Category Archives: homesteading

Revisiting – Raising your own meat, Oathkeepers

oathkeepers-homesteadmeat.pdf (58 downloads)
I love that my children can stand up in front of a group and share everything that has to with their homestead animals and the meat that comes along with it. Shelby and Elwyn had a GREAT presentation for the Oathkeepers.  (August 2017)
by Shelby Fullmer – August 12, 2017

Rabbits

Food – Alfalfa pellets, basic greens like kale, spinach, chard, leaf lettuce (NOT iceberg, cabbage or broccoli), alfalfa, timothy, and bermuda hays, carrots, even small quantities of raspberries, tomatoes and strawberries.  

Shelter – Rabbit hutches or colony living with buried wire with shade/cover to protect from weather.

 

Gestation period – 28 days – up to 14 babies

Male rabbits go sterile in severe heat and all rabbits need a cooling system in Arizona in the summer time. Frozen water bottles, fans, misting systems, in a cooler shelter, etc. are all good ways to keep your rabbits cool.

Uses of Rabbits – Meat, bones for broth, leather, fur, manure

A few of the meat breeds of rabbits for meat, Rex, New Zealand, Californians, American Chinchilla, Silver Foxes, Flemish Giants

Website with more information on breeds – http://theselfsufficientliving.com/best-meat-rabbit-breeds/

 

Chickens

Dual Purpose Chickens are the best egg laying hens combined with the best meat chickens. The truth of the matter is that there are plenty of chicken breeds that are good for both purposes.  Includes Rhone Island Reds, wynnedottes, barred rocks, orphingtons, Jersey Giants – all full sized chickens. For smaller meat and egg production Bantams or (mini chickens) lay smaller eggs and are about half the meat size of a regular chicken.  

Food – Layer, seed, oyster shells/ground egg shells for extra calcium, bugs, produce/greens, kitchen scraps (no meat)

Shelter – Coop to protect, layer boxes with hay, ground shavings/hay

Incubation times – Bantam 19-21 days, Full sized chickens – 20-22 days

Uses of chickens – Meat, bones for broth, feathers, fertilizer, insect control, garden prepping.

Website with more information on breedshttps://www.backyardchickencoops.com.au/dual-purpose-chicken-breeds

Waterfowl

Birds including ducks and geese

Heavy and medium weight ducks typically are raised for meat production. The main breeds are the Pekin and the Muscovy. Around 90 percent of the duck meat produced in the United States is from the Pekin. Commercial producers are able to obtain a duck weighing 7 to 8 pounds in seven weeks.

Food – Layer chow, oyster shells/ground egg shells for extra calcium, bugs, produce/greens.  

Shelter – Coop to protect, layer boxes with hay, ground shavings/hay, swimming pool/pond

Incubation times – 28 days

Uses of waterfowl – Meat, bones for broth/soup, feathers, fertilizer.

More information on raising waterfowl – http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/raising-ducks-geese/ducks-and-geese-zm0z14fmzchr

Quail

Fast growing animals for meat and eggs. In 8 weeks they are full grown and laying eggs between 8-10 weeks old.

Food – game bird chow, oyster shells/ground egg shells for extra calcium, bugs like mealworms, produce/greens, excess eggs – Quail need at least a 25% protein to lay.  

Shelter – Smaller rabbit hutches work great for quail.  Or larger enclosed coops

Incubation times – 16-17 days

Uses of quail – Meat (mainly breast meat), bones for broth/soup, feathers, fertilizer.

Information on Coturnix quail – https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/quail/

 

Game Birds – Chukars (Partridges) and Pheasants

Food – gamebird feed and cracked corn in the winter for all your birds. You can also give them treats like fruit, veggies, mealworms, peanuts, and wild bird seed.

Shelter – Large enclosed pens with coop.

Incubation times – Chukar – 23 days, ring necked pheasants – 24-25

Uses – Meat, bones for broth/soup, feathers, fertilizer.

More information on Game Birds – https://wgfd.wyo.gov/WGFD/media/content/PDF/Habitat/Extension%20Bulletins/B33-Raising-Pheasants-or-Other-Game-Birds.pdf

Favorite time of the year AND Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies

Don’t get me wrong, I love summertime and spending it outside with my family and friends. I love the sound of the cicadas in the trees of Arizona. I love eating freshly picked watermelons from the garden and swimming in the pool with the kiddlings…

But my favorite time of the year is the fall when we start to can (applesauce is my favorite) and bake. Hoodies and apple pies!! Fires in the fire place. I love baking bread and biscuits. I love the smell of cookies coming out of the oven. (My waistline, however, doesn’t love that part! 😉 )

I love the approaching winter season when we celebrate the birth of our savior. 

Every day in the fall, I try something new in my kitchen. I attempt new cookies or bread. I love making dinner in the crockpot. I love creating new soups for my family. 

This morning in my area, we woke up to the first day of frost on our windshields. It was 34 degrees out when I got up at 3:30 for my classes to start. And our high today isn’t supposed to get over 55 degrees. It is a crockpot kind of day!

