I am so very excited and interested in getting chickens for my little homestead. I have been doing a ton of research. A TON. My husband and I talked about it a whole lot before we bought our home last January and so this is not a new interest. I bought a chicken magazine, started reading fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com and researching coop plans. I have a couple books am hoping to purchase soon. Thank goodness for the internet!! So much free information to help me be informed and responsible about my choices. The only thing, and a BIG thing is that I need to have someone available to watch my chickees when they are little and check on them many times a day. The husband's hours are crazy and he may or may not be home and I have a set 5 day a week schedule but am off at 330, but have to pick up the toddler before I get home. Ugh. I'm not sure what to do about that but I am sure there are others who have had the same concern, I just need to find them out there on the vast internet.
I am entranced by the idea of growing supplemental food from my new garden for my chickens and using their poo as fertilizer for every part of my homestead. Feeding my family with their eggs and yummy veggies that my ladies will help me grow. Also, the idea of letting them eat the lawn so my husband doesn't have to mow as much is also appealing. Having my kids learn about sustainability, good treatment of animals and how to eat hyper locally, i.e. via our back yard (and front yard, and side yard if I can find something that will thrive there)
I am leaning toward a coop plan I found http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Chicken-Coop-Plans/Pallet-Wood-Chicken-Coop-Building-Plans-p622.aspx because I work where there is a warehouse and I can get pallets easy for free. I also read though the testimonial of this brave soul and am a little shaky in my boots because of it, http://montanachickenchick.blogspot.com/
Our garden is also going in this year. Can I tell you how much I missed not having anything I could eat growing last year. I was willing it so much I had yellow pear tomatoes growing up from under my deck, black sunflowers and cherry tomatoes by the back fence. Really I'm sure they were remnants of seeds from the past owners, but it was a "sign" to me that this land is fertile and will bear great nutrition and entertainment for my family (and friends, and neighbors and whomever else I can gift with the "fruits" of my labor)
Well, back to looking for coop plans and how I maybe go about getting chicks that are a little older so I can make sure they are taken care of properly in the beginning.
So many things to consider. I am so excited.
Oh, by the way, MERRY CHRISTMAS WORLD. And I will celebrate 5 years of continuous sobriety in about two weeks. That is just beyond amazing.
Thank you God.