It has been a rough and rocky start with the farm, but progress has been made. This little piece of land was once a bare cotton field. Now it is becoming a little farm with all the animals to go with it. Since it is a small two acres, every spot has to have a meaning and a purpose. Everything I am growing or building can be used in two to three different ways and most of the time creating a circle back to itself so no waste is involved.
I finished the barn this month and started to house it with chickens.
It is 1/16 scale to a real horse barn and as soon as it was completed, I found out is was to small. The plan has changed a little from having chickens on the right, goats in the middle and rabbits on the left. Now all three are full of chickens. I never wanted to be an egg salesman, but it seems everyone wants eggs, and at $2.00 a dozen my chickens cannot lay enough. So to supply the demand, we changed our plan a little. Now we are feeding over 30 layers for nothing more than egg production with several more in the brooders ready to come out in a week or so.
The left side is dedicated to the wife’s mini chickens. She is incubating Serama eggs as we speak.
I have not found one person around this area selling the Serama chickens. If they can pay for themselves, I do not mind giving them a shot.
The poor rabbits were shoved out back of the barn and I was forced to do the first add on for their housing.
I am raising Flemish Giants for three reasons. First is for their manure. Mixing rabbit manure with chicken manure makes for a perfect fertilizer. Rabbit manure used as a soil amendment is even higher in nitrogen than some poultry manures and it also contains a large amount of phosphorus – important for flower and fruit formation. It has an N-P-K ratio of 2.4-1.4-0.6. Also, rabbit manure, after it is cooked down, makes a great food for my worms which in turn feed the chickens and the fish.
Second, the FFA and 4-H in this area do not have much to chose from when it comes to show rabbits. If I can breed up to show quality, then the market for the Giants will expand. Thirdly, they are for food in case times get real bad.
The mini goats have taken a back seat for the time being. The way it looks I might have to build them their own barn.
Is it going as fast as I would like it to? No. But in just a few short months we have gone from a blank canvas cotton field to an almost working mini-farm. Future building plans include a brooder house, green house, above ground root cellar, solar shower and many more little things to turn this small piece of dirt into our dream.
You can watch it all being built on our personal blog Modern Day Redneck.
For Caleb, life wouldn’t be the same without a dog or two around the home.
Integrating Chickens, Dogs and Cats
Introducing the pets to the chickens has been a little more challenging than originally anticipated.
Historic livestock and draft animals, Poitou donkeys are endangered but being revived by Texas ranchers Christopher Jones and Patrick Archer