A Golden Afternoon Farm

chickens

We are so excited to be expanding our little backyard “farm”!!  For a solid 3 years, I’ve read, thought, prayed, researched, and dreamt of owning chickens.  The time has not been right in our lives until recently.  I see now why previous years would not have been good.  To take a venture like this, the entire family has to be all in and ready to take on the work involved.  I can honestly say that we are ALL ready!

A Golden Afternoon Farm is ready.

My husband has bravely taken on the task of building us a rather large chicken coop.  Right now, we are planning on having 15 chickens.  Sound like a lot?  Well, we use 5 dozen eggs a week for all of our breakfast, baking, and other food needs.  That’s what happens when you cook from scratch, I guess.  Plus, we’d like to be able to share some with our friends and family (get ready Erik and El!). He’s never build a chicken coop, but he has all of the spirit he needs to carry him through!  He is proving that if you want to do something enough, you can learn your way through the hard parts.  I’m really proud of him.  We have been married almost 10 years and he’s still making my dreams come true.  Who knew a chicken coop could be such an amazing and unexpected display of affection?

I’ll keep you posted on our progress and share how he built it after it’s finished!  We don’t have chicks lined up yet but I really felt strongly about finishing the coop before getting the chicks to make everything smooth and stress-free.

NOW, any seasoned chicken farmers please leave as much advice as you can in the comments!  I want to know what you did right and also what you would have done differently.  For the organic farmers…what you feed your chickens (every organic feed I see is loaded with corn!).

Favorite this and that…

tricks of the trade…

Please share!

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12 comments to A Golden Afternoon Farm

  • Amy @ Maker Mama

    Hooray for chickens! We love having ours–can’t wait to see how your coop turns out!

  • Cara Yeh

    Congratulations on your chickens! I think you’re smart to build a big coop. We started last year with 5 chickens, and that was not nearly enough. We bought 5 more chicks this year and they are almost ready to go in a coop, but my husband is still building a bigger one. You might want to consider hooking-up a line so your sprinklers can water your chickens. Also, if you can block off part of your yard, it’s nice for them to have their own space. That’s what we’ve found. Can’t wait to see your coop!

    • Bon

      Thanks, Cara! Can you tell me more about what you mean by watering them with the sprinkler line? Do you mean have the water flow right into a dish or do you mean have a sprinkler line nearby? Thanks!

      • Cara Yeh

        To be honest, my husband does most of the work with them — I just love the baking and the breakfasts; ha! :) But, what I think he did was hook a drip line from a sprinkler head into a watering bucket inside the coop. We Still have to change it out every few days because the water gets yucky from the chickens, but at least I don’t have to remember to give them water every day. I know he also found some kind of feeding tube he’s building to make feeding easier. It involves large pvc pipe, but he hasn’t done it yet so I don’t have details. We’ve learned a lot this year, and it’s kid of fun customizing it now! You might try to google different feeder options to see if you can find it if you’re interested?

  • Rebecca cooper

    I can’t wait to see more Bonnie!! :)

  • Shannon

    We ADORE our chickens! We started with four older birds and just got five more chicks this Spring! They are so much fun, especially for our little ones. :) Our chickens LOVE our homemade feed. I feel A LOT better knowing what they eat and that it’s so good for them! I found it here and it’s corn free. Really, our chickens go crazy for it. They have kind of turned in to snobs about it. I keep store bought on hand for the times when we run out and there is no chance of getting it made within a few days and they barely eat the store bought. Just enough to keep them happy. It’s pretty funny. Here’s the link:

    http://www.gardenbetty.com/2013/04/homemade-whole-grain-chicken-feed-updated-and-now-corn-free/

    • Bon

      Thanks so much! I just found that link on pinterest the other day! It makes so much sense to make it from scratch! Thanks for sharing!

  • Stacey Smith

    I L O V E my chickens! We got our first three girls – 3 Americauna pullets – in October 2012. Thy are so sweet and friendly and lay the most beautiful blue and green eggs! Last February we decided to get chicks and I came home with half a dozen day old red sexlinks. I will never do chicks again! Not unless I have a barn or some other space (other than my basement!) to keep them for the first two months. We kept three of the “little girls” and gave three to a friend (we have a minimum purchase of 6 here) and all six of our ladies are now laying eggs every day and are spoiled ROTTEN! It actually shocked me just how attached my husband and I have gotten to them – they are so sweet! We give our girls a “complete” vegetarian food that includes the grit they need to process it. They get fresh fruits and veggies from our own table every day – I run a home day care so they get ample leftovers from the kids (Apple peels, the grapes and blueberries they consider “yucky” and the bruised sections of bananas are favorites!). So far one of their favorite treat is peas and leftover cooked rice! I watch for sales on fruits and veggies at the store – with St Patties Day just around the corner now, cabbage is SUPER cheap! I hang the whole head in the coop and it lasts maybe a day! The “less than fresh” produce section is a great resource too! I got over ripe cantaloupe (organic no less!) for $.25! They eat those split open seeds and all! My girls ALL TIME HANDS DOWN favorite though is dried meal worms! We have hand fed trained them with these and they come RUNNING when they hear the container shaking! When we free range them in the back yard, they scatter all over the place. Give the plastic jug a shake and they are at my feet in a second! Very helpful to get them to go back into the coop when they really don’t want to! Whatever you can do to protect your girls from predictors, do it! You can never do enough! Have fun with them – they are such endearing little creatures!

    • Bon

      Thanks for sharing your story! I love hearing about other people’s experiences! I’ve heard about the cabbage trick but I haven’t tried it yet…hopefuly soon! Thanks for sharing!

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