Retired and a first time homesteader

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by jenniferny, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. jenniferny

    jenniferny Chirping

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    I finally just bought a house with 1.6 acres of great soil in an agricultural district. My plan is to have a large garden, a flock of chickens and some milking goats.

    I plan on selling fruits, veggies and eggs roadside, and possibly have a goat share program for goats milk.

    This is a first time venture for me, but one that I have dreamed about for a long time and a venture that I am very much looking forward to!!!

    I will be building a coop for the chickens and an enclosure for the goats, but do not know where to start from or how to begin.

    How many chickens will I need to have enough to sell eggs, and what size coop will I need, and what is the best coop layout and where can I find plans for the coop??

    I live in Western New York, 20 miles from Niagara Falls, NY, so it gets cold here in the winter, should I insulate the coop?? Should I/do I need to heat the coop, if so what is an economical way to provide heat and what temperature do I need inside the coop??

    What is a good breed of chicken for egg production, brown eggs, possibly blue eggs??

    What do chickens naturally eat in the wild?? I would prefer to feed as natural a diet as is possible.


    Those are just a few of the questions that I can think to ask right now.

    Any recommendations on one or two or three or four really good, comprehensive books on raising chickens would be GREATLY appreciated!!!
     
  2. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

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    My Coop
    advanced chicken math.jpg

    Chickens often leads to advanced chickenmath!

    Selling eggs is an up and down business. The hens do not always lay.

    I did read an article that said you needed two chickens per person in the house that eats eggs. After that you can start selling.

    I would suggest starting with 5 to 15 hens for the first year and see how it goes
     
  3. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    Welcome to Backyardchickens.com aka BYC! :frow
    :yesss:We are glad you joined our flock.
    Jump right in and make yourself at home.

    This video will help you learn how to navigate this site:
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Start small, but build big. Look at Woods open air style coop. Plan on a minimum of 4 s.f. in coop and 10 s.f. in run per bird. Also look at deep litter management in both coop and run. Other things to consider: fermented feed will stretch your feed budget. Test your market. While you want to sell eggs and produce, you may find that the market in your area is saturated, or you can't compete with the "big boys". I do well to sell/give away enough eggs to cover my feed costs and keep my refrigerator reasonably cleaned out so I can put something in it other than eggs!!!
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

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    First, join your state thread on BYC. They can tell you what breeds handle the climate best, what type of coop they use. Generally chickens can handle cold much better than heat. If the chickens will be shut up in the coop for lengthy periods because of horrible weather - you need to make it larger. Cramped chickens are angry chickens, they will bully others, feather pluck them and at extremes exhibit cannibalism.

    The little bit I know about goats is, they are escape artists, they need fencing they can't climb, jump over, or push it down. They also like getting their heads stuck in the gate, etc. and waiting to be rescued- numerous times.
     
  6. jenniferny

    jenniferny Chirping

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    lazy gardener, thank you for responding, the information was very helpful!!
     
  7. Plip

    Plip Free Ranging

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    Vegetable, eggs, milk, and meat! What more could you ask for?

    Welcome to BYC! Great to have you here!
     
  8. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams

    G’Day from down under Jennifer :frow Welcome and Congratulations! :clap

    This is a link to Find Your State Thread Diva mentioned.

    Here are a couple of links to helpful articles:
    Pickin a Chicken
    How Much Room Do Chickens Need

    BYC has a Learning Centre and also Topic of the Week discussions which I have found to be a great resource, informative and sometimes entertaining; so definitely worth checking out. These two may be of particular interest:
    Topic of the Week - Getting Started, Keeping Chickens
    Topic of the Week - Keeping the Flock Safe from Predators

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun.

    If you would like to share Pictures and Stories of your flock when they arrive, you have come to the right place. BYC’ers never tire of these and do not back away slowly or commence eye rolling when the photo album or home videos come out ;)
     
  9. 007Sean

    007Sean Pheasant Whisperer

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    Howdy:welcome:frow Happy :yato have you join the family. Enjoy your time here at BYC! :)
     
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  10. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

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    Hello and welcome to BYC. You have some great links and advice that I hope will help.
     
    jenniferny, ronott1, rjohns39 and 4 others like this.

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