On the list for the week –

  • Chicken and Dumplings, Biscuits, Crockpot beef stroganoff, homemade noodles, and animal circus cookies.
  • We have beautiful purple cabbage coming out of the freeze dryer this morning and apple slices going in.
  • We plan on having a road trip if it doesn’t rain at the end of the week

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Cookies

Peanut butter, chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/4 cups flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

PREHEAT oven to 375°F.

COMBINE together butter and peanut butter until well blended. Add sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and soda. Beat until combined. Next, beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour, oats and chocolate chips.

Drop on cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees

*This recipe doubles fantastically – We add 1 bag of chocolate chips to a doubled batch.

 

 

Revisit – Oathkeepers – How to use medicinal herbs

Oathkeepers - Medicinal Herbs (60 downloads)

http://www.yourbodycanheal.com/medicinal-herbs.html

How to Use Medicinal Herbs

So you’ve decided you want to incorporate herbal remedies into your health regimen. Congratulations! You’re embarking on a journey that will help your body heal itself from the inside out in a way that is much more natural, safe and gentle than conventional medicine.

It’s also a journey that can be a little confusing. There are many different types of herbal remedies out there. Sometimes you will find the same herb sold in many different preparations. What do all those different terms mean? Here’s a rundown of some of the most common ways medicinal herbs are sold and used.

Tablets and Capsules: Like conventional drugs, herbs are often packaged and sold in tablet and capsule form. Tablets involve compressing an herb into a round or cylindrical shape, usually with some sort of binder, colorant, flavorings and coating that prevents them from breaking down in the body too quickly. Capsules are usually made of gelatin and the herb is placed inside the shell. Other ingredients can also be mixed in to make the herb taste better or to prevent it from being digested too quickly. Vegetarians can find capsules made of vegetable cellulose, but check the label to make sure you know you’re not getting any animal products.

Extracts: Herbal extracts may be sold as tablets, capsules orliquid herbal extracts; the herbs contained in an extract are far more concentrated than those in a standard pill. Extracts are made by soaking the herbs in alcohol or water (or a combination) and filtering and drying the herb at low heat. Much like culinary herbs become stronger when dried, herbal extracts are highly concentrated remedies, allowing you to take many fewer pills to get a large dose. Continue reading Revisit – Oathkeepers – How to use medicinal herbs

Garden & Happy – 8 Best Egg-laying Chickens

My friends over at Garden and Happy posted a GREAT article on the best laying Chicken breeds.  Here is the article (and a link to their site: https://gardenandhappy.com/best-egg-laying-chickens/)  And as most of my readers know…. I love me some chickens! I mean where else can you get fresh eggs to feed my crew??? I did take the photos mostly out…. They were having issues loading them on my server. 

There are few things better than having fresh eggs at hand for creating all kinds of mouthwatering dishes. Thanks to a resurgence in self-sufficiency, people around the world are enjoying fresh eggs from their own chickens instead of running to the grocery store to get them. Take note, however, that some chickens are better than other varieties when it comes to getting quality eggs. Read this guide to find the best egg-laying chickens for your needs, before you get your coop started.

1. Rhode Island Red

Photo credit: Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/en/users/Capri23auto-1767157/

The Rhode Island Red chicken is a hardy and adaptable variety, ideal for first-time farmers. Developed in—you guessed it—Rhode Island in the mid 1800s, these chooks became so popular that they ended up as RI’s state bird!

This breed adapts well to both hot and cold climates, and isn’t sensitive to rain or snow. In fact, they maintain their happy-go-lucky demeanor regardless of weather, and are friendly, pleasant hens to have around.

Rhode Island Reds have a deep red to almost brown colour, and males have a ruby red plume and facial skin layer. This chicken breed prefers to socialize with others of their own breed, so they’re not great for mixed flocks.

These hens adapt well to either being free ranged or cooped, though they enjoy roaming time outdoors. In terms of laying capability, you’ll get an annual egg count of around 260, medium-sized brown eggs per bird.

2. White Leghorns

The White Leghorn chicken variety is one of the most prolific egg layers out there. They have an early maturity rate at about 16 weeks old, so they can start laying eggs while still quite young. This makes them a very popular breed for egg lovers.

Their annual laying count falls in the 280-300 range! This is in the highest egg-laying bracket, so if you really like omelettes, put this breed at the top of your list.

This chicken variety lays large, white eggs, which can often have double yolks. They’re beautiful birds, with tall, slender statures and white plumage, upright tail feathers, and long legs. In terms of temperament, they’re known to be skittish and will often take flight if provoked. As such, they’re better suited to more experienced farmers who have the proper equipment to suit their needs.

3. Golden Comet

Golden Comet chickens are a cross between Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns. Amazingly, they’ve inherited the best traits from both breeds. Plump and stout, these chickens have dark, golden feathers, and occasional white lacing on their necks and tails.

