Welcome to Engteacher's Backyard Flock
Our first chicks came as day-olds from Duane Urch in Owatonna, MN in April 2010. We started with 21 Black Javas, 13 Australorps, 7 Cochins and 5 Welsummers. We then hatched three Welsummer chicks from hatching eggs we bought from Aussie Sharon. This completed our flock of heritage birds. For comparison, we purchased 26 Cornish Cross chicks from Murray McMurray and they were delivered May 10th. The heritage birds lived in our basement for a month, but the Cornish Cross were shipped to the garage in just a matter of a week. We reverently but thankfully shipped them off to freezer camp by mid-summer.
Construction began in earnest and in mid-June all the chicks moved into their new digs.
And here's what the coop looks like from the outside.
The girls started to lay the first week of September. As of early November, our record egg collection for a given day was 19 eggs. We now have 28 hens and 4 roosters divided into two separate runs. We let the birds free-range whenever we're home and can keep an eye on them. Area predators include coyotes, skunks, raccoons, and raptors, but so far we haven't lost any to predation. Here are our girls in late summer.
And here's one of our boys, our Black Java Rooster at 20 weeks.