Crazy for Cluckers

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by WDFlock2015, Nov 26, 2014.

  1. WDFlock2015

    WDFlock2015 In the Brooder

    Nov 26, 2014
    I grew up in one the largest cities in the U.S., but always dreamed of living in the country and having animals on farm. I finally got my house in the country, with a small barn, but my picture wasn't complete without some animals (except for my yellow lab "Roscoe"). My husband grew up here and had experiences raising animals with his grandmother when he was a child, and suggested I start with something easy...rabbits. What a disaster that was!!!

    Then my mother-in-law (our next-door, foot-ball field away, neighbor), suggested getting some chicken to raise for eggs & meat. I was wary of the idea due to my limited experience with any type of birds, and my harrowing interactions with grandma's bi-polar pet goose, but being an animal lover in general, I decided I'd give it shot.

    We planned to start with 3 dozen birds and see how things went, then we could increase our numbers the following year (there are 5 of us, with the in-laws, who share our dinner meal together every day). We looked at the "Chickens" magazine Breed Bonanza and got ideas of what breeds may like to get, but based it mainly on appearance. We started making calls in the spring to local feed and supply stores looking for chicks. After calling TSC and looking up the ISA Browns they mentioned, we went to pick up our first dozen. By the time we arrived, they only had 5 pullets let so we rounded off the dozen with 7 straight run Buff Orpingtons (which we hadn't even noticed while looking for breeds). We also planned to order 2 dozen Barred Rocks for our nearest local owned feed store.

    After getting our new chicks settled in their brooder, my husband went straight to the computer to look up these mysterious Buff Orpingtons. That's how we found BYC and all the incredible information available (thanks to all you members and your posts). We quickly fell in love with the orpingtons, though only 4 of the seven actually turned out to be of the breed. The other three were actually more ISA browns, and even though they seemed to bully the slower growing orpingtons initially, this first dozen birds were absolutely wonderful!

    I was incredibly surprised by how much more personable they were than rabbits, and had such a great time watching them grow, observing their behaviors, and enjoying their antics. I couldn't wait for the Barred Rocks to arrive.

    Now these birds were VERY different! Their superb foraging abilities were first observed by the substantial amount of feed being wasted as they pulled it out of the feeder by the fistful. We then were exposed to their incredibly curious natures which made them extremely difficult to keep in the brooder, as we played "chase the chicks" every few hours to keep them safe. But even though they were definitely a bit more challenging, I learned to appreciate them as well.

    My experiences raising this flock was so enjoyable, that we've since decided to hatch our own birds next year, and added some gold laced wyandottes at the end of the summer.

    We've even added some "chicken based hobbies" to our lives and are growing fodder for the winter, and fermenting feed.

    I again thank all the members for the amazing wealth of information that you provide which made this first year for us much easier and more enriching. I'm so glad we discovered this forum, and even more glad to be a part of it.
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] So glad you decided to join us. Great intro..
    Personally, I only have a very small flock - 3 BO and 3 BR - spoiled rotten pets.
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. I've raised Buff Orpingtons and Isa Browns for years and they are both great breeds (actually Isa Browns are hybrids rather than true breeds). Isa Brown is one of many labels under which some hatcheries market their Red Sex Links, which are produced by crossing a red gene rooster with a silver gene hen. Not only can the resulting offspring be sexed by color at hatching, but they are egg laying machines, outlaying either parent breed. It's one of the interesting quirks of hybridization. Our Red Sex Links have been, along with our Black Sex Links, my best layers, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year. Our Buff Orpingtons have been among our friendliest and most gentle breeds. My children, and now my granddaughter (pictured in my avatar) made lap pets of them. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to the BYC flock, so glad you decided to join us.
  5. N F C

    N F C whaz sup?

    Dec 12, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! It sounds like you've had a very interesting and busy year [​IMG]

    Nice to have you join us!
  6. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Great intro!
  7. WDFlock2015

    WDFlock2015 In the Brooder

    Nov 26, 2014
    It's funny you mention the buff orpington being a lap pet...a hen we are planning to breed (we call her honey because of her color and because she's so sweet) was roaming the yard and jumped into my husband's lap. She then proceeded to restlessly walk back and forth on his legs. Then, suddenly, he felt something hit his leg. Turns out she wanted to give us her first egg personally!
  8. WDFlock2015

    WDFlock2015 In the Brooder

    Nov 26, 2014
    Thank you all for the warm welcome. Look forward to getting to know some of you. Any "cheeseheads" out there?
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    LOL! I can believe that of a Buff Orpington. :eek:)

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