These gorgeous birds have more than just their looks going for them. Golden Comets are well known—and preferred—for their easygoing, calm demeanor. This breed’s nature makes them one of the best egg-laying chickens for small areas. They’re also ideal as household pets… though you might want to invest in some chicken diapers if you let them live indoors.

Golden Comets are naturally and mothering, and are as nurturing with their own chicks as they are with human children. They’re affectionate and gentle, and if you choose to breed yours, you can rest assured they’ll mother their offspring well. This breed is also friendly with different chicken breeds, so they’re ideal for mixed flocks.

Comets have an annual egg count of between 275 and 330 large, brown eggs. As such, they’re preferred by those who sell their eggs at farmers’ markets.

4. Barred Plymouth Rock

Barred Plymouth Rock chickens are on the larger side, and this helps them to be highly resistant to cold temperatures. They have a round, robust body size and are covered with white and black speckled features on top of a fluffy gray undercoat. These layers make them perfect for cold climates like the northern USA and Canada, since they can endure snowy weather well.

This breed has a high annual egg-laying rate, at approximately 280 large, peach-colored eggs at a constant, predictable rate. They’re also known to be quite calm and content in nature. Due to this pleasant demeanor, they get along well with other animals, whether livestock or household pets.

5. Golden Laced Wyandottes

Golden-Laced Wyandotte chickens are known for their curious temperament. They love to forage, which makes them a perfect breed if you’re looking for chickens that will be able to fend for themselves. Their predictable, highly energetic nature makes Wyandottes a great breed choice if you want to raise free-range birds.

By having a chicken breed that forages well, you’ll be able to lower your chicken feed expenses exponentially. Your hens can hunt for their own food outside, and are great for clearing “pest” insects like slugs and caterpillars from your vegetable garden.

Golden Laced Wyandottes have beautiful, black-tipped, dark brown feathers. Expect around 200 small, white eggs from your hens every year.

6. Buff Orpington

These golden girls are sure to be a hoot in your flock. They’re a top breed to consider if you’re planning to raise chickens in pens. Their fluffy feather layers makes them cold hardy, but they don’t handle heat well.

Buff Orpington chickens are medium-sized birds with gold-yellow feathers. They can be expected to lay around 200 small, light brown eggs every year. They’re very tame in nature when alone, and social in groups.

Their friendly attitude makes them an ideal chicken breed for suburban farmers and garden growers who have limited space, or those who choose to raise their birds in coops. These big, friendly birds are also incredibly smart. Some farmers have even trained their Buff Orpingtons to obey commands!

7. Ameraucana

These hens are also called “Easter Eggers”, or “Easter Egg chickens”. They produce a large amount of eggs annually, with shell hues in all shades of pink, blue, and green. They were bred in the United States in the 1970s, derived from Chilean Araucana hens.

Ameraucanas are known for their gorgeous appearance. These beauties are medium brown with white, yellow, and deep brown speckles, and golden beaks. Their appearance ensures that you that you’ll never tire of watching these supermodels outside your window. They have an odd body shape with a stout beak, slanted lower tail feathers, long neck, and stout head.

Their yearly egg rate is about 260, and the hens are known to quite broody. This means that they’re overly protective of their fertile eggs, especially around fellow hens. Other than their motherly attitude, they are generally well behaved.

8. Andalusian

Andalusians are known for their small stature, and are the opposite of Barred Plymouths in every way. They have a high heat tolerance, and stunning blue-black feathers. They lay approximately 170 large, white eggs annually, which is on the lower end of the laying scale. That said, they have the highest laying rate among heat-tolerant varieties.

Indigenous to southwestern Spain, Andalusian chickens thrive best in hot climates. This makes them ideal for egg lovers in the southern USA, and warmer European regions. They’re known to jump, run, and take flight, but are typically non-aggressive in nature.

This is a rare variety that may be a bit more difficult to find. It is, however, gaining in popularity thanks to chicken hobbyists.

Are You Ready to Raise Backyard Chickens?

Thanks to recent bylaw changes, many people in suburban areas have permission to raise chickens in their backyards. These permissions are limited so specific areas, and have to adhere to certain requirements. If you’ve been toying with the idea of raising your own hens, find out whether you’re permitted to do so.

The most important thing to mention in this article, however, is to be make sure that you are 100% ready to raise hens before even looking at buying or building a chicken coop.

First, make sure that you have adequate space on your property. Chickens need enough room to spread their wings and get their recommended amount of exercise. You need to meet your area’s laws and safety standards for a chicken coop and pen. These ensure that your chickens will be safe from predators and inclement weather.

Be careful if you live in an area where wildlife runs rampant. It might not be the best thing to add chickens to the mix, as you may put their lives at risk. In addition, chickens require food and water that might not be readily available at a local store.

A Final Note:

The most important thing to remember is that chickens are living beings that need proper care. They need love, attention, and affection just like any other animal, and can’t just be tossed in a pen and neglected. You have to ensure that you have the time and energy to interact with them and check them regularly for any health issues.

