Starting a Farm Business Update
Last week, I mentioned that I would start making a business plan specific to our chicken business. I check out the book Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens from the library.
I decided that I would read through the book and then make a decision about the topic that I am reading about. For example, I have finished reading the first 2 chapters which was mostly about different uses/breeds of chickens. Chapter 3 is about shelter. So, I am going to pause here and do a little research about what breeds I want to have on my farm.
Before, I get into picking my chicken breeds, I want to make a few points about what I learned in Chapters 1 and 2 of the book:
- Best layers average 250-280 eggs/year
- You can expect 180-240 eggs/year from commercial strain brown egg layers
- Buy at least 25% more chickens than you want to end up with to allow for natural deaths
- You can keep about 1 cock per 12-20 hens (cocks help with protection from predators)
I used several different sites to "research" breeds. Since, we are wanting to raise "layers" this is where I concentrated all my research. I first decided that we only wanted to raise chickens that lay "large" eggs. Then, I decided on other criteria such as egg production, egg color, temperament, cold hardy (we live in north Idaho), and broodiness.
Here are some websites that I used to help me make my Chicken Breeds Chart.
|Manna Pro Chicken Breeds Chart|
I even found an app that helps you decide what chicken breed would be good for your farm:
Also, there was a chart in the Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens about Large Breeds. So, I combined these resources to pick the chickens we would like to have on our farm. I have it narrowed down to the chickens in this chart:
I want to add more information to this by putting in the prices and number of chickens I want to purchase. I ran out of time to get that info into the chart for today...
Things are really heating up in the garden. We are getting close to the frost free date (May 23) and as I look at the 10 day forecast, there are no days that are below 40 degrees at night. So, I feel "safe" planting my sensitive crops. I planted all my herbs: basil and parsley that I started from seed and then thyme and rosemary plants that I got from the Farmer's Market. I also planted my hot peppers and eggplant among my lettuce and spinach. I picked 2 small radish yesterday from the garden and ate them right away!
Happy Mother's Day
Had a great day foraging for morel mushrooms with my family!