Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Home Based Business

Being a work-at-home Dad for over 3 years has brought an interesting perspective to my life. Without going into too much detail it has caused me to rethink many of the things I took for granted before: job aspirations, employment, seeking out the best career/job, commuting and the list goes on. These are just the job side of the equation and I'm not including the personal though process that has led me to realign how I do many things in my family life. To say it has been a wonderful opportunity would be an understatement.

Ok, personal blathering aside if you're looking for ways to generate income from your farm there are so many resources to help out there it isn't doing them justice to just mention a handful but I'll try. One recommendation which I've mentioned here before is to look at ways to maximize your time, why sell eggs for store prices when you can get more US$ from them? Find a niche market and leverage your experience to take full advantage of the market just begging for your goods & services.

Here is a article on the Countryside Magazine website by Ken Scharabok, he has an ebook that has good reviews that I haven't had an opportunity to read yet however from what I'm seeing on this article it should be good. Some of the books he recommends we've either read in the past or heard good things about, unfortunately there is only so much time in the day to cover the plethora of material floating around out there.

Best wishes


If you're looking for a place to buy newborn chickens I'd recommend you take some time to visit Ideal Poultry. Where we live in Texas it is a short enough drive where we can visit and be home in time for dinner. They've been in business since 1937 and are located in Cameron, Texas. There are a few other hatcheries out there that do a decent job however they're local and have a good reputation.

If you're not sure about the process of raising newborns you should read some of my previous posts as well as visit some of the websites provided below before purchasing the baby chickens.

Beginner's Guide for Raising Baby Chickens
Care Tips for Baby Poultry
Grow Healthy Chicks
Tips for Incubating and Raising Chicks with a Mother Hen

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Permit 'Light' Property

As I've covered in some of my previous posts there can be quite a few gotchas when looking for land and a lot of due diligence is required. The flip side is that if your land exists in the 'right' county you can have a lot of flexibility with it once purchasing. For example the county where we're looking at buying land currently doesn't require any building permits, the only requirement when building on the land is the septic system. If the county/state where you're looking doesn't require that gray water is captured you have the added bonus. So if you run something like composting toilets you could build without a septic and be permit free

If you have some flexibility on geographic location I would recommend you spend some time assessing the differences between counties where you're looking. Is it that I'm against building quality structures, no, I'm against obsessive government intrusion in my life. We live in a day where some people are scared of people who do things without a permit as if they're doing inferior work which is absolutely incorrect. The old saying, "A house built to code is the worst house you can build" which seems appropriate for this conversation. In my time living in the city I've seen plenty of jobs that passed permitting requirements but the work was horrendous. If you're thinking, "Well Joe, what do you have to hide" your mind is skewed and you're not looking at things clearly. Without appearing to be some anti-government redneck suffice it to say that I believe this country was founded on some amazing principles and as we add to them we've created an environment where people abdicate thinking to those feeding the cash to the politicians.

Stop Thief! - Part II

We've been busy with a few things so I didn't have an opportunity to post that two days after the initial theft the thieves decided they needed to get them all and came back and cleaned us out. We are now chickenless but we are planning on building our hen/rooster population back up. No matter where you live people exist which feel they're entitled to something that is not theirs. We have put the word out with neighbors to protect their livestock and pray that the thieves are caught quickly since people that do this rarely stop behaving badly.

We will hold off however since it appears we will be buying some land about 4 hours from our present location and would prefer to not have to worry about moving the birds as well as getting caretakers during time away from home.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Stop Thief!

As we all know there are people everywhere who feel they are entitled to what is not theirs. In our case it happened late last night when someone stole half of our small 'flock' of chickens. They got over our fence, into the coop and got 9 of them without alerting our dog in the house. Since our coop is about 50 yards from the house and the door faces the far side of the coop it isn't surprising we didn't hear anything. The design is less than idea but it is a rental so we've got what we've got.

After dropping by to speak with the police it is obvious that the laws are written to help the criminals, not support the property owner. Apparently I'm supposed to be able to assess the amount of property their taking and if sufficient then I can escalate the use of force however if I shoot and they only took $40 worth then I'm liable, what a mess.

Anyway here is a list of our departed birds:
2 - 3 month olds that we raised from day olds. One was an Americana and the other was a New Hampshire.
1 - RIR Bantam Rooster
2 - RIR Bantam Hens
3 - Black Bantams Hens (can't recall the breed)
1 - White & Black Hen (can't recall the breed)

So for now our little side deal of generating some extra money from selling eggs is done and the other birds were pretty spooked, some even let us pet them and they rarely allow that.