About a month ago we were watching yet another doomsday show on tv - this one happened to be Nova, about what a severe solar storm could do - and I started thinking about how my family could survive if we lost electricity for months. Answer: I need chickens. So I casually mention to my husband, "hey, we should get chickens one of these days", to which he answers, "yeah, I've been thinking that too."
Off to the internet to research. And I found so much on-line. This forum, Backyard Chicken, etc. Articles about how to care for chickens, how to design a coop, breed characteristics, etc. I now spend hours a day "researching" chickens. Planning my coop. Lurking on the forums. I have never held a chicken. Never dreamed of having chickens. And now I am obsessed. Weird. Perhaps there is a part of my brain that needed a hobby - the part that has been locked up while we rebuilt after Katrina and try to survive our children (3 girls, 9, 6, and the bonus baby just turned 2).
So that was the quick intro on how I found my way here. Now for where I am in my chicken adventure - planning on getting chicks after our first ever family trip to DC this summer. I've decided to order from Ideal Poultry based on the mostly great reviews and because they are relatively close. I had wanted 5 or 6 pullets, but their minimum order is $25, so I'm now planning on 10. My tentative flock is two each of Buff Orpingtons, Wyandottes, Delawares, RIR, and Easter Eggers. Looking for larger birds (less hawk susceptible), and kid-friendly. Would love silkies but am worried about hawks.
The flock will be in an open coop tractor inside an eloctronet enclosure. I prefer to move the flock periodically so that I don't have as much to clean. We have two acres. They will be the movable compost crew! Hazards and predators to consider are: Heat, hurricanes (wind and flood), fox, coyote, raccoons, possums, hawks, owls (including a pair of great horned owls), dogs, gators. Probably others, but those are the ones I know we have.
No questions yet - still drinking from the fire hose! I have no idea if the obsession will continue, but for the time being it looks like I'm here to stay.