top outside of the angle iron. When done it will look like a P with a tail. Stand it up , clamp it down and weld top and bottom. Take the other piece of iron and box in the P to make it look like inverted T with a dot on top, creating a pivot point with two flanges going forwards and back. Clamp to another piece of angle iron for alignment, weld the top side, cool, flip and weld the bottom side. Now you have an assembly that can be mounted to a flat rail of the frame. Do that twice, to create pivots for both sides.




Calculate your height at plum, make sure your frame tongue is level with the scars on your knees, to get that height. (level to your hitch). Slide your spear lower to points or the pivot pins into your newly made pivots. Clamp down your pivots and weld them onto your frame at the predetermined spear height. Use corner gussets that were cut scraps, 3″x4″. Put vertical gussets in the center of the angle iron pivots, weld them.

Ladies, go out and take a photo, while it is snowing and he is welding. Call him silly and run away.
weld it

Next, measure for a 4×4 “kick stand” up to the bottom side of the top mount to a frame structure to buck it, wrap a chain around the cross member and link the top mount, come-along to the chain. From there, double check measurements for the 4×4. Measure twice cut once, give yourself a little room to cut again. Then cut the wood, put under the mount wedge in the cross member, then pull everything tight with the come-along. Spear should be relatively horizontal, come-along tight, board wedged in place. At that point you are ready for application.

Hay spike trailer

On the weld, turn it up and burn it in.

Now for the photo part of our show, because the above is all Greek to me (more like very bad English). This is why Husband doesn’t run this blog, but he said you should understand. If not, he is here for you.

Get your Good Neighbor’s truck to try it out on first (This should hook up to our tractor as well)
hook it up

Line it up and . . .
line it up

Shove it in

shove it

Start ratcheting it up



up, up

up, up, up

up, up, up, up

oops, it’s sitting on the tires. But it took less then 30 seconds to get it there.

sits on tire

Place the “kick stand” under the spike. Re-bar should fix this.


Now put your Good Neighbor to work, that is after all why he lives next to you.

good neighbor's turn

hay spike close