Hey everyone. I have consulted this forum a million times when looking for info on getting set up with chickens, and felt it was now time to become a member!
I was originally going to get pullets, but our local breeder of heritage breeds kept selling out chicks, so I decided to get day-old chicks. And, I am ever glad I did! It's been so cool to raise the from that cute fluffy stage.
My original intent was three hens, but to err on the side of a 50/50 chance of roosters, I was going to get 6 chicks. The lovely breeder threw in 2 for free, and wouldn't you known it - out of 8 chicks I got 7 hens!
I have a rainbow flock: 2 gold laced wyandotte, 2 barred rock, 2 black orpington and 1 buff orpington. We are in the city (city by-law allows maximum of 6 - oops - close enough) and they have a beautiful coop with eaves and gable end that my hubby (a builder) made for them. They have a big run that is around 15m2 and free range for a couple hours every day. It's fall here so they have free reign of the vegetable garden (spring will be a different story!)
My day job is managing a charitable trust to save the kiwi (bird) from extinction, so my life seems to be full of bird-related information these days!
I am not home enough to have a dog, and not really a big fan of cats, so while the chickens were originally intended to be a source of free-range eggs, that has become secondary and they are now instead our pets primarily.
To the point that it's taken us 3 weeks to eat the first egg from our flock. Crazy, but seemed too 'personal' after getting to know our chickens so well. Even my hubby, who is a gruff, practical farming type of guy, has gone a bit soft for our chickens.
I do a lot of sport in my spare time - paddling, running, cycling. The only downside, compared to a dog, is that I can't take my chickens with me for a run!
Huge thanks to everyone on this forum - it's been so enormously valuable for finding information, and it's interesting to read what everyone else has to contend with re their free-ranging flock and coyotes, hawks etc.
Here's a photo of (most of) my wee flock a couple months ago. One of the buff orpington ("Sid") was a rooster and has been re-homed with a breeder.