Thinking about it in Wisconsin...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Cypress, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Cypress

    Cypress New Egg

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Hello,

    I am new to the whole homesteading world and have spent the last week or so lurkiing around this forum (Thank you Google), and a few other sites trying to get my bearings.

    There is a real possibility that my employer, a local environmental nonprofit, will not have the funds to hire me next year. In this tight economy I thought I might give homesteading a go. I have always wanted to be self sufficient and I love animals.

    But there is so much information that it is a bit overwhelming and I am hoping that some of you can help to focus me a bit, or at least tell me if I am on the right track. [​IMG]

    I have a husband, German Shepherd, two cats (indoor/outdoor) and a ferret. My husband works second shift and I would like to stay on his schedule as much as possible. We go to bed around 5 in the morning and get up around 1 pm.

    We have 2.5 acres with a decent sized river in the backyard (1.5 acres of this is wetland with about an acre that has our house and yard). The wetlands are loosely fenced in and the previous owner kept her two horses there.

    Muscovy ducks are peaking my interest thus far and I plan on starting a garden next spring. Would I have to worry about the ducks swimming off with the river right there? Or is having the river a bonus? Am I better off getting chickens? One of the reasons I like the duck idea is because they are quiet and I dislike loud noises. I would want them to be free range (coming in at night) and to feed themselves on the copious amounts of insects we have all around us for most of the year (I would feed them in the winter and maybe to bribe them in at night). I am looking for both eggs and meat production.

    I was thinking about building a coop in the garage and letting them in and out through the window so they will be safe from predators.

    That is what I have so far. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts. Am I way off base or do you think it could work? Any advice is welcome (I will be picking up Storey's guide from the library on my next trip into town) and plan on doing lots of research before taking the plunge, but there is nothing like the voice of experience!

    Thank you!

    Cypress
     
  2. M To The Maxx

    M To The Maxx Baseball+Girls=Life

    Jul 24, 2009
    Lutz,FL
    [​IMG] from Lutz,FL
     
  3. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    Southeast Arkansas
    Wow, cypress, thats a lot of thinking to do. We used to have muskovies that were fenced, but they could fly like eagles. We had a bayou in the back yard. So they were penned until they started flying, but we never had any problem with them leaving "home" once they were raised in the fenced yard.
     
  4. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    First - [​IMG] from WI. I don't know anyting about ducks, sorry I can't help there.
    It sounds like you have lots of space and are interested in being more self sufficient. There are lots of chickens for just meat (I hear people raise them over the summer, butcher them after a few months and don't have o worry about feeding/housing them in the winter) You'll get better info from folks that have meaties. I have dual purpose, cold hardy chickens as I am only interested in eggs, bug and weed contol and the entertainment side of chicken keeping.
    ----------I would want them to be free range (coming in at night) and to feed themselves on the copious amounts of insects we have all around us for most of the year (I would feed them in the winter and maybe to bribe them in at night). I am looking for both eggs and meat production-------
    I don't think you can let chickens just free range without supplementing food for the purpose you want them for. At least not if you want to raise meat birds efficiently orlayers efficiently. Check out a few of the threads re Managing Flock, Breeds, Housing, Feeding and Watering. Hope that'll give you good ideas and get ou started with your duck and chicken adventure. [​IMG]
     
  5. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    ~*~*~WeLcOmE to BYC~*~*~ from SW VA
     
  6. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

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    Apr 18, 2009
    A big Texas size [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Amyable

    Amyable Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 16, 2008
    Greenleaf, WI
    [​IMG] from one Wisconsinite to another!

    You have the space, and a general plan, I say go for it. Try one thing first, maybe the ducks, and if you want you can add chickens later. We just moved to a 5-acre property and are getting started at homesteading also. Had a garden this summer and will be working on a coop soon. Good luck!
     
  8. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from S. Florida! Glad you joined us!
     
  9. Cypress

    Cypress New Egg

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Thanks for the welcome everyone. It is good to know I have your support and that I am on the right track so far. Still lots to read and learn though! [​IMG]

    Is it bad that I am hoping they can't hire me back next year now? I'm really liking this notion the more I think about it. [​IMG]
     
  10. Skitz

    Skitz Skitz15k

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    Nov 11, 2008
    Texas
    [​IMG]
     

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