I got into chickens accidently. In the spring of 2010, my son, in college, but still a sucker for anything soft and fuzzy, saw some baby chicks and fell in love. The feed store had a minimum purchase of six, but the city only allowed three at that time. I volunteered to take his extras. Since I had an oversized lot, I could have more than three. The coop I purchased on Craig's list fit four. I started out with a Buff Orpington, a production red, an Easter Egger, and a French Black Copper marans. By fall, he'd decided chickens weren't working out for him, but I was hooked.
All winter I bounced around wanting this breed, that breed, and the other breed, with a definite preference for spangles or speckles (Mille Fleur, Golden Cookoo, Crele). Spring 2011, I settled on Cream Brabanters. They have spangles, crests, AND beards. All the bells and whistles. I ordered Brabanter eggs. Then, in a fit of madness, I bid on some Appenzeller Spitzhauben eggs as well. After several hatches, and selling off of extras, I have a quad of Spitz, and a quad of Brabanters, as well as the original four girls.
My original coop
My original girls; Roz, Carmen, Maisie, and Ginger
Miguel on guard duty. In his younger days he would have been a problem, but he's blind and the chickens know he's harmless. He passed away at the age of 14 this fall.
My set up for the Brabanters. The Spitz have another just like it. I've added tarps over the top for the winter. I've since added more ventilation holes to the coop, too. The Spitz and Brabanters free range the yard on alternate days.
Lulu, the pullet formerly known as Cottontail. She has the best crest and spangling, but no beard, so I'm going to outcross her with Fritz, the Spitz.
The Appenzeller Spitzhaubens:
Dotty and Dolly
Ramona. She has a beard, so I will outcross her with Blondie. The brown on her shoulder is some Blu-kote I used to mark her, so I wouldn't sell her by mistake.