Verse Of The Day

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Raising Chickens In The Backyard

Well, now that we have two boats, a lawn mower, a snow blower, and a broken down Jeep YJ stored on our property (none of which belong to us, this is all in addition to our lawn mowers and Jeep) we just couldn't deny that we are true 315-ers, even if we do still carry a 585 area code. We are true Wayne County rednecks -- we eat critters from the woods out back, we have a pool that contained thousands of tadpoles this past spring, and now we have a Sanford and Son collection started. The cap it all off, we really need some livestock running around. And hence, our decision to raise chickens for food....

We're starting to move forward on our plan to raise chickens this spring. Our thought is this will be somewhat educational for the girls, as well as a source of meat and eggs. Mmmmm, barbecue chicken!! Doesn't get much fresher than killing it and grilling it 30 minutes later. The breeds we picked are good all around birds that lay a decent amount of eggs but still get to be good eating size.

There is a block building in the back yard, the size of a good size shed. We will turn that building into the coop by adding some perches and nest boxes in there, and adding a fenced in run. We have a very large barn so we really don't need that small outbuilding for any real storage or anything.

Since we live in an area that is known for having rough winters, we will order the chicks closer to spring so we don't have to worry too much about them freezing. We also settled on breeds that are known for doing well in the northeast: Rhode Island Reds and Buff Orpingtons.

We'll be ordering 25 day old chicks from Murray McMurray hatchery, along with a starter kit (water bottles, feeders, brooding light, etc. We will get some feed, grit, fencing, and waterers at local suppliers like Country Max or Tractor Supply Company. In warmer weather we plan to let the chickens free range during the day so they eats bugs and stuff from the yard.

This should be an interesting, fun, educational, and hopefully rewarding experience. I have a smoker that could cook up probably 10 chickens at time and still have room for corn on the cob, so COCK A DOODLE DOO!!

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