Hello! I’m Paula from South Carolina. My husband and I were tired of city living and moved an hour’s commute from our work at the end of May. (We have 6 kids, although none live with us.) We bought a 4 acre farm that came with 3 goats, 3 barn cats, a dog, 5 hens, and a rooster. J We had only ever had cats and dogs, so wow were we in for some changes! I did a LOT of reading (especially this forum!) from the day we signed our contract to the day we closed. I’m still learning more every day!
A week or so after we moved in, one of the barn cats had kittens (surprise!) so now we are up to 7. The goats were a mama and her twins – but we eventually sold the male kid because he was getting too big and strong for me to handle (never been around goats before!) I’ve been milking Gertie every day and learning how to use her wonderful milk in all kinds of recipes and cheeses.
The hens that came with the farm are completely free range and they roost outside of the coop on an old wooden structure behind the barn. I named them:
Thelma -- Easter Egger? Grayish/white hen who lays light greenish-blue eggs
Beulah -- Black Australorpe – reliably lays light brown eggs
Opal – Easter Egger? Tan hen, extremely flighty, who lays oval pinkish eggs
Betty – Small black hen who lays small pinkish eggs
Henny Penny – Small black hen with reddish feathers around her neck who lays small pinkish eggs
Roscoe – Roo! Don’t know what breed he is.
In mid-June I bought some pullets and straight run chicks from breeders in the area. These are:
Ruby, Rhoda, and Ruth – Rhode Island Reds – 23 weeks and still not laying
Myrtle – Cuckoo Maran -- 23 weeks and still not laying
Wynonna and Wilma – Blue Laced Red Wyandottes -- 19 weeks and still not laying
Elsa – Swedish Flower – 16 weeks and still not laying
In mid-July Henny Penny was broody and she was bound and determined to hatch the plastic nest eggs I’d put in their nest box – so I gave her 2 eggs each from Beulah, Thelma, Opal, and Betty. She hatched out all 8 in just 19 days!!! The very next day, one was missing (we named it General Tso because it was someone’s dinner. L)
The remaining 7 chicks, now 6 weeks old, are: Copper, Roscoe Junior, Mini Penny, Madea, Franklin, Spock, and Picard -- the kids named them!
So now we have 20 chickens and couldn’t be happier…well, when I get more eggs maybe! I’m looking forward to interacting with everyone on this forum and learning more about my feathered babies. I LOVE how they give me hugs, “pip pip pip” as they follow me around, eat from my hand, sneak into the barn to steal the cats’ food, and most especially, how they run like little old ladies with puffy skirts. J
Oh and also, all of the chickens I have gotten/hatched since moving in are all coop trained and run for the coop in the evening when I call out, “Time for bed, girls!”