With the purchase of 21 acres in 2017 we began our dream of starting a farmette. In February 2018 our new home was completed and we officially moved onto our property with our black lab, Bear and cat Smokey. A month later we purchased our first farm stock consisting of 4 laying hens, sadly we lost one to unknown circumstances a few months later.
The summer of 2018 was a busy one for us and the farm. In July 2018 we purchased an additional 14 chickens (one of which unexpectedly turned out to be a rooster). So our total flock increased to 17 birds. We wanted to have a variety of colored eggs to sell so we chose Ameraucana, Buff Orpington, Black Laced Silver Wynadotte, French Black Copper Maran, Welsummer and Olive Egger as our primary breed choices. As the 14 new chicks were growing, we needed to build a new coop to house all the birds, so construction began in August and finished in September, just in time for the pullets to be moved outside on a permanent basis. Then in November we welcomed a new rescue cat whom we named Marshmallow and in early December we had to say goodbye to our beloved Bear after 11 years. Shortly before Christmas we welcomed yet another new member to our family, a black lab puppy we named Gunnar.
So far in 2019, we’ve purchased and planted 2 varieties of apple and pear trees and a cherry tree. In addition we started our raised bed garden. So far we have 4 large raised beds of 50 strawberry plants, 2 blueberry and 6 raspberry bushes. We plan to add an additional 6 raised beds yet this year for vegetables and a greenhouse. For our vegetables, we don’t spray unless it becomes absolutely necessary but we do provide our plants with the appropriate plant food as directed. As for the fruit trees, I’m sure we will have to spray them for pests when they start to produce, otherwise we will not have much of a fruit crop I fear.
Around mid January, the new hens started to lay and now I’m collecting between 9-14 eggs per day! I currently sell our eggs for $4/dozen or $2/half dozen. All of our chickens are cage free and allowed to roam in a very large enclosure (larger than seen in the photographs). We do not feed our hens feed with antibiotics nor is it organic. Just a good high quality feed. They get spoiled with lots of treats! Some of their favorites are tomatoes, strawberries, fresh pumpkin, fresh grass and of course bugs.
We have plans to increase the number of laying hens, add in raising meat chickens and rabbits and honey bees all with the hope of locally selling to individuals our farm fresh eggs, meat and honey. We also hope to raise enough fruit and vegetables in the future to also sell.
As you can see, we have BIG plans and are excited to get started and make our dreams become reality!