More Animals on the Homestead

Reader Contribution by Monica Smith
1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3

First, I must apologize for my long absence. Switching phone carriers meant that I no longer had access to mobile hotspot abilities with my cell. It took a while to get everything straightened out. I’m back now and here to stay.

As of my last post, my list of critters included three Ameraucana chickens, several Lavender Orpington chicks, and one Angora rabbit. Things have changed since then, beginning with the chickens. After seeing a lady online looking to sell her incubator in favor of the two bigger incubators she had just bought, I bartered with her. I acquired it; she got my chickens. I had discovered that my chickens were not good dual purpose birds, so would not serve my purposes. I’ll spare you all the details, but I’m no good with incubators apparently. Even with multiple people trying to help, we couldn’t get it right. Someone is taking a look at it for me in hopes of getting it to working right. I was more upset over all the eggs that I bought and fried than anything. However I was still able to add several more Lavender Orpington chicks to the chicks I still had at home.

I worked at some friends’ and family’s houses after that to earn some chicken money. I knew it would be a long time before my chicks were big enough to start laying, so I began my search and research. I found two different people looking to sell their Barred Rocks and after looking it up, I found they are great dual purpose birds. One lady sold me a rooster and 4 hens, another lady sold me 2 hens. All of them are very docile, including the rooster, whom my oldest son named Bass. He loves that name. Bass tolerates being picked up and toted around like a baby quite well. He has never made a move to hurt anyone. Perfect for us.

I had to go to a local trade day (people meet up to buy, sell, and trade animals and homemade goods) to acquire the two hens. It was my first time going to this kind of a gathering and I quickly fell in love with everything about it. All the vehicles parked side-by-side in several rows on a man’s front lawn. Some sold their animals and goods out of the back of their trucks, others set up canopies and chairs. Many just put a chair out and piled the cages of animals around them. Hearing the sounds of chickens, quail, guineas, peafowl, pigs, goats, and even ponies while families walked and talked brought a smile to my face. I never would have thought it was a scene for me. It was amazing! I met with the lady to get my hens and noticed she was also selling rabbits. Many people were, but she had one rabbit that captured my attention. The woman and her husband had built some pet carriers from chicken wire and 1×1 pieces of wood to haul the rabbits in, and I quickly asked how much for the rabbit and the carrier. $25 later, and I had a doe to bring home to Red Cliffs. She’s not Angora, but she’s still a gorgeous animal. Baby Girl is her name and she is a New Zealand cross.

We are expecting a litter from her on August 11, 2016!

I will be going back for yet another trade day soon. I’m bringing crocheted baskets and such to try and sell for feed money. And if money pans out, I will be bringing home two more New Zealand cross does that are currently 17 weeks old, and a 7-week-old New Zealand/Flemish Giant cross buck. I’m looking to buy a silkie hen to sit on eggs as well. I’d rather have the ability to hatch eggs without an incubator, and silkies are supposed to go broody quite easily, or so I’m told. I really don’t like the idea of relying on electricity to hatch my eggs and I don’t know how often my Barred Rocks will go broody.

I’ll be posting again soon, so check back often!

Need Help? Call 1-866-803-7096