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have been raising chickens on and off since 1971. In 1997, Justine
and I decided to get serious in the poultry business so that we'd have
a continued source of income after I retire from Sprint. We first
raised a flock of Barred Plymouth Rock laying hens and sold eating eggs
to those driving by our farm. We found out in a hurry that selling
eating eggs for $1 a dozen wasn't even paying the feed bill, so we started
looking for and purchasing show quality bantams and rare standard breeds.
Once you get chickens in your blood, you just can't get enough.
We bought some hatching eggs and a cabinet incubator and before you know
it we were NPIP Certified as a Poultry hatchery. We were at first
hesitant about gamebirds, but got a permit from the Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department and hatched 140 quail eggs and we were hooked again!!
We even added a few pheasants, peafowl, waterfowl... We also recently
started raising guinea fowl and are planning to expand our guinea varieties
soon. Once all our pens and cages were full in the old barn,
we had to build a new one (30 ft x 112 ft)!! The old 14 ft x 50 ft
barn that I built in 1971 for quarter horses in now quite full of birds
and we just completely filled the new barn in August, 2000. That's
a LOT of feathered kids!! We gotta stop... Gotta Stop... GOTTA
STOP... We completed the eight 10ft x 10ft pens along the east
wall in the new barn in the fall of 1999, and in August, 2000 finished
the pens on the other side including folding roosts and nestboxes. All
this construction has been documented in photos and text here on the website
(see "Tour the Farm" on the home page or use the links at the top or bottom
of most other pages). Maybe it'll give you some ideas for your own
facilities. We are also planning to build 10ft x 24ft enclosed, covered
runs on the outside of each pen. LOTS of work!
April 2003 UPDATE: I (Pete) had a stroke on 14 April 2003 after which I spent nearly a month in the hospital. The stoke left me in a wheelchair (see below photo taken at Halloween, 2003) with my right side paralyzed and I was undergoing Physical Therapy three times a week (see Personal Photos Index page), but the recovery is going to be very, very slow. As a result of my extended infirmity, I have been placed on Disability Retirement from Sprint Corporation, my previous employer and our income has therefore been severely reduced. We are now relying financially on Social Security Disability and Sprint's Disability Retirement benefits.
Justine's taking care of all the birds and other livestock by herself and I am truly blessed to have her stand by me. Most of the projects we had planned for the farm will have to wait...
Effective February 2007 Justine has gotten tired of caring for me and the livestock. We have divorced, she moved out in January 2008 and all our birds and other livestock have been sold. The website will remain as a source of poultry raising information (ONLY as PoultryHelp.com) but all reference to birds/chicks/eggs for sale will be removed as time permits.
Please click HERE for more recent updates.
February 22, 2000, I got a wild hair and decided to put together a website
to tell folks about our farm. I had one page up on line in two hours.
The website has since grown to amonst 500 pages with many hundreds of photos
of our farm, facilities, breeds of fowl and more.. and it ain't gonna stop
growing any time soon. We want our customers and friends to get to know
us through the website, so there are many personal photos of our home,
flower and vegetable gardens, pets and activities on here as well (see
the "Personal Photos" link).
We've also put together numerous "Help Pages" for new chicken "fanciers" and old chicken farmers alike. The Poultry Help & Website Links Index also contains links to well over 1,000 educational documents from various University Extension Services. These cover all facets of poultry raising from incubation and brooding to properly disposing of chicken carcasses and everything in between. The links pages don't just cover poultry, either. There are links to Texas Official State sites, all kinds of agricultural sites, humorous sites, Texas Trivia, personal sites, and more! There's something here for everyone. Check out our "Spirit of Texas" Pages below:
In the first year online (2000), the website was visited over 32,000 times and we had over 50,000 visitors during 2001, and almost another 50,000 in just the first 3 months of 2002. We finally reached 100,000 visitors on March 25, 2002. We just exceeded 200,000 visitors in late March 2004. We're currently getting almost 300 visits per day, so we must be doing something right! The Web Search engines have also decided we have what people are searching for, as we routinely come up in the top 10 results during searches for poultry related keywords.
Effective 25 May 2004 the entire site (incuding 5000+ files was moved from Dashlink.com to our new ISP and web host, LTEX.NET because our previous web host announced they were getting out of the internet business. The move should be transparent to website visitors so long as their bookmarks are set to the domain names, Poultryhelp.com, USPatriotHelp.com and JustinesCrafts.com. The counters on all pages were reset due to the change and may have to be removed from all pages except the home page main menu.
Update: 08 June 2006 - Well, here we go again. Our web host, Lampasas Internet, LTEX.NET, is going out of business and shutting down their servers on 23 June 2006. Dennis Duval, the owner, was kind enough to arrange for a new web host, Lunarpages.com, for our websites and also moved the neccessary 60 MB of files to the new host for us. It's gonna take some time to test everything and work out any bugs we find.
For latest (2009 and later) updates please click HERE.
On 22 November 2005 the Poultry Help Line Message Board was shut down permanently due to increasing and excessive numbers of spam advertisements being uploaded daily. The ads were for everything from online video games to gay sex sites. The message board software had no built in routines to filter out spam by certain words, subject or sender. The Yahoo Group provides our visitors with a forum to ask chicken related questions and get answers from us or other chicken folks aznd has much better filtering capabilities so as not to confront our visitors with the unwanted spam and obscenity. Click HERE for instructions to join the Yahoo PoultryHelp group.
Check the "What's New" page FIRST each time you visit so you'll know right away when we update a page or add something new. It's a link on the Main Menu.
We hate all those time and bandwidth consuming advertising banners and annoying pop-up ad windows you'll find on some sites, so we promise not to inflict them on you here. The little Poultry Book graphics and the two or three lines of "commercial" search results which the search engine displays (in order to get it free) will be the only ads you'll see on this site. We are also trying not to "farm out" features (via Bravenet.com and others) which usually means they come with commercial ads. That's why we installed the "Guestbook" and other features directly on this site with no commercial advertisements.
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