I am the husband of Stephanie from www.stoptheride.net and Adventures in the 100 acre wood and makeitfromscratch.blogspot.com
Here is my rambling on about nothing or something, depending on what type of mood you get me in.
1. Do you have a particular favorite breed of chicken, and if so what is it and why do you prefer it? Or if more than one, which ones, etc? We have Buff Orpingtons and a couple of Rhode Island Red mutts. They were given to us for free, so we didn't have any pereferance, I like the buffs because they are docile, I had a Red Rooster that would attack the kids.
2. Do you use your chickens for your family, to sell, or both? Meat, or eggs, or both?Yes, all of the above.
3. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start out raising them, other than reading some good books on the subject? Have a good coop that you can close up at night and a nest box or two depending on the number of chickens you have. Then have at it. It is pretty easy maintenace.
4. Do you primarily keep your chickens in a coop/enclosed chicken yard, or do they roam your property? I let them out to roam during the day and have a light in the coop to bring them back in at night.
5. Do you ever let them into your garden? If no, do you have a fence or something to keep them out? We let them when the garden isn't grown up to fruit. and then there are always some renagade chickens that get into it after the harvest qhich is fine.
6. Do you ever use a chicken tractor, and if so, is it for meat birds only? do you use electric/ net poultry fencing? I'm interested in which has worked for you and which has not. What has been your experience with pastured poultry 'a la the Joel Salatin sort (follow behind the livestock grazings at the optimum time), if that applies? We do let the chicken mingle is with the rest of our livestock. luckily they have not messed with them. The pigs leave them alone, they do enjoy running behind everyone cleaning up the place.
7. Do you keep chickens year-round, or raise them for seasonal processing? We keep them year round.We keep them untill they stoop producing, then it is too the freezer.
8. How many chickens of a certain type do you raise at one time (what works best for you as far as how many to raise at a time?) We have 20 hens and four roosters three of which need to go into the freezer. we have the land for more if we need it, and the coop space as well.
I will be happy to answer all of your homesteading questions if you have them.