OUR FLOCK STORY
April 2008: Our flock started with 6 Rhode Island Reds - it was suppose to be 6 hens, but it ended up being 1 rooster and 5 hens. We bought them wanting the eggs, not realizing how quickly we might get addicted.
June 2008: Two months later while at the feed store, they had just received their last shipment of chicks. I ended up buying 9 more chicks. It was suppose to be 8, but when I returned to pick them up there was only 1 black australorps left and I felt bad - so 8 turned into 9.
Now we have 7 Black Australorp hens and 7 Rhode Island Red hens with the one rooster.
I debated long and hard on if I should buy more chicks or just try to hatch my own. After talking with a local breeder, his comment was, "Just breed your own". Well, my incubator is arriving this week and I am researching the best places to buy hatching eggs. January 2009:
I am debating on breeds now. Time will tell...
January 29, 2009: Ordered my Hova Bator incubator.
Febraury 2009: Got my incubator, tested it and set 4 eggs. However, on day 15 the incubator spiked in temperature and would not go down - lost them all. I was able to send it back and now I am waiting for a replacement.
March 2009: My husband called to tell me the new incubator arrived, but as I was driving home saw a CHICKS arrived sign at our local hometown feed store. I could not resist, so I bought 3 Cuckoo Maran and 3 Delawares.
March 13, 2009: Set 16 eggs today all is well so far. The eggs are RIR and RIR "X" with Australorp.
April 3, 2009: New pullet Marans.
PASTURE RAISED - FREE RANGING
When we built our coop I had full intention of keeping the chickens in a run and letting them out sometimes...
Well, that did not last long. We enjoyed seeing them throughout our 4 fenced in acres. Which led to us letting them free range ALL THE TIME. We trained our three dogs to treat the chickens as part of the pack. They all run together and we have never had any problems.
We also are lucky to not have any issues with other animals or predators- I think this is mostly because our dogs share the yard with the chickens and protect the flock.