Getting started with chickens and BYC!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by LimitedWisdom, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. LimitedWisdom

    LimitedWisdom New Egg

    Oct 30, 2011
    Howdy all.

    The LimitedWisdom crew is me, my wife, and our two great kiddos (son 10 and daughter 2). We decided to start raising chickens this year: we'd talked about it for a long time, but hadn't really done much research, we just thought the idea was cool. Needless to say, after we took the plunge, we learned a LOT.

    We had no idea how much fun chickens would be! Who knew they had personalities and wouldn't mind being picked up and handled?! We were worried that our neighbors might not like having chickens around - then we found out that TWO of our neighbors already had chickens (and we just didn't know)!

    I saw a couple pictures of chicken "tractors" for sale on Craig's List and decided I could figure out how to build one of those myself - so I did. It's about 10x3 and about 5 1/2 feet tall (I'll try to take a picture in the next couple of days). It has a coop on top and an run underneath and in front (the coop dimensions are about 3x5). Anyway, we moved the chicks to the tractor after a couple of days and we were using the chicken wire with fairly large openings. On the first day, one of the chicks managed to squeeze out and lasted about a minute before a cooper's hawk that regularly flies in the neighborhood got some take out chicken [​IMG]. I was pretty bummed - felt like I had not done my job keeping the chickens safe. SO, we got some smaller opening chicken wire and wrapped it right over that first layer. Made a big difference - no more chickens lost to the cooper's hawk.

    I would let the chickens out of the coop and open the door to the run every morning before work (letting the chickens have free run of the yard). Then, I'd put them up before it got dark. Typically, the chickens would head to the coop on their own around twilight. This system worked GREAT - they were friendly and would wander all over and mostly stay out of trouble. The family loves sitting outside anyway, so sitting outside with something funny and entertaining to watch made it even better. THEN, about 3 weeks ago, I heard a commotion on a Saturday afternoon and ran outside to see a huge pile of feathers and some very spooked chickens. We lost another one to a fox.

    I cooped up the chickens and only let them out twice since then - the first time, the fox was back in the yard within minutes. The chickens stayed close to me (I didn't even see him for a bit)...and he just sat watching. It was crazy. I clapped my hands and ran after him...and he would move about 10 feet and wait for me to catch up...he's just look at me like "whatever, I know you're not going to do anything". It was insane. So - the new rule is that the chickens only get out when Daddy is outside and has time to sit around with them. Kind of a bummer.

    Anyway, sorry for the novel - just thought I'd share our tale to this point. In general - we LOVE our chickens and are having lots of fun. We're worried about winter...but there are lots of posts on here that should help (I'll be posting some questions too).

    Thanks (if you've managed to read this far)! Looking forward to getting to know you all better soon!
  2. ipie68

    ipie68 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2011
    Penfield, PA
    welcome nice to have another member! [​IMG]
  3. CrestedGirl

    CrestedGirl Polish Obsessed

    Mar 7, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] From North Texas [​IMG] So glad you joined us [​IMG]
  4. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    Welcome! [​IMG]
  5. wolftracks

    wolftracks Spam Hunter

    Nov 6, 2009
    [​IMG] [​IMG] from California

    Nice to have a new member of the family
  6. terrilhb

    terrilhb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2010
    [​IMG] from Ga. So sorry for your losses. Shoot the fox. It will keep coming back and will come at night. Just my opinion,
  7. MSDeb

    MSDeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to BYC
  8. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    [​IMG] [​IMG] from WA. glad you joined us [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. ghillie

    ghillie Hen Pecked

    Nov 13, 2008
    Colorado Springs, Co
  10. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by