Chickens aren’t difficult at all. Personally, I prefer the dual-purpose (both meat and eggs) heritage breed chickens, as they tend to be a bit hardier, although not “optimized” for producing one or the other. Breeds that are “optimized” for egg-laying are egg-laying machines, but usually not very meaty, while the Cornish cross chickens are optimized for meat production; however, they need to be butchered at 6-8 weeks old (believe me, at that age they are HUGE) or they will die of heart attacks, as their hearts and blood vessels can’t keep up with their growth rate. Do some research. I would suggest the “Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens”. They also have guides to raising beef cattle, milk cows, pigs, sheep, dairy goats, meat goats, bees, rabbits, horses, etc. The Storey’s guides cover EVERYTHING: different breeds, housing (including different types of housing and how to build it), feed requirements, veterinary care, etc.
Chickens don’t require much room; rabbits and goats can also be kept on a smaller amount of land, but if you are planning on cattle as well as garden area to sustain your group, as well as pasture/hay production, grain fields, etc., as well as housing needs for your group, you should probably consider more than just 2-5 acres.
For food production, you might also want to look into aquaponics to help maximize your yields. in aquaponics, you are raising fish in tandem with plants in a series of “grow beds”; the fish waste water feeds and waters the plants, which in turn filter and clean the water, which is then returned to the fish tank. It’s a very efficient system, and uses less water than traditional gardening. Your main “inputs” (after the initial startup) are water to “top off” the water lost to evaporation and transpiration (housing the system in a greenhouse can help to reduce evaporation loss), food for the fish, and electricity to run the pump and tank heater (depending on fish species, and mainly in winter)
Statistics: Posted by IceFire — Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:06 pm