Hello Arizona Chicken Folks! I am up here in windy Flagstaff with a mixed flock of 41 aerodynamically tested, windproofed, birddog tested, chicks.
I live out on the East side of Flag, and we commonly get 40+mph wind gusts, and that wind makes life tough for everything, including my cochins.
I am raising two different age groups of chickens, mainly Barred Plymouth Rocks, Buffs, Black Astrolorps, and Amerucaunas in the first age group, and in the second I have Brahmas, a Blue Andalusian,and a couple of Bantams that we are trying sort out the type. I had a Seabright hen but the wind caught her and took her too close to the fence and the birddog got her.(I ran two more strands of hot wire and that ended that) I also belled the dog and the chicks now listen for her.
I started my flock back in March when it looked like winter was over, but then we got hit with more snow and cold, so I had 42 chicks in guinea pig cages in the mud room of my house for a couple of weeks, and then in my barn under heat lamps until the snow was melted enough for the chicks to go out in the barn under heat lamps. The older run of chicks was lucky enough to get some time outside and some growth, but my younger set spent more time inside and seems to be a little on the stunted side, perhaps due to the extended time inside. I feed them organic grains and veggi scraps, and I am building them a 30x30 coop on one side of my yard that will allow them to graze and have some protection from the wind. Instead of one big house, I am building 3 smaller chicken houses that will move around the pen and give them alternatives for housing when there are personality issues. When I last raised chickens, I had hens that would fight with each other and not allow other hens to roost, so I am hoping that this will solve some of that.
I will be keeping my feather-footed, stunted, cochins, (including a web-footed mutant) in my dooryard as garden chickens.
The web footed mutant chicken is my favorite, she not only is web-footed, she seems to have thicker than normal legs, crossed toes, and she is very vocal, and very imprinted on me. When I go out in the yard, 'Tilt" comes running up to me chirping and talking, and she will jump onto my hand and calmly sit in my lap while I drink my coffee in the morning.
My chickens are egg production and entertainment only. I have always gone into raising chickens with the intent of having roasters, but the best laid plans end up with names and personalities and endearing qualities that spare them. Our newbie rooster, Strangle, follows me around like a dog, and falls asleep sitting on my Crocs by the back door, kinda hard to eat that.
Nice to meet ya'll, hope to chat more soon.