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May possibly buy a mini farm next year and would love some advice.

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This isn't exactly an hs question, but I know quite a few of you ladies have farms, and those do have direct hs benefits.  :)

We're currently wrapping up the last of the updates to our home.  We've been talking for years about moving where we would have five or more acres, and it seems like a much better & easier option now that both of our daughters are homeschooled.  It would be so nice to have a huge garden, our own animals, and participate in 4H.

Sorry this is so broad a question, but what should we think of?  We'd love to have two or more wool-bearing animals (we've been 'spinning' our own yarn with a drop spindle).  Initially we were thinking of sheep but llamas are incredibly soft and seem brighter too. 

Can chickens be kept in a coop with a big fenced yard area?  My SIL's are loose, but I'd like to keep the areas by the trampoline & play set clean.  Do you have to have a rooster?

Thank you for pointing me in the right direction!

by on Oct. 28, 2013 at 8:38 PM
Replies (21-30):
kirbymom
by Sonja on Oct. 29, 2013 at 7:43 PM
1 mom liked this
Oh it was fun! :) Yes we had enough for eggs to sell and eat ourselves and we had meat chickens too. Just like blue, we had cochins that we raised for our meat chickens. For my egg sellers I had some Sumatra banty hens that seemed to lay eggs every 28 hours. Not supposed to be that fast but they were very high producing hens. Most chickens usually lay about every 32 - 36 hours. We had a camper top from a truck that we turned into a chicken coop. The hens had little cubby's and had a place to play and walk around with up walk ways and ramps going in a gownward bend. We had a chicken wire fence all around the coop so the were sort of free range because of how big the coop was. The kids even got in on this project too. They had their own chicken they had to feed and take care of. They loved every part of it.


Quoting TidewaterClan:

That had to have been fun!  Where did you sell the eggs, or did you raise the chickens for meat?  

At first probably not super self-sustaining, but I'd like to add to that as we get the hang of things.  Definitely a huge garden so we have enough tomatoes and green beans to can for the winter.  I'd like to have enough chickens not to buy eggs.  We use about a dozen each week.  Do they usually lay one a day?  Does that only last a few years?

Quoting kirbymom:That is an awesome idea! We used to have a 10 acre piece of land and raised about 200 chickens, some rabbits and some cats and a dog. We were thinking of raising a goat or two and maybe a cow but we didn't get an opportunity to. If we ever do get another opportunity to do it ahain, we will jump on it faster than you can blink. lol
You only need a rooster if you plan on breeding. Now, how self-sustaining are you wanting to be?


hipmomto3
by Bronze Member on Oct. 29, 2013 at 7:57 PM
1 mom liked this

It depends on how many chickens you're talking about. We have several friends with backyard flocks of under 8 birds, and they have movable coops. They are still quite big and sturdy but can be moved with a tractor from place to place, so the birds are fertilizing the soil and getting plenty of green stuck to peck at. Too many birds though and they'd need so much space I think a chicken tractor setup would not work well. 

My main concern with living in a rural area is access to the internet! We use it so heavily for school, and it's the basis of my husband's ability to work from home, that while we love the IDEA of having animals and land, it's just not at all feasible for our needs, as most rural areas have terrible internet coverage (dial-up! are you kidding me? or satellite, which is nearly as bad).

TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 29, 2013 at 9:36 PM

That is a fantastic plan of action.  He'll get a great sense of business, and be able to take pride in his work too.  I'll bet he is extremely excited!  That's a great responsibility.  Good idea on the budget sheet; we'll set up one plus have some fun (hopefully in person) meeting people & animals over the winter too.

Oh!  I think my girls might just be ok with homegrown chicken dinner if we do have any roosters that are like yours! 


Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Awe!  Yeah we bought the farm when my oldest was maybe 9-10 months old, so it's all they've known.  I think the research project is a great idea!  When my oldest decided that he want to "do" the chickens and the eggs next year, we had him do a budget sheet with extra feed costs, cost of the peeps, electricity for the brooder.  Then come up with a fair price for the eggs.  I get first crack at them because I'll be his investor.  And then he'll slowly buy me out of the business.  He's very excited!  But it had the added benefit of showing him that butchering the males will make him more money.  Of course it helps that male chickens are very violent.  And he'll show them at the fair too!  :-)

TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 29, 2013 at 9:53 PM

That's a super cool idea for coop!  I'm sure the chickens loved it, and I like them having tons of space, but not quite everywhere in the yard too.  I see that type of camper listed super cheap (we go camping a lot).  Those Sumatras are beautiful with that sweeping tail (unless I'm looking at the wrong type).  I'm sure your kids enjoyed having their own to care for.  

