These are the resources we love, trust, and use daily on our farm.
Redeeming the Dirt Academy – this is a free network of like-minded Christians pursuing excellence in agriculture. You can chat, share advice, and take courses from founder Noah Sanders. This is an awesome community for all who desire to learn, grow, and share the hope we have in Jesus with others.
Chicken Feed Trough – we have two of these that we use for our broiler chickens, fill them as full as possible and they will devour it.
Hanging Bell Waterer – this waterer is awesome! It is way easier to refill than a regular waterer. It does take some setting up, but being able to just hose water into a five gallon bucket without all the hassle is totally worth it. You drill a little hole in a five gallon bucket and attach the included rubber tube in it, attach the tube to the waterer, fill the bucket, and voila! You should refill it after you move the chickens, though, because the bucket full of water is really heavy.
New Country Organics Grower/Broiler Feed, 40lbs – this is what we feed our broiler chickens, tons of food so they grow into 5-6lb range. They recently changed the size from 50lbs to 40lbs.
For baby chicks, we use a small local hatchery called the Poultry House.
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange – we get seeds from this company-when we get seeds at all. 😉
Baker Creek Seeds – this company has hundreds of different varieties of a multitude of different fruits, veggies, and herbs. If you want a large selection of colorful seeds spanning every climate, Baker Creek is for you!
Chickshaw – we use the plan that Justin Rhodes developed, and it works great. We put hay in the egg boxes because it doesn’t fall out like wood shavings, and it’s more nest-like. Chickshaw MiniMe (plans) – sign-up required
Double Walled Chicken Waterers – this is the same size waterer we have, but not the same brand. We have three of this type that we rotate and fill up daily.
Gallagher S10 Solar Energizer (discontinued) – We use this energizer for our chicken fences with some alligator clips. Most small energizers will work for containing the chickens and keeping predators out.
Ken Cove Fencing – we have two of this specific model. It is nice because the ground rod is built into the fence, so you don’t have to buy a separate one.
New Country Organics Classic Grind Layer Feed, 50lbs – we feed our 35ish layer chickens a bag per week or 1/2 cup per chicken per day. We put it on the ground for them to scratch.
Premier One – we have one of these fences, but one of us hit with the lawn mower, so it doesn’t work to contain chickens anymore 🙁 We use it around our orchard instead. This one requires a ground rod. It is also good for keeping raccoons out of corn.
New Country Organics Thorvin Kelp – we use this for the sheep’s vitamin supplement. They enjoy it, although it does cost a pretty penny.
Premier One Supplies Sheep Fence – we have four of these fences, in varying lengths, and we love them! They work wonderfully, and the sheep never escape. We leapfrog the fences so we can prepare for the next day, and we also fold in sides and then unfold them later to make feeding the sheep easier.
Tucker Milling Multispecies Feed – we use this feed to move the sheep longer distances. Put some in a bucket, shake it, and they’ll come running! They love it!
Chick Immune Booster
When you first bring chicks home, give them some of this mixture to boost their immune system after their stressful trip home.
1 cup water
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
Simply mix the ingredients together, and dip the chicks’ beaks in it.
This is a list of helpful, encouraging, and/or informative books that have helped us on our homesteading journey. Links are mostly to Thrift Books.
Pastured Poultry Profits by Joel Salatin – this book gives detailed instruction on how to make a profit with broiler chickens.
Chicken Keeper’s Problem Solver by Chris Graham – this helpful book describes many of the problems chicken keepers may face, why they might be present, and ways to fix them.
Salad Bar Beef by Joel Salatin – this book shares the full operations of a profitable beef enterprise in a ton of detail. It dives into how a rotational grazing approach to cows benefits the land and the cow.
The Family Garden Plan by Melissa K. Norris – this book provides the formula for figuring out how much of each veggie you need to plant for your family for a year.
Homesteading (integrated, with more than one topic)
Polyface Micro by Joel Salatin – this is a book that is directed at small homesteads that are trying to feed a family and become more independent. It covers strategies for water collection, sickness, and more, and includes sections on many different farm animals, including chickens, cows, rabbits, and sheep.
Born Again Dirt by Noah Sanders – this is an all-around book on farming to the glory of God, God’s way. It includes reasons to farm, ways to farm, and most importantly, how to glorify God, benefit your family, and steward what He has given you with your farm.
The Well Watered Garden Project by Noah Sanders – this booklet shows you how to set up and plant your very own Well Watered Garden! Using a no-till and max coverage method, this garden is simple and easy to set up and care for. The goal is to use the garden to feed your family and share the hope we have in Jesus with your community.
Family Homesteading by Teri Page – this book was written by an off-grid, homesteading, (and obviously), homeschooling mom. It covers animals, foraging, and making your own food from scratch—all while making it kid-friendly! This is the perfect book for a small homestead homeschool.
Gardening with Chickens by Lisa Steele – this book shows how you can use your garden to benefit your chickens, and your chickens to benefit your garden. It contains useful lists of herbal remedies and provides tips on using herbs in chicken health and comfort.
You Can Farm by Joel Salatin – this book contains countless ideas for ways to make money on the farm. It is, however, the self-proclaimed separator of the wheat and the chaff; if you are serious about living off the farm, you won’t be turned away by the risk, sacrifice, and plain hard work required to succeed as a farmer, as outlined in this volume.
Polyface Designs by Joel Salatin and Chris Slattery – this book provides designs and blueprints for the numerous structures used in the day-to-day operations of Joel Salatin’s farm, Polyface. While it is a wonderful resource, it is better suited to a large scale farm than to a small backyard enterprise.
The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals – this volume covers in detail the workings of all the animals in the barnyard: chickens, cows, ducks, sheep, goats, pigs, and rabbits. It includes the feeding, breeding, and daily care of each animal, along with common illnesses and breed choices.
Durable Trades by Rory Groves – this book takes over sixty trades and analyzes them for durability using four factors: family centeredness, ease of entry, profitability, and historic durability. It then organizes them according to total durability score, making for an interesting and informative book.
Mountain Medicine by Darryl Patton – this book on foraging and natural medicine is divided into three parts. The first tells the story of Patton’s mentor, Tommie Bass, who was a herbalist in the Appalachian Mountains. The second covers common herbs of that area, and their medicinal uses. The third section covers a variety of illnesses and different herbs that can be used to treat them.