Moving to the country, that was the dream. We lived in town, but had veggie gardens and fruit trees. We also had dogs,cats,bees, a bunny and chickens. All was fine until our sixth chicken accidentally turned out to be a rooster. I do believe that was the last straw for our city friends. We began the search for our farm. We actually found it quickly, when we pulled up in the drive and I saw this adorable ranch home with a front porch that ran the full length of the home, three ceiling fans, a porch swing, and the big tree ringed with iris in full bloom, I was sold. The home has a big country kitchen, large open living room with stone fireplace, a great master suite, two additional bedrooms and an additional bath. On the ten acre property are lots and lots of trees. It had a couple of outbuildings and some fencing. The farm was a real charmer. We made an immediate decision to buy that farm. At this point we believed our mission was to just live a simpler life and become a bit more self sufficient. Little did we know that our life as we knew it would disappear and would be replaced by the most fulfilling adventure we have ever been on.
It was our intent to increase our chicken flock and make them self supporting. We built them a nice nice new home and run that was protected in every way. Once this was done we purchased a few more chickens. Since then we have increased the flock several times and due to a tragic fire, we have rebuilt the coop. ( That is a story for another time.) We have about thirty five laying hens right now and just received thirty more peeps from a hatchery. For now, they have taken up residency in the milking house. They are at the point where they are losing the fluff and getting their real feathers. We are on the twice a day feeding and cleaning routine. But they sure are cute! They are so young they do not even know that they cannot fly. It is really funny to watch them spread their wings and try to fly, only to land on the ground severely disappointed. We haven’t told the big girls yet that they are getting new house mates. It is a comical day when the new chicks are introduced to the older hens. Some of the older ones are kind and take care of them, some ignore the young ones, and some are kind of mean, they pick on the little ones and push them around. But, after a few days it is like one big happy family. My girls are indeed earning their keep, they are laying enough eggs to pay for their feed, that alone would be enough to make them a blessing. We are selling our eggs locally and are having a great response. But, we put our kitchen waste, our yard waste and all the horse waste in their yard, in turn the girls create the most wonderful compost. Each spring we remove it and we get enough to dress all the flower beds, fill all our pots, top off the vegetable garden, mulch the fruit trees, and plant several hundred heirloom vegetable plants we sell from our small greenhouse. After all that we still have plenty for family and friends. So the girls are definitely self supporting.
When we started this, we never imagined that we could gain so much knowledge, income, and resources from our girls.
More on our mission soon!