Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also often share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready!


Dear SurvivalBlog Readers:

We had another pleasant week here at the Rawles Ranch. We had one last turkey to butcher for this month–this one for our own consumption for our family Thanksgiving celebration.  She was a 28-pound hen and a pain to pluck–especially her big flight feathers. But she sure was tasty. And it is nice knowing precisely how she was raised and fed. That is true for more than 90% of the meat that we eat, here at the ranch. We raise it ourselves, and hence we know exactly what we are eating.

Two of our adult children came with their spouses and our grandchildren in tow, to stay for a couple of nights, over Thanksgiving. That was very pleasant. We miss seeing them more often, but they have homeschooling, social lives, work, and church homes of their own to attend to, these days.

We hope that everyone is enjoying a restful four-day Thanksgiving weekend! We have a lot to be thankful for!  May God Bless America! – Jim & Avalanche Lily, Rawles



This week we have been busy with both the Thanksgiving holiday and increased security measures. We have added more video surveillance on the property. We have some four and two-legged “wild life” concerns we are watching closely. We will be doing some work on the property perimeter to clear for our increased visibility and doing some general maintenance work also. Sarah is continuing to work through closets, organizing photos, and also hopes to get some mending and alteration projects done this week.

o o o

As always, please share your own successes and hard-earned wisdom in the Comments.


  1. The turkey sounds great, especially being home raised so you know exactly what it has been fed. HJL, I admire your home security –do it yourself- project and plan on doing the same here, but it is one of those projects I just have not got to yet. It is on the list and I hope to have it done, or started by year end.

    This week all I’ve done is hunt, except for today. I have taken time off from hunting to spend the day at home and work on some projects. I was able to cut a portion of a fallen red oak for firewood. It wasn’t even a face cord of wood as it still needs to season, but the two of three trunks that fell could yield at least a full cord, maybe more. So I plan on finishing the job in a month or two.

    My adventures while hunting yielded several videos and pictures of deer and turkey. We don’t have a fall turkey season in my area so no turkey harvest for Thanksgiving. That’s okay; I still have a breast from one that I harvested this past spring. Anyway, I’ve been watching a lot of wildlife, but haven’t harvested anything at this point in time.

    Oh yea, kudos on the classifieds. I had a transaction this week with someone that posted an item for sale. It was a very easy experience. Thanks.

  2. I used to raise my own Heritage breed Turks…until “BIG EGG” bought me out. Those birds were the best eating ever. Loved having them around, they are interesting birds.
    Had to really scramble yesterday vacuuming up leaves for the garden potatoe plot for next year then cleaning out the garage and garden shed to put away all the machinery for the winter. We have already had 2 snows this year and another big one on the way tomorrow, supposed to be 8″. I long for the days of global warming…….

  3. Just a few comments about raising poultry at high altitude (we’re at 6,200 FEET).

    CHICKEN BREEDS – EGGS: We settled on the non-industrial Rhode Island Red for egg production. They are calm, excellent foragers, cold-weather hardy and very good egg producers. We’ve found that one rooster per 24 hens is just about right. We brought in a couple dozen BRESSE from Greenfire Farms and want to see how they do as layers.

    CHICKEN BREEDS – MEAT: The White Orpingtons were a disaster. Slow growing, small in size and cannibalistic. Red Rangers did very well, but we found there was a BIG difference in quality, depending on which hatchery we got them from. The best ones came from Stromberg Hatchery in Minnesota… they call them “Red Broilers”. We stay away from the Cornish Cross.

    TURKEYS: We have a large breeding flock of NARRAGANSETT heritage turkeys that we have been building for the past 15 years. They spend the entire year on open range and seem to have built-up a flock immunity to most common poultry diseases. In the past ten years, our only losses have been to predators. We provide open shelters and portable nest buildings. They lay eggs from April through September which we sell (we are certified) to consumers or incubate. The Narragansett is very slow growing in comparison to the Broad Breasted variety, but when harvested, is second to none in flavor.

    We also raise a number of Broad Breasted Whites each year. On the open range, these birds prove to be intelligent, calm and good foragers. They are not as hardy as a heritage turkey and must have access to shelter at all times. The meat is excellent and far superior to the Broad Breasted turkeys raised in confinement sheds.

    INCUBATING: We have a GQF Model 1502 cabinet incubator for chicken eggs and a Grumbach 160 for the turkey eggs. Egg shells “breathe” through pores in the shell and turkey eggs are especially altitude sensitive. As one Veterinarian told me “You can take eggs FROM high altitude and hatch them successfully at low altitude, but you cannot take eggs laid at a low altitude and get much of a hatch anywhere higher than about 2,500 feet.” Over the years, our flock has acclimatized to the thin air here and produce eggs now with significantly more pores than a low altitude flock would do. The real key is to watch the humidity carefully and weigh the eggs periodically to monitor weight loss. On the other hand, we have had hens sneak out into the pasture and nest on their own. One hen successfully hatched and raised 9 out of 10 poults last Spring without benefit of an incubator!

    PESTS: A major problem for both chickens and turkeys are the parasitic mites and worms. We apply a drop or two of IIVERMECTIN to the neck skin of the birds to handle the parasites. (For information on Ivermectin, see “Ivermectin, Wonder Drug From japan” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3043740/.

  4. Worked on vehicle dash boards that needed new parts. Ordered head magnifier to better solder with. Attempting to split more wood between rain/snow. Checked all vehicles for proper anti freeze levels. Cleared drive for several vehicles. Sorting boxes in basement from transition move, an ongoing project. Helping neighbors with projects. Advanced baking and cooking for our Thanksgiving feast. Observing the wild life under the full moon this week, beautiful. Enjoyed family and sledding on Thanksgiving day. Most important; giving thanks to God for His many blessings and His continued guidance for our family and country. Hoping everyone on SB had a blessed Thanksgiving.

  5. Rawles / Latimer households:
    Thanks for this addition to the website – I look forward to seeing what you have done for your weekly preps.
    Had 10 inches snow last week and so thankful my backhoe started ( need to do some winter prep on it for sure prior to next year ) and cleared out the roadway. Grandson stopped by to empty my coal box so I can get restocked. Brought over five wheelbarrow loads of seasoned firewood to give the fireplace it’s first of the season heating. Everything worked fine !
    Certainly has made MUCH MORE thinking of getting my winter arrangements accomplished before the actual start of winter. Usually I have everything ” ready to go ” before the first snow, this year came unexpectedly earlier then thought, and I was engaged in numerous outside projects that had to be finalized while the weather allowed painting / staining, and scaffolding work !
    May I encourage your readers to prep for not only the physical, but the spiritual and cultural changes that are coming our way

  6. Spent a couple days making sure I was fully present with my children. They my be young adults, but when we are together it’s all about family. So thankful to God.

    Otherwise, it is a continual filling of the new woodbox, fighting off frigid temperatures, getting the car fixed from an impact with a deer, and being finally ready for winter!

    This year we were asked whst we each wanted for Christmas. What a blessing as we chose socks, warm boots, woodstove steamer, gunsmithing book as our gifts. Getting practical needed items is such a blessing!

  7. We enjoyed a simple family Thanksgiving meal with my parents, then returned to the farm that evening. Friday we did a little shopping, including some ammo and accessories from Palmetto State Armory. Over the weekend we did some minor repairs to our chicken coop, put up 14 pints of stock (turkey and beef), and started decorating for Christmas.

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