If you are planning on surviving some kind of long term SHTF survival situation, then your plans should include food production. Stockpiling rice, beans, oats, corn, freeze dried foods,,, is fine and dandy. The problem with having a static food supply, it “is” going to run out sooner or later. To expand my families food supply, my wife and I decided to get some chickens.
With the chickens we will have a steady supply of eggs for protein, and if bad turns to worse, we can eat the chickens. Eating the chickens would be a last ditch effort, as I would rather use the chickens for breeding purposes to make more chickens.
This is my first attempt at raising chickens in over 20 years. The last time I had chickens was back around 1989, 1990 and 1991. Over the past 20+ years I have forgotten a lot about raising chickens, but I am sure things will come back.
On the morning of Saturday February 25, 2012 a friend of the family called my wife and told her that Circle Three Feed in Jasper Texas has chicks. My wife and I grabbed a laundry basket to put the chicks in, then we headed to the feed store.
Upon arriving at the feed store, the lady that was helping us said the chicks were Black Giants, but the proper name was probably Black Jersey Giant.
The plan is to have at least 2 different types of chickens.
While my wife and I were at the feed store, we picked up:
Water dispenser that screws onto a mason jar
Feed dispenser that screws onto a mason jar
10 pounds chick starter
This chicken project started a couple of months ago when my wife and I decided to get some chickens in the spring.
To prep for the chickens my wife and I bought two books from Amazon – Raising chickens for dummies and Chickens by Dereck Hall.
The next phase of the project was getting on the internet and looking for some chicken coop ideas.
When I started looking for coop ideas, I have to admit the amount of information out was a little intimidating. One thing I was looking for some a coop that can be moved, but large enough to give the chickens plenty of room. To save room, I wanted to roosting section with the laying boxes to be over fenced in area. The dimensions my wife and I agreed on was 6 feet wide and 10 feet long.
The books have been bought
The plains for the coop were obtained
The next step was to obtain the chickens and supplies
After buying the chickens my wife and went to the local big box mart, you know, the place that sells a lot of “made in china” stuff. What my wife and I were looking for was some kind of lamp, or some kind of heat lamp. We ended up buying a heat lamp and a clamp on shop light.
My wife had a spare storage tub laying around the house, so we decided to use the tub for the chicks.
The next problem was figuring out a way to fix the heat lamp inside the tub. My first thought was to use a broken cinder block, but the block was too tall. While looking around the backyard for a few minutes I spotted my boat anchor; in the tub the boat anchor went. Ok, looks like we are making some progress.
The heat lamp that was bought at china-mart was put in the shop light. That thing was so hot it would have cooked those poor chicks from other side of the tub. the heat lamp was taken out and a regular bulb was pout in. Even though the regular bulb does not produce a lot of heat, its better then nothing, and its better then cooking the chicks with a heat lamp from hell.
Everything seems to be going good, the chicks are under the lamp, eating and drinking.
Now its just a matter of keeping the cat out of the tub. I am thinking of using some bungee cords to secure the lid to the tub. But, I have to leave enough of a crack in the lid so the chicks can get fresh air.