So we live out in the country but not on a farm. My husband and I have 200 head of Angus cattle, 8 Quarter horses, 2 dogs and 3 cats. However, we are still looking for a farmstead, so the large animals are at another location 10 miles away. Seeing as how I grew up in a city yet always a country girl at heart, I wanted to have animals at our house. I told him(my husband) I wanted chickens. We went as far as setting up the brooding tank (a 500 gal livestock tank with a melted hole I covered), ordering the waterers and feeders, setting up the warming lamp on the tank, and even ordering 25 chicks from a hatchery. After we talked about it some more, we(or he) decided pigs would be better. I have ALWAYS wanted pigs. I'm such a funny city girl. So I canceled my order and let go of the idea of having chickens for this year.
We purchased 4 pigs but before they were delivered, I was asked to go into town and get some fencing supplies. BAD idea. There were chicks in the tanks right by the section that had what I was SUPPOSED to be shopping in. I circled the tanks as I waited for help in the feed store. They had 2 of the breeds that I wanted, Barred Rock and Black Autralorp. I thought, what if I just got two of them? Some how I convinced myself to get 2 of each of the breeds. Since we had everything ready, I thought, how bad would it be to have just 4 chickens? So on April 26th I bought 2, 1 week old Barred rock pullets and 2, 1 week old Black Autralorp pullets. I put them in the tank, and didn't tell the hubby for a few days. When I did finally tell him, he came into the garage to see them and he said, "They are kinda cute. Aren't they?" Alright. Good reaction.
A few days later, he sent me into town again on another fencing supply run. Once again, BAD idea. They had another breed that I had wanted, Buff Orpintons. I thought, "Okay, just two more. After all, these are supposed to be the most friendly and go broody the most/best. Just in case I ever needed to raise chicks." On April 28th I increased my flock size to 6. Here is where this trip gets worse. The gentleman who helped me with these chicks said, "Just so you know, we are getting some Cornish Rock crosses, Black Sex Links, and Silver Laced Wyandottes in next week some time." Crap!!! The Silver Laced Wyandottes were another breed that I really wanted. "I guess I'll be back next week then." I told the guy.
Next week, back I went. When I got there, they had the Silver Laced Wyandottes, only 1 Black Sex Link, Cornish Rock Crosses and even some more Black Australorps. I picked out 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes and I felt bad for the Black Sex Link. I know how silly. But I did, so, I took her home too. On May 7th, my chicken status went to "maybe chickens next year" to a flock size of 9.
Ya know what? I LOVE CHICKENS!!!! My children and I have learned so much about taking care of chickens, what they need, and how they grow. My oldest son is a bird whisperer. He picks up a pullet and holds it around the wings, against his chest and the bird just lays its head on his chest and slowly falls asleep in a less than a minute. At first I thought it was because the bird was held too tight and he might be suffocating it. As soon as I touched the bird though it fluttered and he gently calmed it down again. Chickens have been such a great addition to our world.
Whats more, I LOVE THIS SITE!!! backyardchickens.com has been an invaluable resource for me as well as A LOT of fun. I chose my breeds from this site based on the hardiness, docility, and dual purpose. I built my coop based on many of the ideas on this site. I made it out of 4 pallets, 7 sheets of plywood, some screws and hardware cloth. Anytime I have a concern or question I go to the site and I can find the answer or ask and it will be answered.
Thank you to this site and all its welcoming, informative, knowledgeable, and friendly members.
Black Australorps, Macy & Gracy
My Barred Rocks, Arial (Macy the Black Australorp))& Rose(her butt)
My Buff Orpingtons, Aurora & Glory(not pictured)
My Silver Laced Wyandottes & Black Sex Link, Pria, Jigs (not pictured), & Jeda (BSL)