Rise N Shine

By whitehart, Jan 11, 2012 | |
  1. whitehart
    RISE N SHINE
    I had always been fascinated with the possibility of raising chickens for eggs but had never taken the plunge until by chance one afternoon last February my husband Ross and I visited Lynchburg Grows, a co-op here in Lynchburg VA. Anyway they kept a beautiful flock which produced eggs for sale to their co-op members. March 1st.we visited Tractor Supply for dog food and low and behold it was their "Chick Days " well I couldn't resist and the rest as they say is history. While there we purchased six ,3 day old Production Red chicks along with a feeder,waterer and of course feed. We raise and show Norwich Terriers so fortunately we already had covered puppy playpens of various sizes and a ceramic heat lamp so initially housing them in our kennel grooming room was no problem . While they were busy growing we got to work transforming an 8x10 outbuilding with an attached 5x8 porch ,all on a cement pad . Because we hadn't used the building for much more than the lawnmower and tire storage it was a good feeling to be finally recycling the little shed to good use! We insulated and ran electricity to the coop and we enclosed the porch with sturdy 14 ga 1x1" welded wire which I felt would offer greatest protection from neighborhood dogs, cyotes and other not so friendly predator birds! Attached to the porch we added a 10'x 24'x 6' high yard of chain linked fencing we had on hand.Their yard floor is covered in mulch which so far works great.Because we co-exist with lots of wild critters, we also added a roof to the whole playard made of plastic lattice pannels which keeps everything shaded and our feather kids safe from hawks and the resident owl.Next on the agenda was to build a 4 x 8 x 6'high chicken tractor. This we plan on attaching eventually to a large portable poultry net fence system which will be nice to move our little flock about the property allowing them " free" range access . Three weeks ago we ordered 6 more chicks from Meyer Hatchery in Ohio. 3 Barred Rocks,one White Rock and two blue Andilusians all arrived in wonderful condition. It's been pretty hot here in Virginia but despite the heat we were presented with our very first eggs this past Monday morning. Three perfect gems and I sure don't have to tell you how neat that is! Joining the Backyard Chickens" list was very helpful and I learned and continue to learn so much ! Bottom line we are so happy we made the plunge into the wonderful world of chickens and God willing we will be enjoying our feather kids and delicious eggs for many years to come !

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