Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Advice for a newbie?

Posted by on Dec. 3, 2010 at 8:57 AM
  • 5 Replies
  • 608 Total Views

 I moved out of town last December and have spent the past year just making the house livable. Now I am ready to start thinking about starting a garden and maybe have chickens? I used to have a horse but haven't had much luck with other animals... We have an extensive pet cemetery :-( fish, hamster, hermit crabs, and lizards.

I guess what I'm getting at is that I need some really easy ideas for getting started. Will I be able to keep chickens alive? What is involved? Will it be expensive to feed and care for them? Should I wait a year or 2? What are the simplest things to grow in our garden? How do I keep the bugs off without pesticides?

Do you have any other getting started suggestions? Thanks!!!

reading "No matter how busy you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." Confucius

by on Dec. 3, 2010 at 8:57 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-5):
jen2150
by Helping Hands on Dec. 3, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Adult chickens are pretty easy to keep alive.  Fresh greens, fresh, food and water.  The young ones are more tricky since they require more heat when they are young.  I have had chickens for few years now and you learn as you go.  The most important thing to keep them safe at night.  Also you want a house that you can move around.  It really helps.  They tend to collect around their house and it can get really crappy.  We are going to put in an electric fence around them this spring due to some important lessons we have learned.  Raccoons will come by every night working on finding a way in to eat your chickens.  I literally have lost count to have many we have lost this way.  Also I would add new every summer.  I like to have different ages so that are not molting at the same time.  I also free range mine so they have fresh greens which keeps them from getting sick and also make their eggs much better for yourself.  Also when you hatch new eggs watch the rooster population since it can get out of hand.  There is also a homesteading and homeschooling group on cafe mom which I would think about joining.  Oh, make sure they have loose dirt so they can dust bathe.  It keeps parasites off of their feathers.  If you have any specific questions just let me know.  

30aisling
by Helping Hands on Dec. 3, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Jen2150, do you have any advice on the gardening part of Lorelai's question?  I have zilch experience with gardening (vegetables, anyway) and would really like to know how to get started for the coming spring.....any advice or good books?

jen2150
by Helping Hands on Dec. 3, 2010 at 3:43 PM

When it comes to gardening I am not an expert since I am still learning.  I know that raised beds are really helpful.  I would put a fence around your beds and let the chickens fertilize it all winter.  A couple of months before planting time I would put lime on it to cut down on the ammonia.  Chicken crap makes wonderful fertilizer.  I would also start small and go up from there unless you are veteran gardener.  I would work out a sprinkler system which will make watering easier.  The book sqare foot gardening is a great resource and works for a lot of people.  Plants such as eggplant I have not had much luck with them since bugs love them so much.  I think the longer you have chickens the less bug problems you will have.  With my tomatoes I just would pull off the tomato worms and feed them to the chickens.  They go nuts over them.  There are some natural plant derived insecticides you can use.  I would do a search for them.  A 3 or 4 foot fence will keep most chickens out.  They don't like to fly over things.  They do like to fly up on top of things though.  Planting lettuce early in the season has always really worked for us.  We just spread the seeds everywhere.  I live in Virginia so we could only grow lettuce early in the season since lettuce like cooler weather.  I hope this helps you.  I would travel to your library and do some research. 

30aisling
by Helping Hands on Dec. 11, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Thank you jen, I'm sorry I'm just getting around to replying!  Good ideas all!  We live in IN, so probably similar growing seasons

sherribeare
by Welcome Squad on Feb. 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM

bump

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)