Hello from Texas!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by 1meanmom, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. 1meanmom

    1meanmom New Egg

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    Jul 28, 2012
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    [​IMG] Hi, I'm Dawn, and I've been a member for a while, and I thought it was time to introduce myself. I live with my husband and daughter in South Central Texas, between Seguin and New Braunfels. I also have two sons who are away at college. We live on 2-1/2 acres in a large-lot country neighborhood. We currently have a one dog, two cats and four 6-month old hens. We started out with five chicks -- 2 Easter Eggers, 1 Buff Orpington, 1 Silver Wyandotte, and 1 Black Australorp. We got our first egg on Christmas Day, and lost our first chicken to a visiting family members uncontrolled dog later that afternoon. It was a bittersweet day. Needless to say, we're no longer allowing free-ranging visiting dogs! Our chicken coop is fantastic -- looks good and fairly low cost. When we bought our property, it came with a large Rubbermaid storage shed. I immediately thought of a chicken coop conversion, A web search found others who'd had the same idea. Our coop is different from the one featured on the forum. I installed white vertical slide aluminum windows on either side of the shed and flanked them with black shutters. I ordered the windows and shutters from a playhouse/shed supplier. The windows are fully functional, and I keep them open during the summer and closed during the winter. I replaced the original screens with critter-proof mesh. I added a large ventilation panel on the back of the coop (thanks, Habitat Restore!). I mounted a 2x2 roost across the rear of the coop with lumber hanging brackets (Restore, again), and I created three nest boxes out of plastic crates I found at an estate sale. I turned the crates on their sides, zip-tied them together, and zip-tied a 1x4 across the bottom front of the trio. Like so many other stories I've read, while there are three identical, perfectly-good nesting boxes in the coop, the girls will only lay in one of them. Often two are crammed in together, laying at the same time! The roof on the coop slides open half-way and gives extra ventilation on hot South Texas days. I want to add another ventilation panel and a sliding door soon. The coop is in a large fenced area, separate from our main large fenced back yard area. The girls currently free-range in "their" yard and our backyard. Two of them been hopping the fence a lot lately to forage, and I'm concerned that a wandering critter will get them. I've gone through a hundred containment ideas in my head, but none seem easy. We have a small covered run, but they need a bigger enclosure. Oh, well, I'll figure it out eventually... I plan on adding two more chickens to our small flock this spring. I'm debating breeds right now. Our Buff Orpington is well-behaved and almost never flies over the fence, but she's not our best layer. Decisions, decisions... I've attached a photo of the girls as chicks and then again at 3-1/2 months or so. I'll add an updated photo later, as well as photos of the coop. Thanks to all of you who've contributed to this wonderful resource for new chicken owners! It's been so helpful to me as I've learned the chicken basics. Together, our girls are averaging about 3 eggs each day. I've been trying lots of egg recipes, and we've enjoyed them all. Best to you all. Dawn
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Your chickens are beautiful!
     
  3. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Hello, Beautiful birds you have!!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Howdy from Travis County.
     
  5. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] from California!
     
  6. 1meanmom

    1meanmom New Egg

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    Jul 28, 2012
    New Braunfels, Texas
    [​IMG] Thanks for the warm welcome! Here's a photo of the girls taken a week ago -- six months old and all laying. Black Australorp - Pogo, Buff - Miss Fluffy, Silver Wyandotte - Sasha, and EE - Pablo. That's what happens when you let your 12-yo daughter and her cousins pick names for your chicks! :)
     
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, 1meanmom, and [​IMG]! Great to have you here! You have beautiful chickens and great photography skills - you should enter your photos into the BYC calendar contest! Good luck to you!
     
  8. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are so beautiful! I guess maybe I should introduce myself... I never did [​IMG]
     
  9. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Welcome to BYC. Consider adding a couple of Barred Rocks. You wont be disappointed.
     
  10. 1meanmom

    1meanmom New Egg

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    Jul 28, 2012
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Thanks, dawg53, my local feed store gets barred rock pullets in tomorrow from Ideal Poultry, and I've been considering getting two of them. It's my understanding that they're heat-tolerant and good-tempered, but that they tend to go broody. Has that been your experience?

    Also, I've never purchased Ideal Poultry chicks. Does anyone have experience with them? Our local feed store gets weekly shipments from them starting tomorrow through the end of spring, and they get about six different breeds each week.

    I appreciate your replies!
     

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