December 22, 2010
We live in southern Kyushu, Japan. Finding information about raising chicken here, even online, is not as easy as one might think.
We are just coming out of the denial stage about the whole chicken thing. After about a year of almost daily visits to BackYardChickens.com, I finally decided to take the plunge and register.
In late spring of 2009, a friend of ours got hold of about two dozen chicks the seller said were Nagoya Kochin. Despite my wife's reluctance, we ended up with seven chicks, five that turned out to be cockerels; later one of our hens was eviscerated by a tanuki or raccoon-dog which welater trapped and dealt with.
By spring of 2010, we had one remaining hen. Over the year, many changes had taken place, and we were getting a fresh egg almost every day. Most importantly, my wife had gone from loathing anything to do with raising chickens to carrying around quite a long wish list of the various breeds she wants. At this point, we now have four (4) jidokko or jidori, five (6) ukokke or Silkie mixes, and three (3) Plymouth Rocks.
Our backyard is now running out of space with each new "portable" coop that gets thrown together. Just last weekend, we processed our first cockerel in our backyard. Thanks to numerous posts on this page, the experience was a positive one; I'd expected things to be a bit more difficult than they turned out to be. Yes, plucking took a little time, but not too much for one bird.
Next year's project will be hatching as we just put together an incubator.
Why not use the Silkies? They've actually increased their population from three (3) to (9) (three that have just hatched - not included in above inventory) and counting. However, we aren't so good at managing our birds and would like to try hatching EEs and can't rely on the Silkies going broody when we need them to (though they seemto be uber-broody). They've actually hatched one jidokko for us earlier this year and one just yesterday. Still, we are keen on incubating because it gives the family something to 'geek-out' on and gives us cheap and educational entertainment. And... um... yes, the chicks are cute.
Anyway, I look forward to visiting and contributing to the various forums. And thanks to everyone who has decided to join and put in their two cents worth.
I am now an unashamed (slightly proud) chicken owner in Miayzaki, Japan.
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