My Family


11 Years
Sep 28, 2011
West Lnn, Oregon
I am a 62 year old woman, and I live near Portland, Oregon with my 91 year old mother. My mother is absolutely adorable! She is in great health. She and I have very little money, but it is not a good time to sell property, and we love it here (My mom owned it for the past 70 years!). So, I am creating a small farm. The chickens so far have supported themselves, and I believe there is a market for as many eggs as I can generate for 4 dollars a dozen, which seems to be an acceptable price for a dozen here. I am thinking that since the eggs are so easy to sell, maybe I should get a few more hens! Our finances are very limited, but we do very well!

A 60 year old friend moved in with us, too, in August, and he is helping me care for my house and yard. He had lived in the city in a little apartment for the past 40 years or so, and he told me he had not had a pet all that time. He does a lot of work, and he did not want anything, being grateful for the place to live, but, finally, he said he wanted a kitty. I took him to see a couple at Craig's List. Of course, both of the kitties sold themselves to him, and these two kittens joined our family. They are named: Pi Pi or Sweetie Pie and Tuffy Rascal. My friend is the most macho of guys, but he gave them these sweet names! He is an experience and skilled house painter, and he will go out on jobs as well as build a couple out buildings here for storing hay and other things.

My friend also fell in love with the chickens, and he helps care for them. He always buys extra bread which he give the chickens. So, we have four little red hens just like in the old story, but they do not have to work hard to make the bread since it is provided for them!

I have 7 hens and 2 roos.


4 hens are RIR (Rhode Island Red) They live in coop consisting of a 4 by 4 house that is about 5 feet tall. Attached is a pyramid shaped run that is 14 feet long and 3 1/2 feet tall. They live with the Barred Plymouth Rock Roo. They are gentle and calm. One is crazy, and I love her for it. They love to eat, and, when in the mood, they will jump up about 6 inches straight up into the air to grab a bit of bread or apple. I found a nearby grocery store, which will give me their culled vegetables such as apple, lettuce, cuccumber, etc. I don't feed rotten stuff, but I give them lots of fresh things along with our own kitchen scraps. (And organic layer feed).

Inside chain link dog fence that is 6 by 6 and 4 feet tall with a piece of plywood and a tarp over the top are three more hens and another rooster.

1 is Barred Plymouth Rock. She is a gentle soul and a great layer

1 is Buff Orphington She is wild and crazy. She is very beautiful, and I swear that sometimes she strikes me as KNOWING she is pretty-- a little vain.

1 is Aracauna. She and the two non RIRs above live together with the Easter Egger Roo. She was at first low on the pecking order, but she has pushed her way up and appears to be slightly the dominant hen in the set. She is red -- a bit of flame red.

The roos are:

Big fat Barred Plymouth Rock --He is strong, handsome and bold. You might see him as the CEO of a big company. He is out going, a good leader, very certain of himself. He is intelligent but not extraordinarlly so. He is the sort that every one likes. He will fight to get his way, and he will win if it is possible.

And one which is maybe an Easter Egger. He is gentle, friendly, beautiful, arrogant. He is a bit like a fine artist or maybe the patron of one. I think he looks like an Italian Renaissance Prince, maybe one of the Medicis.

With my friend's two kittens and my two grown up orange tabbies, we have 4 cats.

I also have a bee hive, and I will get another in the spring. My friend and another guy built a tiny barn for me and a small fenced area where I plan to put two wether goats in the spring, too. Everything was build from scrap lumber I got at garage sales, from friends who had left overs, at Craigs or from building sites around here. It is interesting how well it all worked out! Same witht he fence: I bought it over a couple years at various garage sales!

There used to be a perfect lawn and flower garden down there, but I just hate to mow and use herbicides so blackberries took over. I had it cut down, and the goats will keep it that way! I want to miniature or, more ideally, Nigerian Dwarfs.

What else should I put out there? I thought of 2 ducks, 2 turkeys, 1 Shetland sheep, maybe a llama or alpaca (but these last two are so expensive) I have only about 1/2 acre that is not woods, river front or creek area.
Honestly before you get more animals I would work on some veggies. Plant a perennial herb bed maybe, or asparagus bed. For annual veggies do something easy. Maybe a cucumber climbing a trellace or something. We had the idea of doing edible landscaping. Cuts down on grocery bills. I am planting something called chicken or rabbit lettuce this year. Supposed to be very prolific and gives nice cheap treats for the chickens.
I will do the veggies. My yard is cool, wet, shady a little. I will put in some raised beds. Asparagus is a GREAT idea! I will do it. I have raspberries, mint, oregano, basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, fennel, stevia. I will add parseley, arugula, squash, lavender, peas, beans, tomatos, chard. Corn and cuccs tend not to go well.

Thanks for the good advice.
If you look in the Hobby section there are usually a few gardening threads going and there is the sister to this site forum link at the bottom of the page (the easy garden)

My mom is 88, I am almost 50-sounds kind of similar, she loves her gardening and you will often find her out there on a cold day getting warm by working in the garden a bit. And she gets most of her veggies by growing them!
Thanks re the garden tips. I am happy to hear that your mom is doing nicely out gardening. My mom does it, too, but here it is so rainy in the winter so she won't be out again until spring.

It is just so lovely to find all the farmers, gardeners, back yard-ers here!

Welcome! It sounds like you have a wonderful set up with your mom and friend. $4 is a great amount. I only get $1.50-$2 for my EE eggs.

I like raised garden beds. I built one box bed and like it,but lumber is expensive. Going to try landscape timber in the spring.

You have so much going on with bees,chickens,goats. I would like to suggest red wiggler worms too. Great soil you get from them once they eat your veggie/fruit scraps. I have a bin of worms in my laundry room.
Like you I am sixty two years old. We, my husband and myself, moved to a smallholding in Lincolnshire, England, having spent all our working lives in London. That was two and a half years ago. Our son and daughter in law live on the property as well, and we have a two year old granddaughter who was born here. We have about six acres of land. We have three horses, who belong to our daughter who lives and works 100 miles away but comes home at weekends. We also have three pygmy goats (son and daughter in law's), two rescue hens, 16 ducks, 11 dogs, a cat and two guinea pigs. I try to grow a variety of vegetables, some successfully and others not so, but you learn every year what grows well and what doesn't. There is a ready market for duck eggs around here and when the ducks are in lay we can sell them quite easily. A word of advice about goats. They are the most accomplished escape artists, so make sure their pen and house are very secure. You will need fences much higher than you can imagine, and if you use wire mesh, use the smallest guage you can find otherwise they climb up it! Sometimes I feel we spend more on animal feed than on human food, and the chores are never ending! This said, it is the most wonderful life and we would not swap it for anything! Glad you have help with the work though, and cats more than earn their keep as mousers. Good luck to you all!

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