Quoting kirbymom:

Oh it was fun! :) Yes we had enough for eggs to sell and eat ourselves and we had meat chickens too. Just like blue, we had cochins that we raised for our meat chickens. For my egg sellers I had some Sumatra banty hens that seemed to lay eggs every 28 hours. Not supposed to be that fast but they were very high producing hens. Most chickens usually lay about every 32 - 36 hours. We had a camper top from a truck that we turned into a chicken coop. The hens had little cubby's and had a place to play and walk around with up walk ways and ramps going in a gownward bend. We had a chicken wire fence all around the coop so the were sort of free range because of how big the coop was. The kids even got in on this project too. They had their own chicken they had to feed and take care of. They loved every part of it.


Quoting TidewaterClan:

That had to have been fun!  Where did you sell the eggs, or did you raise the chickens for meat?  

At first probably not super self-sustaining, but I'd like to add to that as we get the hang of things.  Definitely a huge garden so we have enough tomatoes and green beans to can for the winter.  I'd like to have enough chickens not to buy eggs.  We use about a dozen each week.  Do they usually lay one a day?  Does that only last a few years?

Quoting kirbymom:That is an awesome idea! We used to have a 10 acre piece of land and raised about 200 chickens, some rabbits and some cats and a dog. We were thinking of raising a goat or two and maybe a cow but we didn't get an opportunity to. If we ever do get another opportunity to do it ahain, we will jump on it faster than you can blink. lol
You only need a rooster if you plan on breeding. Now, how self-sustaining are you wanting to be?



TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 29, 2013 at 9:58 PM

That's a great idea too, especially to rotate around the yard but keep the rest clean.  It seems like it wouldn't be too hard to build either.

Good point on the internet!  Our science is half workbook, half online lessons so I'll need to keep that on the checklist.  Plus just looking stuff up in general!  It's been quite awhile since we've had to use dial up.  I almost forget what the static and beep sound like!

Quoting hipmomto3:

It depends on how many chickens you're talking about. We have several friends with backyard flocks of under 8 birds, and they have movable coops. They are still quite big and sturdy but can be moved with a tractor from place to place, so the birds are fertilizing the soil and getting plenty of green stuck to peck at. Too many birds though and they'd need so much space I think a chicken tractor setup would not work well. 

My main concern with living in a rural area is access to the internet! We use it so heavily for school, and it's the basis of my husband's ability to work from home, that while we love the IDEA of having animals and land, it's just not at all feasible for our needs, as most rural areas have terrible internet coverage (dial-up! are you kidding me? or satellite, which is nearly as bad).


kirbymom
by Sonja on Oct. 29, 2013 at 10:17 PM
1 mom liked this
Yeah, the coop was a great idea. We had it sitting on 6 barrels that were half buried in sand as we lived in the desert and we used the little bathroom as a sort of incubator for when the chicks hatched. The chickens could be inside out of the rain or be outside in the sun, whichever they wanted. We had Bard Rocks, Rhode Island Reds just to name a couple. It was so interesting learning all about raising chickens. I would love to raise chickens again. Ahhh - I am so envious at the moment. lol


Quoting TidewaterClan:

That's a super cool idea for coop!  I'm sure the chickens loved it, and I like them having tons of space, but not quite everywhere in the yard too.  I see that type of camper listed super cheap (we go camping a lot).  Those Sumatras are beautiful with that sweeping tail (unless I'm looking at the wrong type).  I'm sure your kids enjoyed having their own to care for.  

Quoting kirbymom:Oh it was fun! :) Yes we had enough for eggs to sell and eat ourselves and we had meat chickens too. Just like blue, we had cochins that we raised for our meat chickens. For my egg sellers I had some Sumatra banty hens that seemed to lay eggs every 28 hours. Not supposed to be that fast but they were very high producing hens. Most chickens usually lay about every 32 - 36 hours. We had a camper top from a truck that we turned into a chicken coop. The hens had little cubby's and had a place to play and walk around with up walk ways and ramps going in a gownward bend. We had a chicken wire fence all around the coop so the were sort of free range because of how big the coop was. The kids even got in on this project too. They had their own chicken they had to feed and take care of. They loved every part of it.


Quoting TidewaterClan:

That had to have been fun!  Where did you sell the eggs, or did you raise the chickens for meat?  

At first probably not super self-sustaining, but I'd like to add to that as we get the hang of things.  Definitely a huge garden so we have enough tomatoes and green beans to can for the winter.  I'd like to have enough chickens not to buy eggs.  We use about a dozen each week.  Do they usually lay one a day?  Does that only last a few years?

