“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” ~Thoreau
They say practice makes perfect, so we are practicing! With chickens that is!
Homesteading takes practice. Skills that need to be practiced and perfected. Inevitably much of what we will need to learn in order to be successful homesteaders will have to be learned on the fly, but there are a few things that can be perfected while we are building and preparing the land. Canning. Sewing. Building. Cooking from scratch. Gardening. Not to mention the endless research so that we can be as prepared as possible. Fortunately, we live in a town that allows for backyard chickens! Yay!!
Two months ago we went to a swap meet looking for cast iron pans and any other items that we can put aside for the homestead. As we wove our way through the booths and stands, looking to see what one man’s junk could be reinvented as our treasure, I would stop at every single caged animal. Dreaming of the day that we would be able to take them home with us. ALL of them! We were not looking for chickens. At the time we didn’t even know that we could have backyard chickens inside the city limits. But then I heard the gentle persistent cheeping of tiny little fluff-ball peeps!! My animal loving heart couldn’t take one more step without knowing that I could take a few of them home to raise. We were not prepared. But we purchased a small cage and four peeps and off we went.
After stopping at farm store on our way home, we had the supplies we would need to set up a brooder in the garage. We would figure out the rest as the days would pass, assuming the peeps survived. Garage chickens! We would fatten them up a bit and try our hand at butchering chickens! So very exciting! I knew nothing about raising chickens. My grandparents had backyard chickens, that I loved to chaise, on their small farm when I was growing up, but I myself had zero experience. What do they eat? How much water do they drink? When will they lay eggs? When will they be big enough to butcher? Thanks to the book, Raising Backyard Chickens for Dummies, which you can get here, I feel a bit more prepared.
After learning of the chicken ordinance, we decided to build a coop. Lucky for me, I have a very handy husband (he is going to be building our house, after all) and by the time the chickens were ready to leave the brooder, the coop was complete. (And it is a beauty if I do say so myself!) Turns out we have four Plymouth Rock Barred American’s and they are growing beautifully! If we can keep them happy we should be getting a fair amount of brown eggs by the end of summer, and as a bonus they are a larger breed of chicken and should provide us with some tasty meat! Stay tuned!
What are your experiences with raising backyard chickens? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below.
Until Next Time: Peace, Love & Adventures