My first year as a full time farmer was a rousing success – more so than I imagined (and I thought I was dreaming pretty big!). My flock of hens grew from 4 to 24 and demand for their eggs has been high – as has demand for duck eggs from my 4 females. So high, in fact, that my roommate purchased a new shed so I could double my flock in 2018.
When I stop to think about it…well, to say that is overwhelming is an understatement. Safety, security, happiness, health…for 23 hens, 6 ducks, 5 guineas…doubling that number seems crazy – but I have committed current clients and interested potentials so I’ll happily take it on!
She and I took our time to construct the shed, moving at our own pace. I like working with kits since they have everything you need to do the project – no last minute runs to the store for nails, screws, wood, etc. My only complaint – said early and often – was the length of the screws and bolts. They were MAYBE 1/4 inch in length and don’t been terribly secure. I’ll be foam filling and caulking before the birds move in to help with that – but I did opt to purchase/use 1 inch screws on some spots where there were multiple joins and/or the angle was tough.
We’re having some tree work done so I can expand the runs behind the shed and connect to the new shed so all the birds will have more than enough space. My plan at this point is to move the ducks into the White Tower (original shed coop) with the hens and guineas so I can refurb Water World (the pink coop) into the Nursery – and move the duck pond behind the sheds where drainage will be better.
New chicks arrive in 6 weeks (first week of February) and the babies will be ready for their space by mid-March…lots to do in the “off” season!