My name is Gabe, I help to run the student farm program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/sustainag/soft/).
A student donated 6 Production Red hens along with his homemade coop to us over a year ago, and that was our first foray into the poultry world. Originally they were in the coop pretty much 24/7 as we had to keep them at our old farm site on the other side of the island where we could only go once per week at best. We jumped through all the hoops to get them on campus, and about 7 months ago they moved to their new free range/pastured home on right on campus where we can check on them every day.
They are getting older now, maybe 4-5 years, and their egg production is greatly slowing down. I've always been interested in them but only recently have really been reading up and learning tons on poultry care since we started to build them a new coop and add more birds. We now have 5 Barred Plymouth Rocks and 5 Ideal 236 White Leghorns pullets getting ready to add to our flock, also thinking about picking up some Ameraucana and more Production Reds in a few weeks.
We also have 2 male and 2 female Muscovy ducks residing with our hens. The males were all alone up until last week, they were constantly harassing and even mounting the chickens, we were planning on getting some more ducklings soon and we still will, but also picked up two mature females to give the drakes some alleviation. It's looking like everyone is much happier now.
Based on what I've been reading, here in Hawaii we do not face many of the challenges typical on the mainland: no cold weather and no notable predators, and it's really providing for a lot more flexibility in our system I am finding.
I look forward to learning a lot more and contributing.