My wife thinks I've "flown the coop"

By Tiller · Jun 16, 2013 · Updated Sep 4, 2013 ·
  1. Tiller
    But in all reality she supports my new found hobby farming. She supports my mini-farm hobbies a lot better then she did my WoW habits (when I used to play it)
    A little back story.
    Ever since I was a kid I've always enjoyed animals, farms, gardens, the outdoors.
    I moved around a lot after high school, and enough college to realize it wasn't for me, but enough to get experience and an education to help me get a job. Worked in the backwoods of Alaska and Montana, even spent a few months in Canada. I finally settled in the Mountains and rolling hills of the Southwestern part of Virginia where I met and married my wife. We bought a house that came with an acre and a half of land, a bunch of sheds and a fenced in small pasture. Seems my dreams of being a "frustrated" farmer might possibly happen. We both worked, we made enough $ to get comfortably by and decided to expand our family. And that job of my wife's and money we used to have disappears with the early arrival of our daughter, she was over 2 months pre-mature. But I wouldn't trade our daughter for the world. She makes everything worth while.
    But on to the fun stuff!
    After living here for three years we decided to add chickens to our land. We thought it over and talked it over where to put them, to build a fresh coop or re-purpose some of the wood and an old shed we have here. The money made the final choice for us and re using a shed was the way to go. It's a metal shed about 8X8 (at least) that I enclosed the front in with chicken wire and a door, and built an outside run onto it.
    Chicken math got me though,
    The few chicks we originally planned on getting to ease our way into chicken rearing turned into 11. A 9 X 5 foot is not nearly big enough for 11 full grown chickens. So I've done the "math" and figured out the dimensions that should be close to enough room for them and plan to document the add on here. Over the next several paydays I hope to be able to set aside enough money to build it with, we are on a tight tight budget and $100 can be a bit tough to just spend on some wood/chicken wire. I've been able to frame in the base of it so far with rough cut 2X6's and 2X8's I bartered off a farmer down the road, that has an small mill.
    Chicken wise right now I have 10 white rock's and one little silver spangled hamburg (and she is one cute little chick) The hamburgs a gal, really not sure about the white rocks. Being my first time with chickens my guess is they are 5 hens and 5 roos, as they are just getting big enough to show male/female traits.

    That is what I have built so far. And for now my little chickens are happy.
    With major plans for a lot larger outside run. I'll post pictures of the inside eventually but it's pretty simple, a vent window in the back, a home-made 5 bay nesting box, roosting sticks, and their feed/water.




    I've only named 2 so far Rooster Cogburn, and Ned Pepper (Ned Peper is the hamburg)

    Anyways, other then that I have a few low maintenance sheep in my pasture (traded a rifle for them).
    I also am an avid hunter / fisher / camper / gardener.


    That's an early picture of this years garden, it's grown up and out since that picture though it's longer and everything has grown so much more. Picked my first "true garden salad" of the year the other day. A cucumber off the vice, an onion to thin one of the rows and lettuce, tomatoes are about 2-3 weeks out still.

    Finally have gotten around to adding onto the run, and more.


    Same basic premiss as before, framed up with 2X4's and fenced in with chicken wire. The chicken wire I got for free, and I scavenged the hinges and latch for the door. Just had to buy screws and wire staples. Built it in 2 days post work, the most frustrating part is only having one good battery to my cordless drill so whenever it went dead I had to be at a stopping point. Anyways the roosters seem to enjoy a bit bigger run but will be meeting their end sometime in the next few weeks. I'm paying for my hunting lease this fall with chickens. 9 butchered roosters for rights to hunt on a private farm.
    I had just enough spare wood and materials from this build to build my chick brooder box, which the box portion is an old dresser.

    Ive added a table off the side of it and storage shelving underneath it since this picture.
    I have 15 rainbow laying chicks ordered from Mcmurray coming in on the 17th, and am excited to actually be getting hens this time.

    Besides that the fall harvest has kept me busy. It was a year of plenty from the garden, we should have enough canned and frozen veggies to get us through the winter. Also the grape vine produced the heaviest I have yet to see it. Canned something like 40 quarts of grape juice and half of that in pints of grape freezer jam. Picked the last off the vine that I could reach today (8 gallons of picked grapes) and gave them away.

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