New from Northern NJ - Farmer Mike

Farmer Mike

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 29, 2011
27
0
22
Northern NJ
I am a new member to the site, however I have been following this site for a couple years getting ready.

I am new to chickens. I got my first chickens mother's day weekend (2011) as chicks from a local farmer and this started the actual fun of finally getting to work on my backyard coop.

The three chickens I initially got all turned out to be roosters....not what I wanted. So they moved on and I now have a nice flock of 8 hens, 4 from one farmer, and 4 from the people I got the roosters (not their fault).

I am not real sure what kind of hens I have. I would guess that a couple are New Hampshire Reds (at least have that coloring) but with blackish rear-ends, one is a Brahma (I think) but he is grey speckled but does have furry feet, and one looks just like a black crow, maybe Australorp? Not sure, mutts of the chicken world is most likely. Since I got them in batches of 4 they seem to stay in those cliques. The grey, black, and smaller brown one are best buds and never are more than a few feet from each other. They are shy, but very sweet and the grey one (boots) is the most friendly of them all. The other group of 4 seem reserved and only come near if I have treats. My guess is they didn't interact much with humans before like "why is he so nice to us" type of looks. They all get along well and a couple hens are the queen mothers (not sure if they decided who is boss yet).

I found the site surfing the web looking for information, and boy did I hit the jackpot. I hope my coop and run work out well as I took a blended approach from what I learned.

When not tending to the chickens I like to garden (and now might reserve some veggies for the girls) and also like backpacking , kayaking, and volunteering in many ways (Church, Soccer, Coast Guard, etc).

We have two dogs, a chocolate named Hershey, and a mixed lab named Hank. Hank LOVES to watch the chickens. I call the run Hank TV because he would spend hours watching them. Hershey really can't be bothered as they don't give him treats. Our son, who is 13, seems to love the chickens as much as I do. My wife, after getting the first few eggs, seems to be warming up to the idea.

I usually work from home so I have time to visit the girls and give them treats (better than the usual work smoke break people take). So far they love watermelon, strawberries, and sometimes lettuce. They weren't crazy about bananas. They also love any bugs I catch for them.

My coop is 4x8 and 8 feet high on one side with a people door and I built in nest boxes so my wife wouldn't have to go in. I also made a 6x10 run on the back from chain link fence (all sides) with hardwire cloth around the perimeter. We have loads of predators so I made it extra secure. They come and go as they please and seem to enjoy their home (been there since 8.19.11).

I look forward to learning more and maybe helping someone else get started. This is the most relaxing hobby as I am at total peace while with the hens...very interesting creatures. Plus I get eggs as a reward:D
 

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