The first farm animal we ever got was a chicken ... well chickens ... we did get multiple chickens and we got multiple breeds because we couldn't figure out which breed we wanted. For many years chickens were the only poultry we had ... not counting a minor exploration into Muscovy ducks that ended when they wouldn't stop fighting each other and ate all our bees.

But eventually geese and ducks just got too interesting to pass up and we had to have some ... at least try them out.

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We have the chickens we do for eggs and as compost helpers. They are great at scratching things up, and it's an awesome way to use natural methods to help create the compost. For chickens, we are selecting for a landrace breed that thrives here in Wyoming, lays well (in the winter as well), forages for most, if not all, of their food, is cold and heat hardy, and has a long laying life. We have a mix of a bunch of breeds, and are using natural selection, teamed with conformation and laying knowledge, to help build the breed.

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We have the geese as gully grazers and flock protectors. At the moment, they are grazing down around the house and barn, but the hope is to use them to graze in the gullies where the number of young trees makes it impossible to effectively use the larger animals.

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We have ducks as an alternative source of eggs, and a way to help the orchards thrive without bug infestations.

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