Originally Posted by lizzyGSR
I'm getting the hatchery surprise box from Cackle hatchery. I will be getting between 40 and 60 birds, which could include anything from chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and guineas. This will be the first time in my adult life of owning anything but ducks/geese. I'm pretty excited but nervous as well. This will also be my first time with shipped birds and the first time I've had more than 15 birds at a time (currently have 3 geese and 4 ducks). I am a little nervous about all the "firsts" but am pretty excited about the variety that will be coming! I ordered this box because I couldn't make up my mind which breed(s) I wanted to try first, so I'm excited to get a wide variety!
We are getting closer to being ready, as well! Our chicken coop is getting closer to being done! Yesterday, we moved it to its more permanent home and hung the doors and filled in some low spots around the base of the coop. We still have a ways to go, but it is getting much closer to being usable!
I've never heard of a surprise box that includes multiple species. It will be fun to see what you get. Nice job on the coop. Is that solid metal or the plastic sheeting? (Its hard to tell in pics). If solid metal, are there going to be windows? I like hoop style houses - no need to worry about rain or snow build up.
Originally Posted by chicken danz
I don't think I could handle all that activity. I already work from sun up to sun down and longer.
I knew you had the cattle and sheep but didn't realize you still had goats. I keep thinking of getting a hog but on the fence if I want to handle one if it keeps trying to dig out. I am now considering getting a Yak. I love them. I just need to find a market for their fiber. I am not going to spin my own wool!!!! It's a dream on the yak but again I don't have fencing for it so that would mean more fence buiding.
Oh yes, we still have the two meat goats from years ago and also added two dairy does last year. We milked them from April until October and then let them dry up as by then they were pregnant. Now that they've kidded, and the kids are two weeks old today, we could start milking them any time but we decided since they both have twins, we'll let them raise the twins to weaning age before starting to milk them, as we are already getting a couple of gallons per milking from the cows so we don't need the milk right now.
I also keep thinking about getting a couple of hogs to raise. They're social so we'd have to get two at once but fortunately due to the cooperative with the neighbor it would work to get two - one for each of us. What holds me back is the rooting and digging they do - I really don't need the place torn up by pig snouts. The only place I can think to put them is to build a pen out of hog panels adjacent to my current veggie patch and let them root and till it to their heart's content. Then after they are gone, I can expand the veggie garden into that area The only problem with that plan is that we positioned the veggie garden in a spot that gets full sun and in summer it would be way hot for piggies. However when I do a lot of cheese making and have gallons of whey, I often wish I had pigs to feed it to.
Tree trimmers have been in our area for the past two weeks and I spoke with them a few days ago, asking if they need a place to dump the wood chips. They were delighted to have a place to dump them for free because they have to pay to dump them at the landfill. So yesterday they arrived and the truck didn't look huge but the pile of chips they left me is enormous. I am so thrilled to have them! Last year we went to our local recycling center and got free chips - but those we had to load ourselves and then unload. And, we had to make several trips. Having the tree company dump a load for me is a huge savings in labor and time. I put them around the 4' perimeter of my veggie garden last year and it worked great as a walkway and weed barrier, keeping the grass from growing in from outside the garden plot. However over time the stuff decomposes and the layer is now quite thin. I knew I was going to have to replenish it each year but wasn't really looking forward to the trip to the recycling center to load. As soon as they left last night, I started transferring from the pile to the veggie garden and already got one of the long sides bedded down with about 8" of new chips all the way along. I decided I'd better go really thick as these chips are very green, having only been run through the chipper right before coming here. Therefore they are hot and the pile already had some warmth to it when I stuck my hand in there. So I'm thinking these will break down even faster than those of last year that had had more time to dry out and mature.