Monday, March 3, 2008

Raising Chickens soon?

I have been wanting to start homesteading since we moved back home and now have plenty of room to do it. I'd like to start out with some laying hens and a rooster, then get the rabbit hutches under way. I've already decided what breed of chicken I want, based on their dual purpose (meat and egg production) and their very tame and friendly personality. The Buff Orpington fits that bill. And this is one of the breeds that will sit and brood on a nest of eggs rather than lay one and leave it behind. Some chickens have had their brooding behavior bred out of them and they don't make good setters. Apparently, Buff Orpingtons still have that urge to brood in them, so they make good mothers. I think it would be great to have not only eggs but baby chickens to raise here on the twelve acres. I might try another heavy breed at some point but for now the B.O.'s have really piqued my interest because of their gentle temperament.

Building the right sized chicken coop is the biggest challenge. We went lumber scrapping where I work yesterday and were able to find lots of 2 x 4s and some nice plywood. We'd also need a door, nest boxes, electric light, a window or two and a roosting area. Plus I'd like to let them come out and free range in the yard to help keep the insect population under control using a biologically sound method--hungry hens!

Right now we are searching for the perfect chicken coop plan that we can build ourselves without too much expense. The scavenged wood will certainly help keep the cost low. And would it be too much to ask for a coop that actually had charming window shutters and some flower boxes beneath the window? It would be so cute if it resembled a little cottage!

Well, we'll see how ambitious Jim feels when we get started.

How about a lovely gold and black mixed color flock of Buff Orpingtons and Black Australorps? I think the color combo would be fantastic and a nice touch to the already sweet-tempered, quiet giants of the chicken group.


  1. Good luck with the chickens! I'll be waiting for photos of the coop and the chicks!

  2. Thank you Kathie! We got more free lumber today and I have a feeling coop construction will begin very soon. Can't wait to order some cute, fuzzy baby chicks! Woo hoo!


Thanks for your comment! I may or may not be able to reply to comments depending on how busy I am.