When I lived in Missouri the year hubs was in Korea for his hardship tour as they call it in the army. I enjoyed every minute of living with his family and their small farm. Nothing beats working outside. In fact I sort of question why I am continuing fashion design. Don’t get me wrong I love fashion design but I think I caught the farming bug hardcore and just wish I could homestead.
So when we moved to Colorado last year we bought a house and we are determined to make it as homestead-ish as we can living in the urban setting and it’s very doable. We had the house fire last year so plans are finally going into effect this year. In the works are garden/planter boxes, chickens, and soon rabbits. But first thing is first here are some pics of what we did to get set up with chicks ( with a picture of seeds galore).
Now when the upper level was ripped to the bare bones and reconstructed it left us with some base cabinets and other materials. We decided one of the cabinets could be turned into the perfect chick coop. We placed plywood on the back, and stapled hardware cloth to the top. We used hooks and eyes to keep the cabinet doors shut. Lined the bottom with newspaper and then shavings. All ready for chicks. It was very cost effective the hardware cloth was 7 bucks, heat lamp $9, shavings $8, chick total of four $3 each, chick food was on sale for $5 grabbed two bags. Water and food containers $8 each. If we had decided to buy a chick house it would have been $90.
We really saved money by using what we had and I can guarantee I’ll be using this set up each year if we get more chickens ( depending, things happen to chickens or chicks. I could lose one or…..,while I will try my darnedest to keep that from happening. Must always be prepared to replenish the flock).
So far the chicks are doing well. The best advise I could suggest if you can( some places require a permit and have laws on size of coop and how many chickens you can have) is reading The-Chicken-Chick blog and as many articles and books on chickens.
I did this along with what I have learned from my granny. Now everyone does things differently I prefer to give the medicated feed for the first week or two. Especially since I got chicks last week, will get chicks this week, and some more chicks later on. We will have a total of eight chickens. You can group newer baby chicks with older chicks. Most of the time they will “behave” keep a close eye though. Chickens by nature have a pecking order and like it states they will peck at each other which can result in injury.
On the note of integrating new flock members if you have older chickens always keep chicks separated as th chickens could kill the chicks. Wait till they are feathered/ older and we made sure to have space in the coop to make a chick area where they are closed off from the older hens. This ensures integration goes well and no one gets hurt (I wish I had pictures).
I’m very excited about having my ladies, we live in county territory so we don’t have a number on how many chickens but chose eight for now. We plan on building the coop area beig enough for 10- always over estimate the size of the coop. The run area also needs to be a good size. But I plan on letting them out and training them to wander about the yard while I garden and then herd them back in.
We have a lab ( bird dog) so caution is needed. Thank goodness we will have an area set aside for him where he cannot get out while outside. That’s another thing make sure coop and run are predator proof.
Anyway! This is turning into a small novel! Along with getting our chickens we have gotten seeds to begin planting. Our boxes are in the works and we plan on being set up completely by the beginning of April.
Here’s some pictures of the progress:
Side of the house planter boxes in the making. My own design and I made them by myself yes gentlemen I used power tools ( we actually had a neighbor say he would never let his wife use power tools my husband is the opposite and thank goodness! We work side by side equally). The boxes are constructed of heat treated pallet wood broken down. I made this design to use as much of the pallet wood that we could manage. Waste not want not! I am having to shape the slope near the house as well. The extra dirt is being placed at the bottom of the garden boxes ( again no waste) . Here is a sneak peek:
A full tutorial will be given in a future post. Pallets are amazing to use and I’m all about recycling/ reusing and renewing. A word of caution though for this type of project seek out heat treated pallets only. Since we are growing food we don’t want the chemically treated kind. ( yuck!)
So there you have it folks! 😃The beginnings of being more self-efficient. It has always been my dream to do as much as I can: gardening, raising chickens, meat rabbits, canning, etc.
I’m glad I can share our journey with our readers and family/ friends far away.
Stay tuned for FHE post!