My family and I are new to raising chickens, or any other domestic animal, for that matter. We have had dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters, but nothing more than that. I am almost ashamed to admit that our aquisition of chickens comes in a round about way from my obsession with Farmville on Facebook. We live in a rural area, but our lives are very hectic. My husband and I have high stress jobs, we have three kids and care for my father, who also lives with us. I asked the question, "Hey! How about getting some chickens?" When no one laughed, I took that as encouragement.
I started researching breeds, largely on Backyard Chickens, started to talk to people we know who have chickens and started making plans. We were really lucky in that one of our friends who had chickens but are now moving gave us a beautiful coop. Not too large (8' x 8') but big enough for a small backyard flock, which was what we wanted. We settled on Red-Sexlinked and Black Sex-linked as much for their personality as for their egg production. We placed our order with our local Agway and on April 27th, we got the call we had been waiting for - our 12 chick had arrived.
My college-aged daughter was careful to remind me to pick ones that looked friendly and livley. Sounded like a good idea other than that it was impossible. Faced with a box of 60 chicks, my chancepersonality was nil. I picked up 6 reds and 6 blacks. My criteria?? These were the ones slow enough for me to catch. We brought them home and they all went into our brooder - also borrowed and set up in our family room - and let them free!