we are planting 2x's the amount of veggies (pumpkins/squash/peppers..etc..), so that we can subsidize the birds diets..that includes the turkeys and meat birds..I feel they should have a variety of things in their diets too. The better they eat, the better we do! Going to be investing in different "wheat" seed to grow in the garden in the "off" season to also add to the birds/rabbits diets.
We are getting rabbits this spring for breeding/meat/pelts..going to be doing some experiments with "fodder" and other grasses for their food.
We have also planted fruits trees & berry bearing bushes..going to be adding more as we go. The ultimate/long term plan is turning this property into a self-sustaining garden, through "compatible planting", livestock and insects (pollinators-bees/butterflies). Also into water collection & alternative "power"/ energy sources (wind/solar/wood), anything to help keep the $$ out-put to the most minimum...a lot of work, but extremely satisfying and we become more self sustained..finding others who enjoy knowing where/how their food comes to the table is not hard...just start talking chickens with people and the next thing you know you are swapping/trading with your neighbors..they have goat milk/butter/cheese and you have canned goods, bees= honey...it is awesome!
This thread/website is a great start to finding people who are in your more immediate area. There are a lot of very nice folks I have gotten to know. They have done so much to help us get this far.
We LOVE yard sales..did 99% of Christmas shopping that way this year..and on-line auctions! Craigslist is great too, just have to be careful..that goes for anything really. We were only able to complete the coop because of materials purchased from these avenues..in truth, most items we were able to get for FREE..just have to take into consideration GAS & TIME...
Going to be roofing the run next spring from materials received free or on the extreme-cheap..we couldn't do this any other way.
WOW! Is the best adjective I can come up with. You must be young. My husband and I just got our lifelong dream of a farm last year. He's 70 and I'm 63. We're both very active and have been working very hard at becoming more self sustaining. We have chickens, sheep and steers. We planted a huge garden and I canned everything I could. I planted a lot of broccoli, kale, cabbage, collard greensand pumpkins thinking I'd freeze a lot of it for the chickens for winter. The only thing they'll eat is pumpkin. Should I steam the greens first? And what do do with the cabbage for the chickens?
We wanted to have bees too. I took an online course thru Penn State only to learn that bees will Not live where herbicides and pesticides are used and unfortunately our neighboring farms use both. I was so looking forward to my own honey as a natural sweetener.
We're raising the sheep for wool for spinning and knitting.
I really have learned a lot on this site. Thank you for your information.