I'm addicted.... darn chickens. Just a quarter-life ramble, contemplating a lifestyle change. =)

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by MisfitMarie, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Songster

    Oct 20, 2014
    Portland, OR
    I'm a twenty-seven year-old female. Full-time college student and receptionist. I only mention this, because maybe it is the fact that I study computers and am so entrenched in technology all the time that I have started thinking about shaking things up where I live. I love technology and hope to excel in it professionally, but maybe a change of scenery concerning where I live might bring some balance to my life?

    It started with a square-foot garden. Now I have three large gardens that I adore. Then, a small flock of chickens in my backyard in the suburbs... but I can't stop. The more research I do and the more ideas that I play with, the more I just want to save up for a decent piece of land nearby where I can keep a larger flock of chickens (and a ROOSTER), four or five meat hogs, a couple meat goats (and never have to mow my lawn-haha), and a dog to watch over it all... I was raised on a small farm (my parents had pigs and chickens), but I have spent the past eight years or so happily in the city. For whatever reason, my desire for a change in lifestyle has become extreme. I think about it often, researching everything from various cattle breeds to how to make your own goat cheese to BEE-KEEPING. Yeah, it's getting crazy...

    Not sure if this is just a "phase", or perhaps, truly discovering the kind of lifestyle that would make me happiest.

    It would be a "hobby farm"....or, just one for my personal enjoyment/use/sustainability. I still have other interests that I want to pursue professionally, as stated above.

    So, is this just a bunch of silliness or does this actually sound like a reasonable goal that I should more seriously begin to plan out?

    As far as the chickens... I have six EE babies at home. They're doing great. I would, eventually, love to be located in a place where I could add four or five more. I've been researching various chicken breeds and have a few that I would like to try: Black Marans, Cream Legbars, Ameraucanas... I grew up taking care of brown egg layers, so I think I'm just curious about mixing it up with some different shades of eggs, is all. At the end of the day, I still enjoy chickens and FRESH eggs, no matter the color. I just think it would be fun.

    Sorry for rambling... I'm just excited.

    THANKS FOR LISTENING! I would love to hear about your own personal experiences, small farms, etc. Tell me your story!

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Go with your heart.
    The technology can pay the bills for a while till you get everything going.

    I grew up in the city but the family had 2 farms. One in the suburbs with large flocks of chickens and a truck farm for fruits and vegetables.
    We had another farther away with cattle, hogs, horses and pheasant. We baled hay and raised corn there.
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014
  3. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Songster

    Oct 20, 2014
    Portland, OR
    THANKS -- I like where this is going. It definitely feels right. I suppose taking some time to carefully explore relocation options couldn't hurt. By the time I were to find something that suited my needs and had a proper plan of action in order, I would know for sure what I wanted to do.

    I think it's cool that you lived in a city but still had access to farms. I don't know if I could ever have horses; although, they are beautiful. I'd just worry about not having the time to properly take care of them along with everything else that I want to do. Pheasants sound interesting! I'm going to have to research that now... ;-)
  4. N F C

    N F C booooo!

    Dec 12, 2013

    Just wanted to comment that I think it's great a mid-20 something is seriously thinking about what they want for a lifestyle. I've known so many your age (or older) that didn't have a clue and just drifted.

    I think the more you look into animals, what it takes to hold a full-time job + take care of a little farm, and a place to live where everything can be accommodated, you'll know for sure if that's what really will make you happy. We're all ultimately in charge of our lives, they are ours to shape. Or as my favorite fortune cookie fortune said, "You are free to invent your life.". I actually taped that little strip of paper to my laptop and see it every time I go online as a reminder.

    Have fun looking into all aspects and figuring out what you want!
  5. puss58

    puss58 Chirping

    Sep 4, 2010
    Union Vale, NY
    What you may want to do, before jumping in whole hog (pun intended), is to see if there may be a farmer in the area who would be willing to rent you a few acres. This way you could try it and see how it works for you. It may be perfect, or you may find it is too much work. If it's the latter, you can sell the livestock and not have to worry about paying off a mortgage. Good luck and welcome to chicken world!

