Basically, I grew up on a working farm. Parents got divorced when I was 16 and the farm was sold. At the time, I was happy, no more "work" 24/7. Ofcourse years later, I realized that work was the best thing in the world. The wife and I decided that we wanted to try and raise our kids in that type of life so we managed to sell our small home on 1/8th acre and buy 13 acres to start off 2004. 1/2 was wooded, 1/2 field more or less. General clearing and clean up was our focus during the first year. We had also moved out of state to be closer to my dad , but he died in 2004 shortly after we relocated. 2005 I contracted Dismented Histoplasmosis and spent weeks in ICU and almost died....I contracted it from 6 Turkey Poults, the only birds I had contact with. So no birds for me up until a few weeks ago when we decided we should get ourselves back on track, albiet several years after the original plan thanks to the illness. In that time I had managed to get some clearing done, and the field areas were disc'd and planted for wildlife, mainly deer which I love to hunt and photograph. This winter I select cut the wooded 7 acres and as soon as spring broke, started like everyone else new to raising poultry, I had to start from scratch. There isn't an out building or shed on the place. I found BYC through a search and dove right in reading thread after thread seeing what I needed to do. While I have raised chicken, pigs, cows and horses, I never had to start with a blank canvas. I cobbled together some small brooding contraptions and got the basic supplies and started getting a few birds in. 6 Leghorns, Some Wyandottes of various flavors, 1 Australorp Rooster, a dozen Cornish Rocks and 2 Mallard duckies. Everyone is doing well and for teh first tme in 3 weeks, all the birds are in their makeshift coops until tomorrow. I was headed to buy lumber to build a coop when I got reassigned to shoot (I am a Professional Photographer, but I snap crap during the day without thought to being professional so dont hold me to a high level haha) and was going to be cut short on time. So I ended up just buying a ready made coop to save time. It is 8x8 and should hold quite a few birds. Tomorrow we will be getting the coop in its resting place and attack the run. I plan to freerange but also need a secure run for when I am on the road. I have more meaties coming as well as turkeys next week so time is short as always. Pretty sure we have settled on 1 of 2 locations for the run, leaning towards where the boats are in this image. You may see barns in the images, thats my neighbor. He is the AG teacher at our highschool and raises a few cows for breeding stock and 4H for his own kids. I have so many food plots that basically form the open areas that running several batches of meaties should prove beneficial for the plots and the birds as they are all planted in high quality forage. I stopped using pesticides last year in advance of the attention paid to free range poultry and possibly selling a quantity to offset some of the costs, not to mention its better quality food for the family. Out the kitchen window, a few bucks stroll in for a evening snack. The wife grabbed the shot through the screen. Now trying to be self reliant is hard work, but learning is way cool so I am into all sorts of stuff. Milling a few Oak slabs for use in some upcoming projects, as well as selling some larger slabs for mantles has been fun....lots of sweat but fun. We heat with only firewood, it keeps our electric bill under $100 roughly (Thats the goal anyway) The kids are into it all, although I see sometimes that attitude pop up that its allw ork and not fun, but hopefully they will look back like I did when they get older and appreciate it all. I also took up wood turning to make some craft items to add to our piggy bank. It hasnt brought alot in yet, but it has paid for all the equipment I have had to purchase to get started. Bowls, Game calls , Wine stoppers etc seem to be what I do most. Both my boys turn and my 12 year old does well with wine stoppers shown here.