The Lost Chickens of CrestI love birds of every kind, it must be genetic. In fact I grew up in a very bird-centric home, and my mother had the dubious honor of being THE "Bird Lady" of our neighborhood. So not only did we have a parrot, parakeets, canaries, pet chickens, both wild and wild ducks, pilgrim geese and black swans, but we had every injured bird, and on odd occasion a wayward sea gull, pelican or owl my mother either found or someone brought to us.
Finally, my mom really went over the edge, and wheedled two emu eggs for her friends at the San Diego Zoo and we hatched those. This was way back before emu's became the vogue and everyone loved our very tame pair who were like giant and dusty labradors and the best watch emus ever. They mischevioulsy teased my sisters horse and loved to wallow in a muddy hole and still wanted to sit in our laps even though they were huge! Beleive me having a 150 pound bird want to cuddle is painful!
I grew up and started a family of my own and I have raised several ducks, and a chick here and there for my kids various projects in school. But now my children are grown, and faced with a hiatus between jobs I really felt the emptiness of my own nest....So I decided along with building a garden I would get a few chickens. Fresh eggs and having something to focus my energies on would be good, right? How much trouble could chickens be?
I soon discovered this website, which only made me want them even more, and I read voraciously. I began to realize though they could be a bit more than I first imagined, but never one to do anything easy I forged ahead. I was very lucky and found a local feed store that got their chicks from Ideal Hatchery and picked up my little darlings on 6/8/09. I estimate they were just under 2 weeks old (just starting to get some feathers on their wings) when I got them. The store said they receieved 300 in their last shipment and had not been able to keep chickens in stock. I guess I am not alone in this wanting chickens buisness. I was really lucky that they also had the breeds I wanted, mainly brown egg producers who generally were good for "pet" chickens. I brought home 2 Buff Orpington's, 2 Rhode Island Red's, 2 Amerucana's, one Barred Rock and one Black Sex Link.
I had already picked out what I would name each, and some names fit their unique little personalities and others did not. Since I am a huge fan of the TV show LOST I decided I would name them after the ladies on this show... my own little ensemble of primadonnas.I learned I needed a coop almost equivilent to Alcatraz, because we are blessed to live in an area near wildlife. In fact open space abuts our two acres on a hillside in San Diego and we have seen Coyotes, bobcat and raccoon on our lot. Since it is not feasible to fence the lot, because of the hillside