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Hi! My name is Allison and my husband and I are at the very beginning of our homesteading adventure. We have 2 girls, ages 9 and 6, that we homeschool. We also have 2 dogs and 16 cats (most are outdoor kitties). We're in the planning stages right now. We are trying to pick out breeds for our future animals and plan for pasture sizes and rotation. The plan is to put our current house on the market in spring, then buy a large piece of property in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and start to build. We'll buy blank land and start from nothing, building our home ourselves.
We plan to have pigs, chickens, dairy goats, turkeys, a mini dairy cow or two, and eventually sheep and horses. It's a big project, but we're excited to get started. We're going to be spending the time until spring learning, planning, visiting breeders, and readying our current home for sale. I very much look forward to learning from this forum and getting to know all of you.
So hello and God bless you all from the middle of the mitten (soon to be the U.P.) :happy:
 
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welcome from da U.P.

we moved up to the keweenaw peninsula in 98. bought the farm in 2000, back down to the thumb area for a couple years, then back home.
its a whole different living experience here. those who like it stay. those who don't leave.

we have a 10 yr old son that is home schooled.
do you know what part of the U.P. you plan on moving to?


keith
 

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Thank you both. :)

Keith-We're not 100% sure yet. We're looking either somewhere between St Ignace and Sault Saint Marie, or over by Champion. I know those are huge areas, LOL, but we just aren't sure yet. :) Do you raise livestock at all? I've been really wondering about what to expect with that, especially with all the predators up there.
Any advice you can give a newbie Yooper? ;)
 

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Where are you at in the middle? I'm near Riverdale....

I grew up just sout of the Bridge, and knew a few people in the eastern UP.
Fodder usually was Timothy and Alsike clover or Birdsfoot Trefoil, because of the soil types and drainage.

I would lean towards primitve sheep (Finnsheep, Icelandic, Shetland) and chickens with rose combs (to avoid frostbite). Rabbits are also good for that area.

Tamworth or Guinea hogs (I really like to get some Mangelista breeders, but they are fairly expensive).
 

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no live stock here. we aren't farmers.
we do have chickens. we lost a few to a fox last year, as did our neighbor. i thought we were going to have more problems when i saw a fox during late winter, but we haven't lost any yet. we let the chickens free range during the day. when we had problems they would be confined to their run until afternoon, and then let out for a few hours. once you decide on an area to move to learn what predators are in the area, and what you need to do to deal with them. i had to relocate a raccoon family to a remote area after i saw momma stalking toward the coop. i live trapped them.

i know people who have goats, sheep, cattle, alpacas horses. it is possible to have live stock in spite all the predators roaming around. barrier fences, relocation, trapping or shooting if necessary are some ways to deal with predators.

there is something to be said about starting fresh and building your own.
we have been fixing up an old farm house, and nothing is straight or level anymore. lumber was cut different. out buildings were no longer useful, and the barn was full of junk. its been an interesting process.


keith
 

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I'm near Midland, in Sanford.
I'm thinking of doing Gotland sheep or Border Leicasters (sp), they're long wool breeds and I like their fleece for the spinning potential. I also like their temperaments, and the fact that they're good for meat. I'll look into the Icelandics, I don't think I've read anything about them.
I'm thinking of doing barred rocks for chickens, they're supposed to brood well, which is important to me. They're also supposed to be cold weather resistant, I'll need to do more research into that. Though honestly we'll probably wind up mixing a breed or two together.
I've never heard of any of those hog breeds, we were thinking Duroc/Hampshire crosses. I'll have to look those others up.
We know good fencing is going to be a must, planning for woven wire with electric wire top and bottom.
I think the thing dh is looking forward to the most is building ourselves. We've looked at a few properties online that are hunting camps and thought about going that route, but something about starting from nothing and building everything ourselves really appeals to us. Dh plans for us to live in a tent for the summer. I think that'll get old fast for me, but he and the kids will love it I'm sure. ;) I told him he has until snow to build me a house with indoor plumbing and at least a little electricity (Enough for my Xbox, laptop, and a small tv is all I need. I'm a gamer girl at heart. :) ) LOL Were planning for a small house, between 1,000 and 1,300 square feet split between two stories. I don't need the farm to produce income, just provide our needs. I figure for a family of 4, we should be able to do that easily and still provide the turkey for the family thanksgiving. :)
 

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Dh plans for us to live in a tent for the summer. I think that'll get old fast for me, but he and the kids will love it I'm sure. ;) I told him he has until snow to build me a house with indoor plumbing and at least a little electricity
Giving him 60 days, huh? ;)

Good luck! :bouncy:
 

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Giving him 60 days, huh? ;)

Good luck! :bouncy:
************************
Good luck getting the necessary permits done in that time frame!!!