Quoting kirbymom:That is an awesome idea! We used to have a 10 acre piece of land and raised about 200 chickens, some rabbits and some cats and a dog. We were thinking of raising a goat or two and maybe a cow but we didn't get an opportunity to. If we ever do get another opportunity to do it ahain, we will jump on it faster than you can blink. lol
You only need a rooster if you plan on breeding. Now, how self-sustaining are you wanting to be?




TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM

That's automatically high up so the coyotes won't be into it (immediately anyhow!).  

I hope you guys have a coop again sometime.  It sounds like everyone really loved it.

So what kind of chicken was the friendliest & easiest for the kids to hold, etc?

Quoting kirbymom:

Yeah, the coop was a great idea. We had it sitting on 6 barrels that were half buried in sand as we lived in the desert and we used the little bathroom as a sort of incubator for when the chicks hatched. The chickens could be inside out of the rain or be outside in the sun, whichever they wanted. We had Bard Rocks, Rhode Island Reds just to name a couple. It was so interesting learning all about raising chickens. I would love to raise chickens again. Ahhh - I am so envious at the moment. lol

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 11:22 AM
1 mom liked this

 Be warned when you meet the incredibly adorable animals you will want totake them home with you!  :-)

If you have a group of roosters, they will be violent.  If you just have one, he can be sweet.  They just seem to have to fight with each other.  Makes it much easier to kill them!

Quoting TidewaterClan:

That is a fantastic plan of action.  He'll get a great sense of business, and be able to take pride in his work too.  I'll bet he is extremely excited!  That's a great responsibility.  Good idea on the budget sheet; we'll set up one plus have some fun (hopefully in person) meeting people & animals over the winter too.

Oh!  I think my girls might just be ok with homegrown chicken dinner if we do have any roosters that are like yours! 

 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Awe!  Yeah we bought the farm when my oldest was maybe 9-10 months old, so it's all they've known.  I think the research project is a great idea!  When my oldest decided that he want to "do" the chickens and the eggs next year, we had him do a budget sheet with extra feed costs, cost of the peeps, electricity for the brooder.  Then come up with a fair price for the eggs.  I get first crack at them because I'll be his investor.  And then he'll slowly buy me out of the business.  He's very excited!  But it had the added benefit of showing him that butchering the males will make him more money.  Of course it helps that male chickens are very violent.  And he'll show them at the fair too!  :-)

 

LuvmyAiden
by New Member on Oct. 30, 2013 at 11:59 AM
1 mom liked this

There are SO many resources out there to help you. Google organic gardeing, chicken raising, goat milking, whatever and you will find blogs that offer some great advice. Making your own candles and soap is super easy. I actually am in the beginning stages of my own little 14 acre farm and I am IN LOVE with all the possibilities and resources. Self sustainability is my end goal. Feeding myself and paying the bills with a you pick garden/farmers market. The lessons my kids are already learning is immeasurable!

TidewaterClan
by Kate on Oct. 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM
We were already trying to figure out how to sneak that llama home the other day but he was just too tall!

Roosters sound like deer during rut! Do you butcher your own? I've gone rabbit hunting & cleaned those. Fowl are different I know.


Quoting bluerooffarm:

 Be warned when you meet the incredibly adorable animals you will want totake them home with you!  :-)


If you have a group of roosters, they will be violent.  If you just have one, he can be sweet.  They just seem to have to fight with each other.  Makes it much easier to kill them!


Quoting TidewaterClan:


That is a fantastic plan of action.  He'll get a great sense of business, and be able to take pride in his work too.  I'll bet he is extremely excited!  That's a great responsibility.  Good idea on the budget sheet; we'll set up one plus have some fun (hopefully in person) meeting people & animals over the winter too.


Oh!  I think my girls might just be ok with homegrown chicken dinner if we do have any roosters that are like yours! 


 


Quoting bluerooffarm:


 Awe!  Yeah we bought the farm when my oldest was maybe 9-10 months old, so it's all they've known.  I think the research project is a great idea!  When my oldest decided that he want to "do" the chickens and the eggs next year, we had him do a budget sheet with extra feed costs, cost of the peeps, electricity for the brooder.  Then come up with a fair price for the eggs.  I get first crack at them because I'll be his investor.  And then he'll slowly buy me out of the business.  He's very excited!  But it had the added benefit of showing him that butchering the males will make him more money.  Of course it helps that male chickens are very violent.  And he'll show them at the fair too!  :-)


 

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