looking forward to farming

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by offbeatbassist, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. offbeatbassist

    offbeatbassist In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2015
    Hey it's Ray from Maine :)

    I have come across this website multiple times and finally decided to join, as I found a post I wanted to reply to, and there's just so many knowledgeable/helpful/great people on here!

    I'm a truck driver, married with 2 small children (2.5 years and 5 months). My wife is a stay at home mom. We're looking to purchase a property with 15+ acres to start a small hobby farm and maybe expand into an income providing farm (would love to get off the road, but gotta pay the bills).

    Honestly, typical livestock critters are less of an interest for me. I like less common livestock. I always thought chickens would be my gateway animal, but I an picking up a pencilled palm Tom turkey and a "heritage wide breasted hen turkey" this afternoon, and a royal palm hen tomorrow. In a couple of weeks I expect to pickup some coturnix quail (someone offered to hatch then out for me) and I hope to add emu chicks this summer if we are able to secure our own property. In the future, I'd like to pursue ostrich and possibly bison and/or elk.

    My brother will be hosting the adult turkeys until we are ready to relocate them, and the quail will be in our apt. I'm looking to breed both, hopefully will raise turkey chicks up for thanksgiving and Christmas, and the quail will probably only start as supplemental egg production for my own family consumption.

    I'm new to farming these animals, mostly just helped keep the family garden when I was young, and helped with chickens for a short time when I was real little(maybe 5-7 years old?)

    Things I need to learn about and acquire in the near future:
    Egg incubators- need something that can handle coturnix quail, turkey, emu, and ostrich eggs (hoping maybe I can manage those 4 sizes with 2 incubators). Emu/ostrich egg incubators seem difficult to find.
    Egg scales- again something to specifically handle ratite eggs looks difficult
    Brooding- knowledge and equipment (thinking of starting with a plastic storage bin from Wal-Mart, and putting a brood lamp into a hole cut from the cover)
    And of course, property and fencing/housing equipment/supplies for setting up my farm :)

    I am a MSB member@ TSP, and a founding member with PermaEthos, tho I am still slowly working through the class due to my work schedule.

  2. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015
  3. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome Ray

    Glad you could join the flock! You have some great plans there for your farm. The links Chicken girl1 has left for you will be a great place for you to start ator all the info you need. Be sure to ask any questions you have the forum is very diverse with a section for everything.

    Wishing you the very best of luck with your new adventure and home. Enjoy BYC :frow
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us.

    Sounds like quite an undertaking with Emu, Bison and poultry.

    I do have a question/comment on the brooder from a plastic bin with a hole in lid for the light. I am visualizing a box with a light sized hole? This would be an oven. A wire top with something above that to suspend the light would be best, so you can raise the light weekly, allow ventilation in the brooder. Hope this is what you meant.

    I only brooded 6 chicks in the largest plastic bin I could find and they outgrew it in just 2 weeks, and had to buy something a lot larger. But some folks use multiple plastic bins, cutting doors and joining those for more space.

    Good luck on your plans.
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome! [​IMG]I'm glad you joined our community.

    Definitely check out the links that Chicken Girl1 left you with. If you still can't find answers to your questions, just ask! We'll be happy to help.[​IMG]
  6. offbeatbassist

    offbeatbassist In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2015

    The plastic bin thing was something my brother suggested, as he used this for his ducks last year. I haven't asked specifics but he sounded like he used it the way you say. I'll have to ask. In his case tho, he lived in a yurt in Maine, so maybe the room temp was low enough to offset. I know he did say it was a longer box with the light on one end so they could choose how close to get to the light. I'll ask him about it before I hatch out any chicks
  7. offbeatbassist

    offbeatbassist In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2015
    Thanks for the responses! I'll definitely check out the links and get going learning and socializing :)
  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined! :)
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    The Sheriff who started Stella's Social Club hatched emu's- I don't know what she used as an incubator. I recall they took 55 days or so to hatch. Mainly she had to keep weighing eggs because they are supposed to lose a certain amount of weight at set times. Also emus are very fragile for the first year of life. Problems with feet at birth can lead to necessary culling. It takes strong, healthy legs to hold up a bird of that size.

    Wish I could remember more, she kept us all very well informed. Unless she deleted them - most of her emu reports would be on her previous thread - Icelandics (chickens)

    The emu threads on BYC are very informative, I used to follow them even though never had an emu..
  10. offbeatbassist

    offbeatbassist In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2015
    I will look up her threads, thanks! I have been in contact with a local Emu breeder, he had 13 birds when we visited but was expanding his flock regularly. He talked a little bit about the egg hatching, I think he said his average was about 52 days. I've done some reading online as well and have come across the weighing of the eggs. I will be looking around for scales, and will probably ask the local breeder what he uses, but most the egg scales I find don't go anywhere high enough for emu or ostrich eggs. I hadn't encountered anything talking about needing to cull them due to leg issues, but that does make sense.

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