The real reason I finally made a personal page was to keep track of helpful threads on BYC. People have been so helpful, and some of the information was just too valuable and I didn't want to lose it. But ... if we are supposed to be creating personal pages, I guess I'll put a little bit on here. (Maybe more than just a little ... I can be overly long-winded and if you've ever read any of my posts you probably know that fault of mine!)
For anyone who wants to know about me ... well, most of it is in my sig anyway! Other than growing up with my grandma's chickens (which were managed in a very casual way, and did GREAT btw), and a pet chicken I had as a toddler, I've just gotten back into chickens in 2007 (mostly because we eat a lot of eggs and the owner of the health food store where I work encouraged me to get more hens because we often can't get enough eggs to sell).
We started out thinking about geese for alarms, and to keep the grass clipped. No goslings were available, and my daughter was going through a rough time, so I got her 4 ducklings for her birthday. She does a lot of the care-taking for them and is doing a great job. They have free-ranged from about 2-1/2 or 3 months old and sleep in a rabbit hutch for safety from predators.
I built my coop (an A-frame) from an idea in my head, which probably isn't wise, because more things came up than I was able to consider beforehand. I needed to save money as much as possible, and had limited ability, tools, and help, so I needed something easy to build (and quick, because no one told me just how much DUST dozens of baby chicks put off in your house!). Most of the work was done within 3 days, and it works. As soon as I can afford it though, I will probably build something else and keep this one for shade/shed. It would be nice if I can do that before it gets really cold here, but if not, I know they sure can generate a lot of body heat and the A-frame should trap more rising heat than a rectangle or square-topped coop if I put something that insulates better over the top.
Chickens are a mix of mostly standard hens, a few banty hens, and 3 banty roos. I wanted roos to help protect the flock, but I wanted small ones, so I ordered straight-run banties and I got a really nice mix for our flock. I'm very pleased with how it worked out, although I'm thinking I can't raise chicks since the fathers would be banties. I love my little alpha roo though, so it's going to have to stay this way.
We're a homeschooling family, trying to get by, and get through some difficult life changes right now. Everyone has their challenges though. Thankfully the Lord helps us through -- overall life is good and we are very blessed!
2008 update -- we have geese now ... 3 baby gooses that are full of personality and my favorite animals now. And we have a dog, finally ... we had a pup given to us. When he didn't try to chase the chickens, I knew he had potential, so was glad to have him. And I'm about to embark on a new-coop-building venture to provide a home for the geese, our 7 new chicks this year, and to replace to old duck-coop.
My personal website (not much about me personally, but more of a blog about all kinds of things I'm interested in) is My Pursuit of Happiness.