Crazy Chicken Lady

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I’ve gone a little bit chicken crazy these past couple of days.  In my efforts of creating the perfect Homestead information library (which I’m calling my Homestead Bible, at the risk of some raised eyebrows and wagging fingers), I thought I would pick one subject at a time, in an attempt to eliminate my current self-diagnosed Scatterbrainitus.  So chickens.

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I love chickens!!  And some even seem to love me back…even when I’ve got sweaty hat-head and no makeup on after hours of mucking out horse stalls, so I probably didn’t smell very pretty either…a very old and molting Henrietta didn’t seem to care! 🙂

I’m starting with chickens, for the simple fact that I plan on having them next summer…they’re one of the few things I don’t have to wait for; I’ve already received approval from our landlord to have a small coop here in our yard… he seemed a bit reluctant at first, but relented without much prompting –  I guess it helps that this place used to be an industrial poultry farm… no longer active, but the empty barns still stand there in ghostly testimony.  And although the coop and flock I want once we have our own land will far surpass what I plan on having at our current home, nonetheless, I want to know what I’m doing.

I’m currently at about 100 pages ready to print.  Now, if you haven’t read my last post, you may be wondering why I’m choosing to actually print all of this information when it’s all at the click of a mouse.  I’m printing it, because I know that in the next few years (hopefully sooner rather than later), when we buy land and start our forever homestead, there will most likely be times when we won’t have regular internet access.  I want to prepare for that, while I have the resources available to do so.

I’ve researched everything from the hardiest hens for cold weather conditions; and when I say cold, I mean CANADIAN cold, with lots and lots of the white stuff…

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This was taken last winter, at the end of our driveway looking towards the house/barns. I had to walk with great difficulty along the edges because some of the drifts down the center were up past my knees.  …Needless to say, we were snowed-in for hours until our neighbors traded us a free plowing for snowmobile access to our fields.  Oh the power of bartering!

 

…to what to and not to feed them, to behavioral problems, to diseases, and predator-proofing my coop…

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I’ve even gone as far as to save my “dream coop” blue prints, which will have to wait of course, until we move.  I’m reading blogs and asking questions (Thank you 2boys1homestead!!).  I want to know everything I could possibly need to or want to know about chickens!  I know there’s probably more information out there than I could ever dream to retain…but I get points for trying!

The one thing I keep circling however, is the fact that I want to eventually be completely (as as near as possible to!) self-sufficient.  That means not only keeping laying hens…but also meat chickens.  And no, I have no problem eating chicken; it’s finger-lickin’ good!  But what I do have a problem with, is the physical act of killing one.  Not naming them won’t make a difference with me…I’m a suck, and a sap, and if it has eyes and heartbeat (except spiders…KILL ‘EM ALL!!!!!!!!!!!) then I unwittingly get attached to them.  I’m just not sure if I could talk myself into actually doing it…  any advice from animal lovers out there who may have been in my shoes once?  How did you surpass this obstacle…or have you??

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