[FONT=georgia,palatino]My name is Kalie, and I am a country girl stuck in the city! Sacramento is not too bad though, it had a nice mixture of city and country. I am originally from Alameda and had our first chickens there when I was about 4, but being a kid I am sure I tortured the poor hens hehe. I moved to Grass Valley when I was 16, and got involved with horses and dog rescue. That was the best time of my life so far, I miss the area and animals. During the County fair, I signed up to get two chicks hatched from local 4-H kids, and sure enough came the day they hatched and I could pick them up! Two Barred Rock chicks, cute as could be. I was taught 'chicken education' by a very good friend who was a rancher, so these two chicks were raised as ranch chickens. They were very tame, and friendly, and they dealt with every foster dog and puppy in Nevada County, and some from the Bay Area! We had two outside cats at the time as well, who were avid hunters, but they never touched our two hens. We got an egg a day from each of them, even through our snowy winters! They were housed in a wood box with chicken wire on sides, top and bottom, until they were 6 weeks old, then they were moved to a dog run we had built but never used.[/FONT]
One day I brought home a German Shorthaired Pointer named Sadie, with 4 one-week old puppies. At the time I had 5 dogs, but she fit right in. The other dogs avoided her until she was ready to introduce her pups, and it went very smoothly. She had been a champion hunting dog, before being dumped at the pound, and so whenever I had her outside, the hens would be in the dog run. Finally, after two weeks, Sadie was to the point where I could have her out in the yard with the hens, AS long as somebody was out there. Well, I ran inside to grab something, right on the table by the back slider, and I came back out to one of my hens flopping around in the grass. Abnormal flopping. Sadie looked completely proud of herself, and came to me to be praised. I was kind of in shock, and ran inside yelling for my mom to come out. I think Sadie broke the chickens neck, there was no mess or blood, but it was definately a learning experience. You can never completely train the instinct out of a dog.
Our other hen passed a few months after this, at a friends ranch.
Now I am starting anew! Having learned so much from this board and others, I brought home four 1 day old chicks from the feed store. I researched a lot about breeds, and decided on the Easter Egger, and Barred Rock. Both are known to be friendly, not too noisy, and good layers. Plus, the added bonus of maybe getting a colored egg! They were housed in my bedroom, right next to where my head was, for the first week. I handled them throughout the day, and kept any threatening animals away. My old cat Chunky Man lived with my other hens, so he has zero interest in these girls. I have a year old kitten who is meeting chickens for the first time though, and he wants DINNER. So he is banned from my bedroom, and outside when they spend time there.
I named my chicks Binny (Barred Rock), Joon (Barred Rock), Sula (Easter Egger) and Munk (Easter Egger). I got four in case one died, or was a rooster (hehe), so I wanted to play it safe. Plus I only have room for two hens at the moment. After three weeks I found Binny a good home with a local guy, and two weeks later I realized Sula was actually a Sulo! Yep. Congrats, it's a boy! He is so handsom and friendly, but I cannot have a rooster where I live. I found him a good home though where he will be a breeding rooster and spend his days gaurding his girls. Which he does at 5 weeks old!!
Now it's down to Joon and Munk. Both are super friendly, perch on my arm, and love my 5 year old nephew. I am quite happy with how this turned out, especially knowing neither Sulo or Binny will be in bad homes. I will keep this updated with their progress and FIRST EGG!
I also own one dog, he is a 3 year old neutered American Pit Bull Terrier named Tommy. He loved the chicks and protects them WELL against the cats. I will never leave him unsupervised with them though. I also have a 1 year old kitten named Kitten One, and a 6 year old male cat named Chunky Man, or Harley. He answers to anything really, especially if you have food.
So that is my family! Happy Chicking!