Chickens are a lot of fun to raise, but they’re also a big responsibility. If you’re dedicated and willing to put in the time and effort, then go right ahead. Set up a coop, get yourself a couple of hens, and experience the joy of farm-fresh eggs every day

Cherry Black Pepper Jam

I have been making this jam for many, many years and boy, is it good on a toasted sourdough turkey sandwiches with a bit of cream cheese (or 3 sandwiches if you are Griffen or Berlyn). I can’t say “YUUUMMM!” enough.   When I open a jar, I  know that  it will be gone faster than I can say “cherries!” 

We also make this same recipe with Strawberries as well. And man, that black pepper just adds a bit of kick perfect for a sweet and savory dish. 

I never make quite enough of this jam either to last until cherries are ripe the next year. 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 4 cups of  pitted and stemmed cherries ( I buy mine in bulk from my local fruit lady in the fall. HI JESS! and they come in 5-gallon buckets, pre-pitted!)
  • 3 TBSP lemon juice
  • 4-1/2 TBSP Pectin
  • 2TBSP Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Bring to a boil and then add

  • 6 cups sugar

Stir, Stir, Stir!!! And bring back to a rolling boil for 1 minute. 

Now, you can can add to your jars and can these bad boys for later use. Please follow all canning requirements to ensure safety. 

It’s that time of year – Baby goats are coming!

The Anglo-Nubian is a British breed of domestic goat. It originated in nineteenth century from cross-breeding between native British goats and a mixed population of large lop-eared goats imported from India, the Middle East and North Africa. Its distinguishing characteristics include large, pendulous ears and a “Roman” nose. Due to their Middle-Eastern heritage, Anglo-Nubians can live in very hot climates and have a longer breeding season than other dairy goats. It has been exported to many parts of the world, and is found in more than sixty countries. In many of them it is known simply as the Nubian. Information was found on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Nubian_goat

We LOVE our dairy goats. And initially brought them in because my son, Trystan couldn’t drink cow’s milk. However, he was fine with goat milk… And that is where our journey began. 

That being said, we have a handful of goats for sale and new babies getting ready to be born. Check out our craigslist listings for the current for sale…. and if you are interested in the new babies, get on our notification list by emailing is at kris@krisandlarry.com 

Here is our craigslist listings: https://prescott.craigslist.org/search/sss?userid=11413281

 

2017 Kunekunes – favorite pigs

Have you gotten a chance to see our baby “War Pigs”? If you were at the Heights church for the Christmas Eve services, you got a chance to see these little cuties.  Shelby and I (Kris) decided to bring these little guys to share although because they were only 3 days old, no one could pet them. 

Kunekunes are an AMAZING breed of pigs that we have had on our homestead for over 4 years now. (We actually just sold off all of our yorkshire meat pigs last month and only have our kunes again. ) We use them often when people request us to come and share our animals as part of a “petting zoo program.” Mama Pumpkin is one of our most requested animals to share. 

Our family jokes that they are called “War Pigs” because they were (extra buffed out via CGI) in the war scene for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. See the clip below that we found on youtube.

 

Kunes are a very docile and gentle pig, making them a great addition to a homestead. They are more like having big hairy dogs than having pigs.

Originally from New Zealand, the pigs have made a comeback here in the US as well as the UK. Their name means “fat and round” in the Maori language. They come in a variety of colors including black and white, brown and white, solid ginger, solid cream/fawn, solid brown, solid black, and ginger and black. 

These hairy pigs can reach 300 pounds or more however, making them the largest of the miniature breeds or the smallest of the meat breeds. They are a pasture pig that eats primarily grasses and fresh fruits and veggies. We do not feed our kunes any commercial pig feeds and we have rescued a few of our kunes who were being fed dog food. Not a great choice for these gentle giants.  Being that they are pasture pigs, ours like to graze in the same field as our horses. And they love tomatoes, strawberries and other fresh goodies. 

We have 3 sows and 2 boars plus our little squishies that were born on  12/20/2017. Kunes are pregnant for 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days just like other pigs. (So Mama Pumpkin got pregnant approximately August 27th of this year.) 

Our kids raise them as part of a heritage pig breeding program and the sales of these piglets help fund some of their other 4-H and FFA projects. 

We have 6 males that will be for sale in February this year for $200 each. Please let us know if you are interested.  We can either keep them intact or castrate them depending on your needs. 

 

 

 

Look at all of the BABIES on our homestead! March 2017

Even with all of the heartache this month, We have had a TON of babies born this month….  And most are available for sale.  Shoot us over an email

 

Yorkshire cross piglets

– $150 for one or $250 for 2 – We are requiring a $50 non-refundable deposit per pig to hold them. They will be ready to go to your home on April 29, 2017.

These are the perfect meat pigs for you to raise for your family’s fresh meat. 

We have 6 available for sale. 

———————————————–

KuneKune Pigs

 – $250 for females, $200 for males – We are requiring a $50 non-refundable deposit per per to hold them. They will be ready to go to your home on May 20, 2017.

 

We have 2 males and 2 females available. (These are not registered, however, parents are on site) All 4 babies are Fawn colored like their mama, Fern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nubian Goat Bucklings

 – They will be ready to go to your home on May 20, 2017.

