We are new to raising backyard chickens. We decided to do it after the Village of Roscoe approved a backyard chicken ordinance. We have four kids from 2 to 9 and felt it would be a great learning experience for us to all raise chickens for pets and fresh eggs.
We pulled the trigger in April, got village approval for our coop and got 6 day old chicks from a local breeder. 3 Ameraucanas and 3 Buff Orpingtons.
The experience has been great so far and I could not be happier about my 9yr old son and 7yr old daughters participation. They each claimed three and named them and spend hours each day taking care of the coop, watering, feeding, and spending time with them. We have a coop and a run, but we let them free range in the back yard all day when we are home, which is almost every day. They pop out of the coop in the morning when we open it up and run around the yard wings flapping for a few minutes each morning. They spend most of the day wandering around the yard looking for bugs and eating seeds, grass, and clover. They also love our unripe grapes growing on the vine.
The chickens have all been very friendly and like being handled and have very little pecking order events. One of the reasons, besides our being inexperienced, that we did not take great note of the growing waddles and crowns on four of them. Just thought it was breed variation. When one started crowing a little a few days ago, I did some research and saw hens can sometimes crow.
Then the crowing contest started and I contacted the breed and she said 4 of the 6 female chicks she sold us our actually roosters. I knew there was a usually a 1 in 10 chance a breeder will mis-sex a chick, but this is 4 of 6...
Anyway our village has a no rooster ordinance and we need to rehome them. I posted in the rehome forum if anyone reads this and knows of a home for any of the roos.
We will be starting over with 4 new baby chicks which my daughter is ok with, but my son is devastated. He will get over it though, and it is a good life lesson. I did warn them many times it is a possibility one might be a rooster and we will have to get rid of it...
Ill post some more when we start getting eggs from the two remaining hens and when we get the new chicks. (I am also looking at buying pullets as the breeder that got 4 of 6 wrong might still get some of the 4 wrong)