The beautiful Welcome sign is by fellow BYCer "Painterman" Steve in the UK.
Boy the coop build was an adventure in living! I did it myself with some assistance when it was time to raise walls and some invaluable building advice from wonderful BYCers. It's a little difficult to lift those walls by yourself and google doesn't answer every question or provide moral support! I was so proud of myself. The run is finished now and I'm currently housing way too many birds. They are still young enough that they don't care but more than half of the current population of around 35 (plus or minus chicken math) have to go! I started out last year with six buff orpingtons and a black runner duck. After learning a predator lesson the hard way my flock decreased to two buff orpingtons - the much beloved Missy and her victim and partner in yard crimes - Blondie. I spent the entire spring practice hatching so that I wouldn't ruin a set of BCM eggs I paid for in January but hatched in May. In the process I fell in love with Barnevelders. So in addition to the two BCMs I hatched, I have Five Barnevelders (2 roos), 3 buff orps, 3 gold sex links, 2 black sexlinks, 4 black australorps (1 roo), three silver gray dorkings (1 roo), two barred rocks (1 roo), three partridge rocks (1 roo), three delawares(1 roo), two silver laced wyandottes, three silver penciled rocks (1 roo) - and one super adorable Bourbon Red Turkey called Kramer. I have decided to keep the BCMs, Barnies, Australorps, dorkings, and delawares - plus or minus the roos and Kramer - everyone else has a home waiting in the next week or two. I would like to thank the hatchery that shall remain nameless for their extraordinarily poor sexing techniques that provided me with all of the unexpected roos and multiple moral dilemnas.
Hatching was a little too nervewracking and high maintenance for me. Although I enjoyed my very first view of chicks hatching and I love watching my boys as they watched their first hatch - I am hoping from now on that the girls will do their jobs and I can retire the incubators. I would like to work on the breeds for the Barnies, BCMs, and the dorkings - so I do expect to search out and hatch those breeds for new bloodlines. A second big coop and run is in the plan for next year. My husband is wondering how many coops I can fit on an acre!
I consider myself lucky at forty some odd years old to have had the good fortune to find a hobby that I enjoy so much and that keeps me busy and entertained and learning new things.
By day I am a corporate denizen - by night and weekend I am part hillbilly, part crazy chicken lady, and all mom. One crabby husband is my best friend and while he thinks I'm crazy - he's the one person that supports me in any endeavor no matter how insane and he was always there with a cup of hot coffee after wandering out into blizzards and below zero weather to take care of birds (although I suspect any support I received in that endeavor was to keep me from bringing the birds in the house!) and his "I'm proud of you" when I finished the coop and run was worth every hammered finger and broken drill bit. What I showed my kids I could do and their "good job, Mommy" meant everything to me.
The other day I took a business call while watching chicken T.V. A ruckus soon broke out and the person on the other end now totally thinks I'm a lunatic. How could someone like me keep chickens? Anymore - I think - How could I not? My goal is to produce the prettiest dozens of fresh eggs around and enjoy everything I'm learning about these interesting creatures.
The neighbor lady and I are building a hoop coop and we're going into the meaties business for the rest of the summer. It's my next chicken adventure!
Life is Good!