Hello from the Eastern Shore of Maryland,
My name is Susie and I'm a new chicken mom. We've been thinking of getting chickens for years and the opportunity presented itself about 3wks ago when a friend had 4 7wk old Bared Rocks she didn't want so I brought them home to the delight of my 6yr old daughter, 3yr old son and boyfriend (who btw was more excited than the kids-go figure, lol). Turned out they were 3 hens and a rooster. they were promptly named Raisin, Rosey, Spicey(the bravest of the hens-named for KFC's spicey recipe), and Rocky.
I know that I'm going to have to wait til prob late summer before I start getting eggs, but I am so looking forward to homegrown eggs! We go through a lot of eggs especially on weekends when I'll made a whole dozen each morning. I understand that we'll need a couple more hens to meet out families demand so any recommendations on good laying hens that are kid friend and cuddly calm would be appreciated. I would like a couple Delaware hens &/or Dorking hens.
I have a lot of experience with horses, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, etc. but no what so ever with chickens so any and all helpful comments will be welcome.
We are converting my boyfriends hunting box into a coop and I have planned out a 6X14ft run plus plan to let them free range during the day when I am home. Right now they are housed in my old dog kennel shed in a 4x4 squared off corner with a 16in high 2x4 roost and a drop door out to an L shaped run that's 9'6"L X 11'5"L X 4'W. I've also built a portable pen to move around the property so they can mow down the overwhelming chickweed we have that's taking over every inch of ground that the horses are grazing.
They have finished their course of medicated starter food and are now on grower feed. The next course starting in August will be the layer food. I've made my first hanging feeder out of the bottom of a plastic Folgers container and a mayo jar. Dime sized holes around the bottom let feed auto flow into plastic Folgers pan. But I need to upgrade to a much larger Cheese Ball container as I need to fill the mayo jar everyday. Waterer is in the works as soon as I get my 5gallon bucket and chicken nipples from TSC this weekend. Right now they just have a regular 1qt dog kennel bucket. Works though for now. If any of this is wrong please let me know.
I look forward to your comments and recommendations.