Earlier this year we moved on to 4 acres of land near Russellville, Arkansas. We’ve always had visions of getting away from the city life and living a more ‘primal’ lifestyle even before we started our diet. One of my favorite books is Back to Basics, which covers many aspects of homesteading and living off the land.
As far as I’m concerned, nothing is more primal than controlling your food source. And that could mean growing your food, raising your food, or hunting your food. I mentioned in an earlier post that we get fresh eggs from our grandfather’s hens, and now that we’re on our own land we decided to get some chickens for ourselves.
Over the last week I’ve built a large 8′x8′x8′ coop for the chickens, complete with nest boxes, perches and an outdoor run where they can spend the day. Once they have settled in and figure out where their home is, I’m going to let them free range which will allow them to vary their diet and in turn will help us keep the insect population down.
Here’s the stock so far: 4 mixed-breed hens and 1 rooster. These were produced from a flock of Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire, and Black Australorp varieties. These are all egg-laying breeds, and in the few days we’ve had them they’ve produced over 20 eggs.
These aren’t pets and are already a season or two old, and come spring a few of these will likely be culled for their meat and to make room for younger stock. I expect some readers with queasy stomachs or an unrealistic idea of where their food comes from may be turned off by that idea, and so I’m not sure yet that I will cover it in very much detail.
What do you think? Would you like to know how to humanely source your own meat or are you content with Tyson doing the hard work for you?Want to read more posts like this? Then please consider subscribing to our RSS Feed.