We have unregistered, registered American Nubians, and Registered Purebred Nubians. Registration through ADGA.org

 
——————–
Born 3/21/2017
Dam: American Nubian “Goats of En Gedi Purple Sage” ADGA#AN1746674
Sire: Purebred Nubian “KrisandLarry Prince of Spots” ADGA#N1775285

(Available as registered American or unregistered) – $125 without papers – $150 with papers, $100 wethered
Buckling#1 – available

Buckling#2 – available

Buckling#3 – on hold

Can also be wethered
——————–

 

 

Born 3/25/2017
Dam: Purebred Nubian “Goats of Gilead Meadow Flower” ADGA#N1730141
Sire: Purebred Nubian “The M&R Ranch Declan of Spots” ADGA#N1751543

(Available as registered Purebred or unregistered) – $150 without papers – $175 with papers, $100 wethered

Purebred Buckling – Available

$50 non refundable deposit to hold. Available to go to your home when they are 8 weeks old. Visit our website www.krisandlarry.com to see a listings of all of our herd.

We do offer a multiple goat discount!! Goats do need to be with more than one (or with a sheep). They are herd animals and we will not sell to anyone with no other goats. We do give a $50 discount if you purchase more than one goat from us.

We also have Purebred Nubian “The M&R Ranch Declan of Spots” ADGA#N1751543 for sale – AWESOME Goat!! Changing our bloodline on our herd this season. (given 80 babies in 2 years for our breeding program) 2 year old Intact Breeder Buck – $350


Declan, Purebred Registered Nubian Buck, proven breeder – $350 

“The M&R Ranch Declan of Spots” ADGA#N1751543

We are changing out our Nubian Dairy Goat bloodline and are looking for a new home for our amazing buck, Declan. He is a proven breeder, giving us 11 babies so far this season with 14 more does pregnant this season from him. (He gave over 40 last season for his first breeding year.) He does throw spotted babies (75% born so far this season have moon spots.)

He comes from a CL/CAE clean herd but can be re-tested this season for the right buyer.

He is (human) kid friendly and comes from a homestead full of 4H kids. 6+ of his babies will be shown at the Yavapai County expo this year.


Looking for SPRING CHICKS? 

We have barnyard mixes available (wyandotte, ameraucana, barred rocks, etc)…. 4-6 weeks old and ready to go to your home.  Have a jumpstart on your birds for this year. 

Straight Run, $4 each. 

 

Raising Chickens – Oathkeepers Preparedness Class – January 28, 2017

[sdm_download id=”4793″ fancy=”0″ new_window=”1″ color=”green”]

January is the planning month to get going on your homestead. Besides saving food for your monthly stash and getting ready for your spring gardening, you need to start thinking about other things that you could do. Poultry can provide eggs and meat for you and your family. Our family has chosen to raise a lot of different poultry types and breeds. We have included chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, quail, and soon to have chukars and pheasants at our home.  We chose breeds of chickens that are both for meat and eggs. Many of our other birds, we breed for meat and incubate our own eggs from our own adult birds. Favorite chicken breeds in our house are Barred Rocks and Americaunas (Easter Eggers).

If the chickens are allowed to eat bugs, fresh greens, and scratch grains, the eggs will have a higher nutrient content. Researchers conclude that eggs from pasture raised chickens may contain:

 

  • 1⁄3 less cholesterol
    • 1⁄4 less saturated fat
    • 2⁄3 more vitamin A
    • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
    • 3 times more vitamin E
    • 7 times more beta carotene


Remember that home-grown eggs will have a darker yellow to an almost orange-gold yolk vs the store bought ones will have a lighter yellow yolk.

 

Shelf Life of Eggs

The eggs you buy at your local grocery store are usually, probably weeks old. Technically, eggs do indeed have a long lasting shelf life once refrigerated, however the older they are the flatter the white & yoke becomes.  If you are wondering about the shelf life of homegrown eggs in the refrigerator, it’s approximately 3 months. We do not wash out eggs and do leave them out on the counter for several week.

 

http://www.olsensgrain.com/articles/chicks-articles/spring-chick-arrivals-at-chino-valley-2017-01-4624

 

Top 7 Tips for First Time Chicken Owners   http://commonsensehome.com/best-chicken-tips/

  1. Start with chicks.I know it seems like it might be fun to incubate and hatch your first batch of chickens from eggs, but it’s much simpler to start with a healthy bunch of chicks and go from there. While hatching your own is definitely something you may wish to consider in the future, allow yourself to become accustomed to the inner workings of chicken health and behavior before taking on the sometimes frustrating world of egg incubation.

Most local feed stores receive chick orders in the spring, so watch store flyers carefully to determine when they’ll arrive in your area. If this isn’t an option where you live, you can also mail order chicks from places online like Murray McMurray Hatchery.

Another option is to purchase mature hens who are already laying for your first flock. While this works some of the time, you often end up with the “culls” from other people’s flocks, so be careful of what you are buying.

