First, this my initial attempt at a long term blog. So bear with me as it meanders and grows and becomes what I want it to become. The look will change, but the feel will hopefully remain the same. I hope you find my content informative, heartwarming, and humorous. This begins as a look back to our beginnings and will soon come to present day, so you can see our growth and failures. All of which have given us some experiences we could do without and a great deal more that we have thouroughly enjoyed.
The thoughts of starting a blog to document this experience has been with me for some time. I used to spend countless hours “researching” tiny homes, homesteading, and other conceptual practices to come to the conclusion that we as a family do not necessarily need anything but what we have to begin. Granted, I would love to have a solar powered, spring fed, semi-subterranean hobbitesque cabin in the mountains of Idaho. The current situation demands that dream slow itself down as we work with our current skill sets to learn our limitations and create check points toward our goals.
That being said, when i first mentioned Idaho to the wife, I got the look… you know the puzzled, eye rolling, outhouse pondering look. The one look that if looks could kill, you’d be a smoking pile of ash? Yeah I got that one. Roll that forward to a year later when we took a long deserved vacation to the area I was interested in and she fell in love with it too.
Roll forward from that vacation, 3 years ago, and have we made a lot of progress forward? In terms of location, no. In terms of skills, concepts, and practices, somewhat. We have worked on our finances and have a plan toward to reducing debts to make it a more fiscally sound decision. We have added chickens to our current homestead, and that in itself has been a learning experience.
Chickens are peculiar animals. Our current chickens are pets that poop breakfast. As our flock has grown we give away, sell, and even barter our surplus eggs. They have all been named and it would truly be horrifying to butcher any of them for meat, at least for now. My chicken experience started out as 6 free 8 week old chickens, that were delivered to me at work by a nice older gentleman, who I honestly thought was kidding about giving me chickens. These birds were given as Rhode Island Reds, however as they got older, I realized two things.
First, two of my pullets were actually roosters, and second, they were not RIR, but probably more New Hampshire Reds. Does the breed really matter? At the time, not really, but I will revisit that concept in a later post. After getting the chickens, my wife and I hurried and converted an old swing set into a chicken tractor and with some scrap lumber, wire, and hardware we fashioned a makeshift coop. Did I mention free chickens earlier? Yeah, well… free chickens aren’t really free. We soon decided that our chickens would like more space. I once visited a commercial laying house and saw all those grumpy hens sitting in the same spot all the time, eating, pooping and laying. We wanted happy healthy, as free range as possible chickens.
A trip to our local home improvement store later, and a weekend later… We had a hurricane stable, flood resistant, chicken mansion that is half as big as the smallest tiny house you see on one of those Television programs. A little chicken wire and we had the chicken tractor attached as a makeshift temporary chicken run while we planned a more permanent solution.