Welcome to Sunny's World.
You may know me as Maplesky7 or g, which stands for Gretchen. I started my endeavor's with the feathered variety known as gallus gallus domesticus, or chicken, about 5 years ago. I moved with my husband to my childhood home in 2001. Having land and gardens I set my sights on gardening. In my book research I read that chicken poo makes great fertilizer. So my husband said to order some chicks. And so I did.
I ordered 25 bared rock chicken. 3 cockerals and 22 pullets. Perhaps unlike you, or maybe just like you, there are times we act before we think. We had chicks coming without thinking about where we would put them. Since they had to stay warm we fashioned our 3 seasons FRONT porch into a nursery...we padded the floor with cardboard, newpapers, and shavings. I used saw horses to hang lights and we used childrens gates to run across the porch to make for a smaller enclosure. As the chicks grew...so did their enclosure. It was ingenious we thought. Until we started stepping on poo on the OPPOSITE side of the gate. Well, how did that get there? Next thing we knew 25 growing chickens were fighting for a spot to roost on the baby gates.
Our new nieghbors, a long with a few other front door visitors (whom we will call strangers, had you known us you'd know we are back door people) had the pleasant opportunity to see into "Sunny's world" which consisted of a mess full of chickens housed in our perfectly good, 3 season porch. A porch you may have considered would look pleasant with some wicker furniture and rocking chairs. Well, we had those. They were just piled on top of each other on the OTHER half of the porch. But it was clear we were on to the next stage of building a coop.
We bought an 8x10 shed with double doors. We set it horizontally with our back privacy fence in a corner but not tucked in. My husband made one door a dutch door so we could peek in. We took 2 long wooden round poles and ran them up each side to make roosts. He made 5 nest boxes with spare wood along the back. And on the east side he cut out a chicken door.
When we decided to get more babies we used a small greenhouse we fashioned with spare windows dh collected from his jobs. The sun provided most of the heat. The new ones grew out of that and we were realizing the roo we kept was going to cause trouble so we divided the coop in half with spare wood and chicken wire. We also did that with the run outside which happens to be about a 20x40 run but since, the division in the yard was too flimsy and has been taken down. We decided they needed to be able to have a nice sized run because we were unsure about free ranging being so close to neighbors in the developments behind us but also farm country and woods are across the road to the west of us, so we worried about predators of the domestic and wild kind alike.
Today we have 6 barred rock hens who like to pull rank on 14 newbies, recieved May 11th, 2008 on Mother's Day. For fun we selected 2 Delaware hens, 2 roos, 2 Red Stars, 3 roos, 2 black Austrolopes, 2 silver laced wynadottes, and one *BONUS* silver laced polish-sex yet undetermined. Who all enjoy free ranging when they are given the chance. And am keeping an eye on the one or 2 roos we like best. The other's will be sold at auction.
I also raise 30 cornish x per year to stock my freezer and would like to do several rounds though I have come to the conclusion...I need more freezers. That and half a cow.
Besides chicken I am married to a recent inductee to the U.S. Army, currently serving in Iraq. We have a son (whom we don't get to see much unfotunately that's a whole 'nother story, his mom just doesn't share and we have joint custody so it's a long drawn out custody thing and we miss him tremendously.), we have two daughters, ages 6 & 2. We have 2 shepard mix dogs, 2 outside cats, 3 inside cats, and 2 fancy tailed goldfish.
**And for those of you who want pictures, so do I...along with a new computer to give me the capability to do so. Perhaps I can get my sister to snap some shots and photobucket them for me. But don't hold your breath she's always "busy."