Hi, I'm LaurelTree! Feel free to call me Laurel, or really just about whatever you want. I'm a relatively friendly and open person, and I just recently fell in love with with chickens (and ducks, lol.) So, needless to say, I'm pretty eager to get involved in this community.
Right now we have five one-year-old Black Australorp hens, one Australorp rooster of the same age, six fourteen-week-old Rhode Island Red pullets, and four fourteen-week-old Pekin ducks of unknown gender (but my current guess is three males and one female) in our relatively decent sized coop. And, as of a week ago, I hatched out my very first clutch of seven Australorp chicks!
My current desire is to get this flock to be self sustaining and maybe even bringing in a small profit, but it seems we need to be producing more eggs than five at most every day. So, the plan is to build up three separate flocks of ten laying hens and one rooster each. One would be Black Australorps, another would be Rhode Island Reds, and the third would be Barred Plymouth Rocks. I've heard wonderful things about these breeds and how they fit well with Florida heat (Yep, I'm a Florida gall). And not only do I like the experience I've had with the Aussies and Reds over these past few months, but we've had a Barred Plymouth Rock hen before, and she was a sweetie.
Quick backstory: When I was about 11-12 years old, my parents let my four siblings and I purchase a chick each from a local feed store. We brooded them in an extra rabbit cage and then kept them in the back yard for a little over a year. There were three Easter Egger types that I can't remember the exact name of (they were moody little ladies and bullied the other two), a Barred Plymouth Rock, and a Buff Orpington. They never laid a single egg, which our more knowledgeable chicken keeping friends attributed to the very possible stress of a noisy suburban atmosphere, and the Buffy and BPR eventually died of illness as they were both kept with one another. The other three were separate so they couldn't be bullies, and after we realized we couldn't keep them happy, we gave them to our family friends. Nine-ish years later and we're having much better success.
Through it all, I'm still learning things as I go, and would love-love-love any help or advice. Links with instructions, best feed brands, home made feed and scratch recipes, local hen sellers, you name it. Likewise, if you think I may be able to help you with something, feel more than free to ask. I'd certainly love to know I'm doing something right, and if I can help someone in anyway, then I must be, lol.