Hi.. So where to start.
In late March early April 2010 my daughters kindergarten class had asked for some fertilized eggs
to be donated for hatching. It was going to be a science experience... not experiement. We asked a neighbor
and he gave us 3 fertilized eggs. During a Bday party we noticed hens and a rooster... they donated 9 eggs.
The children ended up with a total of 22 fertilized eggs. Candling the eggs as they grew becoming chicks and talking
about the development. Our daughter was enjoying this time thoroughly. Late May the eggs began to hatch. Of the ones
we donated only 1 of the 3 hatched and the others all nine hatched but only eight survived. We had talked about getting chickens.
Two years ago we cut out all animal proteins after much research and decision making. So deciding to get chickens was based
on the nutrition of the eggs. Our daughters need it. Eggs have 9 essential vitamins and minerals.. how could we pass up the nutrition.
Not to mention our oldest, who helped hatch the eggs, loves eating eggs. So on June 11th the last day of kindergarten we took home 8
little chicks. The one was from a Rhode Island Red Hen/Rooster.. the other 7 a mix of Buff Orpington Hens with a White Crested Black Polish Cock!
We built a brooder out of boxes.. got food a water dish and watched as these beautiful birds began to grow very quickly. During this time we
decided to get a dog/puppy so that it could grow with the chickens and protect them. We have a lot of foxes, racoons, bobcats, hawks & such in
our area. We live in the woods and though our 5 acres in fenced in you can't keep em all out. The dog however could help. We got our puppy when she was
10 weeks old. Her name is Keeka. Our 1 yr old named her. She was introducing the puppy to the "kitty cat" and it sounded like Keeka.. the dog responded and
has done so since.. She is now 6 months old as of Oct. 12th 2010.
I have had a cat for 7 years, Becca, and she didn't care one way or another about the chicks. She knew they were part of the family and let them be. She had already suffered through two babies.. so what was a dog and chickens. I swear my cat is a reincarnated woman who hated cats. Karma.
Out of these 8 chicks 5 of the mix ended up being Roosters. We were happy the little golden chicken turned out to be a hen.. We named her Goldie(she is the Red)
Just recently I found a home for 3 of the Rooster and only 1 became a meal.. leaving 1 Rooster to be the man of our brood! He is named Slick. His crest didn't form like
the other rooster and it looks slicked back. They are currently 10/12/10 just about 22-23 weeks old and we are hoping they will start laying soon. Though they were handled as
chicks after they were put in the coop at about 12 weeks old they didn't want to be caught/handled as much. I have recently been working with them and Goldie is the tamest. She is really sweet. Lets me pet her.
My 6 year old insists on chasing them... I am trying to break her of this and told her being gentle and patient they will come to her. The moment they see me
they come running... for food! We have an abundance of huckleberries this time of year and I will strip branches throwing huckleberries for them to eat. The have enjoyed
fallen apples from the tree and some strips of kale from the garden. We have them free range from 2:30 til dusk. It is our compromise to the landlord, he likes the chickens
but not so much the poo on his deck. I have been conditioning them to stay around our house and not go to his part of the property, even though he has the apple trees.
It is all working out great, and come chick season we are going to try for a couple more hens.. and a different variety. I knew I would enjoy the animals itself, but these
chickens are a blessing and we love having them.
Goldie is the curious one.. she will peck at the camera when I take her picture. Next to her is the smallest Mix Hen, Minnie, and behind her is Slick, the Rooster.
The other two Hens, Thing 1 & Thing 2, are behind them. Total of 4 Hens and 1 Rooster.