By the Bootstraps (getting chickens saga)

In this continuing saga of finding ways to pull myself up by the bootstraps, both figuratively, psychologically, and literally, I thought I would share the, well I guess I can call it progress, on my chicken coop. I feel like I'm having to re-arrange every aspect of my house to do this! Ever feel like to do one thing you have to do three other things first?


For instance, in shuffling items out of the shed, I've got to find secure storage elsewhere. We have room in the house for 'safe' items (not a propane tank for the deep-fryer or chemical paints and old construction materials that the previous owner left behind). 
In order to make space in our utility room for stuff (car-repair items and tools) I need to clear it out. In order to clear it out, The #1 thing to be moved out are the window screens so I need to wash windows in the house first. This is a time-consuming and exhausting chore, but the easiest.
Shh, don't tell me I could've put the screens on dirty windows!

You can read details if you enlarge the pictures:



I plan to collect pallets from the local brewery for fencing material for the chicken yard. The shed will be moved (it's built onto 'skids') to the south side of the house where I used to keep Cherihuka... as you can see he quite abused the fencing. 
That's a deer sharing the salt lick and hay. It's grass hay mixed, so the deer won't explode eating hay... at least this is what the experts say will happen if deer eat hay, and why you shouldn't feed them. Funny how they're always eating the stubble left in all the local hay fields and we never see them dropping dead.


I admit I'm excited for myself and will be ready to get the chickens when I:


#1 get the junk that's out on the dirt in a new home somewhere in the utility room, under the deck, etc... that means first:
#2 clean out the utility room to make room for the stuff on the dirt 
#3 (already cleaned out) under the stair storage for longterm storage of items in the utility room 
#3 get someone with a truck to MOVE the shed 
#4 find fencing (I have some wire, but I think they could wriggle thru it)
#5 set up the nests (I'm using square plastic crates) and hang a feed dish and all that stuff and....
#6 get the funds, then go 10 miles East to get the hens (i don't know what they'll cost yet). 


I'm thinking 3-4 hens and a rooster will be all I want to start with.
I may be missing something but won't know until I get there. If they are cheap enough I'll take 6 hens and maybe borrow a rooster when I need one! 
Blue cochins are very docile birds so the rooster shouldn't be a creep.
I had a creep rooster once.
Eventually I want 2 chicken yards and a divided or separate houses - one for eggs (from chickens that are 'pets') and one to raise chickens (and hopefully ducks) for meat.

I won't be letting my chickens free-range, everyone in our subdivision has  unfenced property - few people have chickens, there is no livestock of any kind other than a few horses. Their large dogs are commonly wandering around though, and we have abundant wildlife as well (badgers, coyote, bear, lion, porcupine).

I know butchering meat chickens won't be an easy thing to accomplish, but one day I want to learn it and become skilled at it. I want to know I can do it. Then maybe I'll pay someone else to do it, lol. 
I couldn't kill and eat birds that are pretty and friendly, so I'm thinking about getting Freedom Rangers for meat birds. They are like smaller Rhode Island Reds (but also come in black).
Some day I'd like colored egg layers too, but then the rooster(s) need to be kept apart from the flocks or ruin successive hatchings of specific breeds - I don't want anything out of control, it has to remain organized.

Is that enough information? Are you bored yet?

If you have chickens, I'd love to hear (and see, so send a link to your pictures!) what kind you have and why, and what you would change if anything, and how many and how you handle it/organize things/keep tabs on your costs, etc. Whatever you want to share!



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