Hello from Southern California

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by deborahca, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. deborahca

    deborahca Out Of The Brooder

    I thought I would briefly introduce myself before I start diving into the main forum. I have been wanting to get into backyard chicken keeping for a while, and I've received a chicken coop for Christmas so I'm getting serious about getting started this Spring. I'm completely new to chickens, although not to birds, having three parrots sharing my office space! I've also taken care of horses, and I'm assuming that mucking out chickens will be a bit less demanding than that!

    I have lots to do to read up on the FAQs. I also have a couple of books on chicken-keeping and some friends who have backyard poultry. My main interest is egg-laying and having them as outdoor pets, really, although I don't want to get TOO attached until I'm pretty sure I can keep them safe! We live in the high desert of Southern California and while our caliche ground is quite possibly hard enough to discourage burrowing predators (we had some planting done and they used a jackhammer to prepare the hole) we have plenty of hawks. We have wild quail that visit regularly and have seen hawks take the quail. We even had a golden eagle in the backyard once. So I'm not planning to let them free-range, although I do have a run that is fairly mobile and plan to let them be out in the run in different parts of the yard, and possibly have free run closely supervised on occasion, if they are tame enough to keep close by. The coop itself, which has a screened run underneath it, will probably need to be staked into the ground because we occasionally get very high wind and I would not want the hens to blow away coop and all.

    I'm an astronomer and my main occupation is teaching astronomy, physics and physical science at the community college level. I used to be a "rocket scientist". So I tend to have a very research-based approach to things. When I'm not teaching (and man, is that a time-sink!) I am an amateur jeweler/metal-smith and I really love cooking, and have also done some cheese-making. I have a horse and used to ride competitively, but he's now in semi-retirement being pampered by a couple of young women, and lives nearer my old house than our current home, so I don't see him often. Although we have an acre-and-a-half zoned for horses, so we may yet have an equine on the property as well as the chickens!

    Happy New Year!
  2. ChicknsRock

    ChicknsRock Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 4, 2013
    Happy new year! [​IMG]
  3. [​IMG]
    A good way to prevent hawk attacks is by owning a rooster or 2. They will fight them, and sometimes a rooster will kill a hawk. It rarely happens, usually the hawk surrenders and leaves! I have several roosters as protectors and pets. Roosters are pretty tough, specially when it comes to protecting their hens!
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC.
  5. deborahca

    deborahca Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks for the welcome! I don't really want to get a rooster, I'd prefer not to disturb the neighbors. We are in a pretty rural -- or at least pretend-rural -- area, but while the zoning is wide open the HOA rules are very oddly worded. Something like "normal pets, such as horses". We THINK that's to discourage commercial keeping, since we have neighbors with a donkey, and other neighbors with alpacas, but there are no other obvious chickens in the area.
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow Welcome To BYC and Happy Holidays!
  7. SilkieMama512

    SilkieMama512 Out Of The Brooder

    May 25, 2013
    Ventura County, CA
    Welcome:) my husband and I were born and raised in the high desert of SoCal:) we've now moved 20 mins from six flags:) we have a lil flock of silkies(including a rooster)and we love them:)(tiny eggs tho lol) and we also have hawks that love them too :( we let ours free range but only when we are outside with them, they are also have access to a covered dog run during the day so that may be a good idea:) hope you take care and good luck!
    Ps. Orpingtons may be the breed for you because they are hardy and lay all the time, or Easter eggers may be a good choice for the warmer climate.:)
  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  10. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens


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