New in NC

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by paintedChix, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. paintedChix

    paintedChix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2013
    When I first moved to NC in 1997, I visited a pony farm. They had the most beautiful "little" chicken coop (stood taller than me) with these TINY feather legged birds. To me, they were so ugly, they were cute. I couldn't figure out why anyone would have such critters... What were they good for?????

    Fast forward to 2008 (11 yrs later, LOL) - a new horsey acquaintance had big chickens. ?? She talked to me a couple of times about them, recognized that I really wasn't interested and let it go. BUT - I started buying eggs. YUM. Then her hubby started talking about butchering some but they were too old and had been free range too long. I started listening - a little.

    Jump ahead to Christmas season 2010 - someone that stopped and asked me earlier in the year "...what can you do with a mini horse...?" got the intro thru our slightly larger Shetlands. I'm big - his daughter was almost as large as me - but we squished into my ez entry cart and my smallest pony that measures out as a mini horse pulled us around for 1/2 an hour. Then, I shifted and he, larger than me, got into the cart too and little Stuffy did the whole thing again - she was only a little sweaty! He was AMAZED with the "little horses that can" !! It was June 2010 then... Christmas coming - I had taken him out to look at horse equipment at several new stores and we stopped @ one of his friends' homes. They had 15 newly hatched bantam chicks - all different colors! She said they didn't need them, wasn't sure they were going to make it in this "nasty, NC weather" and asked if I wanted the whole batch! I stumbled and mumbled and took them home. She gave me some chick starter - I put them in the bottom 1/2 of medium sized dog crate & put a window screen across the top of it - out in our shop. I didn't have any shavings (don't stall our horses/ponies), but had plenty of shredded paper so that became their bedding... I didn't have a light, proper feeders or waterers - it was hovering around the freezing mark and I worried that night. They all made it...

    Long story short - I got supplies. I moved them into the carport inside of our dog kennels and used all the window screens from the house (in the process of replacing them) to block the areas where they could get out and make a smaller pen at first. Lost one or two, but the rest made it! I have learned that I haven't handled them close to enough - from that original batch I think I have 4 left (numbers keep changing for some reason - they disappear and reappear :) ) - 2 are slim and trim and gorgeous, 2 are rather ugly fluffy "round balls" w/ no feathers on their legs and just short stubs for tails. Wish I'd taken pics of those first ones!

    In Feb 2011, I purchased 6 Production Red pullets from TSC. I grew them up and was so excited when the girls started laying eggs! I can't remember when I purchased the 4 "Ameraucanas" and 2 Cuckoo Marans, but also grew them up and started getting other eggs... I have made one HUGE mistake - after they got to a certain age, I allowed them all to "free range" to include not having a proper coop to put them in at night. Well, they all learned to roost wherever - some in our carport on the top of that dog kennel (I like going out to look at them at night, talk to them when I come in from horse chores or arrive home late from work). I have some in the barn - I have eggs currently lodged about 16' up in the rafters above the double front barn doors - neither hubby nor I have tried to get them, now WHEW that would be a major stink bomb. Figure maybe one of the freezes over my Christmas break I'll deal with that... With no proper coop or nests - I find eggs whenever and wherever. They move their nests after I clean them out every so often - even if I leave an egg in it... :(

    So, we'd butchered all the roos and some of the hens from the first batch of bantams (& their resulting...clutches?). Good eating. And now our girls are "getting older"... Thinking about butchering them - after I replace them next spring. I really like the colored eggs and my "pretty girls" - started researching Ameraucanas and Marans. 2 weeks ago, I saw my first pics of Lavendar AMs and I fell in LOVE. Then, 2 days ago, while perusing sites and links I stumbled onto a local link and a show coming up that was only about 30 miles or so from our farmette. I was praying there would be some birds I was interested in ... AND there were - one new breeder of Lavendar AMs and another with Splash AMs. OMG! Again, I'm in LOVE.

    So, now I want to have some "pedigreed" stock - quality show stock and maybe to carry on in lines. With my ponies - I love playing with color genetics (I have "purple" or "chocolate" painted ponies - silver dapple blacks and silver dapple bays. Some are homozygous for the spot genes that make all the foals "painted" - hence our farm name). I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that "breeders" of birds don't have registered pedigrees (?). Still trying to understand exactly how individual birds can be tracked TO figure out who is who (yes, I've seen the "leg bracelets"). Have much to learn, but figure I have time to get there. Was thinking I wanted a single larger rooster to put to the girls I have now - maybe instead of getting new hens, I'd replace them with their hatched offspring. We'll see how it goes. Going over plans/ideas for a real chicken coop that will work.

    I did bring home 4 chickens from the show. One is a bantam rooster. He's coaxed the girls down into the pen hes' in already! Guess the funky weather and timing are right?? The other is a trio - Ameraucana x Leghorns. We shall see what we will see. They are white - though not like the white birds (different breeds) at the show. I'm hoping to "gentle them" down some before they also become free range (if they do). So right now they are crated in a bunny hutch. They aren't full grown yet, and hopefully in the next three weeks, I can handle them a lot. They are just neat looking birds! Hubby isn't real happy right now, though...

    With the new additions, we now have 11 large chickens of which 10 are hens. 5 bantam chickens of which 4 are hens. I think I really want bantam sized Ameraucanas... We'll see what the future holds as I learn more...
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow Welcome to BYC and Happy Holidays! Good luck with all your chicken projects, they sure are addictive ...
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC & Merry Christmas!
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]
  6. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    Hello and welcome!
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC - you may become the poster child for 'chicken math'.
    1 person likes this.
  8. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC!
  9. paintedChix

    paintedChix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2013
    Sorry gone so long - weather (well, everyone had bad winter this year), funky stuff with laptop and power and dealing with storm damage to both property and house/carport. Just had to reset my password in order to get back in.

    Chicken math appears to be just like Mini horse math - can never have just one. But then it's multiplied - as hatches are very multiple...

    Both my white hens had started to lay, then as soon as it got really nice about 2 weeks ago, they both disappeared. I think one of the resident hawks got them - they free range during the day. No evidence of harm around the property. The only other idea is that maybe they wandered onto one of our neighbor's property - noone else right around here does chickens but a few dogs have been loose... Several bantams have disappeared and our last pekin duck left along with 2 of our smaller ducks (either rouen or mallard - not sure which they are) as well.

    BUT the Roos have been busy and I didn't clear out one of the areas that the girls' had been laying eggs (a manure tub I hadn't emptied) - 11 little chickens hatched under a smooth feathered little bantam girl - some are bantams, at least one is 1/2 ameraucana, and a couple are production reds. Not sure which roo covered which hens - so the chickies are "just chickens"!

    Here's a couple of pics - hmm, haven't been active enough to have picture attachment? Here's links to them...

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