How fun is it to raise backyard chickens?!
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
My first thought upon waking every day is "need to check on my girls and collect eggs". If I could, i would spend the entire day with them. Each has their own personality and quarks. Being with them is very soothing and entertaining. On top of all that, they feed my family, fertilize my garden, and pay for most of their expenses through egg sales.
If i could find a way to litter box train them, they would be my house pets! Who'd of thought this gal would become a chicken hugger!
I truely hope you someday get the opportunity to hug your own chicken too 😀
My first experience with chickens was when I was young. Our annual County Fair had a dime toss, if the dime landed in the saucer, you win a chick (leghorns, straight run). We loved trying but at a young age never able to get one, however, my Uncle belonged to the organization that handled the Fair :) He brought home some "left overs" for us kids which we raised which I don't remember much. I do remember one day coming down the stairs to find my folks culling them :( I never ate eggs or chicken from then (6yrs) until my teenage years!
My next experience was when my brother ordered a dozen RIR chicks at the feed store, ended up with 16 chicks at pick up and changed his mind. They ended up in my house, in a huge cardboard box until the "dust & feathers" got too much. My brother promised he'd build a coop (I was divorced with kids but had a house) but that took a while :( My chickens ended up "free ranging" in my fenced yard in a residential area and roosting at night with the cat in the patio. They provided us mites before eggs :( My brother then built the coop, I had to treat the birds, yard and house! When they got older we gave them away besides my brother then brought me geese eggs to hatch.
Living in Hawaii has it's benefits 'back in the old days'....Living in a residential area with "good" neighbors, I got away with alot :0 Chickens, piglets, goats, geese, rabbits, dogs & cats. Can't get away with that nowadays :(
I got back into chickens in 2013, answering a CL ad someone giving away a chick that was being picked on so bad it was bald. My first Blue Orpington that turned out to be a Cock :( He was really tame, found him a great home but I was hooked! I ended up "working" for that lady raising her chick from hatch to about 6 - 8wks; Seramas, Table Tops, Silkies, BLRW, Orpingtons (Blue, Black, Lavender), RIR, EE/AM. I've also purchased several sets of pullet chicks (Buff Orpingtons, Australorp, BLRW) that were also rehome due to my Summer Grandma trips to the Mainland to visit Grandkids.
I'm finishing up raising (37) Serama/Silkie Mirco chicks for my friend that will be going back to her this weekend. Never had a problem with raising chicks but this batch I had one chick that developed CTP (curly toe paralysis) that BYC members have helped me tremendously! He can now walk & is now ready to be integrated into the brood.
I also have 5 Blue Wynadottes that just started laying, my friend gave them to me until she finds a Roo to breed them. 2 or 3 will go back to her this Spring (she's ordering a male) for her breeding, there's no Blues here.
Cleaning and maintenance is a BIG part of owning chickens, poop smells and attract flies! I do daily cleaning and dread going on vacations cause I know DH don't do as good a job :( Thank you BYC Members I learned of the "poop board" , a big plus saving time cleaning, FF takes a bit of extra time but the benefits are worth it, DLM works great for me although others find sand great, there's so much to learn and you will with experience and the help of BYC Members.
If and when you get chickens, remember Chicken Math and know they are very addictive :) Plan ahead and do your research; coop/run, breed, know your objective (eggs, pets or dual, showing). BYC members are a great help when you have problems or need advice or just discuss.
Cleaning and maintaining them is my playtime. Sitting in the Run/Coop just watching them is my stress relief, very relaxing. When I allowed past chickens free range the yard, DH & I would sit in the patio watching "chicken TV" every afternoon, they're so very entertaining. The last batch I had (2 RIR & 2 EE) tore up the yard pretty bad, so we built the Run/Coop. The 5 Blues are confined and do very well, so I sit with them almost every afternoon just to unwind, and they come talk stories :)
Edited by SpringChicken2 - 1/11/17 at 5:28am
ChickNanny13, it was a pleasure reading your experience with keeping chicks, chickens, and ducks! I LOVE the pics you sent about your coop and ALL of your chickens!!! And if I ever get chickens, I WILL have a problem with the chicken math, I will probably have a million!!😂
Im sitting at the table, eyes fixed on cumputer screen. Flipping back & forth between 50+ tabs opened and scribbled paper awaiting next equation. Enter Hubby. "Honey you have been here for hours looking at chicken sites and scribbling, why?" Me: " im trying to figure out what breeds i can add to my existing chicken breeds that will gaurantee me a dozen eggs daily year round." Hubby: "oh I know that math, let me show you." He takes the paper & pencil and proceeds to scribble. Heres HIS math step by step:
Blindly buy your first 6 chicks as your hobby without Hubby's input
Quickly increase to 18 chicks without Hubby's input
Have Hubby build a tiny coop for tiny chicks
Get attached to chicks
Enlist hubby as feed & straw buyer & delivery guy
Realize some are not winter hardy and broken heartedly rehome 6
Wake up to crowing and after fighting reason, rehome 2 more against Hubby's wishes
Watch chickens grow huge and have hubby adjust tiny coop
When winter hits, have hubby tend chickens on coldest days
Unpatiently wait beside coop for egg laying
Constantly google breeds to be sure your chickens aren't broke.
Finally get first egg & take tons of pictures, compare egg to a billion others online, and celebrate briefly
Pressure & threaten non layers of the soup pot
When 8 of 10 are laying begin searching online for other breeds to get a gauranteed dozen eggs daily
to sell and increase egg basket color
FINALLY FOLLOW HUBBY'S MATH:
6 chickens of any large breed = at least 3 eggs daily x wait 4 days= ONE DOZEN EGGS for US to eat!
That made no sense at all to me...silly Hubby, he knows NOTHING about chicken math!!!