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Girls gone wild~

  1. annemarie g
    Hi! I'm Annemarie and I'm a first time chicken owner. My daughter and I bought chicks at our local Tractor Supply Co. and kind of "winged" it. First we used two medium cardboard boxes with one side cut out of each and then the cut ends were taped together to make a long rectangular 'house' for them. After two or three days we didn't feel comfortable about the security of the boxes and we moved up to a large dog kennel left by my sister. We placed old pieces of plywood left over from previous projects to insulate the sides from not only the cold but any critters that might want to eat them. Eventually I lined the exterior of the dog kennel with 1/4" mesh galvanized wire and was very happy with the final product. They grew quickly though and soon outgrew the kennel. They now live in the official chicken coop that was on the property when we moved in. It needed to have some critters (rats and mice) evicted first and of course all their poop and mess cleaned out. The girls are content in their dwelling now and I have to say that I am as well.
    Thanks to BYC members I now know that I have four production reds, four red sex links, one ancona, and a mated pair of wyandottes. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching them grow and learning about their daily activities. "My girls", as I call them, are my therapy if you will. I will be stressed and go out to watch them and all that other mess just seems to fade away. I come back inside refreshed and ready to tackle the original problem head on. Some of our girls have names but the majority do not as they are being raised for meat. We call one Georgia. She acquired this name by being curious so I called her curious George. My daughter thought, since 'curious George' is a female shouldn't we call her Georgia? And Georgia it was! Georgia is a production red. Our ancona is the most talkative of the bunch, true to her breed. She is also curious, but fearful if she is not in the driver's seat of any situation. Georgia on the other hand is one of our girls that we can pick up and pet - and sometimes she will even jump up on our legs when we are sitting in the coop observing them! She likes to watch me pour the morning water in the canisters and I can just see her little brain working. She is so inquisitive and calm. She is one that will be kept alive through to her own natural death. Now some of the more aggressive ones....I've just got a pot of hot water waiting for them to mature enough to slaughter. We bought our birds between mid and late April of 2014. We first bought 6 and loved them so much I wanted more. So a week after we got our first half dozen, we bought another half dozen. We also had ducklings, but those are much harder to clean up after. They are now living in the pond on the property and are no longer domesticated. I'll add some pictures below of our happy little family. Enjoy~
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    Our first cardboard box chick home.
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    Our more durable and secure dog kennel with mesh fencing sewn on by hand.
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    Once the chickens and ducklings outgrew the large dog kennel they were moved to the original chicken coop structure on the property (once the mice and rats were evicted and their mess cleaned up).
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    I made a ramp for our ducklings (out of an old pallet) to swim in their water trough/swimming pool. They were more content making a muddy mess of the run though. Once the ducks (as you will learn below) moved out the ramp was propped agains the wall in the left corner of this picture and the girls love to sit under it and take their dust baths in private. They also like to sit under it during the heat of the day. Even though the entire run is covered with a tin roof they still like to congregate together under the ramp between say 2pm and 5pm.
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    I placed rods tightly against the chain link fence for the chickens to perch on. It was just an idea but as you will see below the chickens grew very attached to the rods very quickly!
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    Our one rooster of the dozen we bought. We got lucky in the fact that we only got one. They weren't sexed as chicks when we bought them.
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    My ancona. Curious but fearful.
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    One of my red sex links.
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    Georgia up close and personal.
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    Ancona in my face. As long as I'm still and she is venturing over towards me, she is okay with 'us'. If I reach towards her or move in her direction at all she is off running in a dash!
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    One of our female ducklings. They got big SO fast and made such a muddy mess in the chicken coop. It was in the best interest of all animals and caretakers involved for the female ducklings to follow some wild male ducks into our pond. We see them now and again. They are very good at blending into the brush around the pond. They look much more mature now and so beautiful! I hope-hope-hope they have ducklings this spring!
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    She wanted to rest but kept a close eye on me while I was near.
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    The above two photos are of the wild male mallard who courted my girls. And after about three days of courting from morning till night (he slept outside of the chicken coop) he introduced them to the wild side of life. And that's where they've been ever since.
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    Weird idea came to me. We live in Texas and our summers are very hot. The dowels on one side of the coop weren't being used so I thought it might be cooler, with rare breeze, to perch outside. The girls love it!
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    Another shot of Georgia.

    Hope you enjoyed our little family introduction~

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Comments

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  1. cavemanrich
    I like that ANCONA Beautiful, bird. It looks similar in coloring to my Japanese bantam. You will have a hard time when it comes to soup time.
  2. Lilorp14
    love the pics!!!!
  3. bantybabylover
    oh and my ancona boy and girl are becoming fast friends, amazing what grasshoppers can do
  4. bantybabylover
    thank you for sharing
  5. annemarie g
    Very cool to know ShelbyCoral! Maybe my ancona will be brave enough to jump onto my lap. Right now that is what 'Georgia' does.
  6. ShelbyCoral
    I love my Ancona. She is the best and if I dont pick her up, she will find a way to force herself on me... She is very demanding and is top in our flock. The rooster is even scared of her... but she is a great pet and once you allow her on your lap, she sleeps and cuddles like crazy.
    Anconas are great!
  7. ChickyChickens
    LOVE IT!!!!!!!
  8. annemarie g
    You are SO right GrammiChelle! Congratulations on your beautiful flock.
  9. GrammiChelle
    I love your pics. I also live in a Texas and have my first flock, and thanks to the BYC I figured out I got 6 Production Red pullets and 4 Langshans, including one rooster. I also got mine from TSC. I got the reds on a Sat. And went to a TSC in a different town the following Monday and fell in love with the Langshans because 2 of them are blue and they all have feathers on their feet. The reds are friendlier, but I love the Langshans because they are so beautiful, so tall and lovely to watch. I can't imagine ever living without chickens again!
  10. bruceha2000
    Be aware that your Ancona will be "top of the flock" and will "remind" the other birds of that fact even when they are doing nothing more aggressive than breathing. I'm not sure I understand the math: 6 + 6 = 11?? Also, dual purpose breeds are generally kept as layers until they don't lay reliably, then made into soup. You may be a bit attached to them by then. They should start laying in about a month.

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