I really like Ed too! When I buy my own property I would love to build up to a set up like his. On his Facebook page recently he mentioned that he is probably going to stop selling to the public. I hope I can get some birds from him first.
I'm pretty sure I am going to start with a few Araucana chicks from Chicken Scratch Poultry. They have good availability and are affordable ($14/chick). They are Nancy Utterbeck lines but since its a (small) hatchery they will be a mix of colors and quality, unlikely any tufts. Then if all goes well the first year or two I can start adding better and more expensive stock. I haven't been able to find much feedback online about their Araucanas, does anyone here have some?
I saw that Ed was retiring too. If I had the means, I would consider buying it. I'm hoping I can get some birds from him this year too. Still undecided if I want eggs or birds. I like the surprise element of eggs, but until I know I can hatch something successfully, I'm more interested in one of his breeding trios to get started.
We bought a new house last summer. 2.8 acres and came with a coop and run.
Experienced chicken farmers have told us we can handle a dozen with our current coop/run. I want to build more coops and runs, so I can manage several flocks like Ed.