Edit: It's been a while since I've been on. It's been a busy year! I became single and moved, lucky enough to find a landlord who would let me keep my birds. I brought 5 with me to the new digs, and built a new coop. I have a great backyard for the girls and let them free range when I'm home. The only downside to this house is that the back door is much too tempting for the girls to sneak in!!
I lost three girls in a weekend last summer to the neighbors dog. The fence has been shored up between our houses, and I reinforced the ladies run. This left me with my favorite australorp and a SLW cross who is kind of a grump.
This weekend (Jan 2013) I picked up a buff orp and a buff colored cross, I'm thinking she was crossed with an EE, and hoping for something colorful to add to my egg basket. If not, I can always use more delicious brown eggs!
Need to put another coat of paint on my coop once the sun comes back out, and planning to expand my run as soon as I can borrow an extra set of hands. I suppose that 10x20 is probably large enough, but my girls are pretty spoiled!
Looking forward to a new year of being a chicken mommy, and wishing you all the best of luck!
Realized that I have been "chickening" for several months and havn't set this up yet. Im semi computor illiterate, but here goes!
August of 2010 I told my boyfriend that we could move in together... as long as I got to keep chickens. The house that we are now renting from his parents had the framework from an old green house in the back yard, and the entire yard has an 8' privacy fence. Seemed like a perfect opportunity for me. I grew up around horses, and goats, and my mom had chickens after I moved out. After I joined the Coast Guard I was unable to have livestock, moving around every couple of years, and not being home every night. Anyway, he agreed, and last winter he and his father built out a coop and run for me. My mom got me 6 australorps for christmas, and we brought them back from Washington in a dog crate. They were kind of a motley crew at the time, and one was never quite right. We called her "scraggle" and she didn't wake up one morning... my boyfriend buried her under a big tree in the back yard.
The coop... I really need to finish painting before it starts raining! I had planted flowers all around the bottom, they were quickly eaten, the only thing that is surviving is the ivy that I cant get rid of, so I trellised it. It has filled out and is actually kind of pretty... now if it would stop growing in my garden!
Having been assured by my mother that she had payed extra to get all hens, I was quite surprised when one of my "hens" started to crow... That is when I found this site. Tyra, I was informed was Tyrone, no question about it. Soon after my favorite "hen" Miss Jade dropped the Miss and grew a comb. Slightly less surprised this time, we rehomed the two roosters to avoid bothering the neighbors. Chickens are legal in my town, but I prefer to fly under the radar!
This brought me down to three hens: Shaniqua, Oprah, and Robyn.
Shaniqua (the roosters loved her and ripped out her "weave"its never grown back so she has really spotty feathering on her head)
Robyn and Oprah (almost indistinguishable, Oprah is a little bigger, and Robyn a little nicer)
The girls started laying about a month after I got them, and all on the same day. Big beautiful, creamy brown eggs.
I decided that I wanted another color, and found an ad on craigslist for "ameracauna" chicks. I had read enough on here to doubt that they were actual ameracaunas, but figured I would get an easter egger out of the deal. I was super excited, and picked up Mariposa along with Goldie, the gold laced wyadotte, and Daisy, the light brahma. Turns out miss Mari is a reaaaaaaaaly poorly laced silver wyandotte. I suck at buying chickens!
Mariposa at 4 weeks
Goldie in the brooder hut (a litter box) at 5 weeks
Daisy at 4 weeks
First night in the big girl's house.
I have to admit that all of these pictures of other peoples adorable chickens got to me... I got the silkie bug. I kept having this dream that I had a partridge hen, and I would take her to kindergardens and talk about chickens to the little kids. Wierd, I don't have kids, and don't really like speaking in public, but it seems like an okay idea! I hadn't seen any around here, but eventually saw an ad for 2 day old chicks on craigslist (I have learned my lesson about buying from craigslist twice now...) All of the chicks were coal black, and the two that I picked up the first time had 5 toes. I looked at the ladies chickens who were free ranging around the farm. Turkens, black and white silkie roos, a black silkie hen who had a super cute, thought pet quality, top knot, and a millie fleur hen who had brooded the chicks. I figured I would take two chicks and hope that one was a hen, assuming that I would get silkies. SURPRISE !! Itty and Bitty are four toed 5 toenailed millie fleur/ silkie crosses, no fluffies for me . I eventually moved them out into a tractor in the yard, and then started free ranging them in my garden. I finally got the guts up to start leaving the garden gate open a couple of days ago, and last night moved their tractor into the big girl's run so that they would wake up there. Cody let them out this morning and when I peeked out of the window the girls (now Korima and Calliope) were perched in the run and the big girls were wandering around the garden ignoreing the runts. I guess they're safe, but will be keeping a weather eye on them! They are soooo tiny.
3 days old
7 weeks I think... obviously not silkie at this point!
3 months old
Besides the chickens we have an 11 year old golden retriever, Max, and a 6 year old chihuahua, Paco. Both are great with the girls, but Paco thinks he should eat their food so he sometimes chases them "accidentally" while he is going for the treats.