HI BYC Community!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by jajones480, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. jajones480

    jajones480 In the Brooder

    Nov 20, 2014

    My name is Jonathan and my family and I live about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh, PA. We live on 3 acres (sadly right in the middle of several fracking operations) in Butler County and have owned chickens since mid-summer 2014. We currently have 14 hens and 2 males. The 14 hens are:

    3 Barred Rocks
    6 Red Rocks (Barred Rock / Rhode Island Red cross)
    1 Americauna
    1 Blue Orpington
    1 Blue Cochin
    1 Delaware
    1 Black Australorpe

    The males are an Americauna rooster and a guinuea. We got the original 10 birds (2 barred, 7 red rocks, 1 guinea) in mid-July after my friend lost their home in a fire. Unfortunately, it was due to an unsafe brooder he had put together that caught fire and burned their house down. He knew our family had been looking for chickens and offered them up to us. We were getting almost an egg a day from them most of the summer. At some point, one of the red rocks fell prey to a predator so we now have 6. We also got a young Welsumer rooster (about 8 weeks old) from a friend who got a straight run full of roosters. He was nice but was afraid of the hens. Unfortunately, he met his demise at the hands of a predator, I think a bird of prey, after only being here for 3 weeks.

    In early-October, I answered a Craigslist post from someone who had 6 hens they needed to move that day. The price was good plus I got a small run that I could use with sick / new chickens. These were the barred rock, Americauna, Blue Cochin, Delware, Rhode Island Red, and the Black Australorpe. Again, we lost another, the Rhode Island Red, just a couple days after we got them to a predator. Right around this time, a co-worker found a friendly rooster and hen on a morning run and brought them home to add to his flock. He has three Bantams, and unfortunately, the Americauna rooster was really beating up on them so he asked if I wanted to give them a whirl. The Blue Orpington has fit in nicely with the rest of my hens but the rooster has become problematic (I posted in the Behavior forum).

    The main reason we wanted to get chickens is that we love fresh eggs. We eat a lot of eggs. There are five of us in the house - me, my wife, 8 yr old daughter, 6 yr old son, and 2 yr old son - and it's not uncommon for us to go through a dozen eggs in a day. In addition, my wife and I wanted to start to teach our children about where food comes from, proper animal husbandry, as well as give them some responsibility in taking care of the chickens.

    My wife and I are both 40 (well I'm not quite 40 yet - December) and are both software developers. I do both embedded and application's software development for a large company in the Pittsburgh area and my wife is an independent contractor that works out of our home for a company in VA. We like to think that our kids are not your typical kids because they would rather play outside in their "lab" (an area back in a copse of trees that has stumps for sitting on and soft dirt to find creepy crawlies) or make up complex dramas to enact with their tows instead of some form of electronic entertainment. The smallest one just does everything the older ones do, to his detriment sometimes!

    I have more hobbies than I care to admit. I play guitar and sing (I play in my church's praise band as well as an 8-piece rock cover band), I love to run (12 - 20 miles / week), I play golf (not so much anymore just due to time), read, enjoy PC gaming when I can, and then all the stuff that goes along with being married and having 3 kids :).

    Below are a couple pictures of our flock as well as the new coop I built for them.






    2 people like this.
  2. 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.

    WOW! Great intro!! Lovely coop and flock you have!
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. You have a very good and thorough introduction. :eek:) I've had all of the breeds on your list at one time or another over the past 50 years (still have Australorps and Orpingtons), and you have some very good breeds. Black Australorps are my favorite, standard breed. They are extremely hardy (in both heat and cold), calm and gentle (my children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets of them along with our Orpingtons), and excellent layers of large, brown eggs. 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. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us! I love that coop.
  5. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    Welcome to BYC! That is a nice looking coop.

    Raising your own food is a great shared family experience.
  6. N F C

    N F C snowing & blowing

    Dec 12, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! Nice intro and congrats on the handsome coop build. Thanks for joining us!
  7. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    May 11, 2010
    [​IMG] Nice flock!
  8. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] so glad you joined us.

    Nice job on the coop. Sorry about the loses you have experienced, and wish you better luck with the current, beautiful flock.

    I am really touched by your comments on your children, they sound like the norm for my generation. You are quite fortunate to have creative offspring, a refreshing contrast to the average.
  9. misfitmorgan

    misfitmorgan Ordure Heir

    Nov 20, 2014
    Mikado, Mi
    Welcome to BYC

    Your coop is beautiful, mine is an old trailer atm lol. Hopefully you wont lose many more to predators, that always makes me sad.
  10. jajones480

    jajones480 In the Brooder

    Nov 20, 2014
    Thank you all for the kind words! Sadly, I went out this morning to put the water back in the coop and I found one of the red rocks dead. Not sure why. My suspicion is that the Americauna rooster killed her. I always do a head count and step in the coop to inspect the birds and she looked fine around 8pm last night when I closed the coop up.

    I will be putting up about 50 pictures in the coops section to show the build process and what changed in my coop over the 9 weeks it took to build it.

    Fresh chicken for dinner this weekend!

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