Homesteading Mistakes and Lessons Learned, Part 3: Don’t Put the Chicken Before the Coop

| 2/21/2019 9:19:00 AM


Read Homesteading Mistakes and Lessons Part 1 and Homesteading Mistakes and Lessons Part 2.

For years before we were able to move onto our homestead I had dreamed, planned, and educated myself on all thing's chickens. Before we had moved to the mid-west, we lived in a town where there were a lot of rules to follow. One of those rules were, no one could own any livestock animal that needed to be raised outdoors including: all varieties of poultry, rabbits, cows, goats, etc. If I really wanted to raise chickens, I would have to raise them in a cage, indoors and that just wasn’t happening. Surely, I could do this, but I am a firm believer that unless a chicken needs to be treated for an injury or illness, they need to be roaming around, scratching and pecking at bugs and slugs and dust bathing in the sunshine.

The Mistake

I knew once we got on the homestead that the very first animal that would be joining us would be a flock of chickens. I had dreamed of gathering fresh eggs with my kiddos for way too long. So, when the local feed store held their chick days just 21 days after we had moved onto our homestead, I was the first in line. The feed store’s doors hadn’t been open for an hour when I was already on my way home with 10 little chirping chatter boxes sitting in a box next to me.

There were just a few problems. We had no brooder, no fencing, no supplies, and no coop. I had the chicks I had always wanted and even a 50-pound bag of chick starter, but neither of those things were going to do me any good without the materials and supplies they needed to survive. I naively assumed that my husband could just slap something together and all would be right in the world.

Although my husband wasn’t pleased with me that he was forced to stop working on building our family a functional bathroom, he did manage to get a brooder together in less than an hour. Thankfully we have a friend who suggested we screw two kiddie pools together, cut a hole in the top and cover it with chicken wire. We used this as a temporary solution, and it worked perfectly.

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