We currently have 7 chickens in our back yard (as of spring, 2008).
Each of them are different breed. We were not sure if we named them, but our niece did anyway.
She is A GREAT egg layer. She is not the biggest bird in our flock, but her eggs are always the largest! Our previous leghorn was a kind of mean, but this girl is a nice little thing.
Nicky (Rhode Island Red)
She is the most curious bird I've ever seen! She comes close to us whenever we are in their pen, start talking to us in her language. She once somehow escaped from our pen, but was found on the deck rail of our next door neighbor's 5 days later!
Sneezy (Cuckoo Marans)
She used to be a "big mama" in this flock. Well, she still is, but lost her weight a lot when she was in a long brooding mode last year. The name came from the fact that she sneezes a lot. I tried a medication suggested by the previous owner (marans breeder), but eventually figured out she just sneeze whenever she feels a little stress or in hurry.
Stripy (Barred Rock)
When we brought back 3 chickens, there was one Barred Rock who is very curious, a cute bird. After a month or so, we woke up w/his first "cock-a-doodle-doo"!. Yes, it was a Rooster!! Fortunately, the guy who sold him has "rooster return policy" that we were able to replace the rooster w/one of his flock, she was later named "Stripy"!
She is the most beautiful chicken in our flock. Has a dark black feather w/light graze of green/blue.
Gold (we believe she is a pure Marans, but possibly mix between Silver raced Wyandotte and Marans)
She is a bit shy chicken. Looks like her pecking order is #6 (new guy is #7). Her eggs are the most beautiful ones - dark chocolate color w/tint of purple. She is currently in brooding mode (April, 2008), hasn't laid eggs for a month or so.
New guy/Bravy (Ameraucana)
We wanted to have a green/blue egg layer, but she turned out to be a pink egg layer. We like her anyway.
She and Nicky are the most friendly chickens, don't run away from people, rather come close to bother us.
What we feed
- Chicken feed (pellet)
- Oyster shell
- Flax Seed
-It seems oats helps them to keep laying eggs in winter.
-Flax seeds for Omega-3.
-We mixed oyster shell in feed, even though many people suggested to feed them separately. Just for our convenience, but they seems to be ok with it.
-We try to use water from our rain barrel. Since we have dry spell in summer, we end up using some water from faucet.
- We use straw for the bedding materials. Since we use them w/chicken dropping for composting, it works better rather than using Hay. Because compost heap decompose well if you have a good mix of green & brown, and chicken droppings are "green" and straws are "brown", vs hays are "green".