Hi all, I just saw this thread, been a member here for a while but have been lurking for quite some time. Back when I was more active here I didn't find a lot of SD people here so I am glad to see this thread!
I am in SE SD, out in the country west of Armour. (that's about 55 miles south-southwest of Mitchell for anyone not familiar with the area :) I joined a couple years ago when I was starting out with my first flock. Had good luck for a year & a half with 30 birds and 5 ducks, then added some meat birds & Wyandotte pullets the following spring....and then we got a mink problem and *nothing* I did was sufficient to stop it. Couldn't trap em. Couldn't figure out how they were getting in- at one point I put my birds inside of a concrete building, and within the building they were inside of a stout hardware cloth type wire enclosure that ran all the way up to the ceiling....and the mink STILL managed to find a way in. Got all my birds over the course of a month, very depressing. I have since totally re-vamped my plans for chicken keeping- new location, new setup entirely, going to employ some electrified poultry fencing and a new coop made from an old camper trailer....and this *should* be predator-proof. And if not, I picked up some tips on how to build a better mink trap, so *if* I have any more issues I'll know what to do (conventional live traps did NOT work).
And so now I am starting all over with 23 pullets....got some Wyandottes, Barred Rocks, a couple California Whites and Production Reds, 5 or 6 Easter Eggers, two bantam Buff Cochins and a Polish for good measure :) I am hoping a couple of my Wyandottes turn out to be roos because I am pretty sure they were the only straight-run birds I bought. If all goes well I will definitely be hitting the Exotic Livestock Auction they have a couple times a year in Platte- there are always people there with unusual poultry species/breeds, bought a couple Silkies there before the mink issue arose- definitely a bummer to lose those guys :( Will definitely want to have some more Silkies for egg sitters, hopefully I'll get some broodies in this bunch too :)
On top of the chickens we also raise bobwhite quail & chukar partridge, we had good luck with 700 last year and we expanded our capacity, plans are to raise 1700 of them (yes that's two zeros LOL) this year. They will be for sale by early August.
I also have a husband, a roommate, four dogs and a good sized garden. Love living in the country :) And definitely glad to see some BYC'ers from my neck of the woods!