If I could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to start growing their own food it would be to get chickens. The city of Plano is not far from me and does not allow chickens yet. If I lived in Plano I would fight to change that law, but in the mean time would get rabbits. Rabbit housing and care is another post I will do soon.
Poop is golden! It really made my garden take off. I am part of a community garden and my plants were healthy and strong compared to other plots. They also had less pest problems.
The very first thing you have to do before you get chickens is build your coop. I built a coop that would house my girls safely at night. I had to be there to let them out to wander about their chicken yard during the day. The reason being, that I had too many hens to leave in that size of coop all day. They would have picked on each other mercilessly. Chickens naturally go to roost at night fall so I had to be around to lock the doors before turning in for the evening.
I am kind of an artsy type so exact measurement is not my friend. Needless to say building takes A LOT of exact measurement! I am also a visual person so watching something pieced together is invaluable to me. For these reasons I built my coop from a YouTube video that was done by The Garden Girl, Patti Moreno. She was my first inspiration when I started my homesteading journey. If I can do it anyone can!
I ended up putting a corrugated roof (thin plastic material from Home Depot) on mine because the flat tarp on top begin to sag and collect water. Also guess where the girls wanted to roost at night. You guest it, on top of the coop, which got messy really fast! I just attached an 8′ 2×4 along one side of top and cut the panels 4′ each. I attached with screws and voila I had a good slant for rain that the girls hated to perch on. Little successes, got to love them!