Although spring is still more than a month away, we’re gearing up for some new additions to the homestead this year — chickens!
When we purchased our homestead back in 2009, I knew we’d have chickens eventually, but now that it’s actually happening, we couldn’t be more excited! As recently as two weeks ago, we were questioning whether or not we’d be able to pull it off this year, but after finding a decent, portable chicken coop for a fair price, we’re one step closer to fresh eggs from range-fed hens.
Because of some other have-to jobs on the homestead, we opted to buy our first chicken coop. It’s a portable house/run that will provide shelter for the girls at night and protected range access during the day. If it weren’t for my German Shepherd, Layla, who’d likely eat hens as soon as look at them, I’d probably free-range the birds during the day, but we’re doubting that’ll be possible.
We’ve done a lot of research, and we’ve gotten so much great feedback from some very knowledgable folks, but we know we’re going to mess things up. We’re determined to try out best though, and we’ll certainly document our experiences along the way.
Right now, we expect the coop to arrive next Wednesday, but we probably won’t be assembling it until the weekend. After we have a home for hens, we’ll make a final decision about whether we’ll buy chicks or older birds that are already producing. My inclination is to get older birds if I can find them for a fair price, but we’ll have to see what happens.
I’m excited about the prospect of inexpensive, delicious eggs. My kids are excited about the prospect new pets at the homestead. My husband is excited about the prospect of getting chickens without having to take the time to build a home for them from scratch. If there weren’t other projects that had to take precedence here, we’d absolutely build something ourselves, but that isn’t how things are going to work this year.
As a child growing up, I never thought I’d long to be a farm girl. I’m constantly dreaming about all the options we have on our little homestead though, and what’s most exciting to me is that we’re finally getting to do one of the things that was at the top of my list. Wish us luck!