Or are they planning on taking the chance of not getting
caught and if caught, begging forgiveness after paying the fine?
 

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Far better to get an old camping trailer for temp quarters................

NO BODY would fair well if, at all, through the kind of storm we just had . . NO BODY

Get some metal between you and the elements........

Top of your list is to check for zoning for the place you are interested in.
Permits and zoning are a huge bug-a-boo.
Have you any idea how long it can take to get a fully permit-ed septic system put in. .?

Good luck . . from northwest lower.............
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Giving him 60 days, huh? ;)

Good luck! :bouncy:
LOL Something like that yeah. :rotfl:


Don't worry, I understand that it could take longer. It's one of the reasons we considered a hunting camp. :)
 

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I'm originally from the lower, but moved to the U.P. 8 years ago. I purchased the house, garage, pole barn and acreage 10 years ago as a retirement place when I retired. Life happens and I ended up moving up here. I reside in the center of the U.P. and just love it -- 30+ minutes to Marquette and 40+ minutes to Escanaba area. A friend and her husband relocated from the lower 2 years ago. They have goats, chickens, guineas, 2 dogs and a herd of cats (at least 12) as she calls them. There is farming in our area and a lot of people have put up hoophouses due to our short growing season. Presently I don't have any farm animals (other than a dog and rabbit) as I work full time and will probably retire within the next few years.

If you visit, check with the local people as you will learn a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Beeshurt- Does your friend have much trouble with predators? I've been looking into guard animals because I know how many there are up there. I'm not really sure how much of a problem they truly are though?
Do you have a well? Someone told me that there's so much rock up there that it makes it hard to drill a well. Do you have that problem near you?
I really don't want to be too far from the bridge, no more than 2 hours tops, my family will still be down here and I want to be able to visit easily. Well, at least in the summer. LOL How bad is the snow, really? Do you find that most people are trapped at home once the snow flies?
 

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My friend has not had any predator problems. Her guineas squawk when hawks or eagles are near. Her husband has a video cam and know that on a part of their property a bear roams but have not had problems with it going after any livestock. She has had a few hens die, but they died naturally from old age or other issues.

I have not had any problems with my well. Where I reside I did not need a deep well. I'm 2-1/2 hours from the Bridge. I know because I timed it and I have had to travel downstate a lot this past year (father went into hospice so I helped mom out, then he passed away; and most recently mom broke her foot). My mother lives just south of Grayling and it's a 4-1/2 hr drive for me. When I worked downstate and traveled every weekend up here it was a 6-1/2 hr drive (from the East Lansing area). I will add that I have a dog so I need to make bathroom breaks for her.

I would also say purchase a hunting camp as you can always tear down that structure once the house is completed or use it for a barn for animals. I know that just down the road from me - a piece of property was just purchased and already had the well dug but no structure. The ppl that purchased it have a bus that they are using currently for their living arrangements.

Most of my neighbors have cows, poultry, one has horses, sheep, llamas and I have not heard of anyone having problems. The sheep farmer has llamas and guard dogs as it is a larger operation. My friend's neighbor who has meat cows uses donkeys as they are also good guards.

Hope this helps out:D If you have any other questions - don't hesitate to email me personally.
 

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II reside in the center of the U.P. and just love it -- 30+ minutes to Marquette and 40+ minutes to Escanaba area.
Outhouse races in Trenary? :thumb:
 

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Riverdale "Outhouse races in Trenary?"

Yes. Once you have been to a few - it's nothing any more. The people watching is what gets to me!!!:banana:
 
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