A Brave new world

Brave is my browser.

I like Open Source software.  It shows how a worldwide community of like-minded individuals can produce some of the best ideas and results in an open and free environment.

Open source refers to something people can modify and share because its design is publicly accessible.  Open source software is software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance.  Source code is the part of software that most computer users don’t ever see; it’s the code computer programmers can manipulate to change how a piece of software—a “program” or “application”—works.

Chromium is the Open Source browser project.  It is the base for Google Chrome and now Microsoft Edge.  So a large number of people use the Chromium base for browsing, which is why certain browsers have lots of similarities.

Brave also uses Chromium as it base so it’s very similar to what most people are used to.   It’s main two features are:

  1. It’s privacy minded and designed to help prevent unwanted trackers and adds.
  2. It has an unique optional BAT Rewards program.  As I mentioned in my Stages of a blog post blog, creating content takes time and BAT is a refreshing new take on rewarding people for their time.  It sure beats Adds.  At the time of this writing, I am not signed up to send or receive BAT rewards, but it is on my to do list.

2021 Update on Blog Posts

I like to do projects and build.  I’m inquisitive and like to try things.   And I like to share the things I did.  This blog is the best outlet for me to share.

I wrote Stages of a Blog Post blog to show my process, how it can get lengthy, and why I don’t share as much/often as I think I should.  However, as it got to the formatting and publishing stage, I realized it feels like I’m making excuses.  So since the text was done, I decided to post it as-is with this quick follow-up intro.

Instead of saying it may be a while between my posts, let me share what’s in my head and pipeline for upcoming posts, along with some expectations.

  • More on the portable coop & chicken tractors.  I think I’ve covered the base build processes for these, but I’m looking to fill in holes, provide updates on how things are going, include things I’ve tried or changed since, and add new features I’ve installed.  I want these posts to help others with their own homesteading and are the main reason I post.
  • Posts on other “projects” I’ve done.  Various things, not directly chicken related.
  • Some posts on technology.  Things I do or know that may help others or are just fun.  I’m not looking to solve technical problems or write ‘How to guides’.
  • Fun stuff.  Anything from a short ‘look what just flew over my head’ to a series on an activity or event.  Stuff I consider fun, not necessarily related to homesteading, although making time for fun is part of homesteading.
  • Of course Brothers M. Poultry, especially Brother M. Monday’s in May.

My commitment is to produce at least one post a month.  My expectation is to produce more.  Right now, I’m seeing a rush of 4-5 posts just in January.

Please like posts and follow me.  I hate to admit it, but likes and especially follows really are a good motivator.  Thanks.

Stages of a blog post

I’m consider myself a novice at posting blogs, cannot seem to call it blogging.  As with a lot of things I do, I researched the basics and jumped right in.  I like to share my experience and experiences in hopes that I can help someone out or maybe at least entertain them.  So, I thought I’d give you a look at how a blog happens for me. 

I come up with ideas I’d like to share all the time, usually while working outside, or doing something else where a computer is not handy, so I outline them in my head.  Getting those ideas written down isn’t easy.   Typically what I do is take pictures of what I’m doing so that if that idea ever makes it ‘on paper’ I can add some color and graphics to it.

When I do blog writing, it’s usually in spurts.  Sometimes I just need to get a post out to meet a deadline I’ve given myself, so I force myself to write.  These times I usually stick to doing a final edit of a post in WordPress and publish it.  

Other times it’s because I have an itch to write. These times I’m usually in my note taking software, OneNote, and usually follow a flow:

  1. Bullet point all the topics that are in my head.
  2. Add an “outline” to bullet points. Usually just sub bullet points vs outline
  3. Flesh out a draft to the outline of topics
  4. Second pass at drafts/move text to WordPress
  5. Format WordPress drafts and add graphics
  6. Final review and publish

1 & 2 are meant to prevent me from losing ideas.  3-5 don’t always flow from one to the next.  I may be really interested in a topic and focus on moving that topic through the flow, sometimes all the way, but usually just to the next phase.  

The flow is how I was taught/learned to write.  It creates better finished products as my thoughts mature through the process.  My writing, however, is what it is.  Hopefully it’s not too awful and will continue to improve.

