We still had some sickness this week, though since it wasn't mine I still accomplished my list. I didn't get one single EXTRA thing in though. The laundry enough was enough to keep me busy.
Hopefully next week will be back to normal. As I speak, everyone is feeling better and I think we've kicked the flu to the curb. Knock wood!
Here's my list again...all items accomplished:
- Keep after the bible study program and intensity of prayer
- Organize the file cabinet (I do have one more item to finish this. I need to buy a few new hanging folders, but I can pick those up this week when I go to town and finishing will be a five minute job)
- Get tax stuff together and take to accountant
- Continue working on photo project (this will probably take MANY weeks, the goal is to work towards the finish line a bit at a time)
- Garden planned out (need to start indoor seeds next month)
The tools in this area of the shed can be easily moved to the remaining room (where the mowers go) and this building, while weather-tight, has a dirt floor which will be good for chicken scratching.
So I've spent a great deal of time this week researching backyard chickens on the web. I had a small coop when I was a girl, and those of you who know me know that I ran a commercial breeder house (where I gathered the eggs that hatch into the broiler chickens that you buy in the grocery store) for two years. That experience taught me alot about chickens, but you know me, I like to know more still.
A backyard operation is very different from a commercial operation and my experience with the coop as a child was...well, as a child. I've really enjoyed reading all the info about different breeds, costs, nutrition, different applications of the backyard coop, etc. I've found that just about any question you can think of can be answered if you know where to search.
I believe that about 10 chickens will give us all the eggs we can eat (that's counting everyone being here) and enough to share with my in-laws. If I add another 5-10 that would be enough to make enough eggs to sell to pay for the feed and care of the hens. From what I'm reading, I think I will plan (at least this year) on only keeping hens. I may add a rooster later if we decide to let them breed. Since what I'm reading says most chicks are sold in groups of 25, I think that's what I'll get. 10 for us, 10 for eggs to cover costs, and 5 to cover any loss from predators, etc. We might even make a little bit of money selling eggs this way. Not alot, but enough to put towards debt and get us to Baby Step 3 that much faster!
Every way I figure it, the cost is minimal since we are making use of an existing structure and the benefits are plentiful. The kids (especially Abby) will love it. I have allergies to dogs and cats, so we aren't able to have pets. I think this would be a great teaching opportunity for the kids, agriculturally, teaching responsibility, and ag economics as well, for the older kids. And it could be really fun!! Since they are going on the back of a structure that is basically hidden from view, they won't be an eyesore when we are sitting in the backyard but can be accessed easily if we choose to see them too.
So what do you think? Do you have any experience with backyard chickens? What breeds do you think are best? Please share with me in the comments any experience you've had or something you'd like to share about raising chickens in your backyard.