What goes in first? Garden, chickens/chicken coop, bees/bee hives?

We are starting hobby farm from scratch. Do I plant vegetable garden first? Then get chickens? Then start bee hives? Or would you advise a different prioritization?

  7 answers
  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Mar 21, 2018
    Bee hives need be be no more than 1/2 miles from apple or pear trees, and berries and soft fruits should be a little closer, but not over a large number of hives or you can’t pick the fruit for the bees! So, you have to plan for trees and fruits and berries.
    Chickens in a coop can thrive without a garden as long as you allow them some bare ground, and throw out some corn other seeds some times. They need chicken scratch space, but security from hawks, foxes or other predators. Watch for holes along the fence line or circling haws. If you see hawks, throw a fishnet (Michael’s, sporting goods) or camouflage net or chicken wire over the coop, but higher than your head.
    Don’t plant strawberries and onions near each other. Be willing to replant if your first batch gets rained out. Don’t be sentimental.
    Which come first: the chicken, the bee, or the berry? I would plan it all on a diagram. I would build the chicken coop, leaving room to expand it later. Then the garden, again planning space for expansion and for several containers for plants, and maybe a dry sink near a water hose so your can deal with dirt, yet clean up before you or the garden produce enter the house. After you have done all your research and planning, including making beekeeping experts, then move in the hives and bees.
    Please share your work on each part, even if the job is not completely, on Hometalk.com. Many others would like to share your experiences. Thank you ☺️

  • Yvonne Yvonne on Mar 21, 2018
    I have bees, chickens and a garden! First of all to have bees you will need to invest in the equipment, hives, suits, smokers. You should line up a mentor to help. As for the chickens, they need shelter, a coop or barn that they can be safe in from predators after dark. During the day mine are free range, which poses a problem with the garden, as they like to make dirt holes to dust themselves and will eat your veggies, so you will need to protect the plants with fencing! Just a few ideas from my own experience. The garden would probably be the least expensive and easiest to start with. Good luck!

  • DesertRose DesertRose on Mar 21, 2018
    That sounds like the right way to do it. The garden will get a good start, the chickens can eat any bugs you get in the garden, and the bees can pollinate your blooms on your veggies

  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Mar 21, 2018
    I’d do chicken coop/chickens first. You will need land for this. Four chicken doors one on every side of the coop. And four large ranging fenced in areas. Every two weeks or so open a different door and keep the other three shut. This will allow the areas to grow back. Alternate doors. Now from this you will be able to measure how much land you have for your garden. So I would do garden second. Last but not a bit lease is the bees. You’ll need a lot of time and special attention for the bee setup. You have a great idea here, sort of a petting zoo. Good Luck.

  • Dana Mason Dana Mason on Mar 21, 2018
    Start small.
    Get around 5 to 6 chicks and raise them from Diddles to imprint yourself on them and they will be tame. We started with a 10x10 dog lot covered in chicken wire with a small coop inside.

    Our bees were started with a single hive and we enrolled in a beekeeping class at our local Home Extension office.

    Have always planted a garden, but get a $10 soil test kit first to determine what the acidity in your soil is and then again start small with a few plants of different kinds and throughout your first year, you can determine which grows the best, uses the most space, takes the most time, and produces the best.

    Compost your chicken manure for the next years garden, plant flowers and clover for the bees, and worms can be raised to feed to the chickens.

  • Ro Ro on Mar 21, 2018
    Chickens first, garden then bees

  • Barbara Barbara on Mar 22, 2018
    I think the chickens win it! Thanks everyone for the input and helpful tips. Coop is halfway up already, so I’m off to a good start. Garden is tilled, but not fenced, prepared, or planted yet. Bees are going to have to wait their turn.....last, but certainly not least. They have fruit trees and berries already waiting for them.