For example, on the day this post reached stage 3 it was bout 6 months ago and I had the following topics in each stage

  •  7 ideas & outlines
  • 4 first drafts (2 topics may never be appropriate to see the light of day)
  • 3 drafts in WP waiting formatting (1 either I didn’t save the text or just created a template page for an idea)
  • 2 waiting final review

This post was a long way to say I’m not a naturally affluent writer and each blog post takes time. And “free”/writing time is not something I have a lot of.  That’s why there can be long pauses between my posts even though there are plenty of ideas and wishes to get those ideas out.

Extortion – The new norm?


Portable Chicken Coop / Tractor – Feeders

This really doesn’t need to be a separate post, but I didn’t want to combine it with my solar tire tub post since I consider that a failure.

My father-in-law gave me these feeders, so I decided to use them in the initial phase of the coop build.  My thought was to build a PVC feeder system that we could add feed from outside the coop.  This was because roosters are mean to little girls.

Now, we no longer have a rooster and I’ve grown to like the door feeders.  Having to open the door to feed the chickens is a bit more work.  And a time or two a chicken has escaped, as referenced in my aviary post; however, at this point I’m no longer interested in perusing a PVC solution .

As a bonus item, here’s my solution for providing calcium for the chickens.  I like the idea of providing a second feeder that they can get the calcium at-will instead of adding it directly to their feed.  For this I repurposed a broken brooder waterer and an old brooder feeder base I picked up.  The plastic waterer was cracked and not holding water, so I cut open the top to be able to fill it from the top, and drilled two holds for the hanger.  A scrap piece of house wire inserted into two drilled holes acts as a hanger.

Back to Portable Chicken Coop Main Page

Portable Chicken Coop / Tractor – Solar Tire Tub Waterer

Recently I realized I didn’t  do a post on my solar tire waterer and that it’s on the outline for my initial build.  In my opinion it was a failure and I guess why I overlooked it.  But, I want others to be able to learn from both my successes and failures so here goes.

I researched ways to keep water from freezing and the tire idea intrigued me so I built one.  I thought I had an ace up my sleeve, I’ll explain.

So I got a tire and put a board across the bottom for the pan to sit on.  This was to insulate the pan from the ground.  The instructions said to fill the tire with insulating material, plastic seemed to be the most common material so I filled the tire with old tarp scraps.  I got a black plastic oil pan that fit the tier pretty well and I was off to the races.

And my ace in the hole?  One of our small blue-ice bottles, unfrozen obviously.  I saw people putting a dark ball in the water to move the water and attract heat, thus helping to keep it from freezing.  If figured if my “ball” was also partly filled with salt water, which freezes at a lower temperature, it would help keep the water from freezing even more.

The results.  The chickens roosted on the tire during the day, frequently butt side toward the water, and made a mess in the water.  It was hard to keep the water clean.  The tire setup did help keep the water from freezing, a little.  It was fairly easy to dump frozen ice out of the pan or to melt it with hot water.  The blue ice bottle seemed to help, but I’m not sure if or how much better than just adding a ball.

Marshmallow seems to be my common companion

The end result was I finished the winter with it and moved back to a standard ground waterer as soon as I could.  The tire was thrown in a corner, pan and all, and I didn’t touch it until I grabbed a picture the following February for the solar water post.  It’s still sitting unused.

For a better solution, check out what I used last winter.  This is the best solution I’ve found.

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Portable Chicken Coop / Tractor – Aviary

This was a part I didn’t plan out in great detail, but I’m used to that.  Even the well thought out plans I made for this coop got modified as I built.  Typically I’m building with various material, used and new, and I incorporate what I have to make what I want.  I like to think I’ve developed pretty decent system around this building process.

Just so happens, I watched this video on being more productive the morning I was going out to work on the Aviary.  It made me feel better about building the Aviary from just an idea in my mind.   Early in the video,  I like when he said “I think it’s easy to stand around and talk about how to do something better, when if you simply put your head down and went to work, it would be done, and well done, when discussion on the best possible method was just beginning to slow up enough for somebody to begin to pick up a tool.  Now I’m overstating that, but productivity is important.”

