Monday, March 13, 2017

We're almost like a real urban homestead now

I've had a garden to a varying degree most of my life. The last few years it's been small - a solitary 4'x24' raised bed with the occasional garlic, horseradish, or herb planted like landscaping around my house. All winter I tried to devise a way to grow my garden, but the problem is that most of my yard is shaded by a neighbors tree. The very small bit of yard where there is some sun is where we're putting up the kids swing set and trampoline this spring. I had to come up with another means to provide for the family.

Then it hit me...

Chickens do quite will under the shade of a tree! We'd talked for 2 years about wanting chickens, but I've never had chickens and had no clue where to begin. So last spring and summer I did some reading. I read about chickens needs in a coop, ways to cut feed costs, breed attributes, and city restrictions (luckily there really aren't any here).

So I've spend the last 2 weeks thinking through everything I've learned. Trying to decide how many hens I want, how large of a coop we'll need for them, a coop layout, which breeds we want, and how we're going to get them.

First we decided to get 12 chicks. This is probably going to be way more than we need, but we expect to lose 1 or 2 in the beginning. And we figured it was safer to have too many and need to give one away (or put it on the Sunday dinner table) than to start with too few and be disappointed with our results.

The coop design has been a challenge. And it's a challenge we're still working on. We're making a lean-to style coop off the back of our garage, but that's about all we've agreed on...

We decided to get a 6 different breads, 2 of each. Since we have no clue what's going to work well for us we decided to just try as many as we could. The ones that aren't working will just end up on the dinner table this winter and next spring we can expand on those breeds that worked out well for us.

We chose:
Easter Egger for their beautiful blue and teal eggs
Golden and Silver laced Wyandotte because they are very beautiful and tolerate cold well
Dominique because they're extremely cold hardy
Welsummer for their brown eggs covered in very dark brown speckles
Black Australorp for their iridescent feathers and high egg production

So they're ordered, paid for, and will be waiting for us at the end of the month! We were lucky to have a reputable hatchery a short drive from our home so we'll be taking the kids on a road trip to pick them up.

Happy Chickens.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave me some love. Tell me if you've tried these things, if you've like them, if they were a nightmare, or if you know what I've done wrong. I'd love if you included links to your work, but please, keep it relevant.