- Apr 24, 2013
Hi, I am really happy to find BYC!!! I live in southern Maine, have several farmable acres and am educating myself on sustainable backyard farming. Chickens seem like the perfect place to start, along with gardening and composting. I would love to have "free range" chickens for eggs and...perhaps meat. I am not sure if I can eat animals that I raise myself, but I abhor mass food production and the horrific conditions the animals encounter. I either need to go vegan, or succeed at a small family farm. My kids are OK with eating eggs from family farm chickens, but not meat. I need to know how to provide safe shelter (lots of coyote and fox activity around here) and a free range life for our future chickens. A portable chicken coop (or two?) seems like the best option. I have settled on a few styles that I think I can build and afford. I believe a raised and enclosed nesting area with a ramp to a fully enclosed roaming area are the basics. I see online plans that allow for four large birds. I think I would like more than four. I have folks that would like to purchase eggs and poultry from a humane small operation. It may be easier for me to build more than one coop so that they can be easily moved by just me and my kids. I want to make sure that the birds have access to new fresh foraging on a daily basis. Next I have to figure out how to keep them healthy and safe despite weather conditions. Then I have to figure out what kinds of birds we need for our intended farming purposes. I need to learn about feeding, cleaning, caring for, propagating the flock, etc...WOW. SOUNDS INTIMIDATING! I want to have way more than just "a clue" on how to proceed before we actually purchase chickens. I am excited and nervous, but eager to learn and get started. Help??