Some random thoughts about projects I want to work on during 2012.
Build a portable chicken coop
Plant a summer garden
Look into building a rabbit pen
Stockpile more seeds
The chicken coop I am looking at building is going to be 4 feet wide, 4 feet tall and 10 feet long. The unit is is going to have a coop on top of the pen, with maybe 4 – 6 boxes for laying hens. No roosters, all the chickens will be for will be eggs. Plucking chickens is a pain, it would be a lot easier and productive to harvest the eggs, and that is what my wife and I am planning on doing.
The plans call for the coop to be 4 feet square, and 2 – 3 feet tall with a sloping roof. This means I should be able to get 4 – 7 boxes for the hens in the coop. The plan is to have four boxes down one wall, and up to 3 down the next wall. If we can get just a few eggs a week, that is all we need. My wife and I mostly eat eggs on saturday or sunday, and when my wife uses eggs for baking. Its not like we eat eggs everyday. Hopefully we can collect the eggs during the week, then use the eggs during the weekend.
With the price of food going like it is, my wife an I decided it time we took measures to produce some of our own food. A couple of years ago my wife and I had a garden that we shared with 2 other families. this year, we want to plant a small garden just for ourselves.
I have wanted rabbits for a long time. They are cute, and their manure makes good fertilizer. The last batch of rabbits I had was way back in 1999 – 2000. I built the rabbit pen about 8 feet long and about 24 inches wide. In that size pen I had 3 or 4 divided pens.
Last year my wife and I planted a garden at the camp. Due to the drought nothing came up, so all of the seeds we put down went to waste. This year I need to replace the seeds that were planted in 2011. One type of seeds I need to stock up on are snap bean seeds. Snap beans are easy to grow and high producing plants.
A couple of weeks ago I talked to the owners of a local feed and fertilizer store about expected seed shortages for 2012. The owners told me it was too early to know what seeds were going to be short this year. A couple of years ago there was a shortage of pickling cucumbers, a year or two before then was a zucchini seed shortage. Its always good to have a few extra packs of seeds for when shortages occur.
This year I am planning on stocking up on corn, peas, spinach and beans. When I was talking to the owners of the local feed and fertilizer store, they told me they should start getting their seeds in in February. Sometimes I will go to the feed store and just buy seeds, and sometimes I have plans to buy certain things.
Before I buy anything this year, I first need to take inventory and go from there.