Harmony_Homestead

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Hello!! Newbie here. Just decided we were going to start a homestead and embark in a new journey of acquiring some fainting goats and some chickens....to start off. Anyone have any good advice or pointers we'd be greatly appreciative. Decided the best thing to do was gather info before we take the plunge.
A few things we are wondering is:
when is the best time to get these animals?
What can we start doing now to get ready for them?
And about how much do they cost to feed?
Thanks!
 

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Greetings @Harmony_Homestead :frow from the front range in Colorado! :welcome! Wow, where to start... Have you also joined http://www.backyardchickens.com/ yet? If not, there's gonna be a LOT of :caf <--- this and :pop<--- this in your immediate future!:cool: Read all that you can and don't be afraid to join threads and ask questions! In answer to the first question; When's the best time to get the animals... Most of us got them and THEN worried about housing them :gig Perhaps the other way 'round is better? Aside from housing, you can really start whenever YOU are ready. Most of us went with "the sooner the better!" Hence the housing issues :confused:

For the chickens: are you starting from chicks, pullets or adult hens? How many? Large fowl (LF) breeds, Bantams, fancy like EE's (Easter Eggers) or Americaunas (they're both small, but have pretty colored eggs)? Are you wanting pure bred or barnyard mixes? What are the chickens for; meat? eggs? eye candy? all of the above? First order of business is housing for them (any animals really). With where you live, moisture will be an issue so ventilation will be very important (it ALWAYS is anyway). Next issue is space requirements. LF birds need a recommended 4-6 square feet per bird inside the coop and 10+ in the run (if contained) and several acres each if free ranged. <--- Joking, but of course more space is better unless you want the area to look like a moonscape in no time at all. You have to be aware of potential predator concerns as well. Average time from chick to Point Of Lay (POL- pullets) is 18-26 weeks depending on breed and size as well as nourishment. So, if you start w/chicks now, you can keep them in your spare bedroom for a couple of months while you get a coop started (then move them out to the garage when they're too big, loud, messy, dusty, etc. and you need them out of the bedroom but the coop isn't ready for them yet...) and they should start laying for you next spring.

I have ~30 LF birds, and they get fed once/day in the AM with fermented feed comprised of a mix of; 20% layer pellets, 26% gamebird crumbles, Oat Groats, BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seeds), some scratch grains, and either milo or millet. (The % is protein). It averages out to between 16-18%. The fermenting allows them to get more nourishment out of less feed saving money. It's costing me ~ $100-120/month to feed them. When they're not on strike (like right now w/molt) the sale of the eggs basically covers the food costs. I mean, we aren't keeping these animals to make a profit are we??:duc:hide:gig:smack

Lots of others can help you w/goat questions as I still don't have mine yet :( Have to wait till next spring to start w/them.

Edit to say those same basic questions a I started out with regarding chickens also apply to any/all other livestock... What are their intended purpose/use going to be, THEN decide breed from there. You have to decide what their purpose is before you start buying them.

Again, welcome!
 

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Wow! Lol. The more research I do the more I'm wondering if ducks are the best way to go. ? Especially if looking to just raise for fulfillment and some eggs. Hahaha.
 

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LOL, wasn't trying to dissuade you!! Ducks would work well with all your moisture, but they are also exceptionally messy! I've heard their eggs are absolutely the best for baking though. Keep us posted with what you decide and do! Pics are always appreciated please and thanks :D
 

Harmony_Homestead

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LOL, wasn't trying to dissuade you!! Ducks would work well with all your moisture, but they are also exceptionally messy! I've heard their eggs are absolutely the best for baking though. Keep us posted with what you decide and do! Pics are always appreciated please and thanks :D


LOL. It's okay wasn't your words that made me 2nd guess chickens.
Kids also think a duck would be goos....would also get along with our potbellied pig...which we will get in the summer. Lol.
 

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Ummm be careful with the pig and your birds... Many pigs will kill and eat chickens and ducks if they can catch them. Of course they will eat the eggs out of the nests as well.
 
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