Over the past few months we have learned a lot, grown a lot, and want to share some helpful knowledge learned along the way. Over the coming months we will cover topics such as Breeds and Variations, Nutritional Requirements, Coop Construction, Hatching Eggs, Proper Housekeeping and other DIY TIPS for both chicken farmers and homesteaders alike.
What is Tinyhouse Farms?
My name is Doug - engineer, son of the Walters Clan, and I will try to answer this question by telling you who we are, where we started, where we are, and what the future holds for our Tinyhomestead!
Three years ago (before this was even a dream) my mother, Angela, came down with a fever...a chicken fever. This was one of those fevers you just don't sweat out - a fever that would last for years, one that infects your children I tell you! Everyone knows that when Momma aint happy aint nobody happy so naturally Dad and I got to work on a coop! Roosters were chasing me around the yard and we had dozens of Blue Eggs in the fridge. 4:00 AM crows, Creme Brûlée on tap, scrambled eggs were literally coming out my nose (as eggs became our main form of sustenance). Originally I was less invested in the chickens at the time and grew to despise the morning crows, but couldn't get enough fresh pasta and homemade dessert! Although mom was the true chicken lover, she would soon realize her son was a sleeper cell... patiently waiting... to buy chickens.
My parents have always had big goals - Chicken's weren't the only project in the family portfolio - they kept bees, a large garden, a citrus orchard and goats! A genuine homestead bi-golly! Fast forward three years.... the stock market is tanking, we are in a "pandemic" , the oil and gas job market is not doing well. I personally was having very little feedback from job interviews and things were shaky so naturally I did what anyone else would do - I bought chickens. My mom was pretty pissed off at the time, but she's come around swimmingly since that day and is by far the biggest asset to this venture. At the time I simply wanted something to take care of, a distraction from filling out job applications that would never be considered. Thinking back to that day, there was no way in hell we wanted to be actual chicken farmers - but here we are!
Frankly, how we got here was almost by accident, and for once Craigslist was helpful ;)
We found an advertisement for "Hens Wanted", and the next day someone bought the Ten 3-month week hens for $20 each. At the time I thought he was crazy, my eyes lit up with a vision of mullets and being the next Chicken-King, but later began to feel bad ... like I robbed the man - "why on earth would someone pay five times the price for a young hen, doesn't he know they sell these as babies right down the street?" A little more market research would have shown this was not only a fair price, but I left money on the table!
"Can I replicate this?", "Is my job hunt over?", "Is this sustainable", My mind filled with questions and obviously needed more experience so it was time to research everything I could about the infamous Gallo, we found a market and I wanted in. Enter Ayam Cemani... Today is 9/23/2020 - we are covered up in chickens and building a 3,200 sq ft chicken facility to house 8 different breeds and 300 hens! A huge step up from the original 2'x5' brooder we started with. The progress is slow, steady, and a little more rewarding everyday.
The rest is history, hard work, hard lessons, and a lot of fun! Over the next few articles we will highlight some of those lessons, some tips we learned along the way.
To readers - Thank you for following us, and for our customers - thanks for your continued support, mention this article for 15% off your next order of hatching eggs or baby chicks.
Next Up - "Ayam Cemani - Facts, Fiction, and Fibro"