Hi there. I am a new (second time around) chicky momma that came about unplanned. More on that later.
I spent the later part of my teenage years growing up in Chino Hills with horses, goats, chickens, etc... my mom says it was my dad's mid-life crisis moving us out to the "country." Needless to say,when i was finished with college, i made my way back to Orange County and slowly but surely I am adding the "country" right back in We are presently owned by 2 horses, 3 dogs, 3 pet rats (yes, rats!, they are very fancy, if that counts for anything), a tank full of fish and 5 cute little hens that lay an egg a day... we have 3 children 1 in law school and two little ones (6 and 4). We are a BUSY family to say the least.
How we came into chickens this time around... well kind of a silly story. We have a toy hauler that we store at a RV yard - one day last year (2010) I went down to pick it up for our spring vacation and the owner infomed me that a wild chicken had nested in the wheel well and had hatched some chicks. He shooed her and her chicks away and one egg was left unhatched. He brought the egg out to show my curious 3 year old and she wanted to hold it to see it. Low and behold, it needed a little heat and a cute little black chickie came out after a few minutes... now we have a dilema. My brain is telling me to give the chickie to the storage yard guy and continue on my way... but then there is this 3 year old girl with big blue eyes looking up at me asking "Mommy can we keep the peep peep" How can I compete with that... so we collected a box and put our peep peep in it...
The journey begins... we head straight to the local feed store and show them our find.. Mind you we have horses so we are no strangers. Our lovely and informative local "chicken lady" tells me we cant possibly keep it alone so we buy another chickie (Gold laced polish) at my daughters choosing (she says she looks like Fancy Nancy, ref... 3 year old) So after $200 my daughter and my now 2 chicks head home to set up this brooder thing.... Needless to say, my very city boy husband comes home and thinks I bumped my head real hard. We live in the city, in a custom home community where farm animals are not allowed. So he thought.... At the advisement of the local feed store, I was told 5 hens are allowed in the city limits. I called to verify and they were correct. So, how can you just have 2? We then researched chicken breeds through this site and found that we wanted a wyandotte and a wellsummer and why not throw in a cute little cochin with furry feet (the kids personal fav). Now we have 5 and they are growing and stinking up my formal dining room that turned into the barnyard as my husband called it. They were so stinking cute. They all learned their names and followed us through the house like little puppies. As they approached the 4 week mark, we started worrying about what to keep them in for the long haul. Again, we came back to BYC and researched coops. My husband thought we could build something cheaper and nicer than a pre-assembled one that we would have to pay for shipping for.
Home Depot - So began our affair with this fine establishment. My husband, the corporate lawyer, read - NON HANDY with tools - is on a mission. By the time we purchased all tools and supplies to "do it right" (this seems to be everyone's favorite term with building things) There was the "economical" way and then there was the "if you wanna do it the right way" way - which, by the way is ALWAYS more costly.... so I stopped collecting receipts after $1200. Yes, One thousand two hundred dollars... we could have purchased 2 or 3 of those cute little coops on-line... but it would not have been nearly as fun -- read -- almost divorced over this project The neighbors got a real kick out of watching my city boy construct what I consider a pretty nice coop. We were all shocked by the way it came out and our girls - Fancy Nancy (GL polish), Blue bell2(BLR-splash Wyandotte), Buttercup (partridge wellsummer) Black eyed Pea (our wild mix - been told crevecoeurx, australorp, jersey giant) I will post pics and if anyone has any ideas?? and lastly our little fluffy yellow (white cochin) Her name is actually fluffy yellow as she was the cutest yellow chickie and is now all white - go figure, what did we know. And that is our story.
So, we have learned alot over the past year and have turned to BYC as a valuable resource. I am very grateful to all the members who have been so kind with advice. I was signed on as a guest, but fully registered today. I look forward to chatting with all you lovely chicken mommies and daddies.