  6. MooseMtnFthills

    MooseMtnFthills In the Brooder

    Nov 5, 2014
    Duluth, MN
    I think you have many things going for you. A very mobile skill set, and your age. Perhaps your tech skills could put you in a community that favors your proposed lifestyle. You don't have to live in Seattle or Silicon Valley to make tech a career. "Where" is a non-issue in the tech world, or seemingly so. Figure out your income requirements, how much you want to work, where you can pull off a more agricultural lifestyle (that is a very "where" issue), if you also have great travel aspirations (can hinder care of animals), and other decisions you may have to make.

    My wife and I left town-living 15 years ago and are on 10 acres now enjoying a much more earth-based life. We still both work outside the home, but we live in area where we have 15-minute commutes. Our lives aren't spent at work, or getting to and from. Sure, we might make more money in a bigger city, but we're into being happier and quieter, not cracking some income barrier. I don't think that's what you're looking for. If you are, then backyardchickens.com may not be the right forum for you.

    Reading your story was like reading ours. We had a tiny garden in town on our 50x150 lot. I hated the neighbor's chain link fence. I hated the power pole in the backyard, that had about 10 neighbors' power lines running from it. It was okay, but It was a prison for our souls. We weren't in the mood to break from society entirely, but we knew something was off kilter.

    Throwing gasoline on this fire, which I totally recommend doing by the way, is really easy. Read Thoreau's Walden Pond. He takes a real-life break from it all (in the 1840's) to go live in the woods for two years. The realizations he makes about wants and needs, seeing the sunlight, occupying a home...all revolutionary, and even more so today! Ralph Waldo Emerson is a common-minded contemporary of Thoreau.

    And a "Cliff Notes" version of those writers are the quotes of Aldo Leopoldo (1887-1948), naturalist, environmentalist (but not the kind we have today), Dean of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin, and all around good man. Knew his stuff. Here's my favorite quote of his..."There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery. The other is supposing that heat comes from the furnace". I wish you all the best in your endeavors, and I hope to hear updates.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Don't quit your 'day job', but go with your heart. Country born and raised here - couldn't imagine any other life. Worked diligently, saved and invested, fulfilled all responsibilities (kids)) all while keeping my eyes on the goal beckoning -like a light beacon in front of me. Retired early and loving every minute of my 'real' life. To me you sound very level headed and realistic. Sacrifice now, and it can be done. Good luck in pursuing your dream.
    1 person likes this.
  8. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Songster

    Oct 20, 2014
    Portland, OR
    NorthFLChick - Thanks! I've still been pretty obsessively researching everything, but I have also thought a lot about the responsibility of a hobby farm. It is still something I want to do, but I figure that it would be best to start small. I am obsessed with my chickens, so I would like to start there: having enough space to expand my flock with various breeds. Then, after I have comfortably settled into chickens, maybe trying my hand at a couple hogs... so on and so forth. That's an awesome fortune to get from a cookie... now I am craving Chinese food.
  9. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Songster

    Oct 20, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Puss8 - I think renting would be an excellent idea and certainly worth thinking about. The chickens are here to stay, and I hope to have more. As for the rest of the hobby farm I hope to have one day, I figure I will just take it slow.
  10. MisfitMarie

    MisfitMarie Songster

    Oct 20, 2014
    Portland, OR
    MooseMtnFthills - I thoroughly enjoyed your response. What a cool story! I do love the idea of being more self-sufficient and living a more sustainable/earth-based life. It seems, in my social circles, I've always been the odd duck: attracked to a more natural, simpler lifestyle. I have a broad range of interests and hobbies, but I've never been captivated by mainstream culture, if that makes sense. Maybe it is because of my extremely introverted personality type? I don't know. I have just had this relentless tugging at my heart for the past month and this inkling that this idea could make me truly happy.

    I've always been a bit of a bookwork, less since I returned to college but only because I am forced to spend hours upon hours studying textbooks...lol. But I will certainly have to check out your suggested reads, now!

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