Teddilizas Chicken Blog

By teddiliza, Jan 11, 2012 | |
  1. teddiliza
    It all started as an innocent suggestion from
    Mother Earth News:
    Free Range Eggs, yum, yum, and so healthy 4u....
    Build an easy portable coop.....
    Well, my husband is allergic to dogs and cats so we have two cockatiels.
    They are adorable, but I thought it might be nice if our pets were more than just cute.
    Since we live outside the city limits, I checked and there's no restrictions.
    Neighborhood dogs and cats run about. So, we have a fenced yard, why not get our own chickens?[​IMG]
    At first, I thought one hen for each of us (My husband, my son, and me) would be plenty.
    So on my birthday, I asked my sweetie to build me a chicken coop. He's good with his hands.....[​IMG]

    So I got to accessorize the coop and design my own chicken tractor
    -- here it is!

    [​IMG]

    Next came ordering the chicks.
    I didn't want 15 chicks, I knew I didn't have room
    for them. So I ordered 6 sex link pullets from
    Griffith's Poultry Farm Hatchery just 30 minutes away.
    Pick up date: 3/11/08.
    What do I do? I go to the feed store for supplies
    after making my brooder box and what happens?

    [​IMG]
    How could I resist such darlings? Yeah, I had 6 already ordered,
    but come on![​IMG]

    What happens next week when I go to the feed store?
    [​IMG]
    Poor things were getting picked on by the other chicks and suffering
    from pasty butt from getting too cold.....I just had to rescue them-
    they were the smallest in the bin for $1 each.

    And what happened for the third week in a row?
    (Mind you I haven't even picked up my ordered chicks yet)

    [​IMG]
    I had been wanting a buff orphington since the beginning,
    so when I saw ONE pullet orp left, I bought it and a NH red pullet,
    so I could have 2 gold chicks.
    Today I got my sex link pullet layers from Griffith's Poultry Farm in Fulton Missouri (see hatcheries under forum).
    I have 3 ruby red and 3 black stars I added. That gives me a total of 16 chicks!
    Here's a pic of Butterball (my BO chick) guarding them!

    [​IMG]
    Here's a close up of a Ruby Red pullet.
    [​IMG]
    Now, why didn't I just order 15 to begin with?[​IMG]
    The moral of the story is that more chicks come to those who can't wait! And can't resist! Instant gratification wins in America!
    All because of a few little articles in a magazine.....
    My husband built me a nice 8x8 coop on stilts so they can get shade and hide from hawks under it. I painted it green (bluish green- not quite teal).
    Here are pics of my half grown chickens. I sold the sex links d/t overcrowdedness.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Okay, maybe not full grown. Half grown I'd say, and they love their new coop and chicken yard. The Barred Rocks definitely are dominant but are so sweet to me!
    Here's my second coop: I sold the first one (still have the tractor). You can see the solar powered motion sensor light on the front (cost me about 80 bucks, but worth it)

    [​IMG]
    Here's a view of the back: I also have a solar panel which powers two LED solar landscaping lights which are actually on the inside of the coop. It's just enough light for me to see by if I have to go in the coop at night.
    [​IMG]

    Quite a step up from the original 3 bird design coop. It is 8x8 and raised so the birds have a shady hiding spot from hawks underneath. My whole family has enjoyed watching them. They are a good source of entertainment! And they are my pets!
    It is now 2009 and I've caught chicken fever. I sold the Welsummers who kept digging in my strawberry bed and honking like geese they were so noisy. We had so many eggs we couldn't give them away fast enough. We ended up eating our only Barred Rock Rooster when he woke my husband up one nice Saturday morning when he was supposed to be able to sleep in. I also sold a pair of the least cuddle Barred rock, so I was left with: 1 New Hampshire (Skinny) 1 Buff Orp (Butterball) and 1 Barred Rock (Smiley). They still laid enough eggs for me and my husband, even in December and January.
    What happens in Feb 2009? First I see an ad in Craigslist which leads me to purchase 4 Polish, and one of them is a roo. So they next thing you know, I bought an incubator! My first ever hatch, I only hatched 4 of 10, but my second hatch 13 of 14 hatched! I sold the WCB polish rooster after he scratched my son. I replaced him with a cute black pet quality silkie rooster, who I later gave away d/t major crowing issues. I sold my polish chicks to try and pay for my incubator, and have given away 3 cockerels so far this year. My husband is tolerating my new chicken addiction.....The next step in the 12 step program is breeding and showing I'm told...
    So, of course I had to buy some bantams this year...and I am smitten by porcelain d'uccles, so that will be the breed I feed my chicken addiction with LOL I had to rehome my sweet Houdan rooster who started getting his crest pecked out when he tried to sweet talk my 3 best heavy breed layers. I'll miss him.
    Thanks BYC! I couldn't have done it without you!

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