Birds and Bees NC
Just getting started again after a rough first try last year...
Last year I did my homework, built an Ark/Tractor and Me and my two girls (Fiona - 7 and Isley - 5) got 4 some peeps to raise as pets and for eggs. We got a Cuckoo Marans (Rosa), a Mottled Houdans (Alice) and a pair of Gold-Laced Wyandottes (Lacie and Bridgette). The tractor was in the back corner of our property where a former owner had constructed a chain-ling area used for containing dogs (our dogs are free roaming) and flight feathers were clipped (when old enough) to prevent escape - or so I thought. First went Rosa who died of unknown causes inside the coop while we were away and a neighbor was pet-sitting and was consumed wholly by her sisters. Lacey and Bridgette were next to go as they hopped the fence presumably using branches and bushes, into the waiting and eager jaws of Ella, my youngest (and hungriest) dog. Alice followed soon thereafter in similar fashion.
We decided to try again with two Buff Orpingtons and a revised approach (confinement) along with reinforced quarters. They didn't last 2 weeks before a hungry (I'm guessing Opossum) bit through the wire fencing, stretched an entry way and dined royally. At this point then-6-year-old Fiona advised, "Dad, I think we'd better give up on chickens."
This year we're back in action with 4 pullets pictured above and a bigger, badder, tougher fortress of a coop that has promise to keep our pullets safe - at least until we get at least one egg!!!!
The New Coop
Last Year's Peeps (RIP)I'm also a beekeeper. Check out that hobby at my Beekeeping site: http://riveshives.shutterfly.com