My husband and I are working on chicken coops. These coops will be closer to the house as the last one we had that was a good bit behind the house and was broken into by a 4 legged thief! Something ate a hole in the chicken wire, large enough for a medium sized dog. We figure it was either a rogue dog, small coyote or a racoon and whatever got into that coop ate our old rooster! It was indeed a massacre as there was blood and feathers all over the place. We never found the rooter.
These coops will be easier to gather eggs, give the hens a good place to sit eggs and provide heat and safety to our feathered friends.
The babies we bought in the spring are grown and fully feathers. Just beautiful! Along with the older hens and roosters these guys are a good compliment to those we had before. We also have several BB Red Bantum chickens and they are quite tame and adorable. They are a very small chicken,fully grown are about the size of a pigeon if not a little bit smaller. We were given those the same time we got the Americana chicks in the spring as a friend heard we were going to the hatchery and asked if we wanted the hen and all her chicks. We were quite blessed with almost 20 chicks last spring.
Today I also build the first of many compartments of compost bins and layered decaying mulch, house scraps of mostly coffee grounds, labels from canned products and fresh veggie scraps. Also lost leaves from the banana trees when it snowed so I cut them up and layered them in there too. They were already decaying on the banana tree. I cleaned out the bottom of the chick pen and added in chicken poop to the compost. This should be a good first batch. Have arranged cube mesh so that I can make another compartment when this one gets full. Will be a great way to do smaller piles of compost and keep track which one was started first.
I have also started hundreds of tomato, pepper and jalapeno plants for the garden. I won't use them all and will donate the left over plants in the early spring to the local food pantry. Based on "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day but teach him to fish and he'll eat a lifetime" this will be another way to contribute to the community.
Watch to blog to see how I progress through the summer season. I plan to can, freeze, and dehydrate veggies but have not done any of it in 30+ years. It will be quite a challenge but I'm up to it. Partial self - sustaining by this time next year is my goal. In one year I only want to have to visit the local grocery store for meat and dairy, hygiene products and an occasional bottle of wine...