Frigid Morning + Chicken Talk

It is 12 degrees outside and the wind is crazy.  Let’s hope that the baby will sleep through the wind gusts and that the tulips, daffodils, and fiddleheads that have emerged early will survive this bitter cold.

Shout out to my best friend and her husband (who is my husband’s childhood best friend) on getting their meat rabbit operation started this week!  They’ve got one Silver Fox buck, three Silver Fox does, and one New Zealand White doe.  The New Zealand lady is pregnant and they’re going to breed one of the Silver Fox girls today.  This is so exciting because they dream of operating a grass farm and this is their first step in the right direction.  They even have a restaurant lined up to purchase the meat rabbits, and of course my husband and I will be overjoyed to be patrons to their business.

I saw that our local Tractor Supply Company is getting chicks this Monday.  And with our best friends getting their first farm animals, and with my baby being a relatively consistent napper, I’m feeling tempted to jump in the deep end because I feel that I may feasibly have the time to dedicate to it.

We plan on raising Black Australorps because they are a cold hardy and relatively calm bird.  Some of my husband’s coworkers have already expressed interest in purchasing eggs from us when the time comes, but even so I’m thinking that three hens is a good start.  (I’m always trying to remind myself to start small.)  When they start laying that’ll be plenty for two adults and eventually one little one.  Some websites have a minimum order size bigger than what we hope to start with, so if TSC offers this breed in store I may consider buying there.  I may not even do it this year, but I’m thinking about it.

Here is the plan for a coop and run that I’ve been looking at for a few years now.  I like that it’s designed to be easy to clean and with easy egg access.  If you have your own backyard chickens, I’d love your input.  What do you wish you knew when you first got your operation set up?  What features would you add to this coop?  Is it worth it to build your own, or do you recommend a ready-to-build kit?

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