Chicken Math. Or "The story of how I didn't want chickens and got hooked"

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by azurbanclucker, May 24, 2017.

  1. Creating this thread to document my family's journey with chickens in images and words. It will be multiple posts over time as I get the chance to upload more content.

    I didn't really want chickens and my wife worked on me for a couple of years before I finally let her talk me into getting some. We already had a number of pets including large tortoises, a hedgehog, a pony, and dogs, so I didn't really want to take on more mouths to feed. Eventually I figured she was serious about and and decided "eh, why not have our own source of eggs and later meat?". So off we went to the local co-op and picked up coop, feed/water containers, misc supplies, and 4 barred rocks. The kids promptly named them "Henwyn", "Oreo", "Swirlie", and "Spot". I named them as well. "Nuggets", "Strips","Cordon Bleau", and "Fried". For some reason no one but my wife liked MY names... I had a funny feeling that when it came time to put them in the pot, I might encounter resistance.

    20161105_144308.jpg Above: Barred Rocks on the first day home, Approx. 3 weeks old (Early Nov 2016)

    Approx. 6 weeks old (late Nov. 2016)

    20161229_154501.jpg Above: First time out of the coop, approx. 12 weeks (end Dec. 2016)
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
  2. At this point we had to go pick up more supplies, as the girls had gone through the feed we initially picked up when we got them. Of course, what trip to the feed store for chicken supplies would be complete without more chickens! So we brought home was was supposedly an Ameraucana (pretty sure she's an EE) and a Delaware, who we named Merry and Buttercup.
    _DSC8942.jpg Above: Buttercup and Merry exploring in the yard

    They stayed in the house for a couple weeks as we had a bit of a cold snap (for AZ temps in the 30's is cold). The other girls slept outside, but instead of locking them in the coop, I let them bunk in the tortoise shed for a few nights.

    By late January we had all the girls outside together and they integrated fairly well as a small flock.

    20170128_141516.jpg 20170131_150715.jpg 20170131_150723.jpg
  3. Another trip to the feed store, more mouths to feed. This time it was 3 Gold Laced Wyandottes. Supposedly sexed, they weren't. We got 2 hens and a roo.
  4. At this point we ended up losing 2 of our Barred Rocks. A hawk of some kind attacked one of them but didn't get to finish her off because the dogs scared it off. She didn't end up making it. Then the dogs accidentally trampled one while playing and broke her neck. We were bummed, but decided we'd get some hatchlings and replace them. One of our local feed stores sells a lot of heritage and rare breeds, so we stopped in there for a look at what they had.

    IMG_20170402_083713.jpg Above: Belle, Blue Langshan

    Above: Blackie, Black Langshan

    Above: Fluffy, White Bantam Silkie. Buffy, Buff Bantam Silkie. Fuzzy, Black Bantam Silkie.

    At this point, I finally understood how addicting chickens were, and why. It's like having an aquarium in your backyard. Always something going on no matter where you look.
  5. A couple weeks later, We found some other cool breeds, and added a Silver Polish, Cuckoo Maran, and Mottled Java to the flock.
    Meanwhile, the rest of the girls were up to their normal goofy things.
    IMG_20170409_085710.jpg IMG_20170409_190221.jpg IMG_20170428_090322.jpg
  6. MagpieDucks

    MagpieDucks Preserving Orpington Bantams

    Oct 26, 2015
    My Coop
    :welcome!!! Beautiful chickens!!16 of them??
  7. Along toward the end of April, we found a local hatchery that had a bunch of breeds we didn't have in our flock. A quick car trip out there and we ended up coming home with a Svart Hona, a Black Ameraucauna, Tolbunt Polish, and a Black Naked Neck. We also ended up with another Cuckoo Maran because we thought the one we had was a roo.
    (there's a Blue Isbar in this pic too, she didn't make it.)
  8. We're up to 21 right now. Story isn't done yet. :)
  9. We also picked up an Olive Egger on one of our last trips to the feed store. We've had a couple of losses over time and mostly I've replaced like with like (though I've lost 4 blue isbars that we got from the same breeder, so I'm gonna hold off on those for a bit) and we're holding steady at 21 kids in the chicken pool right now. The 2 prefab coops we bought weren't big enough to hold them all, so I ended up building a new coop over the last couple of weekends from a combination of new framing and scrap lumber we had around the place. They're acclimating to it now and the 4 oldest have started laying again after the move. We're still working on adding nesting boxes and I'd like to put in an auto-waterer as well, but for now it's covering shelter and predator protection which were the most critical.

    IMG_20170523_195406.jpg IMG_20170523_195449.jpg Above: Most of the girls in the coop. IMG_20170524_072452.jpg
    Last group out of the brooder.
  10. sassysarah

    sassysarah Free Ranging

    Apr 3, 2017
    My Coop
    Aww So cute!

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