We started with the idea of a few hens back in the winter. Then because we had some room to grow, eight pullets seemed reasonable. In February our local farm store owner, Mark, talked me into chicks. My husband suggested we get a dozen in case we lost a few. We then pre-ordered sixteen chicks, in case we lost a few. Finally, on arrival day, Mark gave each of my little ones a chick of their very own. Amazingly we didn't lose one chick. Now we have a flock of nineteen pullets with six different breeds.
We have a total of eight Golden Comets, four Buff Orpingtons, four Araucana/Americaunas, a White Leghorn, a Black Sex-Link and a Golden-Laced Wyandotte. The ladies are six-weeks old today (May 16, 2013) and are outside in their coop enjoying the warm weather. They've even graduated to full sized waterers and feeders.
The ladies are housed a 4' x 8' raised coop and 10' x 20' fenced in lot. We've added fruit netting to keep the little heads out of the fencing and as a hawk-proof top to the 6' high panels. Right now their diet is filled with high-protein mash and limited treats of grass and clover. We can't wait until they are old enough to start adding a little more variety to their diet.
Update: We took care of some (chicken) home improvements over the weekend.
We got the big girl feeder and waterer hung under the coop and added a log playground for the ladies. In an effort to keep the mud at bay with all the rain we've had, we also added a nice thick layer of hay after reading a composting article in the Learning Center.
BackYard Chickens has been a great resource in our new adventure and we're excited to try a lot of the ideas and suggestions found on the site.
UPDATE: The ladies are almost 4-months old! We are excited about adding nesting boxes and upgrading the coop a bit while the chickens enjoy the extended run full of clover.
Hopefully first egg photos will be following soon. Wish us luck!