Matthew Steven

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since Oct 05, 2016
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Recent posts by Matthew Steven

So much to say but a daunting task to actually put it into words, but I will try

I’m in Warren County N.J. on 14 acres. I’ve been living off grid and my goal is to be as self sufficient as possible. It’s a long process but I’m making progress. I have bees, Shetland sheep, chickens, and even mature sugar maple trees.

I am seeking someone who shares the same goals and desires. I am 42, 6’3” tall, blonde hair, blue eyes. I will try to attach pictures.  I’ve been divorced for over ten years and I have three kids, 14, 16, and 19.

Where do I see myself in five years, you ask?? I see my flock of Shetland sheep growing, my soon to be planted fruit orchard maturing, my small cabin built, a root cellar built, and my garden producing a lot of food. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Ok not sure what else to write here, but I will answer and questions you have.

I hope to hear from some interesting people.  

No worries at all.
The land was, and is, mainly covered in Russian olives and wild rose. Their wasn’t much other stuff growing in the underbrush, and there was about 6” of dead leaves, branches, and other duff on the ground.

I could have let them graze the garbage but I guess you’ve never dealt with a sheep’s long wool caught in thorny rose branches.

So I made the decision to clear the land, which was a good opportunity to till in lots of lime to bring the soil ph up. Which afforded me the opportunity to plant a healthy grazing field for my sheep.

If I had goats, I would just let them graze and follow behind them and reseed but the sheep are different, their wool poses a different set of issues.

I appreciate your advice and I might try something similar in the future.
I’m clearing pasture for my sheep and I’m wondering how many pounds of seed per acre is normally used? I’m using a mix of about 6 types of forage seeds, annual rye, perennial rye, birdsfoot trefoil, bromegrass, Timothy, and orchards grass.

I had my soil tested and I tilled in the recommended amount of lime so I’m good on nutrients and my ph is on the rise. I have an starting from dirt. I can only find info in reseeding, not starting from scratch.

So, what’s the recommended amount of seed to use on my freshly tilled pasture?
Thanks for the info. What kind of sheep do you have?

I would like a slatted floor to help keep it cleaner. Not many harmful reptiles around here.

It’s mainly for nighttime sleeping. The shed might be used for birthing and I can always put wood on top of the slats.

And I would like to try a slatted floor just to see how it works out. I can always replace it with a solid floor in the future
I’m building a small shed for sheep. It’s 8x10 and it’s moveable, if needed. Since it’s on skids, it’s elevated and I was thinking about putting in a removable slatted floor instead of a solid floor. There doesn’t seem to be a supplier of quality plastic slatted floor anywhere in America, so I figured I would build them out of wood.

Does anyone use them? The sheep have a huge pasture to roam so this would just be for nighttime and for the ewes to birth when needed.

I haven’t been able to find dimensions anywhere. Does anyone have any info? Advice? Suggestions?

Thank you
I am a single man living on 14 acres in north west New Jersey. I am tall, educated, mostly sane, guy. I quit the rat-race last year and I’ve been working on my homestead.

I realize that finding friendship/ a connection/ love on this, or any site, is epically crazy. So Instead I would like to find a woman who is interested in helping me with my land and seeing where it goes. At the very least we can get to know each other and have some fun building and growing things.

If you would like to know more, send me a message.
2 years ago
Sorry for posting in the chicken section. The guinea section doesn’t seem to have a lot of traffic.
I have 4 guineas that survived the predators from last year. They are in a coop to keep them safe and they started laying eggs. They are laying about one a day and I have 7 today. However, I don’t see them sitting on them. I looked online and I found a source that says they don’t get “broody” until they have about 30 eggs. Does this mean they won’t incubate until the nest is full of eggs?
2 years ago
Thanks for the reply. I will look into finding the food you suggested. I am not going to get attached to them because I know they will be cannon fodder for everything out there. That's why Im starting with 20. In all honesty, im not expecting to go in to winter with any, that way if some do survive I will consider myself lucky. I live in a very rural area with dense forest, farms, acres and acres of corn and soy etc. so the predators are all around.

I am going to try to train them to return at night and thanks for the tips. I figured there would be competition if the perches were different heights but the window idea is great. I was going to try to use opaque stuff for the ceiling so it wouldn't be a dark cave, since ive read that they wont go into a dark hole. I am looking for the biggest free, or nearly free trailer that I can find. I can also build a temporary run that attaches to the trailer so I can keep them herded when they are young or if there is a real predator problem. Im hoping they will see it as a safe and preferred place, but who knows.

I am guessing a 6x10 foot trailer would work, or something close to that. And one level of perch around 3 sides and a door on the fourth side for access and cleaning and equal windows if I can find/afford them. Would 2 parallel perches running around the upper part of the house be a good idea? How tall do should I make the coop and how high up should the perches be?  I also read that there should be multiple entrances because of dominating birds will guard the entrance and not allow lower birds in. Should there be food and water inside the house if I lock them in at night?

Do my ideas sound right so far?
3 years ago
I am getting guinea fowl and I want to build their coop on a trailer. I have read that they dont need nesting boxes, they just need bars to perch on.
Does anyone have info on the size house I need for them? Im starting with 20 keets but I know they will be thinned out. Where can I find pics of what the inside should be like? They will eventually have run of my farm and I am going to try to train them to return at night.

Any info would be appreciated.
3 years ago
Im buying 14 acres in norther nj and im looking for a like minded woman. I want to become self sufficient as i move towards being off the grid as much as i can be. I want to find someone that shares my desire to live a more simple life.

Im educated, I have a good career that I will keep. Im divorced and I have kids. Im an introvert and on the Myers Briggs scale im an INTJ. I dont have a social disorder that causes me to act weird around people, I just prefer small groups with intelligent conversation.

Im also a woodworker and I use all hand tools to build furniture, carve spoons and bowls, and make other things I need. When i say I build furniture, I build nice furniture, not stuff out of 2x4's. Haha.

Im a type A personality, which means when I decide to do something, I go all in. Im buying 14 acres with 4 acres of pasture thats been neglected for over a decade and 10 acres of mature forest with sugar maples and black birch trees, as well as other hardwoods. There are no buildings on the property but I have a vision.

Is there anyone out there that can get along with me? I think I am easy going and fun to be around. I love the outdoors, hiking, backpacking, camping, adventure, scuba diving. Im tall, 6'3", blonde hair, blue eyes.

I hope to hear from you.
4 years ago