Wednesday, February 11, 2015

TBF 102 :: Plans for Chickens, Non-GMO Feed is Happening, and a Hard Lesson Learned

**As I transition to I am quickly realizing I'm not as web savvy as I had hoped! In the meantime I will be posting here as well for those of you subscribed through RSS ... and hopefully will have that fixed soon.**

"The Beginning Farmer Video" Kickstarter Campaign

chickenplansOur "farm" began with six egg-laying backyard chickens before moving out to the 40 acres that is now Crooked Gap Farm. Somewhere and somehow along this farming journey though the poultry operation was pushed to the back ... and eventually to the way back! Once we began adding pigs, cattle, and eventually sheep to the farm I became less focused on the plans and managing of our poultry flocks. It's not that I didn't keep upgrading infrastructure or that we quit having birds, but rather it was just a part of our farm that I didn't put much thought into. That is going to change this year though because I have a plan for both our meat chickens and our egg-laying flock!

The Ultimate Crooked Gap Farm Chicken Plan for 2015

Our Egg-Laying Chicken Plans (Ordered ASAP):
  • Buff Orpington (15-25) - brown eggs
  • Black Astralorp (15-25) - brown eggs
  • Delaware (15-25) - brown eggs
  • Barred Rock (50-75 including roosters) - brown eggs
  • Araucana (at least 25) - blue/green eggs
  • Pearl-White Leghorns (at least 25) - white eggs
Our Meat Chicken Plans (Chicks arrive at the end of February)
  • Dominiques (25 cockerels)
  • New Hampshire Reds (25 cockerels)
  • Nacked Necks (25 cockerels)
  • White Rocks (25 cockerels)
  • Pioneers (25 straight run)
  • Freedom Ranger Black Broiler (100 straight run)
All total that means there will be a bit over 300 chicks coming to the farm in the span of a few weeks which does cause some issues when it comes to brooder space, especially when keeping them warm will be more difficult with winter still hanging on. My plan is to brood the meat chicks in my two 4x8 brooders that have lids and 2 inch styrofoam insulation that I put on top to keep the heat in. That means that I will be building a quick hover to put in the laying chicken wagon I built last year. Something along the lines of this maybe.

What I can tell you is that I'm excited to have a plan! I'm sure there will be some bumps along the way still and I know there will be some "hard lessons learned" to share, but at least I have something to start with. Do you have chick plans for this spring? If you're ordering chicks what will you be ordering? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

One More Kickstarter Support Option!

From now until February 12th at noon you can get nearly 50% off of John's eBook, "Stress Free Chicken Tractor Plans" just by using the code "kickstart" when you check out. That is a great deal, but equally as cool is that John will also be backing "The Beginning Farmer Video" Kickstarter Campaign with the proceeds from the sales. Not only can you choose to support the campaign and receive some cool rewards, but for the next two weeks you can also get a cool eBook and support the campaign at the same time!

Check out The Beginning Farmer Show on Facebook! 

As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn.

If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five star rating and review (by clicking the link). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show!

I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with "The Beginning Farmer" and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...


dfr2010 said...

I am embarking on a major chicken project: I already have chicks down here (central FL) with another order already placed for mid-April. I will be breeding my own after this year, and the first breed I will focus on is Gold-Laced Wyandottes. Another angle on the raising is learning to caponize the cull cockerels.

Farmer Jon Maine said...

There are so many beginning farmers out there now but I think people of all ages are discovering the empowerment of growing their own food.


We are up in Maine and starting making salves and soaps from what we could forage.

Our latest hit is the Birch Salve, amazing stuff for winter dry cracked farm hands.

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