  1. Choose dual-purpose breeds.Chickens are usually categorized into two varieties: meat breeds and laying breeds. If you aren’t quite sure which route you wish to go, choose a breed that is known to lay a decent number of eggs, but also has adequate meat production in case you end up with extra rooster or a hen that doesn’t lay. Personally, my favorite breeds are Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire Reds, Barred Rocks, and Araucanas. Dual purpose chickens also seem to be hardier and more self-sufficient than other more “specialized” breeds.
  2. You don’t have to go crazy with your coop. I’ve seen some wild chicken coops lately! Some of them are fancier than my actual house, and it’s hard to tell if they were intended for a human or a bird. If having a fancy coop is holding you back from getting a flock of your own- don’t let it. Chickens don’t require a 5-star resort to be happy. A few things chickens DO need however: protection from predators, a place to roost, nesting boxes (for layers), and a place to roam.

You can easily meet these needs by modifying an existing building (small barn, shed, or even a doghouse) or building a small chicken tractor. Check out my chicken board on Pinterest for ample chicken coop and tractor inspiration.

  1. Stay as natural as possible. As the interest in chicken keeping grows, so do the gimmicks. You can make your chicken adventure as simple or as complicated as you would like. A few ways I keep my chickens as natural as I can:
  • I free range my girls when at all possible, which cuts down on my feed bill and provides them with a diet more like nature intended. (Plus, they LOVE it! Just be cautious of potential predators.)
  • I avoid using chemicals or special “washes” to disinfect my coop, instead I use a natural, homemade solution.
  • I feed them crushed egg shells to help to supplement their calcium intake.
  • I give them many of my kitchen scraps which helps to provide them with extra nutrients and it keeps that much more waste from hitting my garbage can.
  • I don’t leave lights on them year around to force them into laying. Since chickens were designed to take a break from laying, I prefer to allow them to do so- which also helps to reduce the amount of electricity I use. (However, I DO provide heat lamps whenever our temperatures drop.)
  • I go homemade whenever possible. I’ve avoided purchasing the expensive chicken equipment at the feed store by creating my own feeders and chick waterers out of repurposed items. We also made our nesting boxes and roosts from scrap lumber. There are many ideas and plans available online, including this idea of turning 5 gallon buckets into nesting areas.

 

  1. Establish a routine. Some people seem to think of their chickens as dogs and spend countless hours doting on them. I personally don’t have that luxury, since I’m running an entire homestead, with many other animals. Since my chickens are actually one of the lower maintenance aspects of my homestead, it’s easy to “forget” about them sometimes… I’ve found that things run the smoothest when I establish a daily routine for filling feeders, waterers, freshening the bedding, and collecting eggs. That way, the poor girls don’t get pushed to the back burner. 
  2. Keep things clean.This goes along with the previous point of establishing a routine. Dirty nesting boxes equal dirty eggs which equals the dilemma of whether or not you should wash your eggs.

An ounce of prevention goes a long way- it only takes a minute or two to clean boxes and replace bedding if you do it each day. If you wait until the end of the week, you’ll have a much bigger task, plus lots of dirty eggs. The same goes for the floor of your coop- if you are using the deep litter method, take a minute or two to turn the bedding each time you are in the coop.

  1. Get a heated water bowl. Generally I’m the type of person who prefers the non-electric method of dealing with problems. However, when it comes to dealing with chicken water, a heated dog bowl has been invaluable! If you live in a cold climate like me, shallow chicken buckets or pans freeze quickly, and you’ll be outside every couple hours breaking ice and refilling. Save yourself some time and headache by splurging for a plug-in dog bowl. It’s a great investment and my girls definitely appreciate it. (During warm weather, on demand waterers, which basically work like drip pet waterers on a larger scale, may be easier to keep clean than standard waterers, but they are prone to freezing.)

As you can see, chickens can be as easy or as complicated as you choose to make them. If you have the time and energy, then by all means, build a Victorian-style coop and mix them up gourmet treats.  However, if you are a full-time homesteader like me, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the benefits chickens will add your homestead, without a lot of extra work.


Typical Chicken Characteristics Beginners Look For

http://www.thehappychickencoop.com/best-beginner-chicken-breeds/

We’ve found that most of the time, when people email us asking what breed of chicken they should start with, they are all looking for the same thing.

Most beginners are looking for chickens which are easy to keep, lay lots of eggs, are docile and aren’t very noisy.

This is why we always recommend what’s known as dual purpose birds to begin with. Dual purpose birds are normally great egg layers and very calm- we will discuss specific breeds later on.

Some beginners email us and ask for rare breeds or breeds which produce a lot of meat. We don’t recommend either of these for beginners simply because they require much more time, and are harder to look after. We always recommend avoiding meat and exotic birds until you gain more experience.

Best Egg Laying Chicken Breeds

So if you are like us and want to start keeping chickens for eggs, which breed would we suggest?

Bear in mind that the suggestions below are ideal for people with little experience who are looking for backyard chickens, which are easy to manage, require small amounts of maintenance and most importantly… lay lots of eggs!

1. Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Reds are synonymous with backyard chicken keeping and one of the most popular chicken breeds around (source). They are friendly, easy to keep and very tough.

Eggs: Should produce upwards of 250, medium-sized, brown eggs per year.

Character: They are very easy to keep, don’t require too much space and lay all year round.

  1. Hybrid

Hybrid breeds such as Golden Comets have been bred to consume small amounts of food and to lay as many eggs as possible. Whilst this is great for you, this can be detrimental to the hens health as their body never rests.

Eggs: Upwards of 280, medium-sized, brown eggs per year.

Character: Hybrids tend to make excellent layers, consumer less food, and aren’t very likely to become broody. They make a great choice, however make sure you source your hybrid from a sustainable breeder and ensure that it hasn’t been overbred.

3. Buff Orpington

Buff Orpington’s are one of the easiest and most popular egg laying chickens around. They originate from Kent, England and are renowned for their good looks and sturdiness.

Eggs: Should produce at least 180, medium-sized, light brown eggs per year.

Character: Orpington’s make great pets as they are extremely friendly and soft. However they do get broody during the summer months hence why their egg production is slightly lower than some of the other breeds mentioned here.

4. Plymouth Rock

The Plymouth Rock, also known as barred rocks, originates from the US and is one of the most popular dual purpose chickens.

Eggs: Should produce 200, medium sized, brown eggs per year- they also lay during the winter.

Character: They are a very active bird who performs best as free-range and would make a perfect backyard chicken. They are also extremely friendly with humans so great if you want to train them to eat from your hand!

5. Leghorn

The leghorn breed originates from Italy and was first introduced into the US during the 1800’s. They don’t get broody often and are an ideal pick for year round egg laying.

Eggs: Should produce upwards of 250, medium sized, white eggs per year.

Character: Leghorns will be happy in gardens as they are a very active chicken however they aren’t very tame so aren’t ideal for people with children wanting them as a pet.

With these suggestions made its important to remember you always get ‘bad-chickens’ and even the most docile breed can produce occasionally problematic birds.

All of these breeds above should be available from a local hatchery and we’d recommend at the start not to mix breeds within your flock.

Pick a breed and start off with them. This will help reduce pests and stop them attacking each other.

Remember the breed you purchase will require varying amounts of food in their diets, read what should I feed my chicken for more info.

 

 


Prescott Arizona Chicken Ordinance     Listed on www.backyardchickens.com

Are Chickens Allowed in this location Yes
Max Chickens Allowed None specified
Roosters Allowed No
Permit Required No
Coop Restrictions Chickens must be “physically secure.” No space requirements.
City/Organization Contact name Prescott City Clerk, 928-777-1272, http://www.cityofprescott.net/leadership/code/
Additional Information Ordinance 5-3-1 relates to the \”Regulation of Animals\” and contains all relevant rules regarding chickens within city limits.
Link for more Information http://www.cityofprescott.net/_d/cctitlev1210.pdf
Information Last Updated 2011-05-28 19:34:23

 

NOTE: This information was submitted by a member of our chicken forum. Please make sure to double check that this information is accurate before you proceed with raising chickens. You can read more info about checking local laws here..

 

 

How To Raise Quail For Beginners

Posted on November 22, 2016 by adminhttp://www.how-to-raise-livestock.com/2016/11/22/raise-quail-beginners/

Are you a livestock farmer who is looking at adding a new livestock on your farm? Or you are just looking for an easy to raise livestock? If so then look no further than raising Coturnix quails. They don’t require that much care and require less feed, but none-the-less produce quality healthy meat and eggs.

The growth of livestock farming in urban areas has seen a lot of farmers raising quails, although they can also be raised in rural areas. This bird was first domesticated in Asia and belongs in the family of birds such as partridges, chickens and pheasants which are called the Phasianidae.

Coturnix quail come in different varieties, which are gentle and can be raised in small areas. A lot of folks raise them for the production of eggs and meat, at six weeks they are considered fully grown and can start producing eggs.

The male quail unlike chicken roosters don’t make a lot of noise which make it neighbour friendly and a great choice for those who would like to raise them in urban areas. But before you do that you may want to enquiry with your authorities weather you are permitted to raise them in the area you live in and what sort of permit would you need if you want to raise them.

Some quail parents don’t like the idea of hatching the quail so it can be wise to have an incubator to hatch the eggs. It takes about 17 to 18 days for the thumb-sized chick to emerge from the egg shell.

When the chicks emerge from the eggs they can be sluggish at first, they can start running around at full speed and can begin eating fine crushed game bird plus drink some water. Since they can be very small at this time, to prevent them from drowning in the waterers, you can use some soda bottle caps as waterers. To make it safer you may place a marble at the center of the caps.

In their first few weeks of life, just like chickens you can provide some heat lamps to keep them warm. Young quails are very vulnerable to cold and can result to them dyeing in a short period of time. Quails grow very quickly weighing between 3-1/2 — 5-1/2 ounces and grow to be around 5 inches tall when they are adults. They can live for around 1.5 to 4 years.

