We live on a small city lot in Eastern Washington and are slowly making the move towards being as self-sufficient as possible.
Our chickens are Barred Rocks (5), Buff Orpingtons (4), Auracanas (2), Silver-Laced Wyandottes (5), and Wellsummers (5). They are happy, and healthy, with a small run at their disposal and lots of kitchen and garden scraps (and of course no cages). They come when we call them! We’re raising them primarily for eggs (both for eating and for selling), but look forward to the occasional chicken dinner. We’re planning to rotate new chicks into our flock each year, and hope to incorporate some Marans, Golden Laced Wyandottes, and Golden Spangled Hamburgs in the coming years. We also make good use of their manure, by adding it to our compost pile for later use in our garden.
We also grow worms. Our goal is to use them to process the food scraps we have that can’t or shouldn’t be fed to the chickens, and possibly to help us process our main garden compost a bit faster. The castings are used for a seedling mix for germinating our garden plants, and for top-dressing the soil around special plants to give them an extra boost. The secondary goal is to breed the worms and have some to feed to our chickens during the winter when they are less likely to find as many bugs to eat.
Our garden is organically grown, with all open pollinated (and mostly heirloom) varieties. We’re growing as much of our own food as we can from the garden, as well as growing several crops just to feed the chickens, so they have some fresh things to eat to supplement their main feed. We’re moving towards the biointensive gardening method taught in John Jeavons’ books.
Our long term goal is to buy a bigger piece of land and be as self-sufficient as possible, both for the sake of personal sustainability and personal satisfaction and enjoyment. We hope to have an orchard, an apiary, a large garden, some small livestock, a timber lot, a large flock of fowl, an either an earth berm or strawbale house. In the mean time, we plan on learning as much as we can on the space we have while working toward that goal.