Having a flock of laying hens is a staple to a good homestead, so March we decided to invest in chickens. Michael began salvaging wood where he could. At the time he worked at a huge strip mall from which the stores were always tossing things out. One was a shelving unit he took apart, saving the lumber and heavy duty screws! We had to wait until April to get the chicks, so we started watching documentaries on the chicken industry, um.., no mam. No longer a good feeling when you saw the largest carton of eggs for the cheapest price, just ugh.. You begin to wonder how many chickens did that chicken have to eat, with NO beak, before that egg came out?? Yet to do the organic thing on cage free eggs (when you still don’t know) you gotta really fork out the dough!
We have had too cut down on eggs, milk, meat because of the organic price. I can tell you there is not a lot of wasting around here anymore 🙂 So to stay in our budget, not to mention peace of mind on what we were eating, we buy and consume less of these products, filling the void on the dinner plate with larger serving of vegetables or a good salad. I’m a true sucker for a good salad, there have been lunch and supper served with a salad topped with a few chicken strips I cooked up really quick with olive oil.
So in turn I guess the food industry going down the drain and me realizing is actually saving my family’s health. It has made us all aware not all food is the same!! If we can’t afford the best, the healthiest or grow it ourselves, we simply go without. I’m not talking starvation, this is still America folks. But there are no more Cheetos, if you don’t want an apple, then you really weren’t that hungry. POOF! Sorry I’m back.. On to the chickens!!
With the materials Michael acquired, a small pallet we found and my neighbor giving us the corrugated roof. All we had to buy was the wiring and hinges. And the chickens of course!! It took us 2-3 days to build it, we could have finished it in one (it’s a small coop, we wanted to be able to move it by ourselves around the yard) but we were in no rush. The chicks were still under the lamp. And well Michael likes to stop and stare, I mean analyze his progress every other step. We had a few Google images to go off of to build. We’d spend an hour in the unfinished frame deciding what would go best where. The sun was shining, the air felt good.. I knew this was right, and it was just the chicken’s coop!
Now finished (for under $50), the birds love it. One of our initial chicks died and we got 3 more about 12 weeks ago. We suspect we have a male and we suspect we’ll be eating him around Christmas. That will leave us 4 hens with 2 nesting boxes, it worked out perfect. We are on our third egg in three days.
One project at a time..