Just found this site - wow, lots of great information here! It's wonderful to find an experienced community to learn from when it comes to our new chicken obsession.
My sweetheart is a falconer and has facilities in place for pigeons he previously had for working with his falconry birds. We converted his old 8x8 pigeon loft and aviary into a chicken coop, and so began our chicken obsession!
After outfitting the pigeon loft with chicken-sized nesting boxes, we purchased our first chickens - six Rhode Island Red laying hens (all just over a year old). This past weekend we connected the loft aviary to a nearby fenced 40'x45' ranging yard for added freedom (all of our neighbors have dogs, so we don't want to chance any of the chickens getting hurt while free ranging). We love watching the girls dig in the dirt and slurp up worms, chasing each other across their yard when one realizes her companions are much too far away for her liking. And the eggs! We love the tasty eggs the girls have given us - usually at least four on a daily basis with the most being six (two days in a row, no less!). They started laying the first day they arrived, so I think they're quite happy here.
Here are a few photos of the ladies and their new digs. They have a few bald patches from the rooster they used to live with but are growing feathers in nicely. Looking forward to learning more from all of you!