What is there to say? If I'm not already addicted to chickens, I'm heading down that slippery slope pretty darned fast!
We had chickens when I was a child and we lived with my paternal grandparents, so I'm not a complete newbie to the scene. I've even been party to killing/cleaning chickens for the freezer with my maternal grandmother and an aunt (although, admittedly, it took me a very long time to start eating chicken again after that!).
We've owned 2-acres of our own little piece of heaven since fall 2002. In all that time, we've never used chemicals on our property - mostly because we have a private water well and don't want to risk contaminating our water supply with them! Weeds? They're allowed to grow, we just mow them down or pull them out of the garden beds when they get too tall!
When I decided to get our own chickens, there was absolutely no question in my mind they'd be raised organically!
I got my first chicken flock spring 2010, but they were older gals as I wanted that instant eggratification! Wasn't sure how old they were tho'... so I bought some pullets in the fall 2010 so we could phase them in as the older ones were phasing out of egg laying. This gave me a total of 13 laying hens with two roosters. (Sold one of the roosters spring 2011.) Noticed some of my gals weren't consistent layers, so moved them down to what we refer to as our "Green Mile" coop and moved my boys down there with them. At this time, I didn't want roos with my gals.....
Then, silly me! I bought 25 baby chicks spring 2011. Initially bought two of everything the feed store had in stock which gave me 18 chicks of various breeds.
This recent feed store acquisition included the Iowa Blue breed - had no idea what they were until I Googled them when we got home tho'... There really isn't a whole lot of information about them out there and very few actual pictures! According to Wikipedia, the Iowa Blues are an "exceedingly rare" chicken. They're not recognized for showing by the APA, but they are reportedly a dual-purpose bird that lays brown eggs and are good foragers. Partly because of the [alleged] rarity of this breed and the fact I am free-ranging my flock, I then went back to the feed store the next day to purchase the rest of their Iowa Blues in stock. This gave me 9 Iowa Blues (including one very handsome rooster!)
As a result of these new chicks, we are now set up with four different smaller coops strewn about our 2-acres - three coops are up by the house and the GM coop is down on the other end of the property by our shop... I wanted all my girls and rooster in a one-for-all coop, so we bought a shed kit and are converting it to suit our needs. We're going to keep the best of the current four coops we have (one we built ourselves last summer!) and will get rid of the other three.
UPDATE:: 25 September 2011 - our girls have now been moved into one singular coop instead of being in 4 different set ups! YAY!!! Right now, they're adjusting to their new digs.
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