I’ve always dreamt of having a self-sufficient homestead. But as a primarily plant-based household, I had to really think about how I could create this reality in a way that I could still be true to my beliefs. I’ve always been an animal lover and feel that all animals deserve a good life. Part of the reason I started eating plant based was to stop supporting the mistreatment of animals in commercial farming.
Reggie and the kids enjoy eating eggs, so getting chickens made sense to be more self-sufficient. I also knew that our chickens would have a good life here and the eggs they gave us would help us cut ties with the factory farmed eggs. So we got chickens! We got 10 red sexlinks, which are a hybrid breed to start and are scheduled to get some chicks in June. So far we’re really enjoying caring for them and watching their little personalities. Every morning is like Christmas for the kids; they go into the coop and are so excited to check if our chickens left them some eggs! In the name of self-sufficiency, I still eat mostly plant based but will likely become more of a sustainarian as we consider adding more animals to our homestead.
As we mentioned before, we inherited an old school bus with our property and it was the perfect structure for a chicken coop. This entire coop cost us only $10. We used old milk crates for nesting boxes. Old wood paneling to create the walls, close windows and patch any holes. Leftover plywood pieces to create a ramp to get out of the coop. An old heating radiator to make a chicken feeder. And we used scrap wood to create a couple perches where the birds sleep comfortably at night.
Our only expenses were 4 chicken spoons which we added to a 5 gallon bucket to make a chicken waterer.
In the Fall we collected three huge garbage bags of leaves and stored them for the Winter. This Spring we emptied them all to create a nice bedding for the coop.
We built the outdoor enclosure in the Fall for approximately $300 using 4x4s, a roll of chicken wire and some old cinder blocks.
These are the best types of projects. Because they don’t have to be perfect, they are done with virtually no spending and they are so rewarding. We have many of these types of projects coming up in the next few months. Among them will be:
-Converting an old shed into a sauna / outdoor kitchen.
-Building a really cool treehouse for the kids.
-Building an outdoor shower.
-Building a sun dehydrator to dry produce this summer.
-Building more enclosures for future animals.
-Building a solar aeration system for our new private swimming beach.
*Next Thursday (April 21st) at 8:30PM on the French TV network Unis TV we will be featured in the show Quelle Familles. This new TV series followed us for three days last year while we lived in our motorhome and will document our path to early retirement. We will post a link to the on-demand online episode afterwards.