I also, I enjoyed the Frost poem, and finally CS Lewis’s quote,  “Two of a trade, never agree.” and his interpretation that Everyone does it different, so learn new things from that.

What’s Up? Chicken Butt. Laugh when you see it.

But on to the Aviary…

Building a coop on a trailer meant coming up with an aviary that can be lifted for movement.  I don’t have permanent perimeter fencing around the pasture to keep and protect the flock, so an aviary is necessary.

The aviary is easily detachable at the pivot/hinge, made from a caster with the wheel removed.  This is for three reasons.  I may use the coop with portable fencing as some point and not want the aviary attached.   The corners of the aviary drag when moving, so if I’m moving over large distances, removing the aviary makes the move easier.  It’s also necessary for me to use the windows as access portals to remove chickens when they are roosting in the middle, removing the aviary gives me access to the windows.

Nice to have a friend around when you work

Most of the frame is made out of some scrap aluminum wire track I picked up.  This helps keep it light.  The wooden pallet boards are for extra strength at the corners and pivot point, and to make it easier to tie everything together.  Chicken wire is zip tied to the frame and stapled to the wood where appropriate.

I turned one corner of the frame into a hatch.  This mainly allows us to water the chickens.  We’ve been using ground waterers in the warm months and my new solar heated waterer in the cold months.   I recently setup a PVC nipple system, but the weather turned cold before I could try it out; more to come on that.

My helper with running the cable.

The initial plan was to use a pulley system attached to the aviary to raise and lower it like a drawbridge and attach a motor or winch to raise and lower it.   Even though it’s pretty light, it a pretty hard pull to raise.  This is due to the shallow angle of lift I have from the roof and that I used cheap pulleys.  Even with double pulleys, it’s a struggle to lift by pulling the cables.

Currently, I raise the aviary by hand, prop it up with a bucket, then pull the slack out of the cable and tie it down, using a cleat hook on the inside.  I’m thinking I may scrap the whole pulley system and just have one cable on each end that is right length to hold the frame up once I’ve raised it on the bucket.

I’ve been told I should have designed the coop so that the aviary drags behind the coop when I move it.  This sounds like a good idea; however, it doesn’t make backing up easy and I’ve already built the coop.  I do think a redesign is in order, I have some ideas, so more to come when I’m finished.

Yes, she’s outside. The devil escaped while filling the food.



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Outdoor Life

I love the outdoors; however, last couple of years, due to my weight and a knee injury, being active outdoors has been more of a chore than a joy.  Last fall I got serious about fixing that.  While I haven’t hit my goal weight yet, I’ve made significant progress and my knee stays un-swollen and pain free most of the time.  This means that I’m spending most of my free time outdoors catching up on projects and feeling the breeze and sun on my skin.


Seen on my daily hike in our woods



That’s my way of saying I’ve not spent much time on updating posts.  🙂  However, I have jotted down several notes and since it’s rainy this weekend, I’m going to get a post or two out.  Hope you enjoy.

It’s time for Turkey

No, these are not velociraptors; it’s Turkey time!

We’ve raised a small batch of turkeys to have more to offer.  We have a couple whole turkey, ground turkey, and turkey wings & drumsticks for sale starting this weekend.


Whole turkeys are frozen in a bag.  They’re $4.25/lb and weigh ~12 lbs.

Ground turkey is in 1lb bags and $10/lb

Turkey wings and drumsticks are $6.50/lb


We will have ground turkey and wings and drumsticks on hand at the Seymour Farmers Market starting 8/1 while supplies last.

** Preorder by 8pm  on Fridays until 8/8 and receive a 10% discount.   Deadline by 8pm 7/31 for 8/1 pickup or 8pm 8/7 for 8/8 pickup.  Pickup at Seymour Farmers Market, times in Eastern.

Whole turkeys are preorder only, we will only bring them to the market once they are sold.  *Preorder discount does not apply to whole turkeys.

Contact us via email or contact page if interested.  https://maplesmisc.com/about/contact-us/