Once quails become adults they require minimum care to maintain good health. As a farmer you should provide them with a well ventilated house, some high protein feed and access to fresh clean water.

A lot of folks who raise quails for the production of meat and eggs house them in welded wire cages. When using this housing method make it a point that the constructed floor has holes not larger than 1/4 inches so the birds feet don’t get trapped in the holes. Each cage should house one male per cage, reason being males turn to fight with each other, and in some cases can lead to death.

Female quails need about 14 hours of sunlight each day in order to produce eggs, fewer daylight will delay laying activities. So supplemental lighting has to be provided.

When it comes to waterers you can purchase them in most pet stores, but a lot of farmers also use rabbit water bottles. The reason why they prefer them is because they keep the birds from fouling in the water, causing you to refill with clean water every single day.

Quails are known to be gentle birds, but can be skittish. Don’t give them a chance to escape from their cage because they can be difficult to recapture, even if you can be using a net. They have small bodies that can fit in small holes and once they escape they will never return.

When raising quails for meat, there is no better breed in the Texas A&M if you leaving in the USA. Comparing to other Coturnix breeds, the Texas A&M weigh 10 to 13 ounces at the scale in only 7 weeks.

When raising quails for eggs, Coturnix quail eggs can lay around 200 to 300 eggs per single year, but you have to make sure they are well taken care of and provided with artificial lighting if needed. That’s the advantage of raising quails over chickens in your farm, it’s the length of time it takes to get some return of investment.

Chickens start to lay eggs when they are about 18 to 26 weeks old, a single female quail can deliver around 72 to 120 eggs at that given time.

Making the decision to raise quails, the next thing for you is to have a business strategy on how to maintain them for greater returns. This shouldn’t be a complicated plan. If your family is planning in eating the quail meat and eggs, then you don’t need that much planning. But you are planning on selling the meat or/and eggs then you have to take to account your local market.

 

There are lots of business opportunities when raising quails. Their eggs are very popular in Asia, with the growing population you may want to position yourself to supply the demand market. Even if you don’t target the Asian market, quail meat is also growing in popularity in the USA.

Quail is also a bird widely used for hunting purposes. Some hunters prefer to train their dogs using live quail. To get some leads you can look at some local hunting clubs, some hunting organizations even purchase live quails to stock their ranges for the loyal clientele.

Breeding quails is a very lucrative industry. A lot of farmers maybe searching to buy live birds, hatching eggs or even fully dressed birds. You can put up an ad on maybe Craigslist for local people who may be interested in buying your birds.

Quail meat is very good tasting and full of nutrients, once a person tastes it they will be wanting more. Their eggs taste good as well and when boiled can be used to make a healthy snack for children. To make sure they are well boiled you can cook them with a splash of white clear vinegar in the boiling water. And they also peel very quickly.

Quail eggs are also on high demand by caterers for use as eggs that are devilled since they make nice bite-sized snacks. You can also sell them to local stores as premium eggs.

Having a well planned business strategy when raising quails is the key to successful quail farming. These birds are easy to manage even when they are fully grown, but caution should be taken when raising quail chicks because they may drawn in normal waterers. To avoid this from happening you can use bottle caps and place a marble at the center of the cap.

With very little work upfront you can be on your way to raising healthy quail. Just make sure you are well prepared for this new business venture and you won’t go wrong.

 

Ringing in the New Year! Welcome to 2017!

img_20161231_200213Welcoming in the new year at our homestead is a fun event. We are not really “party animals” and do normally spend New Year’s Eve with our kids at home.  We play games the entire day and eat homemade finger foods (like homemade egg rolls, meatballs, chips and dips, etc).

This year, we had new games added to our collection including Steampunk Munchkins, Timeline – American History, The Ticket to Ride expansion for 1910 and Oregon Trail. (Yes, I know! Not the standard games that everyone else had in their collections – But we are a gaming kind of family and have all of those standard Sorry and Monopolies too!)

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So for hours and hours, we spend time as a family…. What have I learned while playing games with my kids? I have learned that I don’t like playing against Griffen in Munchkin… He is RUTHLESS! Trystan still does not play well with others and cheats his way through every game that he plays. Larry remembers all of the rules to all of the games that we play…. He is filled with folders of useless knowledge too.  I know that Rowan and Elwyn are very competitive, but will help you out on teaming up on games.  I know that Shelby LOVES to just sit and play any game, anytime with anyone.  Berlyn does not always play well with others. Breckin is a good sport and will not only play games with his sisters, but will dress up for one of the princess games with them.

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Upon the ringing in of the New Year, we make it outside to bang pots and pans and yell Happy New Year…. then come in and drink “kid champagne” AKA  Sparkling Apple Cider. 

This morning, we woke up to 2 new baby goats on our homestead! Declan (one of our registered Purebred Nubians) and Ava (a Registered American Nubian) had 2 baby girls…. We are thrilled to have already added to our homestead this early in the season…. 

So, from our family to yours!

Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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