Hi there, I'm Andy. I've had chickens on and off over the years. Im turning 32 soon, and this is my 4th flock I've had. I took a near 10 year break between flock 2 and 3. I was in rural Pennsylvania when I had my first two flocks when I was 15 to 20. I kept Rhode Islands at the time since they were the easiest to get in the area. I joined the service, & finally last year got a chance to get chickens again. I was transferred a flock of 20 from the old homeowner, and ended up keeping 7 of them (which is my legal limit here). 1 Buff, 6 RIRs. The RIRs I liked, however, my daughter loved my Buff Orpington, so we ended up giving the Rhode Islands to the same farmer who got the other 13. Raised an additional 10 Buffs, (2 which turned out to be males in a hen run of chicks), and gave the 2 roosters & 2 hens to the farmer. So, I can definitely, say, he'd made out like a bandit. My old Buff was the wall flower, and ended up being Momma hen, showing the chicks what they can and cant eat and cuddled them up at night after I moved them outside (5weeks old). Today, they're almost fully grown and looking good. For the longest time they were timid, but now they walk right up to me, and I can pick em up and pet them without them freaking out.
I've had the following breeds:
Rhode Island Reds
When I move to either Mississippi/Alabama, Georgia/Florida or Wyoming, I plan on increasing my flock size to 30, maybe 50 tops with a few Roosters. I found this site by looking up comparisons of how to warm chicken coops today efficiently. I've considered getting an emitter over a red light. I'm aware some use 100w Light bulbs, but that's too much light and typically ticks off the hens. (I wish I could do no light and just use a water heater, but consistently here, we get negative temps in the winter time on some days). However, I plan on mostly automating my coop heating by using a water heater from 35-45 degrees, and the light will kick on from 0 and turn off at 10.
I am considering getting an automatic door setup off a photo cell. However, I've heard mixed reviews on them. Currently my coop stays open all the time, and the run is totally enclosed, with a 6" section of chicken wire in the ground around the run to prevent digging.
In my free time, currently, I'm messing with Mechatronics, Robotics, & other Electronics as well as go to college for an electronics Engineering degree. I lift & go shooting quite often. I'm remodeling parts of my house, as well as building a new 6ft fence in the back. I did sign making & vinyl graphics for 7 years, and still have my equipment in the garage which I still do on occasion.
Currently 32, Married, 1 Daughter (5) and my son will be born in approx. 1 month. My wife works for the schools as a Paraprofessional, I'm a SSgt (E-5) in the Air Force doing Electronics Maintenance on ATCALS equipment (Air Traffic Control & Landing Systems) basically, 90% of what air traffic controllers use, I work on. We have 3 cats, Halo (6), Tabby (2 1/2), & Princess Monster Truck (2).
Looking forward to reading some discussions.