When I first started my small flock last year, it was spur of the moment. Although we had planned on getting chickens, it wasnt supposed to be for a few more months. At least till my husband got a coop and run set up for me! The feed store had day old chicks and keets and my friend had snuck home 4 chicks and 3 keets that morning herself. They were so darling and I thought... just one of each. They are so small, hubby couldn't say no! So I purchased a production red, a barred rock, and a guinea keet. I bought all the necessary feed and supplies so it was a done deal by the time I showed hubby. As we already have a small zoo of animals, he just shook his head at me and rolled with it (gotta love his patience!). Not knowing if the keet was male or female, we called the threesome "The Dixie Chicks". Everyone fell in love with them, and they quickly became the darlings of the house. The dogs learned to leave them be, and they were held every opportunity possible. The keet I knew very little about and had to bug a few friends who raise them about what to expect. They were all unanimous that I needed to keep handling it to keep it imprinted on us. They said to not expect it to ever be friendly to the point of chickens but at least it would be less likely to fly off. I raised the chicks on medicated chick starter, then the medicated chick feed. Once they all had their feathers I started taking them out in the yard with us so they could be "real chickens" and not house pets as my kids had started jokingly calling them. Hubby built them a nice run that could easily be moved around the yard. They still slept inside at night however. Around 5 months they started laying eggs, and we also found out the guinea was a male when he started his obnoxious yelling. My poor neighbors! The girls and Periwinkle (the guinea) have proved to be a huge source of amusement for us with their antics. They are so spoiled and love to be held. They come when called, and "knock" on the back door to come in when they want attention. I still allow them to sleep inside when the weather is bad, we have a dog kennel set up for them. They go straight to it when they come inside and settle in for the night. Recently we added two more to the flock. A pair of bantam cubalayans. I allowed them all to meet with a barrier between them. The big birds just looked at them like they were another small pet in the house and the cubans had that look of "What are YOU looking at??" They were not raised like the big birds as they are hand shy but the cockerel is easier to handle. It will take some time, but I'll get them adjusted soon enough. There are a few more breeds I would like to have: jersey giant, silver spangled hamburg, appenzeller spitzhauben, exchequer leghorn, bantam frizzle, bantam red shoulder yokohama and a few others. I have found they are like potato chips, you cant have just one!
3 day old Dixie Chicks "helping" me on the computer.
Raven and Vixen testing the dogs water bowl.
Periwinkle still thinks he can help with the computer...
I tossed mealworms in the grass... it was a free for all!
The newest members, Napoleon and Josephine
Vixen taking selfies
Raven loves shoulder sitting
Fell in love with a pair of button quail yesterday and brought them home, along with a pineapple conure. Although not chickens, I thought I would add a shot of them and the other birds of the house here as well.
This is the female button quail. Her mate was chilling out in the hiding box.
Three month old Aphrodite, shes such a cuddle bug!
Itsy (Bitsy is no longer with us) aka Fruit Cocktail
Last but certainly not least Petey the parakeet. He loves Josephine the banty hen lol