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Looking to learn and socialize, so starting off with a big hello from NE FL

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by luvmychis, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. luvmychis

    luvmychis Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 29, 2015
    My name is Lisa and we live in a little town called Starke, located in NE FL. We're south of Jacksonville and north of Gainesville, just to give some reference. Some of my girlfriends in south FL got into raising chickens and were telling me all about it during every phone call. After getting disgusted at the grocery with the price of eggs going up and up, reading about the Avian Flu that was desimating flocks, and then seeing the conditions that commercial chickens are raised, I decided to make a stand not to support that and have my own backyard chickens. In April, I cleaned out the unused lot in our back yard, got a coop, and drove to my girlfriend's house for a few chickens. [​IMG]

    I started out with 2 RIR, who are sisters, and a Blue Wynedotte. They did well together, coming from the same flock, and had a good little life going on in their new 23'x23' chicken lot. They have constant access to Layer Pellets and get scratch in the morning and evening. They also get left over produce when we have it. Of course, they have water with a 3 gallon bucket with nipples, to which I add 3 ounces of apple cider vinager. I scatter some DE in their cedar shaving in the coop and replenish as necessary. I clean poo every day, from their coop and their yard. I'm probably the only person in the world who picks up poo from the ground, but after over 20+ years in the dog show world, I just can't leave poo laying about if I see it. LOL The sisters have free run of their chicken lot all day. They also out about once or twice a day for about 45 minutes to an hour to free range in my backyard, which is about 3/4 of an acre. That's on a trial basis, because I love seeing them out there but I don't want to lose all my grass. So far, they graze around pretty well and do some digging but aren't destroying any areas of the yard. Crossing my fingers that continues. If not, they'll have to stay in their lot. That's our routine for now. If you see something that would be better, please feel free to offer suggestions.

    I was getting 3 eggs a day from day 1. Perfect for the whole family. Until the Dotte went broody. I did everything that everyone suggested to get her over it, from the country chicken raising folks to the internet. Absolutely nothing worked. As I'm never going to have a rooster, nor do I ever want to raise biddies, I traded with my daughter's friend. She has a small family farm and lets her chickens free range. That's what Blue was used to and what I wanted her to continue to have. She was set up with a nest full of eggs, which she was grateful for, and I brought home another RIR. I followed all the instructions for introducing her to the sisters but nothing worked. They were not mean to her, in the sense that they didn't injure her, but they were totally antisocial. After a month of seeing the new one totally separate from the sisters, I call her up and asked to bring her back. I just couldn't stand the thought of a lonely chicken. They are supposed to be social birds but mine didn't read the book.

    The coop I bought was a Precision and that's been a disaster. I've posted on another thread about my experience with that. Needless to say, I'm getting a new coop after only a few months of chicken keeping. I'm having it made to my specs and I'll post pics when I get it. It's more for free ranging, low maintenance upkeep, not "cuteness" but I'll be grateful to have it. Once it's here, I'm getting two more chickens. I've learned my lesson on that one. I will only get a pair, so that they can be their own little pairing if the sisters are antisocial to them too. I'm still investigating what type of chickens to get. I'm most interested in egg laying and non aggressive, and as a bonus, pretty. The problem if finding them. As I said, I don't want biddies, as that's mostly how they are offered. My girlfriend assures me it's possible to get juvenile pullets and she can help me do that.

    That's our chicken adventures to date. I'm looking forward to getting to know some of y'all and learning as much as I can so I can be a good chicken keeper. I enjoy watching the silly birds but I'm especially loving having fresh, antibiotic and chemical free eggs from birds that have a good life.

    Lisa Greene
    Flock of 2 (for now)
    1 person likes this.
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
  3. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

    Dec 12, 2013
    Hi Lisa, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    It sounds like you've done a lot of homework for having your girls and giving them good care. I hope your new coop works out better for you than the pre-built (your problems with it mirror a lot of other people's issues with the pre-built coops).

    Make yourself at home here. The best way to get comfortable is to roam around the boards and when you see something that interests you, post. If you have stories or pictures or questions or even just come across some funny video, post. That's how you get to 'meet' other members. And there is a lot more to this site than chickens so if you're interested in gardening, baking, photography, raising other animals...there are forums for all that.

    Nice to have a "neighbor" here, let me know if you need anything!
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Water Under the Bridge Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC!
  5. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2013
    Midwest America
    Welcome to the BYC flock! We are glad you joined us!

  6. luvmychis

    luvmychis Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 29, 2015
    Thanks for the welcome, chicks! [​IMG]
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I understand about cleaning the poo immediately - I raised show dogs way back in the late 60's to early 80's. I couldn't stand seeing a mess in the runs so ran out many times a day to clean up. I had Cockers spaniels. I'm guessing you have Chihuahuas. Smooth or longhaired?

    You know if you have a broody hen, you can have chicks without a rooster. Just buy fertile eggs of whatever breed you want, and exchange her non-fertile ones for ones that will hatch. She will feel fulfilled and you can have some breeds you might be dying to add to your flock.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    p.s. Very nice to meet you Lisa, glad you joined us at Backyard chickens. [​IMG]
  9. luvmychis

    luvmychis Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 29, 2015
    Thanks for the welcome, Ms. Diva! Nice to meet a fellow dog person. You understand the insanity. LOL Yes, I had Chihuahuas until I retired from the show world. I kept my heat dogs and placed the rest with my partner. My Chis have since left us and while we still adore the breed, I moved on to a breed that my husband and son fell in love with. Pets only, mind you, and only from rescue. You'll never believe it, because everyone else is still convinced I lost my mind, but Great Danes. We had both for many years but once the last of my geriatrics past, we now only have the Danes. Our family now consists of an 8 y/o Mantle named Harleigh and an aprx 3 y/o Harl named NOS. Having worked with Dane rescues for many years before I retired, I always said I wouldn't do puppies. Dane puppies are a challenge after Chis, as I'm sure you can imagine. For some reason, NOS spoke to me across many miles, although at the time he was said to be between 3-5 y/o. It wasn't until I got there to pick him up, after driving 7 hours, and finding him emaciated, that I got the rest of the story. Even then, they tried the 2-3 age to make me take him, but after seeing his condition, there was no way he wasn't getting in my truck, as long as Harleigh agreed. She did, he did, and straight to the vet, where he and I both agreed that NOS was more in the 9-12 MONTH category. That was 2 years ago and he's still a perpetual puppy, which apparently Harls tend to be. Sigh! Love him dearly, but as his name implies, he's full on all the time. Certainly one only an experienced Dane person could handle. That's us!

    As for my broody chicken, yes, I knew I could let her hatch out some chicks. I just don't want to deal with all the work associated with raising biddies. There's also the space consideration, which I really don't have the set up for a separate area to raise them. It was a life lesson, which has taught me to investigate broodiness when considering which breed to add to my flock. That's what I'm researching now. Getting 2 more hens shortly, well, juvenile birds that don't have to be laying, but do have to be past the lights and heater stage. Just figuring out which breed or breeds to get.

    Nice getting to know you.

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