Roughly about 8 years ago, we started off with 6 baby chicks that had been hand delivered to us from a friend. I, myself, had always wanted chickens and never had the place to raise them until recently. I have always wanted to farm, chickens, cows, horses, pigs… the whole nine yards. Growing up, I had friends who had cattle, and horses, bailed hay… everything I ever wanted to do! In High school I took all the Agriculture classes that were offered.
6 baby chicks turned into 5 hens a rooster. It was a learning curve for us as well, as to what to feed, how to care, winter preparation etc. We sold our house and moved back closer to my parents, actually just down the road and went for 1 acre to 5.5 acres of land.
We expanded of flock to the point that we possibly had 80 chickens at one time, mostly hens! Egg production was booming, and we had friends and family that were taking eggs and by word of mouth we could always move eggs.
Sadly we lost about 60% of our flock due to predators. Coyotes mainly, Foxes and even Raccoons.
We currently have about 20 chickens, which range from regular size, to Bantams which my wife loves.
We also have 8 ducks, 2 Jake Turkeys, (One production white and one slate).
We had 2 goats, that were twins, but sadly both have passed on. With the passing of the first goat, we acquired a sheep from a friend of mine to have as a friend to the female goat. We have since lost our female goat. In the mean time we have acquired a bottle baby lamb that we are raising.
In the coming year 2020, we are looking to hopefully expand our sheep herd, which is a Dorper/Katahdin cross breed.
Our poultry are fed regular layer pellets from Rural King, which I have found to be the best brand when it comes to the amount of dust contained in the feed. There is almost zero (0) dust in their feed! Our girls also get a balance of fresh veggies when in season. We also have neighbors who drop off veggies that they may not use during the winter months that we also feed.
During growing season we always plant a garden. We plant a variety of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash,bush beans as well. We have planted eggplant in the years past which did not produce well.
2019 We did plant a few hills of Pumpkins which rendered a few, but due to the weather conditions, they did not fair well either.